This 3-page essay will consist of the analysis of an assigned piece of music. It will be completed in drafts with instructor feedback:

  • October 28 — in-class listening and brainstorming
  • November 4 — first draft due
  • November 11 — drafts are returned to you with instructor feedback; in-class revision
  • November 18 — final draft due with reflective paragraph

As you write this essay, remember the fundamental definition of music analysis:

Analysis = Description + So What

This essay must:

  • Describe musical sounds using the textbook vocabulary we’ve been developing all semester
  • Say why those sounds matter


Prompts and rubrics

First draft prompt: analytical-essay

First draft rubric: analytical-essay-first-draft-rubric

In-class writing lesson from November 11: 11-in-class-writing-lesson-analysis

Final draft prompt: analytical-essay-final-draft-prompt

Final draft rubric: analytical-essay-final-draft-rubric


Assigned music to be analyzed

The cartoon assigned for this assignment:


Audio-only files:

Tales from Vienna Woods: 


The Blue Danube: 


If you are interested, here are recordings of the complete pieces played in this cartoon:

Johann Strauss II (1825-99), Tales from Vienna Woods, Op. 325 (1868)

Johann Strauss II (1825-99), The Blue Danube Waltz, Op. 314 (1866)