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Brief Summary of Working Method
SchenkerGUIDE: Guide and Introduction to Schenkerian Analysis logo

This page is from the old version of SchenkerGUIDE click here to visit the method page on the new site

Simple Summary | Stage One | Stage Two | Stage Three | Stage Four | Detailed Summary | Example

Stage One
preparation: simplifying the music in order to make its analysis more manageable

Stage Two
foreground analysis: showing how the surface of the music breaks down into a series of melodic units - each of which is connected with a particular harmonic unit
Stage Three
layer analysis: looking for larger scale linear units - this stage may be repeated several times
Stage Four
background analysis identifying the largest scale structures to explain how the piece might be understood in terms of Schenkerian background structures

As well as the example used in the explanation of each stage, there are also several further worked examples of using this method:

If this all looks a bit bewildering, why not look at the Guide to Schenker's Theory of Music first?