I have incorporated the analytical approach in my class at the Longy School of Music, Topics in Analysis, Twentieth and Twenty-First Century, since 2004. There are four versions of the class, one analyzing modern string quartets, one analyzing the piano preludes of Debussy, one analyzing pieces commissioned by the Boston Symphony Orchestra (Stravinsky’s Symphony of Psalms and Bartok’s Concerto for Orchestra), and one version analyzing electro-acoustic music.

Beginning in 2011, I have taught a course specifically dealing with the approach, which I have come to realize is in essence contemplative musical analysis due to its focus on holistic listening seeking to penetrate music as it is heard.

The course is called Contemplating Music, and the outline below gives a sense of how a typical class proceeds:

1. contemplative exercise to begin
2. start from holistic listening, no score
3. discover what is by hearing it
    • shape
    • affect (energy)
4. identify important factors in creating that energy or shape
5. trace energy, shaping influence of each parameter
6. attempt to describe the interactions of a few key parameters
7. pause for another contemplative minute or two
    • listen again
    • see what insight arises