Getting better at critical analysis

One of the things I feel I need to work on, is analysing music critically. Trying to understand why certain instruments have been used, and why they have been mixed in a certain way.

In one of my lectures, we looked at the music video for Daft Punk’s “Around the World”. You can see the video below:

The video demonstrated (through the positioning of the dancers) how we could analyse a song visually – for example drums and vocals are in the centre, bass and synths slightly panned to the left. This helped me gain a better understanding of how music can be analysed.

To get better practice at critically analysing music, I went through many popular songs (both past and present) and tried to analyse what made them popular. I was able to pick out things such as the use of “call-and-response”, the catchiness of the vocals and instruments, the structure and the use of effects. This article by Shure also helped me pick out things to look for when analysing music: http://blog.shure.com/critical-listening-how-to-train-your-ears/

I will post more analyses of musical pieces during the trimester. Hopefully this will help me understand how music is mixed, produced and crafted and help me become a better producer and engineer.

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