Questions to ask when previewing a piece of music literature
Who is the original composer of this piece?Has this piece been edited? By who?Has this piece been arranged? By who?Have you seen or performed other arrangements of this piece? Who arranged them?
When was this piece written?Is it contemporary or traditional?How do you know?Whatelements make it contemporary/traditional?
Is there a definitive key signature and do the cadences support the key signature or tonality? How do you know?Is the piece major or minor? How do you know?Does the key or tonality remain the same throughout the piece?
Time SignatureRhythmic Breakdown
What is the time signature? What does it mean?Does it remain consistent throughout the piece?Are the rhythms complex or simple?What rhythms are most common?Are the rhythmic figures repetitive?
CadencesCadences are the closingstatementsof melodic or harmonic movements
How often does the piece cadence?What are the most common chord/tonality cadences?Does everyone cadence together?
Are there repeatedsections or melodic ideas?Where do they occur and what order are they in? [ex. A, B, A, C, or A, A’, B, B’, C, D,E, etc.]
Do any voices repeat or borrow material from other voices?Does your part share notes with other voices throughout the piece?
How are the melodies structured?(Stepwise orleap?)Are all of the lines structured the same way?
How fast or slow should the piece go?How do you know?Does the tempo of the piece change?How and when?
What dynamic level(s) does the piece revolve around most?Are their multiple dynamic changes?
What is the language of the piece?What is the piece about?What personal connection can you make to the lyrical content of the piece?