Everyone can make simple observations, but what do these observations tell you about the music??? Learn to HEAR WITH YOUR EYES. Below are some examples of simple observations and then the same information and what it might mean to the music. Always try to go deeper and analyze what you see, then draw conclusions about what it might sound like. You might be wrong in that particular situation, but that's OK - you are thinking and making predictions!! (All of these examples are by students.)

1- SIMPLE OBSERVATION: It has lots of dynamics in the middle.

OBSERVATION WITH CONCLUSION: In the middle of the piece it must be an important part because the dynamics are mostly forte and fortissimo.

OBSERVATION WITH CONCLUSION: The dynamics vary a lot which means it might be very dramatic.

2- SIMPLE OBSERVATION: It has a good ending. [What does, "good" mean??]

OBSERVATION WITH CONCLUSION: "It looks like a bold finish because of the articulations."

3- SIMPLE OBSERVATION: There are lots of staccatos.

OBSERVATION WITH CONCLUSION: I think that the piece will sound light & happy because almost all of the notes are marked staccato and I don't think it is in a minor key.

4- SIMPLE OBSERVATION: We have the melody at the beginning.

OBSERVATION WITH CONCLUSION: At the beginning of the piece it looks like flutes are playing the melody, then at A it looks as if we break off and start playing harmony. So maybe in the beginning everyone introduces the melody, then at A some players start playing harmonies or just embellish the piece.

5- (In a piece titled, "Shenanigans" which means "pranks")

SIMPLE OBSERVATION: It has lots of accidentals.

OBSERVATION WITH CONCLUSION: There are many accidentals. This means that it probably sounds more uneven and funny, not even & serious.

6- SIMPLE OBSERVATION: We have lots of rests.

OBSERVATION WITH CONCLUSION: I see that there is a big block of rests in the middle for me, which probably means that another section takes over the melody and does a "section solo."

7- SIMPLE OBSERVATION: The notes go up and down a lot.

OBSERVATION WITH CONCLUSION: It looks like a wave going up and down with the notes.

Go to an example of an excellent Beginning Thoughts Paper

Return to Beginning Thoughts Paper to be printed.


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