Monday, January 20, 2020
1. What musical / lyrical traditions are evoked by the original text? What is the metrical form of the text?
2. What is the style / genre of the music? What is the relation between the style / genre of the music and these musical / lyrical traditions? For example, what is the distance in time between the composition of poem and that of the music?
3. What are the areas of explicit kinship / connection between music and text? At the obvious level, for example, a strophic form in the poem could lead to a strophic musical setting. Or a less structured text could be through-composed in its setting. In what senses is the setting a "good" one in the conventional sense? That is, showing sensitivity to the original.
4. What are some areas of divergence? For example, the use of melisma could obscure the words of the text. Or the music could have a radically different mood from one suggested by the original. Did the composer set the original text as is, or are there modificaitions (repetitions, omissions, additions). Is the text translated or in the original?
5. What other things do you notice about the music that aren't necessarily covered by the compare and contrast method of analysis? In other words, you can talk about the music in and of itself.
6. In what senses does the setting interpret the text? For example, does it introduce elements not fully present in the text itself. Does this interpretation close off other possible ways of reading the text?
7. How does this setting compare with others of the same poet, or others by the same composer of other poets? Or of conventions of setting poetry to music generally?