Musical Theater: An Appreciation

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9780130485830: Musical Theater: An Appreciation
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This unique historical survey illustrates the interaction of multiple artistic and dramatic considerations with an overview of the development of numerous popular musical theater genres. This introduction provides more than a history of musical theater, it studies the music within the shows to provide an understanding of the contributions of musical theater composers as clearly as the artistry of musical theater lyricists and librettists. The familiarity of the musical helps readers understand how music functions in a song and a show, while giving them the vocabulary to discuss their perceptions. The guide reviews the antecedents to the genre of “musical theater,” the musical stage in the 19th century, divergent paths in the twentieth century, synthesis of style and substance, new partnerships, new faces of the 40s, 50s 60s and 70s, and changes of approach in the 1980s and 90s. For fans of music and musical theater.

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Here it is at last: a history of musical theater from its early origins to the Broadway shows of today, combined with an in-depth study of the musical styles that parallel the changes taking place on stage. Musical Theater: An Appreciation teaches the reader how to listen to both the words and the music of the stage musical, understanding how all the components of a show combine to create a unique experience for audiences. Good musical theater moves us—to laughter, to tears, to anger, to pride—and this text helps to demystify many of the subtle tools used to elicit these emotions.

Musical Theater: An Appreciation looks at the contributions of many great American writers: George M. Cohan, Irving Berlin, Cole Porter, the Gershwins, Rodgers and Hammerstein, Lerner and Loewe, Kander and Ebb, Bock and Harnick, Steven Sondheim—as well as the crossfertilizations with European theater, both past and present day. Each chapter enriches the reader's journey with items such as Sidebars that explore issues in greater depth, Behind-theScenes anecdotes relating various (mis-) adventures of creative artists, Plot Summaries, and focused examinations of a wide range of theater songs. Musical and theatrical vocabulary terms are introduced throughout the text, allowing readers to speak knowledgeably about both the visual and aural aspects of the stage experience. Armed with these perceptions, readers will be posed for greater enjoyment of musical theater's rich legacy, from Don Giovanni to Rent, as well as for increased appreciation of drama and music as independent yet complementary arts.

About the Author:

Alyson McLamore is Professor of Music History at Cal Poly San Luis Obispo, where she has been recognized with the university's Distinguished Teaching Award.

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ISBN 10:  1138678686 ISBN 13:  9781138678682
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