How Do I Write a Song Analysis Essay?

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The process of writing a song analysis essay consists of three distinct stages: song analysis, outlining and draft writing. Song analysis essays focus on analyzing various aspects of music using specific, technical information.

Before writing a song analysis essay, the writer should have a full understanding of the music piece he is writing about. The City University of New York recommends listening to the music recording multiple times and playing it on an instrument if possible. Only when comfortable with the music piece in question should the writer begin doing research to find out more information for the song analysis essay. This research should be combined with the writer's insights into the song, bringing attention to unique or unusual features of the piece.

The next task is to create an outline that structures the writer's ideas and insights. While creating an outline, the writer should consider the effect that elements such as melody, harmony/tonality, instrumentation and texture have on the quality of the piece being analyzed. Appropriate technical terms and quotations should be used when citing information collected from other sources. Once a first draft has been created, it's a good idea to read it out loud to see how clearly and correctly the ideas of the essay are expressed.