Course 10: Song Analysis

One of the most important things that we can do to help ourselves as hip hop producers, musicians, songwriters, and artists is to understand the work of veterans and our contemporaries. Through song analysis, we can break apart the elements that make a song successful and thereby incorporate them into our own music.

Typically speaking, song analysis starts by considering key, chord changes and form. But whether you’re looking at a Baroque piece from the 1700s or a rap song created in the 2000s, music is not recorded in a vacuum. There are often important trends and issues in society which inform the songwriters decisions. Technical considerations for musical analysis include key, form, meter, and feel. The cultural side of song analysis takes into account a plethora of influences including societal trends, the artist’s personal influences, location of upbringing, and cultural reception. We get into all of it so that you can enlarge your tools when analyzing songs and coming to recognize the confluence of a multitude of influences and elements which work together and oftentimes make the difference between a subpar song and a great one.


  • Be able to define terms used to describe song analysis by the end of the course.
  • Be able to explain how song analysis works.