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Songs Sung In The Incorrect Key On Live Shows


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#11 Guest_396620_*

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Posted 23 May 2008 - 02:01 PM

QUOTE(JR @ May 23 2008, 01:58 PM) View Post
I would have thought any change of key to suit the girls would be decided by IDA's musical director - not by the girls.


This is true also, it's not up to the girls. Absolutely, they are not to blame. However, I think it's unprofessional and misleading in terms of selling this as a professional audition situation. They better not change any Sondheim keys!


#12 Orchestrator

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Posted 23 May 2008 - 02:02 PM

QUOTE(Guest @ May 23 2008, 02:49 PM) View Post
"But I would say that in an audition situation where you are are singing a song that isnít from the show that you are auditioning for, it's fine to change the key as long as you give the pianist a copy that is clearly and accurately transposed into the key you want."

Both professionals in the industry and drama schools it is highly recommended you don't do this and stick to original keys. If you don't, usually panels ask for a very good reason as to why you changed it.

In the thousands of professional auditions that I have played and sat on the panel for I have never heard an auditionee be asked why they changed the key of a song. At most there might be a raised eyebrow and an "unusual key, isn't it?". After all, the answer to your question is obvious: "I chose this key 'cos I think it suits my voice/shows off my range/makes the pianist sweat/I can't get the high notes in the original key". I played for someone who sang O Mio Babbino Caro down a third and the extremely experienced MD just wrote on his notes "In F!". Funnily enough, that's the key that Kathryn Jenkins sings it in.  laugh.gif
Ooh, that Bernadette Shaw - what a chatterbox!

#13 themancsethcohen

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Posted 23 May 2008 - 02:03 PM

I think it's much better of them to allow changing the key, than forcing the performer to sing in an impossible key for their vocal range - especially as it may not be required for the role (ie. of Nancy).

Best example has to be Anthony doing 'Patience' last year.

It was so obviously out of his range, and as far as I know, the role of Joseph wouldn't have required him to get that high in the same way as jumping into falsetto. I thought that was greatly unfair to do that to him, and he was kicked out because of it =[
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#14 Orchestrator

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Posted 23 May 2008 - 02:09 PM

QUOTE(396620 @ May 23 2008, 03:01 PM) View Post
This is true also, it's not up to the girls. Absolutely, they are not to blame. However, I think it's unprofessional and misleading in terms of selling this as a professional audition situation. They better not change any Sondheim keys!

There is nothing sacrosanct about Sondheim keys. He could hardly care less. He's a supremely practical composer; he often writes for particular people's ranges; the part of Dot is written to exploit Bernadette Peter's voice to the full - SS says "she has the range of a bassoon!". Just look at the keys of the songs in the Sondheim-authorised compilation shows including Side By Side By Sondheim and Putting It Together.
Ooh, that Bernadette Shaw - what a chatterbox!

#15 Guest_Guest_*

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Posted 23 May 2008 - 02:32 PM

Orchestrator - I guess our And in terms of Sondheim, of course writing a show in mind with someone's range, is a totally different ballgame again to someone coming in 6 years later that is an "unknown" so to speak and has randomly changed the key to a 4th higher, etc.

And our guess our audition experiences differ...which is often how it is, no rhyme or reason to this industry!  laugh.gif But thanks for voicing your side of the matter, very interesting.

"I think it's much better of them to allow changing the key, than forcing the performer to sing in an impossible key for their vocal range - especially as it may not be required for the role."

Well in a proper audition setting the actor wouldn't be required to sing out of the range suited to the character anyway, they would sing one or two songs of their choice (obviously they would pick within their range) and then be given material from the show to interpret. Proper casting conduct and creative integrity is sacrificed on these shows for "better" entertainment to the general public.

#16 Jon - Thenardier

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Posted 24 May 2008 - 10:46 AM

This throws up a massive debate obviously,

I my opinion, it annoys me greatly that they don't stick everything into keys that are within nancy's range. What is the point if they can't hit a note that Nancy doesn't anyway?

It's a tough issue because i actually don't think songs should be transposed from their original show key. This leads me to say that if the girls are asked to sing a song that is outside Nancy's vocal range, they should be asked to sing it in the first place.

hmm.... have to think about this...



#17 Orchestrator

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Posted 24 May 2008 - 11:20 AM

QUOTE(Jon - Thenardier @ May 24 2008, 11:46 AM) View Post
In my opinion, it annoys me greatly that they don't stick everything into keys that are within nancy's range. What is the point if they can't hit a note that Nancy doesn't anyway?

Couldn't agree more. It's ludricrous. It's also ludicrous to get them to sing songs that are miles away from Nancy stylistically. Even if Big Spender had the same vocal range as the role of Nancy it is not appropriate for the role.
Ooh, that Bernadette Shaw - what a chatterbox!

#18 Oxford Simon

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Posted 24 May 2008 - 11:32 AM

Key signatures have been changed to suit singers from almost the very start of music

Even in opera you can find moments where there is an alternate version so that someone can hide the fact that they don't have a top note (Che gelida manina from La Boheme has such an alteration)

Only when it is part of a through-composed score do you have to be more careful to ensure that there are no ugly transitions - but even then a good MD will be able to work it out

Composers want their work to be heard - they really don't get freaked out by shifting things up or down a tone or two



#19 Orchestrator

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Posted 24 May 2008 - 11:40 AM

QUOTE(Oxford Simon @ May 24 2008, 12:32 PM) View Post
Key signatures have been changed to suit singers from almost the very start of music
True
QUOTE

Even in opera you can find moments where there is an alternate version so that someone can hide the fact that they don't have a top note (Che gelida manina from La Boheme has such an alteration)
Except isn't it the high note that's given as the optional alternative?
QUOTE

Only when it is part of a through-composed score do you have to be more careful to ensure that there are no ugly transitions - but even then a good MD will be able to work it out

Composers want their work to be heard - they really don't get freaked out by shifting things up or down a tone or two

There are some composers who believe in the concept of "key colour" who would get upset. And other composers who just get upset anyway. But generally you are right. It is strange to find strong feelings for the original key on a musical theatre discussion board; one might expect classical music lovers to be more "purist" but look at the Lieder singers who transpose Schubert, for example.
Ooh, that Bernadette Shaw - what a chatterbox!

#20 sanderling

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Posted 24 May 2008 - 11:46 AM

Fascinating to get views from experts on this topic.

From what I've seen, more of the girls - Niamh in particular - have had difficulties in the lower end of their range than the top. Maybe shifting it up a key to accomodate that would have exposed them even more.. who knows.




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