Small Changes to History (story) and Dialogue of Gloriana to announce

Through Speaking with Gary Payne, he did his own research prior to speaking with me of the results of his improvements of my Initial Narration and Dialogue for Cousin under the Axe (Track 3).

Originally through my source I came to find Robert Beale as the organiser of Mary. Queen of Scots’ execution. However, Gary told me about another figure of importance. Henry Grey. Sixth Earl of Kent, being key in Mary’s demise.

From the additional research I have done recently. The evidence points that we are both right.  Robert Beale did had a hand in Mary’s demise, he was the one who had taken the death warrant from Elizabeth I without her consent to be acted on. He gave it to two Lord Commissioners who were in charge of ensuring the execution proceedings. one of those Lord commissioners was Henry Grey.

The Sources about the individual views of the two interestingly are a bit different despite they both follow Elizabeth’s bidding narrowly.

Evidence suggest that Robert Beale did have some affection towards Mary, in what way remains unknown. Where as Henry Grey has Violent Animosities towards Mary, mostly due to her devotion to her religion.

From the evidence, I would conclude using Henry Grey over Robert Beale for the former paragraph and the sources of information to support the decision.

As a Result, I must update my History Essay informing about Henry Grey, and picture of him and his relationship towards Mary Queen of Scots.

I will also introduce a new character. Richard Fletcher (or Doctor Fletcher). The Dean of Peterborough, who was the Protestant priest attempting to get Mary to Repent and denounce her devotion to Catholicism. He will be classed as a minor character.

Please check the History Essay to learn more and the Narration and Lyric documents that will be later posted.


Changes to track 3 ‘Cousin Under the Axe’

Through speaking to my Lyricist, Gary Payne, while working on the Narration and Dialogue parts, he originally proposed the idea after Mary. Queen of Scots is Executed, to slow the tempo of the section of the song about Elizabeth’s musical response to the Execution.

The section on Score is rehearsal mark G to H or in terms of Bar numbers 55 to 68.

Along with Elizabeth’s plea for the undecided intentions that Gary will write for,AND the Music as with Elizabeth’s leitmotif 3rd variation being heard. The tempo being slower can make Elizabeth appear less confident, and more sorrowful.

I have now change the tempo from Adagio 66 BPM,  to now Lento 50 BPM.

In doing this, I had to re-record and send the demos and PDF parts for Steve Bingham (Violinist 1 + 2 and Viola for Gloriana).

Once the dialogue is in place and with Shelly Hopkin’s voice (Going to be Elizabeth I for Gloriana) the move might work brilliantly.


Case Study of existing films: Elizabeth (1998) and Elizabeth: The Golden Age (2007)



Through initial research, I came to learn of existing ‘sequel’ film  to the film Elizabeth (1998) which is about Elizabeth’s later years as Queen:


And the first film Elizabeth (1998):

With in mind the two Film, The visual representations of all that is involved in this version of the story telling of Elizabeth during her reign with the events, people and objects of significance involved in her life is very Striking, reading through the accounts of IMDb, The sheer expanse of effort, time and money is highly commendably. With a big budget ($30 million for Elizabeth ((1998)) and $55 million for Elizabeth: the Golden age 2007))), teams and sub teams of people, 9 years between the two film, however the deadlines for each of the two films are unknown.

Gloriana, as an animated, musical Production. Will focus on story telling the such historical epic through emphasis of Music and sound, with the visuals (animations) as a simple ‘vehicle’ to support the music and make the leitmotifs work. Also historically unlike the film, will be four songs to represent the major points in Elizabeth’s reign due to enormous scale if I was to follow the same scale as the film in comparison to the given time and number of people available!

From a research of historical perspective, the film captures the huge complexity of Elizabeth’s reign, thanks to the time, budget and workforce behind the scenes, Perhaps due having a number of people specialising each of the many aspects that went into this film. It is unknown to me extent of research that went into informing the directer (Shekhar Kapur) and his team, however, compare to the process I am going through with Gloriana’s research, the method of reading, generalised (overall accounts), reliable sources first then specialized (specific), reliable sources and log a bibliography, into like a Dissertation or research report, must have been done and used to allow the team to justify any creative decisions made whether for pure accuracy to what actually happened, or ways to bend the truth for either to make the story more sense, due to limitations, or simply because it is high in debate and therefore free to interpret the story or something or someone as you wish for creative purposes.

The music in film from learning about the behind the scenes part of the music for the film, there was a collaboration of two composers, Craig Armstrong ( and A.R. Rahman (, both highly acclaimed composers with different musical styles and a wealth of experience to there names, The type of music they created together for the two films was more western classical in style, using influences from contemporary composers at the time such as William Byrd, incorporating orchestras, bells, and Latin choirs, with support of synthesised percussion and some Indian influences. The score is very rich, and dramatic, blending seamlessly with the visuals.

The Sound (foley and background sounds) world in vibrant, and sound as if the sound depart captured the sound of actual cannon and pistol fire, and with many of  the sounds might have been very accurate replications.

In comparison to my musical Gloriana, as director to my own musical, I am not restricted in my creative decisions to another person as I work for myself. The musical Pallete I will person is stylistically more radical to the films, using heavy metal instruments and ska influences for me give the story more emotional representation of the atmosphere at hand, which are found in ‘To marry or not to marry’, and ‘Bull versus Lioness’, I do take more similar styles to the films with regards to ‘Ascension Complete’ and ‘Cousin under the Axe’. However, reasons to be being that I intend to makes different moods and musical genres, and do to what is available to me in terms of musicians available. Also I will be using Dialogue to support what is going on at times were there needs to be a explanation, with Narration and leitmotifs/themes will be key to glue Gloriana together.

Gloriana’s foley and backgrounds sounds will be much less, and more replicated sounds due keeping costs down, and for creative learning development of a personal library of sounds of my own.

Visually, the live-action films are beautiful, the Actress and actors are very believe-able, landscapes sets are awe inspiring, The props are great and the fashion are certainly fabulous. All aspects appear to be picked carefully, which whatever time was taken to achieve the standards the films set out, it was certainly achieved.

Gloriana’s visuals, will be different as it is animated, due to the struggles of collaboration without financial support, a sort of ‘D.I.Y’ drawn and ‘photoshoped’ artwork created by my parents and I will created, and use stop motion animation styles to help out. Using story boards will guide the direction visual of the project too. The animation is meant not to be perfect, but provide a quirky element to the story especially if drawn like the style of stain glass windows.


Overall, from my perspective, the films existing to tell the story of Elizabeth’s reign make great guides to support the visual aspects of Gloriana.

As far as Audio is concerned, musically I may not achieve the same standards of professionalism fully for having fully performed parts to my songs. The films do make good references to check when making my own sounds to replicate important sounds.

The historically stories used are naturally up to the directer to how he or she interprets, much like as historians do to make a claim of something they believe has happened, so it is important really to justify such claims, well evidenced features of history like for example Elizabeth’s entourage, or something it is open for debate, like Elizabeth’s feelings towards Mary queen of Scots or William Byrd’s Origins.

This therefore, is matter of own research that leads directors or project managers to unique was of telling a story through any creative medium, whether due to limitations, creative and personal choices to simply the sources of information you have to base your work on.

Although Gloriana’s purpose is to entertain, but also to educate a balanced perspective.

It is worth noting that the films do appear to show a element of bias-ness, with regards to the way the Philip II is portrayed and his relationship to Elizabeth directly, due to the fact he appears to wanting to kill Elizabeth, and viewed as being evil, through with my research, I want to portray Philip to be forced to act to defeat Elizabeth, and the conflict to occur due to extrinsic events with both sides hand’s are forced.


Click ——-> Case Study background research for about Elizabeth Films of 1998 and 2007





Little bit more about the Recording stage

The Plan for the recording stage is to record a soloist performer’s each time, having the demo tracks as backing tracks (effectively like karoake).

Also I have had an email from Peter Williams (Music theory lecturer and Major project tutor) he had studied my Performer contact list, he was saying that it might be difficult to achieve a recorded performers for all of the roles in Gloriana, which I might have to settle for certain parts to be recorded as a VST instrument rather then an actual performer. However, at this current stage, I do not know the extent of the support I can muster at my disposal yet.

As of the eventual finished product of Gloriana, I believe the ‘Artefact’ (product) will be given out as a DVD, this would give Gloriana another level of professionalism, and another avenue of learning under my belt. I have Paul Knowles (Studio engineer at UWTSD Swansea) who has offered me support to produce a DVD and he can show how it’s done too.



The Lyrics, Narrative and Dialogue for Gloriana

Here is the work my Lyricist (Gary Payne) and myself have been working on, the words in red are modified lyrics with Gary:

Lyrics for SATB Choir on Ascension complete <—– Click on

Narration script for Ascension Complete <—– Click on

Narration and dialogue for to marry or not to marry<—– Click on

To marry or not to marry lyrics<—– Click on

Narration and Dialogue for Cousin under the axe<—– Click on

Lyrics for Bull versus Lioness<—– Click on

Narration and Dialogue for Bull versus Lioness<—– Click on


All ready to be recorded with for the recording stage as the Vocalists are the priority to record first!

The Leitmotifs in Gloriana


Having made all four songs during the period of October to January of last year, I had not yet been able to update my blog with what I done fully with Gloriana up to now. Since I needed to prioritise with creating  the scores first at the time, and having November being the time I was diagnosed with Cancer.

For the whole of Gloriana, I have created leitmotifs that develop over the course of the four films, Elizabeth’s leitmotif is the only one that does this, as she lives through the events that take place in each of the four songs, for the other two major character they appear in 3 or 2 out of the four songs. See below the leitmotifs are for the three major characters in the historic story.

  • Elizabeth I of Britain
Eliazbeth's original leitmotif copy
Figure 1A. French Horn part From bar 20 in “Ascension Complete” (Track 1). This is Elizabeth’s Original (‘Proud’) Leitmotif, as created to represent Elizabeth’s strong will and intelligence. As firm sounding key of G major is associated with may coronations and grand events. The semiquaver movement is notable as it manifests Elizabeth’s rise to power in a strongly, diatonic rooted manner (with a tone then semitone interval passage)



This slideshow requires JavaScript.

This variation of Elizabeth’s Leitmotif, is known as Elizabeth ‘Seductive’ leitmotif. not only the key is in G minor, but what was previously a ascending, diatonic, semiquaver passage, as now become a chromatic, quaver passage. the quaver now is is played in fully semitone movement. The off beat nature of the whole leitmotif, is different as is on the off beat, syncopating the leitmotif. this adds to the alluring side of Elizabeth as well as as a Ska influence to the song. The Tempo at 140BPM sets a pressured layer to the atmosphere in the music.

The Bass part acts as the caller to the Guitar part, carrying a part of the aforementioned leitmotif, and keep the whole piece on the beat using the tonic note of the key.

Elizabeth's Sad leitmotif variant copy
Figure 1C. Oboe part excerpted from bar 55 in “Cousin under the Axe” (Track 3).  Unlike the Proud (Original) Elizabeth’s leitmotif, Elizabeth’s ‘Sad’ leitmotif uses double the note values, and using the relative minor – E minor although first appears in the original key. Along with the time signature at 5/4 and the tempo set at 66 BPM. All these features contribute to the overall sadness this song is about, Elizabeth herself is very upset in having the knowledge of Mary queen of Scots finally been executed.
Elizabeth War leitmotif copy
Figure 1D. Trumpet part excerpt from at bar 102 in “Bull versus Lioness” (Track 4). This variation known as Elizabeth’s ‘War’ leitmotif, is in D minor, set in 3/4, tempo at 140 BPM, shorter note values and busier. Setting the tone she has to be ruthless in the eye of her enemies. the fast spurts of the semiquavers represents the quickness but strength too that is like a Lioness. Dodging the attacks of a Bull that is manifested with Philip and the Armada.
Elizabeth's Victorious leitmotif variation copy
Figure 1E. Violin part Excerpt from bar 264 in “Bull versus Lioness” (Track 4). This final variation is based on the original (‘Proud’) Elizabeth leitmotif. but is set in F major, modulating from the D minor which the Elizabeth’s ‘War’ leitmotif. The final variant being Elizabeth’s ‘Victorious’ leitmotif, interval patterns are the same as the ‘Proud’ leitmotif, it brings the whole musical full circle, a optimistic start ending in at a bright ending.
  • Mary Queen of Scots
Mary Queen of Scots original theme and Elizabeth reference copy
Figure 2A. Bagpipe part excerpt from bars 102 -115 in “To marry or not to marry”. Bars 102 to 104 contain the Mary Queen of Scots original Leitmotif. It is firmly set in G major, due to the pitch range of the French Custom Bagpipe (owned and be used to perform with by Peter Davis). the instrument is important here, the sound of the bagpipe is associated with Scotland, and the type of bagpipe is French.

Bar 105 contains the reference to Elizabeth, the quaver rise pattern is present from Elizabeth’s original (‘Proud’) Leitmotif. Linking the fact that both Elizabeth and Mary are cousins. musical reference as such.


This slideshow requires JavaScript.

Figure 2B is the Mary Queen of Scots’ ‘Proud’ leitmotif, this reflects musically Mary’s stoicism in the face of the audience of her execution as she enters the execution room. It serves as a musical reflection of her past too.

Figure 2C. The leitmotif (Mary’s ‘Loyalty’ leitmotif) shown represents the sheer loyalty shown to Mary by her servants, the magnanimity Mary shows is also under this leitmotif.

Figure 2D. Mary’s ‘Defiance and appraisal’ leitmotif accompanies Mary’s speech which is also her final words. A message of her unshakeable dedication to her faith, and message of praise intended to her Son and Elizabeth.

Figure 2E. The ‘sealed fate’ leitmotif, captures the inevitable demise of Mary, also reveals the stoicism she displays further which from her perspective she wanted to be free from her life as a prisoner.

A general observation is that the leitmotifs, as they progress for Mary Queen of Scots they become more longer and elaborated, this reflects on the situation musically becoming more emotional. The leitmotifs for Mary also serve the purpose of inform the listener, about Mary’s character.

  • Phillip II of Spain
Philip II introductory theme copy.jpg
Figure 3A.  Acoustic guitar part from from Bar 69 to 73 in “Cousin under the axe” (Track 3). not really a leitmotif, but it is a musical theme, a musical hint using the phrygian mode of D to represent Philip II, it is also a taste of what is to come for the fourth track. Although a leitmotif for Philip is present next to discuss.


Philip II main Leitmotif copy
Figure 3B. French Horn part from bar 99 to 100 in “Bull versus Lioness”. Philip II’s ‘War’ leitmotif is derived from Phrygian mode of D while Elizabeth’s is in D minor (Aeolian mode). This can be played with forceful attack, much similar to a Bull which is key to the title of the song, and to Philip’s character at the moment.