Critical Analysis of Recordings

Critical Analysis of Recordings

Matthew Matekovic
[email protected]
Upper Dublin School District

TI:ME Technology Areas Addressed:

Multimedia/Digital Media






Any type of software or hardware based recording system. Examples may include Korg D1200, Computer with Mbox and Pro Tools


30-45 Minutes

Prior Knowledge and Skills:

Knowledge of music being performed in school concert.

NAfME Standard of 1994 Addressed:

NAfME Standard of 1994: Performing on instruments, alone and with others, a varied repertoire of music.

NAfME 2014: Performing 

NAfME Standard of 1994: Listening to, analyzing and describing music.
NAfME Standard of 1994: Evaluating music and music performances.

NAfME 2014: Responding 


CD player, copies of music performed in concert, classroom performance or rehearsal.


Students will give a critical analysis of a recently recorded concert using proper musical terminology learned in band rehearsals and lessons such as attack, release, tone quality, balanced sound melody and harmony.


This lesson can be used after any concert. It could also be used with classroom performances or rehearsal. Once the performance is recorded, the students are given the opporitunity to listen to the recording. In small group settings (band lessons), the next step can be done verbally but in larger groups (full rehearsals or classroom setting) studens can be gven an evalution sheet to fill out. The questions whether verbal or written should ask the students to give both positive examples and areas for improvement within the recording. Terms to be used should be listed on the board or on the evaluation form. Ideally, students should be given the chance to do this throughout the year at different intervals.


The lesson is successful if students can give a good evaluation after critically listening to a concert selection using the appropriate terminology they have gained the knowledge they need. They need to respond with answers that are better than “I like it” or “It’s good”. There needs to be a follow up such as, It’s good because the balance of the group is good. I can hear the melody above the harmony parts. It The attacks at the beginning of the song could be better”

Follow Up:

One possible follow up would be to listen to other recordings and review using the same terminology. Another follow up will be to have individual band members learn to use the recording equipment and practice recording during rehearsals.

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