Defying Gravity

Kristin Chenoweth

Luiza ( Brazil Brazil )

The song “Defying Gravity” by Idina Menzel and Kristin Chenoweth – Luiza’s goosebump moment

(text video)

“Hi! I’m Luíza, and I’m from Brazil. My goosebump moment comes from the song “Defying Gravity” from the soundtrack of the musical Wicked. The first time I heard it, I was in the theater with my mom, which was amazing. It was amazing. There is such a build-up to it. It’s a song about overcoming challenges and never letting anyone stop you. And it’s a song that still resonates with me to this day. It’s a magical song, and I hope you guys like it. It still gives me goosebumps to this day. So yeah.”


Unveiling the Emotion and Innovation

Few musicals have captured the hearts and imaginations of audiences quite like Wicked. The musical has become a monumental success in both Broadway and the West End. At the heart of this enchanting production lies the captivating hit “Defying Gravity.”

Delving into the music theory behind this iconic song reveals its profound impact on the show’s narrative and its unique approach to storytelling through music.

“Defying Gravity” emerges as a pivotal moment within Wicked, strategically placed at the climax of the First Act. It encapsulates the emotional journey of the main characters, Glinda and Elphaba, who have just encountered the enigmatic Wizard of Oz. As Elphaba grapples with disillusionment and the realization that she must forge her own path, the song serves as a vehicle for her inner turmoil and the decisions she’s compelled to make.

The brilliance of “Defying Gravity” lies in its ability to seamlessly intertwine music with the characters’ emotions. The composition masterfully mirrors Elphaba’s evolving mindset, inviting the audience to connect with her on a profound level. By following Elphaba’s emotional trajectory, the song becomes a conduit through which listeners can immerse themselves in her experiences.

The opening moments of “Defying Gravity” defy traditional expectations, enhancing the song’s impact and uniqueness. It starts with Glinda’s spoken words transitioning almost imperceptibly into song, mirroring the way individuals naturally slip between conversation and melodic expression. This technique creates an authentic atmosphere, as Glinda and Elphaba engage in a spirited exchange that mimics real-life bickering between young individuals.

The opening’s recitative style, resembling the pattern of speech, harks back to musical history. Drawing parallels to Mozart’s operatic recitatives, the approach infuses the song with a sense of historical depth while maintaining the relatability of the characters’ interactions. Recitative, which emerged in the 17th century, holds a rich tradition of conveying dialogue through song, underscoring the timelessness of this technique.

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