# 8.14: Form - Analytical Notation

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Following are notational conventions for analyses of musical form.

## Capital letters

Modules are labeled with capital letters according to function. A module that functions as a strophe is labeled with an “A”; a module that functions as a bridge, “B”; etc.

## Lower-case letters

Phrases are labeled with lower-case letters according to their musical content. If two phrases use more-or-less the same musical framework (harmony, melody, and rhythm), they receive the same letter. Letters are assigned in the same manner as poetic rhymes: the first phrase is a and any phrase that follows based on the same music is also a (primes are used for slight variations, such as new text or altered instrumentation); the next phrase with new musical material is b; and so on. These letters do not correspond to functions.

The single exception to this convention is when phrases within a module demonstrate a sentential progression (srdc), in which case the first phrase (statement) is labeled s; restatement/response, r; departure, d; conclusion, c.

## Full-sized numerals

Full-sized numerals are attached to capital letters when there are two or more modules with the same function but different music. For example, if a song contains two different melodies that both function as verse themes, they are labeled “V1” (the one that appears first in the song) and “V2.”

## Subscript numerals

Subscript numerals are attached to capital letters when there are two or more modules with the same function and music but different text. For example, if a song contains three verses, and they all have different lyrics but the same music, they are labeled “V1”, “V2”, and “V3”.

## Timeline notation

Variations Audio Timeliner does not support subscripts. It is fine to use full-sized numerals for both purposes if making timelines in VAT.

Back to pop/rock form overview.

8.14: Form - Analytical Notation is shared under a CC BY-SA license and was authored, remixed, and/or curated by Robin Wharton and Kris Shaffer eds..