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SONG SPOTTING WORKSHEET HAND-OUT


TO ACCOMPANY THE: ADAPTATION – PART 2 ASSIGNMENT

SONG SPOTTING WORKSHEET

Preparation

Before filling out your Song Spotting Worksheets, please consider the following:

The purpose of a song in a musical:

Reveal a truth

Keep the story going throughout the song, to the very last bar.

Point the story forward

Coincide with the emotional climax, the story climax, and the musical climax of a scene

Something must change during a song:

1. Exposition - Someone knows something more than at the song’s beginning.

2. Action - characters do things, to change things.

3. Conflict - could be heightened or resolved.

4. Character - is changed through the arc of a song.

Possibilities for Character Change During a Song:

Joining forces

Self-discovery

Resolve a confrontation/conflict

Enflame a confrontation/conflict

Decision-making

A Checklist To Aid in Spotting A Song

1. Which character has the highest emotional stakes in the scene? Generally that’s the character who’ll be the most likely candidate for a song.

2. What is the main action of the scene? Can you encompass that action in a song structure like AABA or ABAC?

3. Where does a character take action, or make a decision? Can that be a song?

4. Where’s the strongest conflict in the scene? What if that became a song?

5. What is the topic of the song? Songs should be about one thing.

6. Find a moment in which you can push your character to the point beyond which he cannot speak; if there isn’t one in the scene yet, re-examine the need for the scene. You might need to increase the stakes, or make his force of opposition stronger in order to drive him beyond the point of speech.

7. Does your song create a strong sense of “What’s going to happen next?” at its conclusion? (If not, go back to the drawing board.)

8. Can music alone tell the story (that is, must you have lyrics or dialogue)?