Im really stumped on what i can elaborate on with my assignment.. i have to compare the two songs "greased lightning and phantom of the opera" (we are studying musical productions), but ive run out of ideas on what to discuss.. could you suggest some aspects i havnt compared yet? corrections are very welcome.


Phantom of the opera vs Grease lightning

Intro- do rock musicals all sound the same.

Phantom of the opera and greased lightning are rock songs from musical theatre productions. While they share the same genre, they both convey different themes and messages, and both evoke an entirely different audience response. This is done through different techniques used by the composers to develop these responses.

While the two songs are both rock songs from a musical production, they are very different compositions. Greased Lightning is a relatively simple song that utilizes a triadic bass line, while Phantom of the Opera uses frequent ascending key changes to create a dramatic effect, before returning to the original key to finish the song.

Greased lightning is in a simple time signature of 4/4. This means 4 quarters, or four beats per measure. With a quarter note (crotchet) receiving one beat. 4/4 time is often symbolised with C, meaning common time as most popular music is written using this meter.

The key Greased lightning is in is C major. There is no key signature and the tonic (C) is used throughout the piece.

12 bar blues chord progression is used in the composition. C, F, G chords are used. These are chords 1, 4, and 5 of the C major scale. C is the tonic, F the sub dominant, G the dominant.

The walking bass line in grease lightning uses the triad of the C major scale, being the notes C, E, G. The bass line provides a sense of rhythm and pulse to the song. Some notes are flattened help to create the blues sound.

The main focus of this song is on the lyrics rather than the music. The lyrics are the focal point, and the music is designed to not overpower it. The listener will then focus more on the lyrics instead of the music.


The phantom of the opera is a duet sung by the characters “Christine” and the “Phantom”. The song incorporates a more rock style compared to other songs of the production, and uses rock based instruments such as drums, bass guitar and electric guitar.

Phantom of the opera starts in the key of D minor, which is the tonic seen in the first segment. However later it changes to G minor, E minor, F minor and then back to G minor. The ascending key changes create a dramatic, building effect, until the end of the song where the key returns to G minor. The overall tonality of the song is in a minor key, creating a melon collie feel.

The score is written for piano, as most of the song is played using a synth/keyboard, and there is a bass clef for piano. The score could also be written for electric guitar, as there are many elements of this instrument in the song, but perhaps only the treble parts on the staff.

The composer has used chromatic scales on many parts of the piece, for example the opening riff and in the main melody sung by both characters. The most obvious example is the line “The phantom of the opera is there..”, the complete chromatic scale of F is used in descending order. (F, E, D, C, B, A, G, F)

compare two songs

Greased lightning differs from phantom of the opera in that it uses fairly basic composition techniques. It is in the key of C major as there are no sharps or flats (besides the odd blues note). While phantom of the opera is more complex, with numerous ascending key changes.

Through using different techniques, the composers have achieved two very different sounding rock songs
You need to look at tone, duration, pitch, timbre, dynamics and expressive techniques, and structure. If you can right a paragraph on each then you will ace it.
Also i would recomend not spending time saying thins like 4/4 time is counting four croutchets. This reads as though you a describing the sheet music rather than the music it self. Sorry if i don't make much sense.