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Till There Was You Analysis

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Keghan Delacenserie
MUST0802 The Art of Listening
Audio Critique #1 – Meredith Willson’s “Till There Was You”
1. Musical characteristics:
a. Melody: After an eight-bar introduction where Marian explains why she finally decided to meet up with Harold, she starts singing an A melody: “There were bells…”. After she repeats the A melody with a different set of lyrics – “There were birds…” – she switches to a B melody: “And there was music…”. After one instance of the B melody, she returns to the A melody with a different set of lyrics: “There was love…”. After that, there is an instrumental break where the strings play the B melody. She then repeats the A melody with the second set of lyrics. The song ends with an 8-bar outro, near the end of which
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However, the purpose of them playing this song is not to move a plot forward, but to establish themselves. This song was recorded at the beginning of their career when they had gained popularity but were only known as being a rock-n-roll group. Thus, by covering this song, they showed that they were not confined to just rock and were able to tackle all genres of music. Thus, I believe The Beatles’ performance of the song is effective in that sense.
In addition, while I think both songs are good, I prefer The Beatles’ version over that of the film not only because their version aligns more closely with my personal tastes, but also because of the intimate mood created by the acoustic ensemble and McCartney’s voice.
d. Is your answer to the last question objective, or is it based on personal preference/taste? My answer was very subjective. First of all, there is no objective measure by which a song achieves its purpose. Finally, one’s opinion of a song is heavily shaped by his or her musical background, JKLDFJLKSD, and
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Overall, is this a well-written song on the part of Meredith Willson? Why or why not? Overall, I believe that this piece is well-written in two ways. First, it advances the plot and reveals character, particularly that of Marian. Thus, there is a purpose to the song beyond that of extending the length of the musical. Beyond its role in the greater context of the plot, the song itself plays around with JFKDSLFJSDKLFJ. Lyrically, the song is quite bland. In particular, its imagery is clichéd: wedding bells, birds, roses, etc. However, this makes sense for someone who has fell in love for the first time. In addition, the repetition of the line “Till there was you” creates a lyrical base to which the previous line, referring to not being able to appreciate symbols of live, can return. This is accented by the melody. In the second-to-last line of the A melody, e.g. “No, I never heard them at all”, has a downwards, chromatic melodic shape. This tension is resolved in the final line “Till there was you” when the melody finally returns to the tonic. It is because of these minor lyrical and melodic details that I consider this song to be
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