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Thursday, February 14, 2008

Catherine's post

In Leonard Bernstein’s musical West Side Story, most people are aware of the well-known love song “Somewhere.” This song is sung between the two main characters in the musical, Tony and Maria, and expresses how one day they will be able fully and truly love each other. This song is capturing due to its harmonic composition. And interestingly when one hears the climactic areas of the piece, one is actually listening to a mixture chord. For example, the second half of the first verse reads, “There’s a time for us, someday a time for us. Time together with time to spare, time to learn, time to care.” Once the singer reaches “Time together…” he or she has reached the building point to the first mixture chords. The progression: V V7 iii iv IV bII i bIII bVI. The mixture chord bIII leads into the bVI, which is when the performer sings “Someday, somewhere…” At this point of the song the singer has reached the point where he or she has come to the conclusion that there is hope. He or she will find harmony and love in his or her life. This same chord progression occurs at the end.
This harmony illustrates to the listener the passion the singer holds for love. It sets an importance on that magical feeling. However, the chord also has a mystifying quality to it. It allows the listener to realize that this emotion is important, but it can’t be complete until the future. It allows the listener to take in the emotions of the singer. The mixed feelings of joy, hope, and optimisim.

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