Setting Introduction Song
The first song of a musical is a song that sets the setting.


(permanent link) added: 2012-12-10 09:23:57 sponsor: thewriter (last reply: 2012-12-13 08:44:53)

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The song usually near the beginning of a musical that describes the main locale of the work. If the song doesn't occur near the beginning of the show, it'll most likely be when a character is introduced to a new place where their life would be changed. The song's purpose is to describe and introduce the setting to the viewer, if it occurs a long time after the start of the story, or a long time after the setting has already been established, then the song isn't this trope. "Under The Sea" from The Little Mermaid and "Oklahoma" from the musical Oklahoma! are songs about how great those places are.

  • Arabian Nights from Disney's Aladdin and its first sequel, Return Of Jafar. In The second sequel King Of Thieves the song Book Ends the entire trilogy by having a reprise of it being played at the end of the film.
    • Aladdin and the King of Thieves starts with its own intro song "There's A party Down in Agrabah," which describes the preparations and emotions leading up to Aladdin and Jasmine's wedding.
  • The first full song in Scrubs's Musical Episode My Musical is a song that describes Sacred Heart hospital and welcomes the patient inside to be treated.
  • "Mountain Town" in the South Park movie, describing the whitebread Colorado town in which the boys live. Reprised at the end of the movie by the whole town.

  • In the Redwall, there are a couple examples. In Martin the Warrior, Rose sings two songs (for example, this one) about her home, Noonvale, where she and the other characters plan to live after they defeat Badrang. In High Rhulain, the otter clans sing about traveling to Holt Summerdell when they're on their way there.

  • The stage musical "Spamalot" parodies this by opening with a song about Finland, where none of the action in the show will take place.

  • In Act I of the concert version of Chess, the second song is "Merano", which describes Merano, Italy. In Act II, the first song is "One Night in Bangkok", which describes Bankok, Thailand.

  • In Wonderful Town, the first song is "Christopher Street", which describes the street in Greenwich Village.

  • The lyrical version of "The Coney Island Waltz" in Love Never Dies describes Coney Island.

  • In Act I of Carmen, "Sur la place" is the soldiers singing about watching the people of Seville; and in Act III of Carmen, "Ăcoute, Ăcoute, compagnons" is the smugglers singing about the mountains.

  • The Little Shop of Horrors has its first two songs be setting intro songs. The song "Little Shop of Horrors" is a upbeat song performed by the Greek Chorus, it forewarns of the evils that await inside of Mushnik's flower shop. Then "(Downtown) Skid Row is a depressing Crowd Song sung by the denizens of Skid Row deploring their lives. It gives a good amount of backstory to Seymour and Audrey's lives.

Music
  • Queen of the Wave opens with "Queenswave", which establishes the setting in time: the Golden Age "before the ocean won". The first song of act 2, "Temple of Unfed Fire", establishes the place, by describing Atlantis and its technological wonders.
  • Oliver & Company opens with "Once Upon a Time in New York City."
  • The second song in The Music Man is "Iowa Stubborn", which introduces the audience to the small town of River City, Iowa and the attitude of its citizens.
  • The Hunchback of Notre Dame opens with "The Bells of Notre Dame", which does double-duty both as a introduction to the setting of the movie, but also as an introduction to the movie's main characters, particularly its villain.
  • Sweeney Todd: The Demon Barber of Fleet Street starts its main action with "There's No Place Like London", which contrasts both the idealistic Anthony's and the cynical Sweeney's views of the title city.

  • Beauty and the Beast begins with Belle singing about what a small, provincial town she lives in and how it hasn't changed in all the time she's lived there and the townsfolk singing about how unusual Belle is. All this is interspersed with the bustle of townsfolk in the outdoor marketplace.
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