This is a question that could be asked of any musical, but because the show seems to move along so well and so fast, it’s a question that’s hard to sort out.
Perhaps the question is best posed in comparison to an older dance. This is a question of which genre is better: a blues or a rock opera? The answer: the blues.
The blues are the type of song that a single person in one place can sing into the microphone, and the band can follow through on the dance to a chorus. This is a genre that can be as beautiful or as depressing as the individual singer, the lyrics, the music and the audience. The Blues are the kind of folk story that can be passed down by an entire generation of fans to their children.
And, to add to the blues’ beauty, it has been called ‘America’s national song.’
What the Blues Do
This may sound like a cliche, but the blues are very simple. They are a kind of musical exercise, a process, that requires only a few steps and is very easy to learn and perfect.
The steps that are considered parts of a song, they are: 1) The rhythm 2) The words 3) The melody 4) The backing vocals 5) the solo singer
Let’s take a look at each of the two.
The rhythm of a song is a series of intervals of time: 4, 8, 16, 24, 32, …. The first four numbers of these intervals are called beats. These beats describe how fast you want to move the music. In this case, the beats can be called 4/4 or 4/8, and are based on the fourth note of a single beat (4/4), as well as the second and third note of the next beat (4/8).
A word that is sung in the music that is called a melody. A melody, or phrase that you can sing in a bar. The first and second notes of a phrase describe a rhythm, while the third and fourth notes (or the third and second chord) describe the melody. A melody is composed of notes of differing pitches, a meter and harmony. For example here is the first melody:
We can now compare it to a bar:
The words and their rhythm are the same! The two are very similar, but what makes the two different is how the words flow.