There is hardly even one person on the planet who can’t stand music. We all have playlists for different moods or songs which associate with memorable events. However, when it comes to writing a music review essay, we seem to be stuck and don’t know what to begin with. Some students even tend to reach out for essay help, not to cope with an assignment on their own. We have prepared a simple guide for you to follow to write an excellent music review essay.
What is a Music Review Essay?
A review of a song is your opinion or feedback on a musical composition. You have to make this essay less subjective and contain as much reliable information as possible. Just like any other type of academic writing, it consists of the introduction, the main body devoted to various aspects of the music analysis, and a conclusion.
1. Get ready
Before you start writing your essay, you should, of course, listen to a piece of music and study some information about the artist and the song itself. First of all, listen to the composition for the first time and write down your thoughts. Try not to think about the lyrics and concentrate on the feelings. The second time, pay attention precisely to the lyrics of the song (if there are any) and again describe your emotions. It would help if you didn’t read other people’s reviews and the story behind the song until you’ve formed your very own opinion of it.
It is best to begin by analyzing the melody, its sound, the music, and the setting. First of all, the music and the melody create the impression of the song. Only by listening to a piece several times in a row can you form a correct opinion of it and understand its meaning.
Describe the tone of the song, the quality of the arrangement, the sound of some of the musical instruments. For example, the bass guitar creates the main tone or there would be no drums and the song would not succeed. In the case of writing a review for a specialized publication or on request, you need to describe everything in professional terms, trace the composition of the song, analyze all its parts.
It is necessary to note the musical style in which the song was written, the quality of the recording, and it is better not to compare it with the previous repertoire of the performer unless, of course, this song will be radically better or worse than previous ones. Note what emotions the song evoked in you, what impressed you most, and what upset you most.
The second component of the song is the lyrics. You should briefly describe the content and meaning of the song. Emphasize the beauty of the lyric, its meaningfulness, the beauty of the verse, and convey its meaning and content. If the author used some striking comparisons or metaphors, it would not be superfluous to tell about them. Try to imagine what the author wanted to convey to the audience and how he succeeded or failed.
Tell more details about the song, the story of its creation. Don’t forget to trace the connection to events that were happening in the world or in the life of the musician at the time. All the facts obtained about it will help to make a deeper analysis and understand the hidden meaning. Just do not go into the smallest details because it will not make sense, and it can spoil the impression. However, it often happens that without knowing the history of creation and the events that prompted the creation of the musical composition, listeners underestimate the art or even consider the song to be outright nonsense. For example, if you don’t know the history of the Taro song by Alt-J, you would probably not get a thing. But if you dig deeper, you will understand that this is a beautiful love song about two protographs — Robert Capa and Gerda Taro — who died during the war and reunited in their afterlives.
It would help if you analyzed the work as objectively as possible. Your attitude toward the author or performer should not affect the quality of the review in any way. You must be as honest as possible with the reader and write a review, which should include neither solid praise nor only negative reviews.
You should describe both the strengths and weaknesses of the song. You can express your personal opinion, however, not to be biased. Your readers might not be familiar with the song and the art of a performer. You have to keep this in mind and not miss any essential details in your essay.