History and timeline of musical theater

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THE There are many different ways to categorize music, each with its own set of aesthetic criteria, such as the importance given or taken away from components such as rhythm, volume, and pitch.

It usually consists of the arrangement of vocal or instrumental sounds to achieve beauty of form or emotional expression, usually following the cultural norms of rhythm, melody, and harmony of Western music. Music is an activity that includes both basic folk songs and complex electronic compositions.

What are the objectives ? Well, everyone has their own preferences and personalities, so it’s hard to deduce the purpose of the music. However, the purpose of all music is to convey and alter emotion in ways that are both obvious and subtle.

The ability of music to reduce tension, pain, difficulty, distraction and bring a sense of serenity and happiness in our daily lives is quite remarkable. Music can bring people together in many ways.

Music has the power to help us express ourselves and better understand our thoughts and experiences. This is why musical theater exists in this world.

What is Musical Theatre?

Musical theater is a type of stage performance that integrates singing, acting, speaking, storytelling, and dancing into a cohesive whole. The words, music, movement and other technical parts of the entertainment come together to form an integrated whole that conveys the plot and the range of emotions present in a musical, including humor, melancholy, love and rage.

Although there is some overlap between musical theater and other genres such as opera and dance, musical theater differs from these other types of theatrical entertainment in that music is given similar priority. to that of conversation, movement and other aspects. .

Musicals are performed internationally. They can be performed in huge sets, such as Broadway or West End shows with substantial budgets in New York or London.

In Malaysia, we have a number of communities and venues, such as Broadway Acade, Damansara Performing Arts Center (DPAC), Kuala Lumpur Performing Arts Center (KLPAC), Panggung Bandaraya, etc.

Historical timeline

Before the 1920s

Musical performances before the emergence of classical musical theater in the 1920s were primarily operatic in nature. This period is called the golden age of opera.

However, a few musicals started popping up here and there around the turn of the 20th century. However, due to the trends of the time, they most likely leaned towards opera/operettas and vaudeville.

The Jazz Age (1920-1939)

Musical theater began to evolve in the early 1920s. Although operas remained popular, there was considerable jazz influence in many productions at this time.

During this period, it was common to see glitzy showgirls, lighthearted performances, musical revues, and extravagant dance routines. Book musicals and movie musicals began to appear during this period, including the comedy genre.

The Golden Age (1940-1959)

Considered by many to be the height of musical theater’s popularity (both for stage and film), the Golden Age was a beautiful period when showtunes hit the radio and Broadway began to flourish. . The musicals featured a lot of dance routines and emphasized plot development.

Pre-contemporary (1970-2000)

During the 1970s, 1980s and 1990s, a wider range of musical styles and plots began to emerge. Musicals like Miss Saigon and Les Miserables began to express the depth of human emotion around this time. During this period, it appeared that revue musicals were also making a resurgence. It was a fantastic time for musicals due to the variety of themes, huge budgets, and increasing cultural diversity.

During the 1990s, big business also had an impact on music production. With Disney Theatrical Productions, which debuted with Beauty and the Beast (1994), The Lion King (1997) and Aida (2000) – two of Disney’s animated musicals featuring the pop legend’s music Elton John – the company has established itself as the most important.

Contemporary (2000-present)

There was also a wide range of performance styles from 2000 to 2019. We also saw an increase in the number of musicals based on other works, such as films and music CDs, throughout this period ( musical jukeboxes). There was also a strong influence from pop and rock music during this period. Eventually, the lines between musicals and musical films began to blur, resulting in productions like Hairspray, Mamma Mia!, Pitch Perfect, La La Land and The Greatest Showman.

What does the future hold? It’s hard to predict, but there will undoubtedly be new musical eras to come. Some admirers of the “old ways” may not want to follow it, but the form will endure as long as people enjoy a story told through music.

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