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Music is an important feature of A Midsummer Night’s Dream. Show where you would include music in your production and what different effects you would try to achieve.

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Introduction

Music is an important feature of A Midsummer Night's Dream. Show where you would include music in your production and what different effects you would try to achieve. The earthy, natural feeling of A Midsummer Night's Dream gives many inspirations and possibilities for music to be included in the play. It also, contrastingly, gives the opportunity for music not to be used (for example during the songs specifically written in the text and the overall lyricism of the play). Before the performance, during the interval and afterwards I want to show and enhance the nature links within the play. I thought of a time when man and nature were very close, and remembered some tribal music I had. It uses a lot of drums and panpipes, very primitive instruments that show the early nature of the music and the time. It also uses voice, but no words, relying on the noises made by the human voice rather than the pronunciation. An early interpretation of the word "faerie" meant a spiritual being who was very much linked with nature. These beings had good and bad sides, so are not the archetypal "fairies" often portrayed today. ...read more.

Middle

It is called Pachelbel's Frolics. It is derived from Pachelbel's Canon but slowly changes during the piece, almost too slowly to notice. By the end of the music, it has progressed into a full-blown Irish Gig. I think this is wonderfully significant to the piece as it so accurately portrays the changes of which Titania speaks. The fact that it happens so slowly will confuse the audience I think, because they will not notice the change in tune until it has changed thoroughly. Act II, Scene II has the fairies singing Titania to sleep. It would be tempting to use music here to support the fairies. After thinking this through, I decided that no music would be better, as that way the lyricism in the text can come through in their voices alone. Harmonies and vocal variations within the song would be nice here, showing how the differences in the worlds come together to make something that is good. The rhythm and harmonies alone should be enough to carry the piece through. We have tried it in production with it as a choral piece, each saying different lines, and it didn't work very well. ...read more.

Conclusion

It is from the party below decks in Titanic, and has such a great atmosphere to it that it would work with the Mechanicals' base instincts. This would also show the class boundaries, as it is fairly apparent that this music is not "refined" for the other members of the household. The heavy beat of the drum and the deeper notes of bagpipes compared to the fiddle make the piece quite natural and tribal again, while keeping its Irish connotations. After the performance of the Mechanicals' play, Oberon and Titania appear to bless the house. They also dance, and as Shakespeare's stage directions are very remote, the dance could be of any kind. I thought that to emphasise the link with nature, it would be good to use the music from the interval as a dance for them. It has very heavy drumbeats and so carries a good rhythm for dancing. The tribal links would be carried through the whole play, creating continuity through the performance. The whole essence of the fairies in my production is their darker, less "perfect" side. This dance at the end could be very ritualistic, almost pagan. Through the dance we could see their personalities come through as themselves. ...read more.

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