If you are really determined to learn how to write musical reviews you should read other people’s reviews, analyze them thoroughly, take notes of the adjectives they use the most, write down their comments, and make sure to feel the style of writing.
Before you start writing music reviews, you have to be aware that it can easily become a difficult thing to do. Of course, it will be much easier if you are a musician, if you are really into music and music theory, or at least you like the type of music you are about to review. If you think you belong into one of the groups of people we have just mentioned, writing musical reviews will be much easier. At the same time, you have to take care of your audience.
What does the reader want to know?
The people who are going to read your reviews need to find out something useful from them. Some people like to learn more about the product, others need some details about the piece of music you wrote about, how difficult it is, is there anything demanding there if you take the instruments into account, and stuff like that. However, at the beginning of your musical review make sure to write the following:
- The title of the piece of music
- The composer or the arranger
- The name of the music publisher
With these three written, you can move further on; just make sure not to skip these.
The style of writing
The writing style is very important because it will either make the reader continue reading or stop at the beginning. Terms like I, you, your and similar – should be avoided. Of course, you are expressing your opinion in the review, there is no need to mention it in every sentence.
Clichés are a big no-no, just like generic, general terms like “interesting,” “exciting,” and others. You can always find another word to say the same thing. Also, avoid using too many adjectives when describing music or the reader will be bored very quickly.
Writing Music Reviews: The Right Approach
Before you write the review, make sure you know what the publisher expects from you. Is it enough to provide a thorough analysis of the composition or do they really need just an overview?
As a reviewer, you should listen to the selections more than just once. This is important if you want to understand the music and feel it on many different levels. It is also very good to take notes while listening. Writing a music review is a process which greatly depends on the person writing it and their personal taste. The one who writes the reviews must be able to really recommend the compositions to the one who reads the reviews.
If you need a music review written, then it would be the best to hire an expert to do it for you. This is important because one person simply can’t write reviews on all music genres and styles.
When reviewing music, it is very important to go through all the positive aspects of the music composition being reviewed. Therefore, make sure to choose the musical compositions for review only if the reviewer can recommend them to the readers. According to the review, the reader will be able to see what’s important and what isn’t.
Normally, we don’t feel the music the same way other people do. It is something personal and the things the reviewer writes will be very helpful to the reader. However, it is important to back up your opinion with explanations. If you are writing the review, make sure to back up your opinion with facts related to music and make sure the reader feels you know what you are talking about.
Music for review and where to find it
The first thing to do at this point is to make a list of all the publishers who publish the type of music you want to review. After that you should contact them either via email or a phone, and ask if they can send you some CDs or samples.
Thanks to the Internet and YouTube, printed music is easily available. Some publishers will even send you scores packed in PDF files. You have to be aware that there are tons of small music publishers who will be more than happy to send you their materials and get a review of their music.
Another good idea is to ask teachers who are experienced in their job to to recommend you musical pieces their students love to play. You will be surprised with the materials you can get here.
Some tips at the end
If you are really determined to learn how to write musical reviews you should read other people’s reviews, analyze them thoroughly, take notes of the adjectives they use the most, write down their comments, and make sure to feel the style of writing. And, last but not the least – write the review!
And, finally, follow these tips:
- Catch the reader’s attention by writing a catchy title and make the review unique.
- Never use colloquial expressions and slang.
- Before you submit the review, you can ask a local editor to edit it if necessary.
- In order to get a sense about the style of writing it is good to read lots of reviews.
- Learn how to improve your writing and presentation skills.
- If someone sends you music for review, don’t forget to send a thank you note plus a copy of the review you have written.
If you want to become a good music reviewer, make sure to follow the tips given above. You don’t have to be an expert, but practice makes perfect! Just do your best to learn how to write the reviews and write, write, write…