Song Writing – Arrangement Analysis Checklists

Today, some checklists based on the arrangement tips from last time. After you’ve written your song, ask yourself these questions.


  • What do the instruments do?
  • How do they fit together?


  • Do they change or stay the same?


  • Are their parts simple or complex?


  • Do the overall dynamics change? e.g. loud/soft, fast/slow, full/sparse arrangement
  • Does the tempo change?


  • Does the overall level of complexity, texture or no of notes played per bar (8ths, 16ths 32nds) change drastically anywhere?


  • What layers does it have? g. rhythm, bass, harmony, melody


  • What different textures does it have? g. melody and accompaniment, counter melody, polyphony (lots of interweaving melodies), homophony (block chords)


  • Is there anything unusual or interesting about the way things are sung or played?



And to analyse each section, try adapting this form (see key below)

Song:                                                                                                               Historic Placement:

Layers: Rhythm, Bass, Harmonic, Melodic




Syncopation – using off beats

Implied harmonies – chords created by different melodies/instruments working together

Diatonic – fitting into a major or minor key

Chromatic – lots of sharps and flats, notes which do not fit the key

Modal – using different scales to major minor (e.g. blues scale)

Ascending/Descending – going up/down





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