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Thursday, March 20, 2008

"Ah, Belinda..."

m. 1 – i vii i
m. 2 – V iv6 iii
m. 3 – iv i V7
m. 4 – i
m. 53 – vi6 vii
m. 54 – i64 vi6 ?
m. 55 – viio7 V
m. 56 – i

This song is a continuous variation in the Passacaglia (ground bass) form. The bass part is the constant in the variation. The bass phrase is repeated 21 times with slight changes including the bass being lowed for a section and added thirds and octaves. The first line of “Ah Belinda” is repeated in measure 18. While the second time “Ah Belinda” is sung in measure 9, and then repeated exactly in measure 25. The line “Peace and I are strangers grown” is always sung two times back to back, and this pattern is repeated at the end of the piece. The minor key adds the desperation and sadness within the song.
The repetition of “Ah, Belinda” for the first two pages seems completely redundant and used for dramatic effect. While usually I am all for dramatic effect, I really do not like it in this context. For some reason with everything else that is put into this piece with the minor key and the accidentals, the repetition of this line seems pointless. I personally do not feel as though I would sing this since my focus is musical theater, however as a teacher I would instruct the student to find the pain that the performer is feeling. I believe that they need to tell a story through the song they are performing. I think they need to lean into the high note, and the repetitions. I think that a performer can use the repetitions to express the pain. (I may not like the repetitions because of the way I saw them performed on youtube.) I think that any song has a chance depending on the performer. I also think that even performed during an opera this song could lose its expression and emotion if it is over acted.


Glen said...

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Anonymous said...

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