C.80 - "Unexpected Song" (Arrangement)

Composed: 23rd to 29th May 2015

     For the final coursework of 'Instruments and Orchestration B', we had the choice of arranging various songs for various ensembles. The task I chose was to write an arrangement of a musical theatre song for a small pit band of specific instruments. The theatre songs available were: Lloyd Webber’s "Unexpected Song", Sondheim’s "Comedy Tonight", or Schwarz’s "Corner of the Sky". Of course, from the title you know which one I chose (don't sue me, Andrew!), although looking back, I really wish I had chosen Sondheim's piece instead.

     I wrote the arrangement in the week following the "Adventures in Wonderland" concert (this was a very busy time!) and it involves some of my earliest attempts at drum kit writing. The arrangement itself is not entirely interesting; it has three sections, each with some variation, and the third goes way to overboard.

    The coursework required there to be a modulation at some point, and so I modulated during the third section with perhaps the cheesiest and most cliché modulation you could possibly think of.

     Surprisingly, the piece did receive a mark of 75% - far higher than "Adventures in Wonderland", which was painful for me to take in before I realized why "Wonderland" received such a disappointing mark (spoiler: I didn't adhere to the brief requirements).

     Thankfully, I didn’t have to sing the lyrics to this piece. But the next one however…

Reminiscence written on 20th July 2016

Last updated: 20th October 2018

© 2019 Jonathan Shaw