2. Investigation

Once the conductor understands the background and is aware of the overall look of the score and its general contents, the main analysis of the score begins. During this step, Investigation, the entire score is taken apart, beginning with larger structures, and proceeding down to smaller portions, including individual phrases, motives, chords, etc. 

For instance, if the work is a complete symphony or a large choral work with many sections, one movement at a time is selected for study. It does not necessarily have to be the first movement, but whatever portion is selected will be the primary focus. There is no right way or wrong way to go about starting an analysis. One thing is sure: in an ideal situation, you should have some familiarity with the music that you are analysing. However, if you are studying a score for a premier performance, the analytical process may actually help you to clarify your image of the musical sound but you should be careful to always try to have an overall view of the work as you progress with the analysis. 

Some analytical observations will occur to you as you play through the music, listen to it or read it. Things such as large-scale repetitions, motivic connections, points of high tension or release, structural breaks, instrumentation, textural contrasts, etc. The investigation and analytical work slowly emerge from gradual score learning. Diving in too deep too early you risk losing an understanding of the overarching architecture.

The investigation is, in itself, a process of zooming in and out of small sections, going from macro to micro analysis examining the different components then zooming out to understand their context. There are several books discussing analytical techniques that can be used to explore and understand a musical work. Some of these are listed at the end of this section. In one way or another, all of these techniques look into the musical components in the score either in isolation or in relation to each other.

A checklist, or a catalogue, of such components that one should try to identify, can be downloaded below. The list has been adapted and expanded from Garofalo, Robert (1983) Blueprint for Band:

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