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AN APPROACH TO A SONG

Research Worksheet for Repertoire Preparation

PREPARE
Explore the repertoire.
Explore its "history."
Prepare music for accompanist.

II. INVESTIGATE THE MATERIAL - make no decisions


A. Investigate the music, playing the melody on the piano.
1. Explore the melody.
Learn the notes as written.
Learn the rhythms as written.
Rehearse the melody line on neutral syllable (la, ma, da, etc.)
2. Explore the composer's choices.
Dynamic markings.
Indication of tempo-changes in tempo.
What Key and is it ideal for you? (major, minor, atonal, modal?)
Modulations?
Structure of song? (form: ABBA, ABA, ABCBA, etc., etc.)
3. Explore the phrasing of the musical line.
Places to breathe.
Explore the musical climax
Rehearse these choices singing melody (Ma, la, da, etc.)
4. Explore the style of the music.
Ballad or rhythm song?
Melody legato or staccato or when?
Musical style: rock, gospel, country, blues, patter, folk, ragtime, jazz,
showtune, operetta, opera, art song, etc.?
5. What is the feeling of the music?
Describe in emotional adjectives: happy, angry, yearning, melancholy, lonely,
etc., etc., etc. OR is there any?

II. WORK ON MUSIC AND POETRY


A. Re-check rhythm and pitches.
B. Decide where to breathe and mark music.
C. Stress words, weight of lyrics, circle stressed words on music.
D. Coloration of words, tone.
E. Liquid consonants.
F. Plosives.
G. Diction, place vowels, consonants, diphthongs.
H. Alliterations.
I. Rhymes.
J. Onomatopoeia. Metaphorical language (metaphor, simile)
K. Any unfamiliar words? Look them up!

III. Composer and Lyricist Information


A. Composer/Lyricists full names and dates (birth/death)
B. Shows created together (if appropriate)?
C. Listen to the entire show OR, if from a revue, listen to at
least 10 songs from the composer's repertoire.
D. What important societal issues were prevalent during the era of this
composition?
E. Know the story of the show/film OR the basic structure of the revue.
APPROACH TO A SONG WORKSHEET

This worksheet must be handed in before beginning each work session. The worksheet
answers must be typed and will not be accepted otherwise.

Name Daryl Tofa

Song Title A Pretty Girl Is Like A Melody

Composer Irving Berlin Lyricist Irving Berlin

Birth /Death May 11, 1888 - September 22, 1989 Birth/Death May 11, 1888 – September
22,1989

Show/Film/Revue Ziegfeld Follies Year 1919

Music Theory

Key Signature (s) G

Time Signature (s) 4/4

Song Form AABA

Define Terminology (Piano, forte, etc.)

Mp – Mezzopiano

Mf – Mezzopiano

P – Piano

Basic Song Study Questions

Where and when does the song take place? It takes place on a Sunday Evening walk in the
park

The moment before: What happened to motivate the so? This is the last chance I have to tell
her I am in love with her before I leave for Christmas Break. She asks, “How do you feel about
me?”

To whom are you speaking? Caroline Coffey

Describe (briefly) the story of the show/film. If from a revue, please indicate what portion of the
revue it comes from based on discussions from the musical theatre history text.

Ziegfeld Follies of 1919: It is the eighth song in Act II.


Show and Composer/Lyricist Information

Listen to the cast album/CD and describe 10 songs from the album. Please address (briefly) any of
the following characteristics: Keys (major, minor), multiple meters, style (uptempo, ballad), style of
dance pieces utilized (if any), ensemble song verses solo or duet selections. Please discuss any other
aspect that intrigues your ear in preparation for the work and performance sessions. IF there is not a
cast album, then please listen to 10 songs by that composer.

Song 1: Alexander’s Ragtime Band – major, 4/4 time, uptempo


Song 2: Isn’t This A Lovely Day – major, 4/4 time, mixtempo, traditional musical theatre jazz,
presentational
Song 3: This Is The Army Mr. Jones – major, 4/4 time, tempo change, uptempo
Song 4: Only For Americans – major, 4/4 time, uptempo
Song 5: I’ve Got My Love to Keep Me Warm – minor, 4/4 time, uptempo
Song 6: I’m Putting All My Eggs In One Basket –minor, cut time, uptempo
Song 7: Everybody’s Doing It – minor, cut time, uptempo
Song 8: Say It Isn’t So – major-minor, 4/4 time, ballad
Song 9: We’ll Never Know – major, 4/4 time, uptempo
Song 10: Cheek to Cheek – minor, 4/4 time, uptempo

What other lyricists have the composer worked with during his/her career? List up to
three if applicable.

Collaborated with Victor Herbert

What directors have the composer worked with and what where the shows? List up to
three if applicable.

Joshua Logan – Annie Get Your Gun, R.H Burnside – Stop! Look! Listen!, Christopher
Ashley – As Thousands Cheer

What other venues (than stage) has the composer created music for in his/her career?

Film, Tin Pan Alley

What important societal or historical issues were prevalent during the time period of this
show's creation (E.g., the depression, World War I, etc.) and this affect the show's
progress or success?

WWI; A Pretty Girl is Like a Melody was written for The Ziegfeld Follies of 1919 and then
became the lead song. WWI affected the show’s success because it highlighted the
theme of “remembering the good ole days” found in most shows during that time.
BIBLIOGRAPHY/SOURCES

www.youtube.com

https://www.biography.com/people/irving-berlin-
9209473

www.musicnotes.com
MTHR Repertoire Class Performance Evaluation

Name ________________________________________________Score: /10Opts.

Song Title _______________________________

Show/Film Title (with year) ______________________________________

Composer/Lyricist/Book author ______________________________________________

Rating: 5 is the highest achievement and 1 the lowest. Best possible score is .

Musicality Evaluation

1 2 3 4 5 Pitches correctly navigated.


1 2 3 4 5 Rhythms correctly navigated.
1 2 3 4 5 Evidence of musical phrasing
1 2 3 4 5 Varied dynamics
1 2 3 4 5 Appropriate realization of style/era

Vocal Performance

1 2 3 4 5 Intonation (flat or sharp or in tune?)


1 2 3 4 5 Tone quality (airy, clear, etc., etc., etc.)
1 2 3 4 5 Facial "ease"? (no tics/tensions evidenced)
1 2 3 4 5 Physical ease (shoulders released, head position, gestures)
1 2 3 4 5 Proper breathing technique
1 2 3 4 5 Good diction practices (colorations/textures/words)

Basic Acting Choices

1 2 3 5 Assignment is memorized
1 2 3 4 5 Given circumstances are very clear.
1 2 3 44 5 "Journey/arc" of the song is evident.
1 2 3 4 5 Acting choices complement musical choices.

Listening and Research Form: ______ /25pts.


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