Lessons Learned from Years with Music

What is a Musical?

By reading this article, you are going to discover the technical aspects of musicals and in the process, understand what it is really about. Well by technical definition, it means that musical theatre is a form of theatre that is combining dancing, music, songs as well as spoken dialogue. It is a bit related to opera while it intentionally avoids conventions of opera in order to give it a general appeal.

As for the musical components used in a musical, it is all called as a score. Sung lines are being referred as lyrics compared to plain spoken dialogue which is just dialogue. It often happens that there are two different people who wrote the lyrics of the musical and its storyline. As a matter of fact, this is a very common practice amongst various musical plays.

Fact is, musicals may be done in as fast as few minutes or it can last for couple of hours. As for the average running time, it typically lasts for 2 hours and 30 minutes; this is with intermission halfway throughout the entire play. However, some musicals perform straight through if they are not that long. As for the intermission, it takes 10 to 15 minutes when presented and for the average musical, it will carry at least 30 songs with short and long pieces.

Majority of the musicals are starting with an overture which is used to put emphasis on some songs that are used in the play and also, used to set the tone of the play and mood of the audience. The highlights oftentimes and most dramatic moments in the musical are carried out in a song. The reason for this is that, these are the moments in which the creators like you to remember the most and it’s easier to remember if it’s a properly executed 3 to 4 minute song than it is recalling 3 to 4 minute spoken dialogue. If ever the emotion that has to be conveyed is so strong even for a song, then in such cases when dance is added or put in place of singing.

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As a matter of fact, being able to strike balance between song and spoken dialogue seems easy but it is the exact opposite. Apart from that, it is imperative that the writer takes into account the character who will sing the song. To give you an example, it is unlikely to see the protagonist singing songs of sorrow and anger. It is hard to establish drama in a musical too since a 5 minute song has fewer words to say than a 5 minute spoken dialogue. The only way to make the musical have higher rate of success is by planning things very carefully and executing it cautiously.

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