Some people think that analysing music means to add harmonic figures to a bassline, to make a form diagram or graph, to compare motivic relations at different positions, or to examine the instrumentation. While any of the above may be used as a means of analysis, neither of these is sufficient to grasp the essence of a musical work. As long as you study an individual piece without incorporating its multiple historical, social, and aesthetic contexts, its examination will remain incomplete.
Music analysis, as a multi-faceted activity with artistic, performative, and scholarly components, is impossible to be carried out without a thorough knowledge of the repertoire. The ability to view a piece of music in terms of its time and place of origin, the biographical situation of its creator, and other music composed in its environment, is of crucial importance to make substantial observations. A central question is: What makes this particular artwork appear special in relation to others? So, every time we approach written music or performances with an analytic intention, we need to take into account its superordinate contexts and relevance. Analysis is research.
»The score is not the music itself, just like the recipe doesn’t make a meal.«