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Thursday, February 14, 2008

Pick a song!

In the hit Broadway musical Wicked, written by Stephan Schwartz, there are mixture chords and key changes are everywhere. They signify anything from change mood to foreshadowing. The song “I’m not that Girl” has a different use of mixture chords than in the rest of the show. Elphaba, the lead character, is singing about her sorrows of not being the typical girl that men fall in love with. Seeing how she is green it’s a little understandable. During the first and last sections the song stays in A Major, and is her simple warnings of letting oneself get lost in the moment. However in the middle section the very first chord is a bVI. This is the only time she lets her self go in a sense. “Every so often we long to steal to the land of What-Might-Have-Been,” she says with the musical change continuing through both the voice and piano containing multiple bVI chords. While the section is only eight measures it is vastly different from the other two sections in the song. In the last measure of the section on the downbeat of the last section the piano plays the very last F sharp. The piece concludes in the original key of A major. While the middle section is short and only contains one type of mixture chord it changes the entire sound of that section, it makes it stand out, and makes you listen. The song would not be complete without this section either. That’s why is stands out so much to me. While is sounds so different and separate from the rest of the song, it is an essential part. I also like that it is a sad song, that’s not in minor. Wicked is a show that tends to surprise you like that, for instance the only love song in the show is in minor. But that’s another analysis in and of itself!

1 comment:

Scott said...

Delve deeper into why the bVI is used to set that part of the text. What extra meaning is attached or what emotions stressed by using that chord? And how would you convey that meaning when performing the song?