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Area of Study 2: Popular

Music
Topic Area 1: Music of
Broadway 1950s 1990s

Area of Study 2: Popular


Music
Covers two distinct areas:
The set works we have to study in depth and will
be questioned on in the exam. The songs from
The Beatles Sgt. Peppers Lonely Hearts Club
Band
With A Little Help From My Friends
Within You, Without You
Lucy In The Sky With Diamonds

The unfamiliar music which will make up the


rest of the examples youll have to comment on.
We dont know what these will be but we know
the rough areas of music theyll fall in to.

AoS 2: Topic Areas


Music of Broadway 1950s 1990s
Rock Music of the 1960s and 1970s
Film and Computer Gaming Music
1990s to present
Pop Music 1990s to Present

Topic Area 1: Music of Broadway


1950s 1990s
What do you already know about
musicals/musical theatre? Think about:
Musicals you know/have seen
Similar musical styles
Differences from other musical styles
Specific instrumental/vocal techniques or
styles

See if you can come up with a definitive


definition of a musical

Music of Broadway 1950s 1990s


Musicals are plays that use music to express emotion.
Musicals make use of solo songs, ensembles and
choruses accompanied by an orchestra.
Like opera, in musicals some words are sung however
in most musicals spoken word is used much more than
sung.
Lyrics and singing style are very expressive and
dramatic. Words are pronounced. Intonation
(pronunciation) is very important.
Vocal acrobatics are used in musicals. Male singers
often have falsetto voices (very high vocal range).

West Side Story Leonard Bernstein


First performed on Broadway in 1957
Released as a film in 1961
Set in the 1950s in run down West
Side New York
Based on Romeo and Juliet The
Capulets and Montagues become the
Jets and the Sharks
Both street gangs, The Jets are white
Americans and the Sharks are Puerto
Rican
Tony, from the Jets, falls in love with
Maria who is Bernardo, leader of the
Sharks, sister

West Side Story Leonard Bernstein

Music by Bernstein
Very influenced by contemporary styles,
particularly Bebop Jazz and Blues
Lyrics by Stephen Sondheim Also wrote the
lyrics for Sweeney Todd
Scored for a huge range of instruments but only
around 30 players Still a big ensemble for
Broadway
Players had to double up 5 Reed players
cover: 3 piccolos, 3 flutes, oboe, English horn,
E-flat clarinet, 4 B-flat clarinets, 3 bass clarinets,
bassoon, and saxophones (soprano, alto, tenor,
baritone, and bass)
There are recurring themes throughout the
musical, particularly the use of the tritone

Somethings Coming
Questions
1. What time signature do we start
in?
2. What type of voice does Tony
have? Tenor, bass or alto?
3. West Side Story is known for
being extensively influenced by
jazz. Give as many specific
examples as you can in this piece
which you think may evidence
this point

Little Shop of Horrors Alan Menken


Premiered off-off-Broadway in 1982.
Made into a film in 1986 staring Rick
Moranis and Steve Martin.
Set in an imaginary downtown New
York-like slum
The comic plot revolves around a
florist shop worker who raises a
plant that feeds on human flesh
Music influenced by 1950s rhythm &
blues, doo-wop and 1960s Motown.

Little Shop of Horrors Alan Menken


Music by Alan Menken, lyrics
by Howard Ashman. Went
on to score several Disney
films such as Beauty & The
Beast, The Little Mermaid
and Aladdin.

Suddenly Seymore
Questions
1. What is the texture of the
opening section (up until
Suddenly Seymore)
2. How does the piece change
when Audrey (the female
character) starts singing?

Homework
Chose two specific songs from the following musicals, write a
detailed comparison of the two pieces and tell me how they are
indicative of musical theatre.
The Lion King
Grease

Both musicals have both stage and film versions, please try to
choose songs from the stage versions only!
In your comparison try to comment on:
Instrumentation
Vocal melody
Texture
Harmony
Any other specific musical features

Make sure that you make reference to specific points in the pieces
of music (and that you tell me where they are!)