The good folks at newmusicaltheater.com have started a blog! So now, in addition to buying the original sheet music, legally and efficiently, for the contemporary songs you want to learn, you can also go there to read the thoughts and insights of your favorite contemporary musical theater writers. (I’m hoping I’m on that list. If I’m not, why on earth are you reading my blog?)
Here’s my first entry. Enjoy.
WRITING ACTABLE SONGS
by Georgia Stitt
I’ve got this duality to my career that has provided me with some pretty helpful insight. I spend a big part of my professional time writing music and lyrics for songs and shows, but I also spend a big part of that time music directing, teaching, and coaching singers. One of the most important things I’ve discovered as a vocal coach has deeply influenced the way I write, and I wanted to share it with you guys — writers and performers alike.
A lot of us composer and lyricist types became writers because we felt like we had so much to say and so much to express, and we loved putting words and music together to make great songs. Don’t get me wrong; I believe there’s a place for anything that’s inside you that you need to express. But not every great thought is a great piece of musical theater. If a song waxes poetic about an emotion for three and a half minutes, and it requires the singer to belt really high and it has some really awesome chords and a great groove — it might be a blast to sing but I’m gonna have a really hard time coaching it. Actors need something to DO, not just something to FEEL. We contemporary writers are the worst about writing songs that just feel really good to sing and aren’t actually sustainable. READ MORE…