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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Music was a large part of everyday life in Ancient Greece. The people thought of music as a gift from their gods, associating different instruments with specific gods. Their term for music was not limited strictly to vocal and instrumental melody, but referred to dance, lyrics, and even poetry reading. Music was brought into many facets of life for Ancient Greek citizens, from weddings and funerals, to banquets and religious festivals. Education and Drama were also parts of Ancient Greek life to which music was integral.
Musical theatre started in the fifteenth century, in Greece. They incorporated music and dance into their performances, which many were comedy based. Slowly, music and dance was integrated into Roman theatre as well. In the 1700-1800’s, Opera became a popular musical entertainment to the British, French and Germans. They enjoyed ballad operas which included popular tunes at the time with comedy or sentimental plays, such as John Gay’s “The Beggar’s Opera” performed in 1728 (http://www.odl.ox.ac.uk/balladoperas/what.php) Many of these opera’s were mimicked and comic operas with original scores and many romantic plot based plays. Many believe that musical theatre is a descended of Operas, however Operas are actually spoofs of Greek musicals as the artists in the Renaissance Times were trying to bring out Greek music that faded over many years.
Music was a big part of the daily life of ancient Greece. Greek children learned a musical instrument at a young age. Music continued to be a part of their lives throughout adulthood. It was
In any musical drama, be it opera, oratorio, or even musical theatre, it is possible for a composer to convey the personality of their characters through compositional and musical techniques. Doing so heightens the audience’s understanding of the characters, their motivations, and the relationships between them. Monteverdi, as a pioneer of opera, was one of the first to capitalize on this opportunity to heighten the audience’s understanding of the characters. This is highly apparent in his last opera, L’Incoronazione di Poppea. The music for two of the characters, Poppea and Nerone, is especially well composed to demonstrate personality, and this is no more apparent than in the dialogue which introduces the audience to them, Signor, deh
A chorus is a common element to Greek tragedy’s and in ancient theatre consisted of a group of people who provide a number of different contributions to a play, providing a historical perspective, acting as counsellors and advisors to the plays characters and at times representing various groups such as villagers or a jury. Within this essay, I will consider the main contributions of the chorus within “The Burial at Thebes”
Theatre and Musical Theatre has been a form of entertainment since before North America was “discovered”. Broadway shows have been dated back to the early 1920’s and 1930’s. By 2016, over 25,000 tickets are sold to Broadway shows in a week. Thousands of people enjoy the shows that are featured on Broadway but have no idea the work and process that brought it to life. The process of getting a show on to Broadway can be broken down into three phases: pre-production, staging, and performance/promotion.
Since the days of the ancient Greeks, music has been an integral part of drama and theatre. Many composers wrote music to accompany plays, and sometimes the music became more well-known than the play it was written for … It
Realism provides only amoral observation, while absurdism rejects even the possibility of debate. (Frances Babbage, Augusto Boal). The cynicism of this remark reflects the aberrant attitude towards absurdism, yet there is truth to it. Theatre of the absurd is an esoteric avant-garde style of theatre based on the principles of existentialism that looks at the world without any assumption of purpose. Existentialism and Theatre of the Absurd became identified with a cultural movement that flourished in Europe in the 1940s and 1950s, after the Second World War. The idea that man starts with nothing and ends with nothing is a common theme amongst most absurd plays. Despite this strange philosophy, Theatre of the
Two great writers of American musical theatre, Richard Rodgers and Oscar Hammerstein II, had one idea in common. They wanted to present to the American public a new and revolutionary musical that would stand out above the rest. They wanted to make an impact on the societies of the era. They wanted to be creative and do something that was considered rebellious. When they finally combined their ideas together they created an American masterpiece in musical theatre: Oklahoma!. It was the first Rodgers and Hammerstein collaboration, starting the most successful creative partnership in the history of American musical theatre.
Musical Theatre is an art that I always envisioned myself pursing at the collegiate level and what I want to make a career out of as well. My perfect musical theatre program that I would want, would be a program that would help me to achieve a better understanding of who I am as a musical theatre artist first and then hopefully I can expand my artistic goals and further develop myself through whichever institution that I am attending. The musical theatre training that I have received in high school through my creative arts high school New Orleans Center for Creative Arts (NOCCA) whether its been in dance, vocal, acting, or the productions that I have been cast
The chorus is an essential feature of Greek classical drama. Instances of various types of dance, singing, and speech are some elements of a Greek chorus. “Composed of similarly costumed men, they performed on the orchestra located beneath the stage. The chorus stayed in the orchestra for the duration of the performance from which vantage point they observed and commented on the action of the characters.” Oedipus is a play written by Sophocles, a respected playwright, and it is “generally assumed that the main function of the Sophoclean chorus is a philosophical one; that it serves above all as the spokesman for a certain view of life.” The chorus can be dramatic in the following ways: “through the personality of the group forming the chorus and the appropriateness of their relationship to the action and the characters, through the iambic lines spoken by the coryphaeus, through physical participation in the action and through the choral songs.” The chorus is an important component of the Greek Tragedy Oedipus. Aside from its responsibility to effectively represent the people of Thebes, the chorus in Oedipus has a powerful influence over audience perceptions and emotions.
In ancient Greek plays, the role of the chorus was to sing lyrical passages. The lyrical passages were set up
A final cultural difference is the importance of the chorus and its use in the plays Agamemnon, Oedipus, and Medea. The chorus was not highly involved in the action of the plays. In general, the chorus’ main functions were to create a psychological and emotional background to the action through its odes. It introduces and questions new characters, as well as point out the importance of events as they occurred, to establish facts and avow the outlook of society. Finally, the chorus covers the passage of time, between events, and separates episodes (Calder 21). Within the play Agamemnon, by Aeschylus, the chorus represents the voice of wisdom of the city as well as its limitations (Novelguide). The chorus’ limitations are clear when they fail to
Finally, the Chorus is used to keep the continuity during the play. In modern theatre, the plays are normally split up into scenes and acts. However, the Greek kept the continuity between these natural gaps, by having a narrative section. This prevented the necessity of having breaks in the action and also kept the audience up to date with what had just gone on, and perhaps offering some insight or other. In this role, I think the Chorus is very helpful to the audience, as it succeeds in keeping the audience 'on the edge of their seats'.
Theatre is an art that transcends time and builds a new world for the audience atop the stage. A play is defined as “a dramatic composition” or “the stage representation of an action or story” (The Merriam-Webster Dictionary). This refers to drama being performed live by actors on a stage. Ancient Greece is accredited to inventing theatre and drama. In Greece during that time, at the height of popularity, were the stories of the well known flawed heroes and their journeys.