what is the practical use of these types of analyses?

Analyses of individual works for Classical Guitar and general discussions on analysis. Normal forum copyright rules apply.
User avatar
mc1
Posts: 1139
Joined: Tue Feb 16, 2010 6:16 pm
Location: nova scotia

what is the practical use of these types of analyses?

Postby mc1 » Fri Oct 23, 2015 3:48 pm

what is the practical use of these types of analyses?

User avatar
Denian Arcoleo
Composer
Posts: 5883
Joined: Tue Jul 25, 2006 3:39 pm
Location: Somerset, England

Re: what is the practical use of these types of analyses?

Postby Denian Arcoleo » Fri Oct 23, 2015 3:58 pm

I think analysis does have a practical application in the performance of written music. The more a player understands the nuts and bolts of how a composer puts the piece in question together, the more able he is to effectively convey the music in the score. Anyway, that's my opinion :)

User avatar
Stephen Kenyon
Teacher
Posts: 1282
Joined: Sun Aug 04, 2013 11:26 am
Location: Dorchester, Dorset, England

Re: what is the practical use of these types of analyses?

Postby Stephen Kenyon » Fri Oct 23, 2015 4:15 pm

It is information. One may choose to do something differently if in possession of information, or not. One has the choice. Like being able to play fast even if never showing it off.

Example; a dominant 7th chord might be played with greater emphasis than the following tonic chord. A German 6th chord (sounding identical to the dom7) might similarly, or not.

All things that can also be detected by use of the ears, yes. Another choice!
Simon Ambridge Series 40 (2005)
Trevor Semple Series 88 (1992)
Louis Panormo (1838)
Alexander Batov Baroque Guitar (2013)

allenmathews
Posts: 60
Joined: Mon May 03, 2010 2:05 am
Location: Portland, OR USA

Re: what is the practical use of these types of analyses?

Postby allenmathews » Fri Oct 23, 2015 5:02 pm

Stephen Kenyon wrote:It is information. One may choose to do something differently if in possession of information, or not. One has the choice. Like being able to play fast even if never showing it off.

Example; a dominant 7th chord might be played with greater emphasis than the following tonic chord. A German 6th chord (sounding identical to the dom7) might similarly, or not.

All things that can also be detected by use of the ears, yes. Another choice!


Very well said. You could also draw analogies from language, relationships, health, or anything else. The more aware you are of how things work, and how they are put together and interact, the more effective you can be at arriving at your desired outcome.
Allen Mathews, Guitar Lover, Practice Hacker, Teacher and Life-long Student.

Discover new ways to play beautifully, practice better, and feel good doing it at www.ClassicalGuitarShed.com.

Lawler
Posts: 670
Joined: Sun Mar 31, 2013 12:36 am

Re: what is the practical use of these types of analyses?

Postby Lawler » Fri Oct 23, 2015 5:34 pm

Every way I can approach the music I play helps me know it more deeply.

But yes, one can over-analyze. It's good to have a balance between things intellectual and things intuitive. No doubt that's unique to each person.

There are a number of ways of analyzing music. Harmonic analysis often gets the spotlight but analysis based on other aspects is just as valuable... thematic/motivic, for instance.

I have to say though, that if one simply sings the lines that are there in the music, (while you play the piece on your guitar), analytical observations are likely to confirm what you were already feeling about the structural and expressive aspects - applying terminology in a way where you might say, "yeah, that's exactly what I noticed but hadn't put words to yet." But there are many approaches to everything in music.

User avatar
mc1
Posts: 1139
Joined: Tue Feb 16, 2010 6:16 pm
Location: nova scotia

Re: what is the practical use of these types of analyses?

Postby mc1 » Fri Oct 23, 2015 8:54 pm

i've been thinking about this. i can see the practical value of knowing how chords are formed, and, for example, knowing what a C7 or Bb13#11 chord is (required when playing through a chord chart). and i can see the value of knowing the underlying scales for chords, and if one were in a situation to improvise over a I-IV-ii-V progression in the key of F, that would be useful.

analyzing a piece thematically may reveal melodies, especially in the middle voices, that might other wise be lost.

but other than an exercise to increase one's harmonic knowledge, i still am at a bit of a loss to see the benefit of harmonic analysis. the one example given of stressing a dominant 7th chord doesn't quite work for me, as this needs to be a musical decision.

perhaps it would be of some benefit to composers who are looking to create a similar feel to an analyzed piece. but harmonic analysis seems less applicable then, say, the rules of counterpoint.

it's main purpose strikes me as theoretical, but i'll keep pondering it.

User avatar
lagartija
Moderator
Moderator
Posts: 9490
Joined: Thu Apr 02, 2009 5:37 pm
Location: Western Massachusetts, USA

Re: what is the practical use of these types of analyses?

Postby lagartija » Sat Oct 24, 2015 2:49 am

mc1 wrote:
analyzing a piece thematically may reveal melodies, especially in the middle voices, that might other wise be lost.

but other than an exercise to increase one's harmonic knowledge, i still am at a bit of a loss to see the benefit of harmonic analysis. the one example given of stressing a dominant 7th chord doesn't quite work for me, as this needs to be a musical decision.

perhaps it would be of some benefit to composers who are looking to create a similar feel to an analyzed piece. but harmonic analysis seems less applicable then, say, the rules of counterpoint.

it's main purpose strikes me as theoretical, but i'll keep pondering it.



It helps with memorizing a piece if that is what you would like to do. Knowing where you are going gives you an advantage over just using rote mechanical memory.
When the sun shines, bask.
__/^^^^^o>
Classical Guitar forever!

User avatar
mc1
Posts: 1139
Joined: Tue Feb 16, 2010 6:16 pm
Location: nova scotia

Re: what is the practical use of these types of analyses?

Postby mc1 » Sat Oct 24, 2015 2:28 pm

lagartija wrote:It helps with memorizing a piece if that is what you would like to do. Knowing where you are going gives you an advantage over just using rote mechanical memory.


that's a good point. i actually do that myself, although perhaps not it the exact same way as some of the harmonic analyses here.

User avatar
Denian Arcoleo
Composer
Posts: 5883
Joined: Tue Jul 25, 2006 3:39 pm
Location: Somerset, England

Re: what is the practical use of these types of analyses?

Postby Denian Arcoleo » Sat Oct 24, 2015 3:19 pm

To play well and with understanding I think it's enough to be able to explain (to yourself) what the harmony is, and where it's heading, at any given moment. In other words, your theoretical knowledge should be up to the task of understanding what's happening at any given moment. It's not necessary to formulate a blow by blow textual analysis for every piece you approach.
To this extent I agree with mc1.

User avatar
Tonyyyyy
Posts: 2286
Joined: Tue Aug 15, 2006 3:20 am
Location: Sussex, UK

Re: what is the practical use of these types of analyses?

Postby Tonyyyyy » Sun Oct 25, 2015 4:58 pm

A further aspect.... at some point you may want to arrange something, or adjust (simplify or extend ) someone elses arrangement, or improvise or even write a piece. The theoretical knowledge helps all this

Yes Im talking about the ultimate taboo of changing the notes.... :shock:

drew p
Posts: 607
Joined: Wed Sep 07, 2011 4:23 am

Re: what is the practical use of these types of analyses?

Postby drew p » Sun Oct 25, 2015 6:17 pm

In my opinion... if you are just a guitar PLAYER, as in... glued to the page, learn songs and perform them, there is really no use to you whatsoever. Some people remember a song easier when they remember the harmonic sequences, but they generally fall into the next category of

People who compose/improvise their own music find it extremely useful, for obvious reasons


This can be likened to... teaching a child how to read complex sentences with large words. If you just want your kid to read them and sound smart, your focus is on things like phonetics and inflection because it really doesn't matter at all if they understand the actual words.

User avatar
Tonyyyyy
Posts: 2286
Joined: Tue Aug 15, 2006 3:20 am
Location: Sussex, UK

Re: what is the practical use of these types of analyses?

Postby Tonyyyyy » Mon Oct 26, 2015 4:49 pm

drew p wrote:In my opinion... if you are just a guitar PLAYER, as in... glued to the page, learn songs and perform them, there is really no use to you whatsoever.

Then if we move forward to the next level - being a musician who is playing guitar, they will be very useful in helping sculpt the music. Sor had some good quotes on this.

drew p
Posts: 607
Joined: Wed Sep 07, 2011 4:23 am

Re: what is the practical use of these types of analyses?

Postby drew p » Mon Oct 26, 2015 4:56 pm

Tonyyyyy wrote:
drew p wrote:In my opinion... if you are just a guitar PLAYER, as in... glued to the page, learn songs and perform them, there is really no use to you whatsoever.

Then if we move forward to the next level - being a musician who is playing guitar, they will be very useful in helping sculpt the music. Sor had some good quotes on this.


absolutely, knowledge of chords is of the utmost importance to writing and improvising as sor did :)

stevel
Posts: 522
Joined: Thu Jan 06, 2011 2:15 pm

Re: what is the practical use of these types of analyses?

Postby stevel » Mon Oct 26, 2015 11:28 pm

mc1 wrote:
but other than an exercise to increase one's harmonic knowledge, i still am at a bit of a loss to see the benefit of harmonic analysis.


Harmonic Analysis shows how a given piece adheres to or deviates from the norms of particular style. It's simply comparative analysis in that regard.

It may also reveal deeper structural underpinnings not obvious on the surface texture.

It may also point to a composer's ingenuity, or master of the style, or stylistic idiosyncracies, and so on.

In the context of Common Practice Period music, one should understand that a harmonic analysis is about the *functionality* of the music, not just "naming the chords".

It's the difference between defining words, and understanding grammar and syntax. It's about knowing what the word "sow" means in a sentence.

It could be a pig, or it could be to spread seed. Which is it? Calling a chord E7#9 is like simply telling us what letters are in the word. But understanding harmonic function is akin to being able to understand which meaning of "sow" the author means.

And just like authors can make double-entendres, and play word games based on the expected meaning of a word versus how it's used, so too can composers do with sound.

For example, we expect a V7 to resolve to I, but when it resolves to VI it's kind of a surprise. And the whole reason this works is we understand that there's this expectation and it's being thwarted. So while music may not have the huge depth of meaning that words/grammar can produce, it can do very similar things. Theory is that Grammar. It's not spelling.

perhaps it would be of some benefit to composers who are looking to create a similar feel to an analyzed piece. but harmonic analysis seems less applicable then, say, the rules of counterpoint.

it's main purpose strikes me as theoretical, but i'll keep pondering it.\


Well, they do call it music THEORY!!!!

Theory is DESCRIPTIVE not prescriptive. It's not about the rules, it's about the TOOLS.

Yes, it is true that if you'd like to compose in a style like, say, Sor, analyzing his music (as well as his personal style) will give a person the tools necessary for emulating Sor's style effectively.

You have to stop thinking about "chords". It's not about chords. It's about functionality.

Meaning.

A sentence has meaning. You use letters, that make up words, within a grammatical structure, that most effectively gets your meaning across.

A musical phrase has function. You use notes, that make up chords, within a harmonic progression, that most effectively gets that function across.

Steve

User avatar
Tonyyyyy
Posts: 2286
Joined: Tue Aug 15, 2006 3:20 am
Location: Sussex, UK

Re: what is the practical use of these types of analyses?

Postby Tonyyyyy » Tue Oct 27, 2015 9:36 pm

stevel wrote:Theory is DESCRIPTIVE not prescriptive. It's not about the rules, it's about the TOOLS.

Yes, it is true that if you'd like to compose in a style like, say, Sor, analyzing his music (as well as his personal style) will give a person the tools necessary for emulating Sor's style effectively.


When i did music theory for a diploma some years back it did often feel prescriptive, with some of the formal exercises we had to do to prepare for an exam. But to give my teacher credit, we ended up able to turn a simple tune into a parody of Bach or Chopin or Mozart which was very satisfying, almost a minor miracle :ivresse:


Return to “Analysis of Classical Guitar Works”

Who is online

Users browsing this forum: CommonCrawl [Bot] and 1 guest