Thursday, March 03, 2005

"Goodnight My Someone" from The Music Man

"Goodnight My Someone" from The Music Man. Performed by Barbara Cook, original Broadway Cast recording.

This song begins as Marion is teaching a piano lesson. Her student is playing triads on I IV and V in C Major, and Marion becomes distracted and goes to the window. The accompaniment starts out just with these simple triads being played on the piano. When Marion begins to sing, this simple accompaniment lasts for 6 more measures, and then the orchestra comes in. Even though the accompaniment is much more elaborate than triads, you can always pick out variations on these three triads throughout the accompaniment.
Nothing really changes until the B section, which is marked by a modulation and a change in rhythm. Thus far, we have had mostly quarter notes and dotted half notes, keeping with the 3/4 waltz/lullaby feeling. The B section makes more use of dotted rhythms and eighth notes. The B section really serves as the climax of the song as Marion explains why she is singing goodnight my someone out the window to nobody at all. She sings, "True love can be whispered from heart to heart when lovers are parted they say. But I must depend on a wish and a star as long as my heart doesn't know who you are. The B section is as close as the song ever gets to forte, and the eighth note rhythms give the vocal line a sense of urgency, like she really wants to know who her someone is.
The return of the A section also brings a modulation back to the original key of C Major. We don't get the whole A sectiton this time, really just about half of it. The song ends with the vocal line holding out the 1st, 3rd, and 5th scale degree of a C Major Triad.
This is such a pretty song. The 3/4 tempo really allows for a lullaby feel. The melody especially feels like a lullaby. It is so simple and floating and legato, it could lull you right to sleep.
Now if only I had an excuse to sing this for something ;)

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