Under The Sea

Under The Sea Piano Sheet Music

download-pdfThe 1989 animated Disney musical The Little Mermaid featured a number of songs that have since gone on to achieve iconic status in Western popular culture, along with a number of other songs from the film, such as Part of Your World. One song that has likewise achieved an iconic status in the worlds of animation and music is Under the Sea. There are a great many details about the song Under the Sea from the Little Mermaid that are both historical and musical in nature, ranging from the obvious to the incredibly subtle.

the little mermaid piano music book

the little mermaid under the sea sheet music pianoRecorded in 1988 as the process of making an animated film of high caliber takes a while, the song was done in the Calypso style, a type of music that originated int he Caribbean, specifically the islands of Trinidad and Tobago. The lively metal drums provided a distinctive sound for the three minute and sixteen second song. The music was composed by Alan Menken, while the lyrics were written by Howard Ashman. The song was actually based on a musical number from an earlier Disney film, The Beautiful Briny from Bedknobs and Broomsticks, released in 1971, almost twenty years before. Playing the role of Sebastian the crab, voice actor and singer Samuel E. Wright recorded the song alongside a chorus of singers playing the roles of various other sea creatures.

Initially sung in a B-flat key to maximize the effectiveness of Wright’s baritone voice, the song is somewhat flexible. For instance, in the Broadway musical version of the film, the actor playing Sebastian the crab was Tituss Burgess, a tenor voice. The musical directors behind the Broadway version of the song changed the key to D to make the most of Burgess’ tenor voice.

In addition to being used in The Little Mermaid, the song has also been used in other Disney productions. The Square Enix video game Kingdom Hearts which draws on a great deal of licensed Disney intellectual properties used the song as a background theme in 2002. Later, in 2006, the song appeared in the sequel, Kingdom Hearts II, but was rearranged somewhat to accommodate the game’s protagonist, Sora, as well as the characters from ìThe Little Mermaidî, Ariel and Sebastian. Both of these electronic uses of the song were arranged by Yoko Shimomura. The song also finds quite a bit of use inside of Disney theme parks and other resorts, as well as Disney’s line of cruise ships.

The track proved to be incredibly popular with both critics and film goers alike. The song won an Academy Award, specifically 1989 award for Best Original Song. Additionally, it won a Grammy Award a few years later in 1991, when it captured the award for Best Song Written for Visual Media. But perhaps more importantly, ìUnder the Seaî holds a place in the hearts of many people who saw the film as children, the film’s target audience. It is not uncommon for people from the Millennial generation to know the song by heart, among other songs of animation Renaissance for the early nineties.

See the full song list for Disney The Little Mermaid sheet music, or download arrangements for each song here.