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Lecture 9

Music 2701A/B Lecture Notes - Lecture 9: Ragtime

Course Code
Music 2701A/B
Kristina Baron- Woods

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WEEK 9: Development of the Musical Play
3 elements – showboat, new musical theatre in late 1920s
- The newly – Americanized European operetta and Englsh comic opera
- Vaudeville, variety show, musical comedy
- African-American musical styles: ragtime, jazz, early blues
The problem with calling showboat a musical play was that the term hadn’t been coined
at that point yet
Musical Play versus Musical Comedy
- Musical comedy derived more from vaudeville and variety shows
- Concentration on comedy routines, high-energy song and dance numbers, plot not
too important, songs are interchangeable, dialogue is to get from one song to
- Musical play is created as alternative
- Focus on superior libretto, possibly from a “serious” source like a novel or
straight play, socially important subject matter, music is organic to libretto, fully
integrated elements
- 1930s musical comedy is still produced despite innovations of shoes such as show
- Happy, farcical, nonsensical musicals still popular
- Composers such as Cole Porter and Irving Berlin at height of success
- Songs from their shows became pop songs of the da- played on the radio
- Songs not closely integrated with plots
Richard Rodgers: Composer
Oscar Hammerstein II: Lyricist
- Oklahoma!
- Carousel
- South Pacific
- The Sound of Music
Richard Rodgers
- born in Queens
- Well- off
- Education at Columbia
- Studied composition at the instate of musical arts (Juilliard)
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