Gilbert and Sullivan lyrics and music for tenors "I Am the Very Model of a Modern Major-General," free!
Gilbert and Sullivan operas (or operettas) are famous for the "patter" songs, filled with sometimes silly and even incomprehensible (to our modern ears) lyrics, frequently sung by a crusty old fellow with great personality and breath control!
The video below comes from "The Pirates of Penzance," my own favorite of the Gilbert and Sullivan operettas.
(You can find this fun version, which stars Linda Ronstad, Kevin Kline, and Rex Smith, at Amazon.)
This fun solo spends a lot of time up high for the average teen tenor; so I have set it in several lower keys.
Here is the vocal part, all four pages. (The piano accompaniment can be purchased from Musicnotes.com in several different keys.)
Below the music, I've included a downloadable sheet of just the Gilbert and Sullivan lyrics.
Here is a closeup of page one:
Please scroll down the page for the links to the lead sheet PDFs.
In addition to being a great song for practice with breath control, this song will be fabulous for your students' articulation!
If your tenors/baritones have a tendency to slur or mush-mouth their words, this song's lyrics will tighten up that problem. The object is clarity, but also SPEED.
(And did I mention, the piano accompaniment can be purchased from Musicnotes.com in several different keys.)
Here is the promised downloadable sheet of Gilbert and Sullivan lyrics:
Below is a Youtube video with audio only, with the lyrics superimposed on the screen:
The links for the vocal lines, in different keys:
The link for the lyrics to Modern Major-General:
Do you have a funny story about this music, or does it remind you of something you'd like to share with other readers? Do you have a question? I'd love to hear it!
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