The World of Musical Theatre

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Music can be traced back to the beginning of humanity. It has been an essential and crucial part of human society and its development. In the sense of Musical Theatre, it is referred to the art of telling stories through or with songs. This art can be traced all the way back to the Ancient Greeks (5th century BC), where music was used to accompany their stage works. It has been said that Sophocles composed his own music to accompany his own stage plays. In Greek theatre, a “Greek Chorus” was used in the play to comment on the actions. They were a part of the plot of the show, but no musical solos were present. The chorus was used also to be the “conscious” of the audience or as a “sounding board” for the main characters.

Using the traditions of Greek Theatre, the Romans later replicated and expanded on the idea. The expansion evolved into the use of orchestral accompaniment for songs and dances in 3rd Century BC Plautus comedies. This later progressed in the Middle Ages with traveling minstrels and traveling performers performing popular songs and slapstick comedy. Religious Drama’s became popular in the 12th and 13th centuries, combining church chants as a liturgical teaching tools such as The Play of Herod and The Play of Daniel.

By the time of Renaissance, the Religious Dramas have developed into an Italian tradition called commedia dell’arte where clowns improvise their ways through familiar stories. From there, Opera Buffa derived from the

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