Talk:Song cycle

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The Last Five Years[edit]

Changed the Jason Robert Brown example from "The Last Five years", which is in fact a one act musical, to "Songs For A New World" which is in fact a "Song Cycle" Thanks-Broadwaygal 15:15, 11 April 2007 (UTC)

I agree. "The Last Five Years" is a two-person musical with a definite narrative (the break-up of a relationship) in which each character's miniscore moves in an opposite temporal direction. The score does divide into individual songs, and it is through-sung, but that doesn't make it a song cycle. "Songs For a New World" is a true song cycle musical. So is James Morgan's musical "Quilt." So is Adam Guettel's musical "Myths and Hymns." So is Beth Blatt's "The Mistress Cycle" (which is even called a cycle). —Preceding unsigned comment added by (talk) 18:58, 2 February 2009 (UTC)

What is a pop song cycle?[edit]

I've never before hear song cycle applied to non-classical music; can this be referenced or shall we replace the section with a pointer to an excelent article on the album, which covers similar ground? This sentence: "Besides the few minutes of silence after the final song, Marilyn Manson's second album, Antichrist Superstar, has been considered a song cycle." seems to imply that a cycle is defined by continous linking, which is not true of the classical Liedzyclus. I dont understand the music theatre definition either, being unfamiliar with the examples- are they cycles by analogy, being musicals with self contained numbers? Sparafucil 05:30, 4 July 2007 (UTC)

Except for "The Last Five Years" (which I don't consider a cycle), the song-cycle musical tends to be a collection of thematically organized songs. I question "Elegy for for Angels, Punks and Raging Queens" because it seems to divide up more into playlets (some of which have dialogue).

Surely these are more usually known as concept albums? eg Sgt Pepper. Furthermore the medley on Abbey Road was merely a mopping up exercise, rather than attempt to communicate something greater than the sum of the parts, I believe Almost-instinct (talk) 23:29, 19 April 2008 (UTC)
Indeed, concept album and album musical are looking like the most logical destinations for the non-classical sections. I've place merge proposeals for both. Sparafucil (talk) 23:42, 4 June 2008 (UTC)
I would have to agree with Sparafucil and think that the section should be merged with concept album. There are no references provided for the popular music section so I am not aware of any official musicological studies that would refer toconcept albums as 'song cycles'. Despite the fact that both types of musical composition are collections of songs with a thematic connection, the similarity between the two is purely superficial One of the main differences between the 'concept album' and the 'song cycle' is that the 'song cycle' is associated with the classical tradition of art song in which the composer sets a prewritten literary work or poem to music. Often the poetry is selected from the literary canon although there are exceptions to this. In popular music the 'concept album' is a setting of lyrics to music, lyrics generally written by the songwriters themselves. The lyrics themselves are not considered as 'poems' as such since they are specifically for the music. The compositional method would also be different in that many songwriters may write the tune before the lyric instead of setting a prewritten lyric to music-although again, there are exceptions to this as in the case of Leonard Cohen ,but Cohen's music is closer in style to the french Chanson than of the classical art song--Godfinger (talk) 18:04, 5 September 2009 (UTC)

Album musical is a completely different thing from a song-cycle musical. Evita is a perfectly stageable show with a dramatic story and a real musical theatre score, which happens (like The Scarlet Pimpernel (musical)) to have begun life a s a concept album. The analogy is more to closet drama, which is not necessarily written to be performed (though the writers of concept albums may indeed hope the album leads to a staging) but may be. Goethe's Faust and Shelley's The Cenci have both been staged. —Preceding unsigned comment added by (talk) 19:08, 2 February 2009 (UTC)

History of classical cycle[edit]

I've edited (actually mostly reshuffled) the material in the classical section in an attempt to make it read as a narrative of the cycle's evolution rather than a laundry list, dealing with Germany first. At some point it would be good to tackle head on the definition of a cycle: what makes RS op. 39 a cycle but Brahms op. 57 a 'publication'? Do the 4 Hefte (evidently carefully ordered) of Wolf's Möricke constitute cycles? Sparafucil 00:03, 18 July 2007 (UTC)

A song cycle is not a cycle[edit]

A so-called song cycle is a sequence and not a cycle. In order to be a cycle the first song would need to be performed immediately after the last one. It seems that this issue ought to be addressed in the article. John Link (talk) 19:55, 2 February 2016 (UTC)

User:John Link is invited to sign his comments by using four tildes (~~~~). As it happens, the word "cycle" in the opening sentence is linked to Cycle (music), where the specifically musical usage of this term is explained at length. A similar case exists with the literary cycle, which is not usually cyclic in the mathematical sense. Perhaps a brief note ought to be added here, warning of this distinction? A complete explanation would be out of proportion to the function of this article, I think.—Jerome Kohl (talk) 19:43, 1 February 2016 (UTC)
I agree, Jerome Kohl. The term has a different history and meaning in the performing and literary arts, even though there are pieces of music that do take thematic material from the first movement and repeat it again at the end of the work (such as the two Dvorak Serenades). Mugregg (talk) 16:28, 2 February 2016 (UTC)Mugregg
Yes, indeed, and cyclic form and music cycles are separate but not necessarily mutually exclusive categories, as well. We use so many terms in music in specialized ways that may not square with, or may even directly contradict the use of the same term in other fields. "Irrational rhythm" is a good example, since it applies principally to rhythms expressed by ratios. The expression "opera cycle" may be applied in the same sense as "song cycle"—that is, meaning a sequence rather than someting that returns to ity beginning (as in Wagner's Ring)—but it is also used to describe Stockhausen's seven Licht operas, which are deliberately constructed in circular fashion, so that there is no beginning or ending opera, just like the days of the week after which the seven operas are named.—Jerome Kohl (talk) 21:21, 2 February 2016 (UTC)