What Makes a Musical Character Simple?

While yesterday’s blog post I talked about what makes a musical character complex, today’s blog post I will talk about what makes a musical character simple.

In a lot of ways, the simple characters are the complete opposite of the complex characters. The simple characters unlike the complex character don’t have much depth. They are so easy to get know and have less conflict. As a result, they are less likely to express negative emotions through songs. They are capable of feeling negative emotions through song, but the sad songs that they sing are most likely to be quite mild and are most likely to be forgotten about. They are the ones that you most likely are not going to find something new about them. One example of a simple character is Annie.

Annie does not have much to her at all. She has one personality trait which people remember and that is her optimism. You get to know her pretty quickly and there is a small amount of conflict in her life. She does express sadness in the song “Maybe”, but it is mildly sad.


Author: mphadventuregirl

I am a strong spiritual person who is a big fan of musicals. This blog deals with spirituality and musicals. I am finding that by writing about these, I am realizing I know more about each of them then I think I do. I hope you find my blog inspiring!

15 thoughts on “What Makes a Musical Character Simple?”

  1. I think that simpler characters are usually distinguishable by their predictable response to a situation. With simpler characters, it’s pretty easy to guess how they might react but with more complex ones, there’s more possible reactions, I think


      1. Due to their one side-ness, you really cannot explore much to them. But they still can be memorable. I think part of why Annie was my favorite musical in elementary school was due to Annie herself. Even today, I am still optimistic


      2. I don’t think that all musicals need to have those negative emotions in the form of heartbreak or that would be literally be way too much especially if Les Mis happens to be one of them.

        Cats, yes is a simple musical in my opinion, but it still has “Memory”, a heartbreaking song in it. The irony is that in my opinion, Music Man has a stronger plot but it does not have those negative emotions floating around


      3. Because Cats has heartbreak in it through an entire character, it would make sense that it has a stronger plot than Music Man.

        But because Music Man is home to an actual plot, it is the stronger of the two plots since it actually has one despite not having sad in the score


      4. Yep! The thing with Cats’s plot is that it’s pretty all over the place–there’s a new plot with every song except where Grizabella is involved. But The Music Man has one solid plot running throughout and a pretty sturdy subplot going as well


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