Journalist Abi Bliss' Top Tips for Writing a Spotlight

Some questions to consider for inspiration when putting pen to paper... 

Some questions to consider when starting to write about music... 

1. Why are you drawn to this piece?

2. Does the score look unusual? Why do you think the composer has chosen to write it in this way?

3. What instructions are there for how to perform the piece?

4. How much freedom does the composer allow the performers?

5. What patterns can you find?

6. What puzzles you about this piece?

7. Does anything here surprise you?

8. What colours does the music bring to mind?

9. What rhythms stand out?

10. Find three ways to describe the timbres/tones that you hear.

11. How is the end different from the start?

12. Is the piece ‘about’ anything – a poem, a place, a feeling? What else is it about?

13. Find one really interesting detail and say as much about it as you can.

14. Would this piece sound the same every time it was performed? What might change?

15. What have other people said about this piece? Do you agree?

16. If there is a recording, does it sound like you expected it to?

17. Does the piece contain distinct sections? If so, how do they relate to each other?

18. What do you think the composer is trying to make you feel? Do they succeed?

19. What don’t you like about this piece? Why?

20. What do you think is unique about this piece of music/this composer?

If you'd like to write a Spotlight about a subject of your choice, please drop Conor, Sound and Music Intern a line on