Friday, February 01, 2008
Bernstein and Sondheim’s “One Hand, One Heart” is a piece that probably four out of every five people know. It is frequently played/sung at weddings and comes from the famous musical “West Side Story”. Within the piece we can certainly find modal mixture through the scale degrees me and te, which in the key of Gb Major are Bbb and Fb. They appear beginning in measure seven towards the end of the second phrase which is nearly identical to the first. We can also find it throughout the last phrase in measures thirteen through sixteen. One funny thing I discovered while analyzing this piece was that the popular music symbols do not line up with the numerals, due to inversions throughout the piece. We see the most modal mixture in the last phrase with the words “Only death will part us now.” Those words are the exact reason we have a great deal of modal mixture. For those who do not know the story, this line in the song is foreshadowing what will happen later in the musical, and the mixture used by the composers gives the piece that goose bump feeling. The song itself is beautiful, and I imagine it will be played for quite some time.