Class Activity, MUS 211 Fall 2016


At the previous class, students were asked to find a pop song that contained the concept under study (applied chords). They were told to complete a full Roman numeral analysis of the piece (identify all the chords), and to be prepared to play the song for the class. All students were told to bring their primary instrument to class.


In class, students presented their analyses and played performances for the rest of the class to hear. Then, as a group we performed the song ourselves: some students played piano, some played guitar, and some sang. I participated as a performer. Before our performances, I prompted the students to consider the effect the applied chord had in the piece, and we discussed potential effects after each performance. In this sense, the "whole musical self" expert process was used not just to complete an analysis, but to evaluate its greater meaning and purpose, and to build a larger theory about pop music more generally.