by Nacho Hern Brown, Harold Arlen
SINGIN’ in the RAIN (singing in the rain) is a 1952 musical film that recounts the cinematic world of Hollywood with sunshine and playfulness. The lyrics of the song, written by Arthur Freed, date back many years earlier, apparently in 1929, while Nacio Hern Brown is the composer of the melody. The most famous scene of the film is the one featuring the dancer and actor Gene Kelly, a lover who, after saying goodbye to his girlfriend, starts singing carefree and dancing in the rain, entering the
puddles to rhythmically accompany this light-hearted and fun tune.
The band arrangement begins with a rhythmic Moderato which introduces the famous theme with clarinets and trumpets (with the initial octave leap which we will then also find in Over the rainbow). The melody is taken up by the saxophones and baritones while, in imitative counterpoint, it is accompanied by the other instrumental sections. The final part is in diminuendo and connects the second piece with a characteristic rhythmic accompaniment.
The interpretative-performance sense of SINGIN’ in the RAIN is to communicate to listeners that: “Life is not about waiting for the storm to pass, you have to learn to dance in the rain”. These two arrangements are easy to read, just add a good rhythmic sense to obtain a convincing performance, with attention to the right pronunciation and respect for phrasing, without neglecting the good balance between the melodic parts and the accompaniment, both harmonic and rhythmic.
And after the rain, OVER the RAINBOW could not be missing: it is a tune composed in 1939 by Harold Arlen, the first original version was sung by Judy Garland who plays it at the beginning of the film “The Wizard of Oz” ”.
The motif of Over the Rainbow (with the octave leap at the beginning of the melody) in this arrangement is entrusted to both clarinets and trumpets, but the other sections also take up the articulation of the theme, a sort of arch of various colors timbres. It is curious to note that there are seven colors of the iris just like the seven musical notes: they say that seeing the rainbow is a sign of good luck and going beyond the rainbow is like going beyond the limit of the real world to enter the fantasy of the unreal , a bit like what happens in music.
In the middle part the arrangement proposes saxophones with clarinets to elaborate the secondary theme, the latter leading towards a modulation. In fact, a retentive cadence introduces the “majesty” of the reprise of the motif. It’s a ALL that forms a rainbow of sound, with various accompaniment lines and pleasant elaborations. They are connections that determine new harmonic cadences that lead to the conclusion, making you listen to the incipit of the Over the Rainbow motif again.
I add some considerations. Sometimes you don’t see life as a rainbow, because you forget the simplest thing: to see the rainbow you have to have the sun behind you. In other words, life is beautiful, but sometimes you look at it from the wrong side. This is to tell you that a good dose of optimism is needed to perform this last arrangement, to interpret it with careful sonority, sensing the hope and amazement in its melodic lines, like when admiring a rainbow.
The songs of RAIN and RAIMNBOW can be accompanied, during performance, by images or track-videos chosen from the sequences of the two films, naturally adapting them to the musical development. Even the translated lyrics of the two songs can serve as a presentation, it will be a pleasant communication for the listeners who will certainly appreciate the originality and interpretative skill of both the Director and the entire band.
Enjoy musical performance.