Created By: DAPU on April 22, 2013 Last Edited By: DAPU on April 17, 2016

Surprise Reprise

When a song in a musical that sounds fairly original, until it slowly becomes a reprise.

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In a musical, let's say you're listening to a song, but then you go "Wait a minute, haven't I heard this somewhere else before?". Then you relize that this is in fact a reprise of a completly different song. This is usually done very slowly so that you don't notice it until it finally hits you. This tension that you didn't know was building can work very well in a Dark Reprise, possibly of a Villain Song. Also a subtrope of a Call Back

Examples:
  • In Little Shop of Horrors, the song "Sominex" sung by both Audrey and Audrey II slowly becomes a reprise of "Suppertime".
  • Jesus Christ Superstar technically had only one, which was "The Arrest" (that slowly became a reprise of "The Temple"), although several of the same chords are played are reprised in the middle of songs. The closest another one gets is "Judas's Death" which has the exact same backround music of " Too Much Heaven On Their Minds" but the singing part is Judas almost screaming instead of singing. Done very effectivly, almost to the point of being scary.
  • In Carousel, "When You Walk Down The Aisle" turns out to be a new verse for a reprise of "Mister Snow."
  • Inverted in Kiss Me Kate, where "Always True To You" begins as a reprise of "Why Can't You Behave?" but quickly switches gears.
  • The Halo 3 remix of the classic series theme starts with a slow piano intro before the guitar kicks in.
  • In The Music Man, "76 Trombones" has the same tune as "Goodnight My Someone", but it's played in a different meter and tempo, so it's not immediately obvious.
  • On the Chicago II album, the tracks "Make Me Smile" and "Now More Than Ever" are bookends to a series of seven tracks that run together (including the much softer "Color My World" in the middle). "Now More Than Ever" is basically a reprise of "Make Me Smile" at the end of this series.
  • South Pacific: "This Is How It Feels" begins as a sequel to "Twin Soliloquies," but then turns into a duet reprise of "A Cockeyed Optimist." (This duet is the only moment in the show Nellie and Emile get to sing together, because the roles were written for a singing actress and an operatic basso.)

Community Feedback Replies: 13
  • April 22, 2013
    MonaNaito
    Needs A Better Title, "Slow Reprise" sounds like a reprise that is slower than the original song. Surprise Reprise?
  • April 23, 2013
    Rainbow
    There's an inversion of this in My Fair Lady where it starts out as a reprise of "On the Street Where You Live" but then it turns into Eliza's ranting song "Show Me."
  • April 23, 2013
    Prfnoff
    Stealth Reprise would be a better name, I think.

    • In Carousel, "When You Walk Down The Aisle" turns out to be a new verse for a reprise of "Mister Snow."
    • Inverted in Kiss Me Kate, where "Always True To You" begins as a reprise of "Why Can't You Behave?" but quickly switches gears.
  • April 23, 2013
    Arby099
    The Halo 3 remix of the classic series theme starts with a slow piano intro before the guitar kicks in.
  • April 23, 2013
    Topazan
    • In The Music Man, "76 Trombones" has the same tune as "Goodnight My Someone", but it's played in a different meter and tempo, so it's not immediately obvious.
  • April 24, 2013
    MonaNaito
    ^ On that note, I think we need to distinguish between "song that turns into a reprise" and "song that actually is a reprise but it takes you a while to notice".
  • April 24, 2013
    StarSword
    Title was misspelled. Fixed it.
  • April 24, 2013
    WeAreAllKosh
    This might fit, since the two songs have different and dissimilar titles:

    On the Chicago II album, the tracks "Make Me Smile" and "Now More Than Ever" are bookends to a series of seven tracks that run together (including the much softer "Color My World" in the middle). "Now More Than Ever" is basically a reprise of "Make Me Smile" at the end of this series.
  • April 24, 2013
    Prfnoff
    The new title isn't all good--"reprise" rhymes with "please," not "surprise."

    • South Pacific: "This Is How It Feels" begins as a sequel to "Twin Soliloquies," but then turns into a duet reprise of "A Cockeyed Optimist." (This duet is the only moment in the show Nellie and Emile get to sing together, because the roles were written for a singing actress and an operatic basso.)
  • April 24, 2013
    Topazan
    I didn't know that, but it still works as an eye rhyme. Maybe that should be a trope.
  • April 24, 2013
    WeAreAllKosh
    ^ I didn't know that either. I've seen the word written quite a bit, but I guess I've never heard it spoken.
  • May 26, 2013
    The
    Not musical specific. Also a subtrope of Call Back.
  • April 17, 2016
    Pichu-kun
    • Played with in the Cut Song "Life's Too Short (reprise)" by Frozen. It's tune sounds like a reprise to "Do You Want To Build A Snowman?" but the chorus shows it's a reprise of (the also unused) "Life's Too Short".
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