I have to write an essay which consists in analyzing a piece of Jazz/Pop/Rock music or a short Classical piece or part of a Classical music score (all between 16 and 32 bars of length). I really don't know what piece can I analyse, does anyone have recommendations on what to look for in a piece which I can analyze (knowing that I am absolutely not an expert in music theory but I know the basics, such as chord progressions, brief harmonic analysis) ? This essay must be between 1400 and 1600 words. Any help would be appreciated,

  • Sorry, but this is far too broad to be answered, & cannot have any definitive answer, only a series of opinions. At best you will get a list of differing options, none of which can be "correct" & all equally valid.
    – Tetsujin
    Commented May 5, 2020 at 14:37
  • yes that is what I want, opinions and ideas, not a specific answer
    – Dicordi
    Commented May 5, 2020 at 14:38
  • 1
    Just pick something at random. Pick something you like. Is this for a music appreciation class or something else?
    – user50691
    Commented May 5, 2020 at 14:39
  • for a Musical Improvisation Class, so this will be graded
    – Dicordi
    Commented May 5, 2020 at 14:41
  • 2
    "does anyone knows a piece which I can analyze" That is asking for specific recommendations, not advice on how to choose, which might be closer to being on-topic. Lists make poor answers for SE.
    – Tetsujin
    Commented May 5, 2020 at 14:50

2 Answers 2


Without giving you a specific recommendation because I think you should pick the piece yourself, I suggest you pick something you are familiar with, enjoy listening to, and understand and can analyze the harmony to without too much trouble.

I think American Songbook tunes (standards) or pieces from the 19th century classical/early romantic era are a good pool to draw from for this assignment. They tend to have rich and interesting melodies and harmonies that are easier to understand and analyze than most modern jazz and classical music and more interesting than the majority of rock and pop music, from an analytical point of view.


I'd use a jazz standard, I think they are ideal for the purpose. Which one depends on different factors you haven't described (degree of difficulty, whether the harmony is "functional", etc.) Summertime, All the Things You Are, So What... they are all very different, but the changes are really easy to get hold of, their length is suitable, they are used for studying these things, their chords are not strange (7th, mostly), their melodies are intuitive, etc.

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