Analysis Question with Sample Responses 2: Special Two

Analysis Question with Sample Responses 2: Special Two


Listen to the first 1 minute 12 seconds

Thank you, anonymous,  for this response and permission to publish it! 


Question: How does tone colour and articulation create character in this work? 

Creates a sorrow feel through her breathy and airy tone which symbolises sadness.



Jenn Gillan: Great putting character front and center, though I’d maybe say the character and then write “…created through:…” then give your dot points. Here it seems like this one thing is stand alone. Instead of ‘sorrow feel’ maybe try ‘sorrowful character’.



Creates a yearning character through her smooth articulation such as her scoop ins (at the start of phrases) and scoop outs (at the end of phrases) symbolising the sad state she is in.



Jenn Gillan: Last few words not needed. (Symbolising…)  ‘Scoop ins and scoop outs’ might be better described as upward/downward bends.  And if you’re giving these sorts of examples, it might be worth giving some lyrics where this is used to locate it. Good giving trends/patterns though –  (at the starts of phrases)  I would also go into more detail regarding “smooth articulation”.  Articulation is very specific about how notes start/finish/are played or sung.  More detail needed.


The thin tone when she holds the word ‘fight’ symbolises that she is in a yearning state and can’t fight back, contributing to the sorrowful of the piece.



Jenn Gillan: I’d use more than one tone colour word, ie not just thin, and I’d give reason for that tone colour.  Why is it thin? What technique is she using? What register is she using? Is it comfortable/uncomfortable?  



The contrasting thicker tone of the piano highlights the vocalist’s breathy tone which creates a focus on the yearning character of the piece.



Jenn Gillan: Again, with tone colour you need to give reasons why it is this way and use more than one tone colour word.



At the end of phrases we can occasionally hear the vocalist breathe out in a very airy tone, symbolising that she has been hurt and contributes to the sorrow nature of the piece.



Jenn Gillan: Saying “symbolizing that she has been hurt” is a little risky.  Saying it as “contributes to the sorrowful nature of the work” is perhaps a better turn of phrase.



The lack of any accents in her articulation at the start of her phrases contributes to the yearning character.



Jenn Gillan: Can you analyse something by what it’s not?  It’s better to say what it is.  So instead of saying it’s not accented, say there is a gentle attack to the starts of phrases through the use of… is a better way to go?



As the chorus enters, the vocalist’s tone gets slightly thicker, symbolising a possible regret of her yearning nature, creating a sense of fight back and empowerment.



Jenn Gillan: Give reasons for the ‘thicker’ tone. And stay away from “symbolizing” statements. Maybe stick with “enhances or contributes or helps create a ____ character/mood” Overall some good points but light on in terms of articulation and you need to expand on your tone colour as suggested.  If you have my book, maybe go through the articulation chapter, in particular common vocal articulation (page 132)