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Angela Iannacone Due February 19, 2013 Application of Theory In Performance Adelaide's Lament When Guys and Dolls

first opened on Broadway in 1950, both the score and lyrics by Frank Loesser were greeted with enormous enthusiasm by critics and theater goers. This musical has been made into a film and has been revived on Broadway and West End at least twelve times. The score is comprised of catchy jazz melodies and the book and lyrics create a fast-paced, easy humor that have made this a popular show since it was first produced. The show's story revolves around two gambling gangsters, one of whom is being pestered for a wedding by his lounge singer girl friend and the other who is chasing a mild-mannered missionary. Two musical styles held sway over the new Music Theater scene in the 40's and 50's. The first is that of Richard Rodgers of Rodgers and Hammerstein. This music was written expressly for singers emerging from the Bel Canto school. Legato phrases and specific ranges for varying voice types were the rule and most music was moderate in tempo and difficulty. The second style was that of Irving Berlin and Cole Porter, relishing the sound of big band jazz and orchestras. This idiom was slightly more geared toward the sound of the instruments and demanded more unconventional sounds from singers in varying parts of their range. This music was racier and harsher than that of Mr. Rodgers. Frank Loesser erred more on the side of the later for Guys and Dolls. Chromatic lines, jazz harmonies and text painting involving awkward leaps in the vocal line all helped to make this show sparkle the way that it still does almost 75 years after the fact. Adelaide's Lament is a fantastic, feminine example of the sort of character Loesser was able to invent with his music. While the structure of the piece is simple (A, B, B1, Coda) and the chord progression predictable, the melody is both catchy and indicative of the simple, brash nature of poor Adelaide. The minor key and chromatic neighboring tones in the A section establish quickly Adelaide's miserable feelings about her lack of engagement. The development of the piece is simple, repeating the main melody three times, twice in a higher key. The clever words are well set and punch lines are often helped by a slowing syncopation in the melody, as can be seen in measures 30, 31, 35 and 41 for just a few examples.

S e c t i o n s A 1 - 2 0




Key of G minor Chromatic Neighbor Tones Large leaps to notes in the low register of the voice used to express character's frustration Piano creates basic chord outlines

Simple 4/4 rhythms beginning with a two eighths, three quarters motif. Quarter-note driven No syncopation

Solo line and accompaniment

2 1 - 3 3

Modulates up to F major Melody moves mostly in chromatic and scalar patterns chord changes occur mostly on beat 1 and 3. 6th, 7th and lowered 3rd become part of chord structures suspensions into 6th and 7th of chords doubled in the voice and keyboard A few instances where the piano chord is incomplete without the 3rd or root provided by the singer.

triplet-driven syncopation delivers punch lines piano carries quarter notes 4 two-bar phrases followed by a fourbar phrase (twelvebar periods)


3 4 -

Modulation to G major

4-Barphrase followed by 4 2-bar

4 6 C o d a 4 7 5 4


Repetition and slight variation of previously presented material building to conclusion of piece