'At the End of the Day' is from the musical 'Les Miserables' Analysis

Categories: Music

‘At the End of the Day’ is from the musical ‘Les Miserables’, and is about the life of the poor, the terrible condition that they have to live and work in and about the rich not caring. This is to show by the factory workers singing. The music is very atmospheric and the lyrics are extremely graphic. Examples of the graphic lyrics are rich not caring, which is shown in the line ‘…the righteous hurry past…’, and of how poor the workers are; ‘…the shirt on your back doesn’t keep out the chill…’.

Its target audience is basically theatre goes who enjoy watching quality performances.

Within the song, certain issues are raised. These are things such as poverty and social classes. These issues create images of thing like starvation, dying, homeless, rags in place of clothes, children crying and things of this genre. Several things may have influenced this song like the time, setting era and obviously the French Revolution.

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The main factor though is the fact that it is based on a book. It doesn’t really remind me of another song that I’ve heard because it is very over dramatic and isn’t the sort of thing I hear normally.

The song is structured to create an effective atmosphere. It has an instrumental section to start with (introduction), which is written for a full symphony orchestra that gets louder and faster, leading to a dynamic climax. Verse one and two are minor, verse three is major, verse four is minor, and verse five is major.

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The change in key (minor to major) is called modulation. The compositional devices that are used are things like the string instruments that played scale-like sections and the brass instruments held long notes. The instruments work against each other to create the effect of conflict. Brass and percussion achieve the military style needed. The elements of music create an effective atmosphere too. The tempo is fast and lively (vivace), and the words are urgent (staccato). The dynamics are very loud (fortissimo), and the verbal section after verse four is moderately loud (mezzo forte). The timbre sounds complex, angry, sad, aggressive and urgent it is.

The pitch is used effectively to create the degree of urgency needed; the higher the pitch, the more urgent the music sounds – atmosphere. The emotions and expressions used are unhappiness (sadness) boredom, anger and even desperation. The boredom is portrayed through the repetitiveness of the song; they get across their lives through the lyrics. I think the song integrates well wit the audience because it is all set in one era, and has one theme. The movement on stage is important because it helps get the message across to a further extent. The subtitles on the video (which were there as it was a gala concert), also help the viewer understand the storyline; everything links together. There are certain issues are raised in the song like poverty (verse 5, line 7), sexual harassment (in spoken section between verses 4 & 5), sexism, unjust laws, social classes (verse 2, line 3), and obviously the French Revolution.

For my performance I think that certain issues might give me ideas for my performance. These are things like the issues of poverty and the poor. Other things that may influence me are the lyrics (graphic description), the theme (French Revolution), and fast and dramatic performance like the song itself. I could use these by maybe doing something set in today’s society, like hostels or homeless people. These could be easily adapted to fit a dramatic criteria. The song influenced my work because it gave me ideas about 19th century France and poor living and working conditions people had to face. The song will help my performance as it is full of description, detail and plenty of ideas that can be used as a basis to build my ideas on.

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'At the End of the Day' is from the musical 'Les Miserables' Analysis. (2020, Jun 02). Retrieved from https://studymoose.com/end-day-musical-les-miserables-analysis-new-essay

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