Lizzie's observations on current musical song culture

Singing is thought to predate language development and is universal together with dance as the oldest of sociable human activity. Britain's musical theatre heritage is the sum total derived from centuries of much revered collaborative culture and expertise. Modern British musical theatre is currently the predominant cradle for the development and support of expressive song, live musical and theatrical experience although most say still searches for a truly magnetic shift in new attractive song writing. The growing preoccupation with the Internet must not be allowed to replace live performance culture. British Musical theatre is one place where our cultural expertise in the arts comes together in the most elaborate of all live art form. New British Musical Theatre is one of few healthy places where all this culture can flourish, find and enthral new audience and further the interest of all those wishing to see singing and acting as a live activity survive and strengthen our wonderful musical, drama and arts heritage. The experience of attending a live musical must be thrilling, surpassing sensationally all other experience through media, registering interactive emotional response with audience in a unique way that film or television cannot match. The magic of an affecting song sung live in front of you is an experience which transcends language because the connection the human voice singing makes is visceral and primitive.Great singing and great song writing must convey emotion on a higher or deeper plane than words alone. Clever music gives the words and the actor that extra, primitive black magic and extra indescribable dimension.New popular songs which people find themselves singing in the shower are what is needed.....The complete range of activity in British singing culture constitutes the essential blood supply of our music and theatrical arts and cultural eco system. Anyone can sing. If live musical theatre performance is to survive and flourish audiences must be drawn in from and connect from the broader demographic. Popularity is essential in theatre and it must have newly written dedicated theatre song material guaranteed to resonate and connect. Most audiences have a broad musical repertoire of audio culture based on eras with strong songs. These followers who are typical audience will not be fobbed off with thin, characterless, tuneless songs. Expert production values will never compensate for a poor song. A poor song will not get any better with age or anywhere else either.....The musical theatre genre is in danger of being completely side lined and sunk unless a strong new lyrical, passionate and melodic tide can sweep in and lift audiences. Great productions will appeal to those who are outside the usual audience base. Popularity is to be desired not sneered at. Broad success means wider participation and a healthier future for all.Any more people singing anything, anywhere is good for singing.....The death of the proper musical number must not happen. Pop songs have their place but must not be allowed to supplant and bludgeon to death the musical theatre song which is a different, peculiar, particular and altogether more sensitive beast. I do not denounce The X Factor, The Voice, The Choir, anything which gets more people singing is a good thing. The overall effect of these popular shows is to get more people than before, young and old involved at all levels producing long lasting spin off to all types of vocal and performing musicianship. More participation and interest means more fuel in the system for all types of cultural appreciation...low and high. A bigger body of interest in singing and live performance helps charge all choral work and percolates through to all musical interests.Participation at any level helps grow appreciative audiences.Fresh songs that audiences remember is the must haveFresh stories with fascinatingly different characters, events and atmosphere with broad appeal are a must.Vast fortunes do no create these must haves, only fresh creativity and imagination does.The music world is a living culture which needs tending at all levels. Participants should be responsive to the needs of the whole as overall health and bigger attendance benefits all. At the moment there is a dearth of recently written for theatre songs capable of transmitting into the wider popular spheres of singing, band playing culture or even become suitable to be chosen as wedding or special occasion songs. Musicals used to provide a rich seam of people's favourite songs....People used to rave about new great songs from the shows. They still could....Music is about audience, appreciation, and creating a passing but surprisingly deep emotional involvement and so lasting enjoyment and allegiance. Musical theatre song styles need to move on and set new standards not follow pop music. To be widely popular songs should be capable of being sung by practically everyone, they should not be too difficult, lacking in melody or be hard to listen to. They should be catchy, effective and stimulate emotional response.

 

Musical theatre songs need to be charged emotionally and whilst being reflective of heritage move forward to develop a new consummate modern song and drama experience which audiences will enjoy and carry away in their heads. Audience, actors, musicians, everybody throughout the valuable and incredible industry are impatient for the next big song book to genuinely enthral them.

Audiences must be fully emotionally satisfied and thrilled.

The right songs will do that.

 

Songwriters for musicals must have a developed empathic awareness of the back ground culture of all comers .... participants, audience and society..... then they can set about writing attractive, compelling fresh songs  because, without  them musicals will die. The genre must progress. The very best songwriters are usually people who sing and play naturally and are natural story tellers.

The right choice of song writer composer is one with broad based relevant experience and  empathy with audience needs so to create a fully satisfying  song book packed with strong  new songs which singers and non - specialists are attracted to. If the singers don't warm to new songs no one else will either, singers are the first barometer and  indicators regarding success or failure.

A musical must deliver a  richly satisfying, memorable experience of song and then... everything else must be right too.

 

Successful songs are the primary, absolute essential, the foundation or platform on which everything else depends.

 

Contact me to discuss  individual roles, collaboration or creative  combination. liz55freeborn@live.co.uk

Links on this website take you to soundcloud  go there to hear other songs.

REMEMBER I AM A COMPOSER, SINGER, PIANIST DEMONSTRATOR!  NOT  TRYING TO BE A  STAR or CHARACTER PERFORMER.

The songs you hear may be  intended for male characters, ensembles etc, further developed, the speed or style may be changed.

The songs are likely be written to be chronologically suggestive of a particular time in which the book is set.

 

Broad based knowledge amassed over 25 years, skills and experience both as a singer, choir leader and member,  piano based accompanist, composer, teacher, private school business head  for 15 years and  recent song coaching during 7 months work shop activity with the group  set up to finesse WILDLIFE,  reinforces the facts that this writer  comprehends and can respond creatively to the current needs of  musical theatre audience, singer/actor, form and practicalities.

I believe my particular musical family  heritage, boundless enthusiasm with deep hands - on experience, technical ability and passion for song is why it  makes sense for me to devote my life to becoming a new musicals  book, songwriter and lyricist. 

 

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Contact should be made via liz55freeborn@live.co.uk

 

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