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Thursday, February 14, 2008

Nick's post

I decided to choose a musical theatre piece for my blog this week. It is a song that I believe to be a happy medium between musical theatre and classical music. The piece is “A Bit of Earth” from “The Secret Garden”. If no one is familiar with this piece, please take the time to find it, because it is not only beautiful, but moving as well. The beginning of the song starts soft as the singer describes how a little girl simply wants a “little bit of earth”. He does not understand why, and he believes the world does not care if one girl wants something to grow. Then he goes on to discuss how the girl needs a family, and how she needs to learn to “work her girlish charms”. Throughout both of these “A” sections, we are in the key of A major and we see chords such as I and IV with only rhythms changing. We suddenly reach the center of the piece, where the singer is thinking of all the things the girl deserves to have. Here, the key has changed to Db major. The singer then states that “she should have a pony, galloping across the moor. To help paint this picture in our head, the composer (Lucy Simon) puts in modal mixture by throwing “me” or Bbb into the piece with sets of triplets. She does the same thing again on the next line, and then the performers emotions have begun to build and as this section hits its climax, Simon also puts in “te” or Cb into some 7th chords, creating an overwhelming feeling for the performer as well as the listener. The piece then goes back to the same theme as the beginning until the end where we have our final mixture. In this key (A major), Simon gives us “te” again on a G natural to give a sense of conclusion to the piece. The song ends on a floating high A which sends chills down the spine of the listener. I would highly recommend this piece both for performing, and listening…Enjoy!

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