Bernstein – Something’s Coming
‘Something’s Coming’, by Leonard Bernstein, was composed in 1958 for a solo song in the musical ‘West Side Story’. The musical is based in Romeo and Juliet, but is a more modern day interpretation. The song is sung by Tony, who is feeling tired of Gang Culture, and he feels something exciting will happen at the dance that night. This musical went against usual musicals of the time, because most were lighthearted whereas this musical had a much more powerful story line. The music has Latin-American influences, whilst being more jazzy than usual musicals. There is also much dissonance weaved finely into the piece.
The song starts in ¾ time, but we first see this alter at ‘it may come cannonballing’, to 2/4. The two then alternate. The tempo is reasonably fast, at 176bpm, and this doesn’t change. The tonality is D major, but for the 2nd and 3rd verses, the tonality shifts to C major.
There are many forces in the piece, including the male singer (Tony), who is a tenor, woodwind (including saxophone), a bass guitar, a clarinet,…