Conclusion

As the title of this project suggest, we initially set out to analysis five of Andrew Lloyd Webber's songs. Unfortunately, we were unable to achieve this goal in the time permitted due to the complexities involved with the MEI coding, XSLT, and other issues that often come up when new coders take on new projects. However, with the research we have been able to gather, we have concluded that Andrew Lloyd Webber has a very specific style when it comes to emphasizing verbs. Verbs for musical theatre actors are indicators of how to perform the song, telling us what our objectives are, what our obstacles are, and the motivations behind overcoming those obstacles. Thus Webber takes the time to highlight those indicators using dynamics and note duration, and uses them according to the connotation of that verb.

He seems to take into account the frequency of certain connotations; we see in "Close Every Door" that the most common connotation for verbs is negative, and so he chooses to highlight them accordingly. For all negatively connotated verbs, they are held for longer, one or two beats, and maintain a lower volume throughout. For example, the word "close" is always held for one beat, longer than most positively connotated words, and always appears at the bottom of the dynamics graph, indicating that it is always at either a mezzo-piano (medium soft) or piano (soft).

Similarly, in "As If We Never Said Goodbye," Webber emphasizes the most common connotated verbs, which, in this case, are positive. Words like "start" and "rediscover" and "fly" are held for longer, between one and four beats, and typically appear toward the top of the graph, indicating it is always at either mezzo-forte (medium loud) or forte (loud).

This also appears in "I Don't Know How to Love Him," which features neutrally connotated verbs most often. Webber once again stresses these verbs bottom of the dynamics graph, indicating that it is always at either a mezzo-piano (medium soft) or piano (soft). This also appears in "I Don't Know How to Love Him," which features neutrally connotated verbs most often. Webber once again stresses these verbs by going to either extreme, whether those words like "know" and "do" and "move" are very short and only sixteenth notes (or half a beat) or extremely long as a whole note (four beats), these verbs stand out among the others. They also stand out in terms of dynamics; the neutral word "thought" is always at the highest volume of the song, fortissimo, or very loud, making it shine brighter than the rest of the verbs.

It is with this information and specific cases that we can conclude Webber chooses to emphasize these words by using the extremes of both dynamics and note duration, whether that be extremely soft and very short or extremely loud and very long. He does this in order to make them stand out among the other words, highlighting the character's motivations and obstacles; Mary never thought she would be in this position, and so it is loud and short and surprising. Joseph wants to close he knows this is the end of his life, and so it is soft and drawn out, similar to a cry or moan. Norma is excited to rediscover her life as an actress, and so she speaks quickly but softly, the excitement bubbling up inside her. Webber thus emphasizes these verbs to gives us a better indication of how the character is feeling.

Mary never thought she would be in this position, and so it is loud and short and surprising. Joseph wants to close every door because he knows this is the end of his life, and so it is soft and drawn out, similar to a cry or moan. Webber thus emphasizes these verbs to gives us a better indication of how the character is feeling. As we continue to build on our project, new conclusions may be drawn. We are excited to see what moving forward with our other two songs will do to aid our research.

Image and Information Sources

Red Curtain Background Image: https://s3.amazonaws.com/teepublicuploadsproduction/uploads/red-curtains-theatre-scenario_1e632821-2bbb-4561-960c-7f7cbb857458.jpg
Black Pattern Background Image: https://wallpaperscraft.com/image/black_background_pattern_light_texture_55291_540x960.jpg
Andrew Lloyd Webber Image: http://gotham-magazine.com/get/files/image/galleries/School-of-Rock.jpg
Andrew Lloyd Webber Bio Resource: http://www.andrewlloydwebber.com/about/
Cats Image and Info: http://41.media.tumblr.com/tumblr_me0xwhqfmQ1romfryo1_1280.jpg
http://www.catsthemusical.com/about-the-show
Jesus Christ Superstar Image and Info: http://static.playbill.com/dims4/default/a4cbf0a/2147483647/thumbnail/200x312/quality/90/?url=http%3A%2F%2Fstatic.playbill.com%2F06%2F06%2F4ddbe5374d41b74dcb5c272a7c74%2FJesus-Christ-Superstar-03-12.jpg
http://www.jesuschristsuperstar.com/about/
Joseph and the Technicolor Dreamcoat Image and Info: http://www.bryanbatt.com/images/Playbills/PlaybillJoe.gif
http://www.josephthemusical.com/ustour/about/
Phantom of the Opera Image and Info: http://www.jeffandwill.com/wp-content/uploads/2014/07/phantom.jpg
http://www.thephantomoftheopera.com/the-show/synopsis
Sunset Boulevard Image and Info: http://images.playbill.com/photos/sb_1393017335.jpg
https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Sunset_Boulevard_(musical)