Analysis Question with Sample Responses 1: Someday my Prince Will Come

Analysis Question with Sample Responses 1: Someday my Prince Will Come

Listen to the first 1 min 17 seconds

Listen to the first 1 min 8 seconds 

Question: How have different expressive outcomes been created through the elements of music in these two excerpts? Refer to improvisation, ornamentation and embellishment and one other element of music, either 

  • Dynamics
  • Blend of instrumental voices
  • Balance of instrumental lines
  • Tone Colour


Thank you to Jacob Biviano for this response and permission to print it.


Jenn Gillan:I think you meant to put a character here but it’s blank! Good place to spot it but definitely a few character words needed here. 

Miles Davis: Someday My Prince Will Come
Tone : nasal tone colour by trumpet, overall blended, complementing
Sax: nasal tone colour by the use of a mute, smooth free flowing

Drums, transition from brushes to sticks, sandy tc to woody;

Blend and balance; thin texture, homophonic, piano (virtuosic)

Piano was in foreground in both pieces, however more dominant in ‘Bill Evans
Trio’ contributed heavily to well rounded tc

Jenn Gillan: Some great descriptions of tone colour.  Make sure you link them to influences (eg. pitch, dynamics, techniques) and make links from these to Character.  Without doing this you haven’t answered the question! For example, complementing tone colours = a serene character) You also haven’t stated which character is which in the Evans or Davis versions and how these compare.

Bill Evans;
Character: elated, playful, content

Jenn Gillan: Comparison with the other version might be useful here, which is why I find tables useful. 

Piano Foreground, drums softer dynamics compared to Miles Davis, not much
melodic variety, consistently repeated phrasing,

Jenn Gillan: A comment on how this affects character would be a good way to answer the question. Also link to influences.  If the drums are softer/louder, why? Is this to do with balance or complexity of rhythm or stick choice or…? 

Syncopated rhythm from drummer with addition of brushes which create a
metallic, raw, abrasive tone colour.

Jenn Gillan: Great, you mentioned an influence here! – addition of brushes. Link always to character!

Groupings of 4 when drummer solo’s
Clear underlying beat, diatonic notes from scale (piano solo), 8 bar blocks,
Grace notes, ornamentation from whole trio,
Begins relaxed. Calm and gentle character, restaurant feel, repetition of drum
hits in solo, pretty dense,

Piano- portamento, short phrases (melody), continuously unfolding
Jenn Gillan: Some great analysis here. Your biggest issue is that it didn’t answer the question. Link these aspects to character, even by writing = energetic would improve it immensely. Use of headings would make it clearer for an examiner to know if you’ve answered the question.  There were only two elements that needed to be discussed. One of these had to be embellishment/improvisation, which is  only mentioned in passing here. Much more needed here to fully answer the question and headings would make it clear what your other element was. Great use of language, just need to read the question and make sure you respond to this!