Help with Writing Dissertations on Music
Writing a dissertation about music is like examining a picture carefully. After you examine this picture, you share your impression using direct and concrete language.
Writing music dissertations is not as easy as writing about some other kind of art. Writing music dissertations is like “translating” the sounds of one language (notes) into the sounds of another language (words).
The tips given below will help you to analyze a musical composition for your musicology dissertation.
- Identify what kind of musical composition you have to analyze in the music dissertation. Is it a new song or a new interpretation of an old composition? Who is performing the composition? What instruments are used?
- Tell what is unique in the composition. Probably, it is a certain element of the performance that singles out. The following elements will help you to focus your attention:
It evokes emotions. What is the melody in the composition under analysis? Describe it in your music dissertation.
This is the element that makes people tap their feet, want to get up and start dancing. So, what is the rhythm of the song under analysis? Analyze it in your music dissertation.
- Harmony – it is a “clothing” of a melody. In comparison with music of the 19th century, today’s harmony is in the state of anarchy, since very often modern songs are not based on harmony. What can you say about the harmony of the song under analysis? Think about it. You will have to present the analysis of harmony in your music dissertation as well.
- Timbre – it is a “quality” of a tone, its “colour”. What instruments define the timber in the composition you have to analyze? Think about it as well, since you have to tell about it in your music dissertation