This may be a complex question, but if you were to hear a totally new style of music how would you go about breaking it down?
I listen for originality and talent. If I don't hear those, I tend to lose interest.

It was the only task I would undertake...

...to reap the harvest that was mine

- [ P R O G - H E A D ? ] -
to me, analyzing music comes first with interval training. learning your major and minor scale.

like, if you were introduced to fusion jazz for the first time and you had absolutely NO IDEA what was going on, training your ear earlier on would help. there are some dissonant things that some would consider noise, but to others would be a masterpiece. so its basically knowing music well enough to tear it apart piece by piece, also you should like it too.
Member #40 of the Steve Irwin Memorial Club, pm Clincher09 to join.
Quote by fngrstylgtr
I wouldn't... I'd just decide if it sounds good to me or not....


anyways, what you do is you just listen to it and describe what you hear. is it in a minor or major key generally? are there intervals that occur more often than others (#4's, b6's, etc...). what instrumentation is used. what instrument leads the music? what instrument keeps the time? does it require computers or electronics to be performed properly? are there any musical elements that DON'T appear in the music? what kind of tempo range do you hear in the songs? what kind of meters / time signatures?

etc etc etc

knowing all that stuff will give you a good idea of how to make that music.
I break it down into 44,000 equal parts, then I add each part the correct frequency.
That's just the start
Been in Japan since August, no fucking money left!
depends on what you're doing it for.

you could get a lot of songs in that genre and look at the chord progressions they use, popular time signatures, use of repetition, basic song structure, overall feeling/mood of the songs, vocal style, melody and harmony and how they work over the basic chords, chord voicings, instruments used, popular effects used.

if you're trying to record some music you've never recorded before, you could take a look at basic mixing tendencies between songs, tone of instruments, if they sound like they were recorded all live or all separate, and basic panning tendencies.

both lists go on. most of that just kind of sinks into you if you listen to it enough.
If you're trying to learn a song by ear quickly, best way to practice getting quicker at this is to listen to the track and write down the sections of the song that you hear.

Such as Intro [4 bars] Verse1 [8bars] etc then once you have the structure down work out things like tempo / key / feel / vibe then instrumentation etc
Break it down into the six concepts of music
-Tonality (major minor atonal etc)
-Melodic Movement
-consonance / dissonance

-monophonic, homophonic, polyphonic
-thin or thick sounding

-time signature / metre
-Lack of anything above (free time for example)

-Tone colour

-Form (binary, Rondo, Ternary)
-Popular structure (Intro, Verse, chorus, bridge, solo, outro - 12 bar blues, etc)

-Dynamics & expressive techniques
-Dynamics (piano, forte, crescendo, diminuendo)
-Expressive techniques (Legato, staccato, accent, vibrato, tremolo)
-exclusive instrument effects (guitar effects for example, distortion reverb delay etc)

Listen to the song over and over again and take notes referring to each concept. Figure out key points of the song that make it sound how it sounds. For instance rock music will typically be in a minor tonality using a pentatonic scale. usually simple harmonies in 5ths. almost always of homophonic texture with varying texture throughout each song. Typically in 4/4 time with accents on the 2nd and 4th beat of the bar. Usually a crunchy tone colour due to the distortion used by the electric guitar. Structure follows that of a typical popular music song with an intro, verse, chorus, verse, solo, outro but is not restricted to this.

Just a quick thing there. Generally you can break any song down to its core principals using those six concepts.
For those who care.
Current Gear
Cort Zenox Z42
Flextone II
Charvel USA So-Cal
Farida M2 Parlour Acoustic
Admira Hand-built Spanish Acoustic
Blackstar HT-5H
Line 6 M13
Last edited by .:Darkness:. at Oct 18, 2009,