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Subject: Re: Can ordinary people burst into song?
From: Jon Goldberg <[log in to unmask]>
Reply-To:Jon Goldberg <[log in to unmask]>
Date:Thu, 29 Apr 2010 22:26:45 -0400

text/plain (59 lines)

On Thu, 29 Apr 2010 12:49:57 -0700, Herbert Curl 
<[log in to unmask]> wrote:

"First, I think I'm an ordinary person and I burst into song 
spontaneously, but not always in public. Conversations will bring up a 
topic, an image, a word, that triggers a song from the movies, the 
theatre, the opera and in response I sing the first line and sometimes 
the verse."

Yes - but that's the big difference. You're bursting into SOMEONE ELSE's 
song. Whereas characters in musicals and operas EXPRESS THEIR OWN 
THOUGHTS in song. 

Quoting a song in response to something isn't all that uncommon 
(especially for those of us that are musicians, or heavily into music) - 
but you can't tell me that you go around singing your own daily 
conversations in song, or voicing your feelings in your won (sung) 
words in the manner of a sung soliloquy. THAT's the difference here - 
and that's what people who don't like musicals/opera tend to object to 
- that day-to-day life doesn't happen in song. 

However - and this is something I share with my musical theatre 
students all the time - if we accept that the "language" of musicals can 
be explained that one sings when speech is no longer sufficient for the 
emotion - frankly, most of us do tend to get slightly "sing-song-y" and 
vocally heightened when we get excited. So there is a sort of parallel to 
real life - it's just taken to a much bigger, much more stylized extent. 
(But, stylized as it is, it can seem quite normal once you accept that 
theatrical "language.")

And of course you can continue the theatrical sequence as well - if a 
song moves into a dance routine, you can say that one has to dance 
because mere singing isn't enough for the emotional moment, etc. And 
one big one with my students - what to do with incidental dialogue ion 
the middle of a song (or with a song that has spoken interjections, or 
speaking in rhythm) - to make sure that dialogue doesn't de-energize, 
you can say that one now has to speak because singing isn't enough. 
And if you think about this in operatic terms, famous "spoken" lines like 
"a te, la mala Pasqua" or "la commedia e finita" can be even more 
powerful in their contexts because they're declaimed instead of sung.

But, back to the original point - if you quote showtunes or lines from 
arias at the drop of a hat, people might think you're quirky. But if you 
really expressed all your everyday conversations in song (as characters 
do onstage) people would probably call you a lunatic, lol. 

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