Sterling Crimson

"Behold, Princess Twilight Sparkle": Text Painting at its Finest

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Another song, another reference. This one may be short, but this type of music has a long history that dates to the Renaissance Era. Let me show you:

 

 

The chord progressions may be really simple, but it's the voicing and text painting that's very impressive. Focus on the word "Behold". The rhythm's always "Short-LOONG, Short-LOOONG". When we say "Behold", we'll always say it like this at an event: "Be-HOOLD". Imagine Princess Luna saying it in Season 2. Then you know what I mean. In other words, the emphasis is always on Hold, so the notes are held in "-hold". What happens here in music is called text declamation, where words (or parts of words) are accentuated to provide deeper meaning.

 

At 0:23 onward, you can hear the world "Behold" echo through to the end. It's a form of polyphany (choral music with multiple voices) called imitation. Essentially, the note that sounds "Be-" is the point of imitation because it's where the echoes enter. It's another way for the word "behold" to resonate within our ears and is a more jubilant way to emphasize, "HERE! TWILIGHT'S NOW A PRINCESS!"

 

Also note that the lyrics are mostly syllabic, meaning that each note's only got one syllable associated with it. It was very common practice in the Roman Catholic Church back in the Renaissance Era to make sure each note had a single syllable so that the commoner would easily understand the words being sung. Before then, the syllables sounded like "aahhhh" because one syllable kept on sounding through many notes, a term known as melismas. The strict rhythm and precise association of a syllable to a note provides a grand feel to Twilight's coronation, almost march-like even.

 

Once again, if you've got anything to add, feel free to voice them. 

 

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I had a feeling that the musical style was a reference to old Church choir. Nice to see some confirmation from an expert on music.

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