Music paper

Rubric for first papers Format:

Typed, standard one-inch margins, double spaced, size 12 font, no title page, name only in the top left no class information needed.

The first section should be roughly one page should be devoted to the history of the piece and the composer. This will require sources and a bibliography (which do not count towards the length of the paper!) and should be in Chicago style formatting. That means footnotes for sources.

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The second page should be about the content of the music that you have observed and the analysis of your observations. Therefore there is no need for sources in this section as you are the source.


Pick one piece from the list below and describe the piece using melody, rhythm, harmony, texture, and form as guidelines. Not all need to be discussed, just what you felt was important. Be descriptive using proper music vocabulary as much as possible. Save any emotional context to the experience until the end, most of the paper should be descriptive, not prescriptive.


Suitable writing in formal papers is termed academic style. Academic style is objective, unbiased, specific, and supported by evidence. Speculation, when supported by fact and logic, can be an interesting component within an analytical paper and may be included. The analytical paper, nevertheless, must use proper grammar, correct spelling, and punctuation. The use of coined words, colloquialisms, and artificial terminology are to be avoided.

Grade: Your grade will be determined by your adherence to this document with the following weight system:

Format 20% History 40% Analytics 40%

Music options:

Vaughan Williams Fantasia on a Theme of Thomas Tallis

Henryk Górecki – Symphony of Sorrowful Songs – 2nd Movement


Ferde Grofe – Grand Canyon Suite: On the Trail

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