[Smt-talk] Back to the list and free book an aural analysis

Michael Berry ttutheory at gmail.com
Mon May 14 11:47:19 PDT 2012

Hello all,

Last summer I started a project aimed at aural analysis of 20th and 21st
century music. Frustrated by "prescriptive" textbooks ("this is what you
should hear in the piece," "this is how the music is structured," or "this
piece was influenced by this piece") as well as the growing disparities
between the notes on the page and the sounds that I (and, presumably
others) hear, I attempted to create a self-leveling, listener-oriented
approach to aural analysis. My intention was to teach people how to ask
questions about the music that they hear. I also deliberately strayed from
chronological presentation and limited the information available to create
listening scenarios that are closer to real life, such as hearing a piece
on the radio for the first time with no score available.

>From the "introduction" to the site:

"This project has several unique features. First, I have put it online so
that others may benefit from it. An online source such as this also
facilitates the inclusion of multimedia, non-linear sequencing, and links
to ancillary materials. Second, rather than telling you what to listen for,
I present a series of graded questions with each composition. This allows
this site to be used by virtually anyone--from music enthusiast to graduate
student in music. The depth of each individual's answers to these questions
is the only thing that will differ from person to person: you need not be
able to read music to use this site. The reader/listener is welcome to do
as much or as little work as they see fit."

I invite you to peruse the site: http://listeningto20thcmusic.blogspot.com/
The introduction can be found here:

Comments and feedback are most welcome, as are suggestions for works to be
included. I do hope to resume updating the site shortly.

Michael Berry
University of Washington Tacoma

On Mon, May 14, 2012 at 4:38 AM, Daniel Roca <drocacan at gmail.com> wrote:

> Hello to all
> I followed smt-talk (with another name, I think) some years ago, but after
> some email address changes and other circumstances ceased to get the list
> messages.
> Now I have enlisted again. I am an Music Analysis teacher in the
> Conservatory of the Canaries and am finishing (I hope!) my doctoral
> dissertation on the situation of analysis teaching in Spain, as Music
> Analysis was established as an independent subject only in the '90s. The
> frictions between this curricular reality and the amazing evolution of
> Music Analysis in many other countries is the kern, so to speak, of my
> dissertation.
> I only tell this to explain that the very subtle and mostly theoretical
> disquisitions that are usual in this list (al least, in the few weeks I
> have been lurking) are very interesting and illustrative for me, but I am
> not compelled (so far, at least) to participate actively. Also, my
> interests lie not so much in the methodology of analyzing music (or in
> theoretical questions in the background of it), but in the teaching process
> of this analysis, a process that has to be shaped in terms of the end user,
> in my opinion. Thus, I try to figure out how to teach analysis for
> performers (for example) in a different way of teaching analysis for
> composers, and which analytical tools and points of view are adequate in
> each case. (needless to say, this makes me no huge fan of any analytical
> system in particular, but more likely to combine different tools
> differently in regard to the subject and object of the analysis).
> In this process, I've come to some very simple and straightforward ideas
> to use in class, primarily in Analysis class, but also usable in any other
> subject where Analysis is applicable (i. e. in any music class, in my
> opinion). One of them, specially aimed towards students with no or very
> little background in music analysis (but also in classes where the students
> come from very different analytical traditions), is "aural analysis",
> directed towards the "discovery" of analysis purely by ear, without
> (initially, al least) using scores of any type.
> To shorten things a bit, I wrote this ideas down in a book in the new
> iTextBooks format of Apple (what was a very easy and satisfying process),
> designed for the iPad. There are the backgrounds of these ideas, two or
> three very simple proposals for the class, and the results of a survey I
> made in a course in an Italian Conservatory (where the students had
> practically no experience in Music Analysis).
> But iTextBooks are by now only available in the US AppleStore, so I
> published it there (as a free iBook), although I cannot access it myself,
> since I have no US iTunes account. I wondered if there where any
> Spanish-speaking musicians who would be interested in this idea and maybe
> give me some feedback.
> The title is "Analizar de oido" ("analyzing by ear")
> Is someone is interested but has no USA iTunes account, a PDF of the book
> can be downloaded from
> http://enriqueblanco.net/2012/03/libro-en-formato-ipad-o-pdf-sobre-analisis-auditivo/
> From this blog, there have been more than 1000 downloads of the book.
> I would love anyone interested to download the book in iPad or PDF format,
> and to give me feedback, as well as:
> -information of similar ideas in regard to analyzing with the ear
> -other interesting iTextBooks on Music Analyzing or music teaching. I am
> convinced that this new format and generally tablet-based teaching, gives
> us new opportunities that I am willing to explore.
> Thank you all for your attention
> _________
> Daniel Roca
> Higher Conservatory of the Canary Islands
> drocacan at gmail.com
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