Swain's valuable survey contains a great deal of perceptive musical and dramatic criticism and analysis. -- Geoffrey Block, Author of Enchanted Evenings: The Broadway Musical from Show Boat to Sondheim Swain's study should convince even the sceptic that the musical can be seriously and usefully analysed...an essential book for those concerned with drama, song and popular arts. Popular Music Swain's study should convince even the skeptic that the musical can be seriously and usefully analysed...an essential book for those concerned with drama, song, and popular arts...Swain has not only advanced the critical analysis of the Broadway musical, but has developed techniques that will enable the great composers of musicals to be given appropriate critical recognition. London Times Literary SupplementVom Verlag:
To see a Broadway musical is to experience how a drama, using melody, harmony, and rhythm, evokes the emotion needed to perpetuate a story line. Without music, many of these plays would not succeed, failing to convey the intended message. This new edition of Swain's classic text, winner of the 1991 ASCAP Deems Taylor Award, reveals how a musical drama achieves plot movement, character development and conflict through strategic placement of song and music in 20 musical plays. Unlike critical literature that has simply explored theatrical style and production histories, this survey focuses mainly on the power of music. Illustrated with more than 150 musical excerpts and essays, Swain includes the latest research and viewpoints of contemporary critics, offering insight into dramatic expression and how renowned composers including Jerome Kern, George Gershwin, Jerry Bock, Stephen Sondheim and Andrew Lloyd Webber influenced the Broadway musical. This provides insights into the many impressive musicals to hit the stage between the years of 1927 and 1987, illuminating how specific revisions to productions such as Showboat and, Oklahoma! forever changed their popularity. Learn how music is used as a symbol for psychological or emotional action from Shakespearean drama's such as Kiss Me, Kate and West Side Story, to more current dramas including Godspell, A Chorus Line, and Jesus Christ Superstar. Replete with a never seen before essay on Les Miserables, this edition also includes an expanded epilogue highlighting the phenomena behind Miss Saigon and Phantom of the Opera, "megamusicals" that changed the direction of the Broadway tradition. For professors of dramatic arts and people interested in Broadway musicals, theater, popular music and opera.
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