Solo songs in Sweeney Todd, Les Miserables and JCS

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  • Created by: nfawre
  • Created on: 25-05-15 19:38

Les Miserables

Examples of Solo songs in Les Mis:

  • Bring Him Home
  • I Dreamed A Dream
  • On My Own
  • Stars
  • Empty Cairs At Empty Tables

Common Features:

  • Structure: simple structures emphasised by use of dynamics i.e quiet opening-build to climax-quiet ending, use of extended introductions.
  • Melody:conjunct with slow tempo
  • Harmony/Tonality: tonal harmony (chords stay wihin the key with an emphasis on I IV V), slow harmonic rhythm/clear chord progressions,
  • Rhythm: slow moving (making words clearer)
  • Texture: melody and accompaniment
  • Timbre/use of voices: often high falsetto used suggesting vulnerability of characters.
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Sweeney Todd

Examples of songs in Sweeney Todd:

  • Epiphany
  • Worst Pies In London

Key Features:

  • Structure: no clear structure in a clear verse-chorus sensebut there are often contrasting sections within the songs.
  • Melody: disjunct and conversational with no strict structure.
  • Harmony/Tonality: very chromatic, chromatic chords that contrast with the melody, regular key changes.
  • Rhythm: Very complex and irregular-confuses audience e.g Worst Pies In London- accented staccato quaver expected on beat 3 bar 1 but it comes on the second half of this beat.
  • Texture: Melody and accompaniment, the accompaniment often plays in syncopation with the main melody.
  • Timbre/Use Of Voices: often in the middle of the vocal range but with occasional extremes to surprise/disorientate you- adds to conversational tone, occasional spoken/shouted words, often long notes at end-in Epiphany has high note to emphasise loss of control.
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Jesus Christ Superstar

Examples of solo songs:

  • Gethsemane
  • Heaven On Their Minds
  • I Don't Konw How To love Him

Key Features:

  • Structure: 32 bar song form used (IDKHTLH), but not in every song, often different sections used throughout to convey different emotions.
  • Melody: Clear storytelling, often the melody starts flowing but becomes more eratic in the middle, as the emotions of the character builds up but then (like Les Mis) it becomes more conjunct if not calm at the end.
  • Harmony/Tonality: often quite simple harmony, though with interesting techniques e.g IDKHTLH is in D major then modulates in the middle 8- Dmajor-Gmajor-F#major (only a semitone suggesting minor but not quite going there yet)-Bminor. HOTM all the chords are over one riff essentially in D minor with semitone motifs in the background.
  • Texture: often melody and accompaniment with homophony, the orchestration is often simple.
  • Timbre/Use Of Voices: Extremes of voice common especially high falsetto and long notes used.
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