Ensemble songs in Les Mis and Sweeney Todd

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  • Created by: nfawre
  • Created on: 31-05-15 17:34

Les Miserables

One Day More:

Structure: Relatively simple but uses solo and ensemble so texture varies. There are two main sections- a Major and a Minor section.

Harmony/Tonality: All tonal with an alternating major/minor key.

Texture: Most complicated at the end when all the parts have come in and are singing over each other. Then at the very end the whole ensemble sings in unison "Tomorrow we discover wha our God in Heavan had in store"

Melody: Everyone brings their own meldoy to the song and therefore all of these combine and are sung along side each other. First melody is sung in semiquavers, then another uses dotted rhythms- a lot of different melodic effects.

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Jesus Christ Superstar

The Last Supper:

Melody: Gradually grows in anger and energy. The disciples start off moderato but in the middle the sing the same melody at Lupino dazzatto as well as there being rhythmic diminution (crotchets become quavers etc), then at the end they sing at the original tempo but still with rhythmic diminution. This passage returns twice possibly suggesting the disciples' denial at Jesus' death or their determination to carry on whatever happens.

Harmony/Tonality: It starts in the major then goes minor when Judas comes in. The key change helps portray the emotions and atmosphere surrounding the characters. The harmony in the recitative is very slow.

Rhythm: As Jesus' emotions change the tempo goes to the more complex time signature of 5/4 ("I must be mad"). During the argument between Jesus and Judas there is a 1/4 bar and this interrupts the second time the disciples sing the original melody.

Texture: Ensemble parts are sung in unison. The texture is mainly homophonic throughout.

Timbre/Use of voices: Jesus and Judas have conversational sung dialogue using question and answer (antiphony), much of it is only on one chord and this emphasises the lyrics. It is very repetative. The Eucharist is sung in a recitative style with Jesus freely singing over a piano solo.

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Jesus Christ Superstar

The Last Supper:

Melody: Gradually grows in anger and energy. The disciples start off moderato but in the middle the sing the same melody at Lupino dazzatto as well as there being rhythmic diminution (crotchets become quavers etc), then at the end they sing at the original tempo but still with rhythmic diminution. This passage returns twice possibly suggesting the disciples' denial at Jesus' death or their determination to carry on whatever happens.

Harmony/Tonality: It starts in the major then goes minor when Judas comes in. The key change helps portray the emotions and atmosphere surrounding the characters. The harmony in the recitative is very slow.

Rhythm: As Jesus' emotions change the tempo goes to the more complex time signature of 5/4 ("I must be mad"). During the argument between Jesus and Judas there is a 1/4 bar and this interrupts the second time the disciples sing the original melody.

Texture: Ensemble parts are sung in unison. The texture is mainly homophonic throughout.

Timbre/Use of voices: Jesus and Judas have conversational sung dialogue using question and answer (antiphony), much of it is only on one chord and this emphasises the lyrics. It is very repetative. The Eucharist is sung in a recitative style with Jesus freely singing over a piano solo.

3 of 3

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