Trope Music Analysis

Making a Musical Romance It’s an all too familiar trope in the film musical genre: the perfect couple locks eyes across the room. The piano strikes up. The happy couple sings in perfect harmony. They all live happily ever after. It’s a trope so familiar, it provokes audience responses ranging from grudging acceptance to outright hatred. However, like all tropes, the “soulmate song” can be effective when used properly, and truly move the audience to believe in the couple. In order to analyze what constitutes “proper” usage of the soulmate song, I will examine three different scenarios that a musical couple can encounter in the course of a film. The first category is the couple that, despite the conventions of the genre, does not ever actually sing together. In general, these couples tend to suffer from a severe lack of chemistry. The second category of couples contain those who sing together, and do manage to be convincing in their love or, at the very least, lust or infatuation. The final, most intriguing category are the couples who do get a magical, beautiful “soulmate …show more content…
One such example can be found in the Rogers-Astaire classic Swing Time (George Stevens, 1936). In the final number of the film, “Never Gonna Dance,” after an arduous off-and-on romantic connection to Penny (Ginger Rogers), Lucky (Fred Astaire) sings pleadingly to her in order to “win her back”. This musical number is among the most compelling and magical romance numbers in musical history. Part of this magic comes from the flawless, dreamlike aesthetics of the number- from the pristine, sparkling set, Penny’s gorgeous white dress, and, of course, the flawless dancing that made Rogers and Astaire famous. However, part of the reason this number is so compelling, especially to a modern audience, is that it subverts a lot of the traditional and troubling gender roles mentioned

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