Contrasting meters in dialog

October 28, 2011

I have been working on a scene where two gentlemen are having a conversation. In my first draft I had the first chap in 3/4 time, and the second in 4/4 time, thinking this would be an interesting way to contrast the two personalities. It didn’t work; not sayin’ it can’t be done, it just ended up sounding too cornball. To over-exaggerate what didn’t work, imagine a recitative for two between a Gilbert and Sullivan character and Tony Bennett singing “My Funny Valentine.”

[A sample of each…]

Gilbert & Sullivan: “Three Little Maids” [from Topsy Turvy]

Tony Bennett sings “My Funny Valentine” live in Canada 1978

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