Musicology Analysis On Les Miserable Assignment

977 words - 4 pages

One of the most famous musicals of all time named Les Miserable which was written by Victor Hugo and music was composed by Claude- Michel Schönberg and lyrics were wrote by Alain Boublil released in 1980. Les Miserable is based in the Nineteenth Century set in France with the story of a Convict that is on the run from stealing a loaf of bread. As the musical continues it showcases love, war, equal rights and the journey for those who were suffering. Two well known and also songs that many love from this musical ‘Do you hear the people sing?’ and ‘Empty Chairs and Empty Tables’. The two songs have a different meaning and feel compared to each other. ‘Do you hear the people sing?’ Is known to be a revolutionary song that showcases equal rights and how men are fighting for freedom and respect. ‘Empty Chairs and Empty tables’ is a heart aching song that showcases a whole different feeling. The song showcases Marius Pontmercy (the character singing this song) grieving over the war that has taken away many of his loved ones lives. These two pieces are going to showcase the contrasting moods and purpose from this musical and also will include musical elements and compositional devices.

‘Do you hear the people sing?’ Is known to be a passionate protest piece that is performed near the end of the first act. The songs duration begins and continues in regular timing (4/4) and also has dotted rhythm which helps there community to easily sing along and be included in a major event like this by everyone sharing there voices together. Hearing all voices together help create a really big range which is caused by the number of people singing and the number of parts that were covered eg. Alto, Soprano, Bass, Tenor and just the melody. The duration of this piece perfectly helps the Homophonic texture make the message of this piece come across more easier. The texture also builds within the piece showing how it begins still very mellow and does showcase a glimpse of anger by there voice but as the piece progresses into the chorus the texture thickens and sounds very filling used by bass drums, vocals, trumpets, trombones, flutes, cello, violins, snare drum and timpani (instruments used in the recordings). The instruments and lyrics used help the texture to resemble how this piece is a protest, revolutionary song. The drums can imitate how the soldiers are marching showing us the rhythm (dotted rhythm) they tend to march in and also the use of drums make us immediately aware about the topic of war, fighting or something revolutionary. The lyrics of this piece also showcases and gives us an expressive sense of fighting for equality also by the tone of voices that fill the piece. The beginning of the chorus “Do you hear the people sing? Singing the song of angry men” is the most expressive lyrics in this piece. It proves that the society and especially the...

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