The Music of ROMEO & JULIET

romeo-juliet-logo

Having decided on a Renaissance setting for our production, it became the obvious choice to use music of the same period. Originally we had hoped to employ musicians to play all the incidental music live, but the nature of the black box theater is that live music too easily overpowers unamplified voices. Additionally, using the excellent sound system that the ArtsLab provides allows us to choose exactly where each sound comes from

For instance: during the dances, since there is important spoken dancersdialogue going on as well, the music is coming from speakers on the floor underneath each section of audience seating. Being near the floor allows us to keep it quite muted but still allows the dancers to hear well enough to not lose their place.

Ultimately, in this wonderful digital age, the sounds of drums, recorder, classical guitar and harpsichord on an electronic keyboard were quite suitable stand-ins for period instruments.

Music for the OPENING PANTOMIME and CURTAIN CALL:
“So Quicke, So Hot, So Mad” – Thomas Campian

MASQUERADE BALL
“Nancie” – Thomas Morley
“Bony Sweet Robin” – Giles Farnaby

TYBALT’S DEATH
“I Saw My Lady Weepe” – John Dowland

TOP OF ACT II
“There is a Lady Sweet and Kind” – Thomas Ford

There is a lady sweet & kind–
Was ne’er face so pleased my mind.
I did but see her passing by,
And yet I love her till I die.


ROMEO & JULIET’S WEDDING NIGHT
“If Thou Longst So Much to Learne” – Thomas Campian  

JULIET’S POISONING
(The drums under her soliloquy were inspired by my memory of Larry Life’s production at IPFW in 1976. Our drums were created, performed and recorded by J. Scott Kump.)

“Come Heavy Sleep” – John Dowland

Come, heavy sleep, the image of true death:
And close up these my weary weeping eyes,
Whose spring of tears doth stop my vital breath,
And tears my heart with sorrow’s high swollen cries:
Come and possess my tired thought-worn soul,
That living dies, till thou on me be stole. 

 JULIET LAID IN THE TOMB
“Flow My Tears” – John Dowland

Flow my tears, fall from your springs.
Exiled forever, let me mourn.
Where night’s black bird her sad infamy sings,
There let me live forlorn.  

END OF PLAY
“In Darkness Let Me Dwell” – John Dowland

In darkness let me dwell, the ground shall Sorrow be,
The roof Despair to bar all cheerful light from me,
The walls of marble black that moistened still shall weep,
My music hellish jarring sounds to banish friendly sleep.
Thus wedded to my woes, and bedded to my tomb,
O let me living die, till death do come.

Sources:

1.  Music of Shakespeare’s Time for Descant Recorder and Piano,
arranged by Dom Gregory Murray, published by Schott & Co. Ltd.
(the dance pieces)
2.  An Elizabethan Song Book: Lute Songs, Madrigals and Rounds
Music edited by Noah Greenberg, published by Doubleday & Co, Inc.
(everything else)

lute

Advertisements

About godsbooklover

I'm a Christ-follower, a writer, a voracious reader, and a piano teacher. I'm married to my best friend and we have two grown sons and a gorgeous granddaughter. I am the Artistic Director of a theatre ministry. And in my "spare" time, I blog.

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out / Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out / Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out / Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out / Change )

Connecting to %s