MUSICAL THEATRE COMPOSITION: HOW DIGITAL BROADWAY HAS CHANGED ‘WHAT’S INSIDE’.

Clare Chandler, S. Schueber-Rush

    Research output: Contribution to conferencePaperpeer-review

    63 Downloads (Pure)

    Abstract

    Song form, structure, function and ideology are culturally and genre specific. Boiled down to its most basic elements, a pop song is about emotional connection and engagement, whereas its musical theatre cousin is concerned with narrative progression; ‘pop songs are to adjectives what musical theatre songs are to verbs.’ (Lambert, 2015) Lambert articulates a binary perspective on genres, which are actually overlapping in unprecedented ways, in terms of authorship, style, means of distribution, and popularity. This paper explores, not the distinctions, but the points of contact between song forms, with a view to understanding the current creative moment, and, perhaps, anticipating future trends. In contemporary popular music, ‘There are no longer subjective gatekeepers controlling who gets let “in”, promoted and exposed. The choice is ours. Now, anyone can be famous.’ (Price, 2011). This is a transformation also evident in musical theatre, where an upsurge in ‘YouTube musical theatre composers’ (Pasek & Paul, 2015) and social media engagement challenges the dominance of the book musical. If humans on-line have an average attention span of 8 seconds (Riecke-Gonzales, 2015), for example, this paper considers how musical theatre is evolving to meet the requirements of millennials.
    Original languageEnglish
    Publication statusAccepted/In press - 15 Feb 2018
    EventAssociation for Theatre in Higher Education Conference - Boston, United States
    Duration: 1 Aug 20185 Aug 2018

    Conference

    ConferenceAssociation for Theatre in Higher Education Conference
    Country/TerritoryUnited States
    CityBoston
    Period1/08/185/08/18

    Keywords

    • Musical Theatre
    • Digital Broadway
    • Composition
    • Social Media
    • Digital Platforms.

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