I Dreamed A Dream Analysis

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I Dreamed a Dream is a soliloquy piece, sung by Fantine during act one of Les Misérables (1980). Fantine has just been fired from her factory job after it is discovered that she has an illegitimate child and takes to selling herself on the streets to pay for medicine for her daughter. It is here that ‘I Dreamed a Dream,’ is sung as a way of progressing the story and providing a realisation by the character of her unfortunate situation in life with the song being composed as a way of expressing the feelings of Fantine as she wonders where her life went so wrong as to descend to her present predicament. Throughout the song an anguished, during and impoverished Fantine reminisces on happier days and descends back to the harsh reality that is her hopeless life. I Dreamed a Dream is set in common time (4/4) with a steady set tempo throughout the piece, de despite significant changes in dynamic, texture, modulation and emotion. There is a recitative-style introduction before the first verse as well as at the end of the song played by a digital sounding harp. This is sung…show more content…
The contour of the verses in I Dreamed a Dream shapes the melody of the verses with its use of step wise and ascending patterns. The bridge features an arpeggiated style which descends through the phase. This works to set up for and lead into the next verse adding a smoother flow to the overall piece. In the recitative section at the beginning of the piece, the melody of the long introduction uses only one pitch (Eb) with the exception of the third last word ( '… it all went wrong,") where instead the G above the original Eb is sung, thereby placing emphasis on the word, its meaning and the implication it makes on the statement and mood of the piece. Whilst the score features repeated rhythmic patterns, there is also a large amount of repetition of melodic patterns and phrases. Most of these phrases are short and similar in length. The overall melody is always played as diatonic, as is the
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