Music Theory through Musical Theatre: Putting It Together

Oxford University Press
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Music Theory through Musical Theatre takes a new and powerful approach to music theory. Written specifically for students in music theatre programs, it offers music theory by way of musical theatre. Not a traditional music theory text, Music Theory through Musical Theatre tackles the theoretical foundations of musical theatre and musical theatre literature with an emphasis on what students will need to master in preparation for a professional career as a performer. Veteran music theatre musician John Franceschina brings his years of experience to bear in a book that offers musical theatre educators an important tool in equipping students with what is perhaps the most important element of being a performer: the ability to understand the language of music in the larger dramatic context to which it contributes. The book uses examples exclusively from music theater repertoire, drawing from well-known and more obscure shows and songs. Musical sight reading is consistently at the forefront of the lessons, teaching students to internalize notated music quickly and accurately, a particularly necessary skill in a world where songs can be added between performances. Franceschina consistently links the concepts of music theory and vocal coaching, showing students how identifying the musical structure of and gestures within a piece leads to better use of their time with vocal coaches and ultimately enables better dramatic choices. Combining formal theory with practical exercises, Music Theory through Musical Theatre will be a lifelong resource for students in musical theatre courses, dog-eared and shelved beside other professional resource volumes.
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About the author

John Franceschina began composing and arranging music at the age of five and has written symphonies, chamber music, incidental music, and film scores. He has acted as musical director for productions in New York City and on national and international tours and the stage director of operas, musicals, and plays. As a pianist/arranger, he has accompanied Angela Lansbury, Elke Sommer, Nell Carter, Jan Peerce, Robert Merrill, Lotte Lenya, Paige O'Hara, Chita Rivera, and Gwen Verdon. An educator with thirty years of college teaching experience, he has written fifteen books about the theatre and musical theatre.
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Additional Information

Publisher
Oxford University Press
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Published on
Jul 1, 2015
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Pages
352
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ISBN
9780199999583
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Language
English
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Genres
Music / Genres & Styles / Musicals
Music / History & Criticism
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Content Protection
This content is DRM protected.
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Available on Android devices
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Eligible for Family Library

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Armed with an eighth-grade education, an inexhaustible imagination, and an innate talent for dancing, Hermes Pan (1909-1990) was a boy from Tennessee who became the most prolific, popular, and memorable choreographer of the glory days of the Hollywood musical. While he may be most well-known for the Fred Astaire-Ginger Rogers musicals which he choreographed at RKO film studios, he also created dances at Twentieth Century-Fox, M-G-M, Paramount, and later for television, winning both the Oscar and the Emmy for best choreography. In Hermes Pan: The Man Who Danced with Fred Astaire, Pan emerges as a man in full, an artist inseparable from his works. He was a choreographer deeply interested in his dancers' personalities, and his dances became his way of embracing and understanding the outside world. Though his time in a Trappist monastery proved to him that he was more suited to choreography than to life as a monk, Pan remained a deeply devout Roman Catholic throughout his creative life, a person firmly convinced of the powers of prayer. While he was rarely to be seen without several beautiful women at his side, it was no secret that Pan was homosexual and even had a life partner. As Pan worked at the nexus of the cinema industry's creative circles during the golden age of the film musical, this book traces not only Pan's personal life but also the history of the Hollywood musical itself. It is a study of Pan, who emerges here as a benevolent perfectionist, and equally of the stars, composers, and directors with whom he worked, from Astaire and Rogers to Betty Grable, Rita Hayworth, Elizabeth Taylor, Sammy Davis Jr., Frank Sinatra, Bob Fosse, George Gershwin, Samuel Goldwyn, and countless other luminaries of American popular entertainment. Author John Franceschina bases his telling of Pan's life on extensive first-hand research into Pan's unpublished correspondence and his own interviews. Pan enjoyed one of the most illustrious careers of any Hollywood dance director, and because his work also spanned across Broadway and television, this book will appeal to readers interested in musical theater history, dance history, and film.
Winner of the 2017 Tony Award for Best Musical

“Dear Evan Hansen lodges in your head long after you’ve seen it or heard it or read it. It feels like a pure expression from young writers at a crossroad of coming to terms with who they are and what they want to say about the world. Its honesty and truths haunt and ultimately open us up to ask the same question, no matter what our age or crossroad: What are the lies we tell ourselves?” –James Lapine (from the Foreword)

A letter that was never meant to be seen, a lie that was never meant to be told, a life he never dreamed could be his. Evan Hansen is about to get the one thing he’s always wanted: a chance to belong. Deeply personal and profoundly universal, Dear Evan Hansen is a groundbreaking American musical about truth, fiction, and the price we’re willing to pay for the possibility to connect.

*This publication includes the book and lyrics to the musical, as well as a foreword by James Lapine. Please note that it does not include the musical score.*

Steven Levenson is the book writer for Dear Evan Hansen. His plays include If I Forget, The Unavoidable Disappearance of Tom Durnin, Core Values, The Language of Trees, and Seven Minutes in Heaven. A graduate of Brown University, he served for three seasons as a writer and producer on Showtime’s Master of Sex.

Benj Pasek & Justin Paul are the song-writing team behind Dear Evan Hansen. Previous musicals include A Christmas Story: The Musical, Dogfight, James and the Giant Peach, and Edges. Their film projects include La La Land (for which they won the Academy Award for Best Original Song for “City of Stars,” with composer Justin Hurwitz), Trolls, Snow White, and The Greatest Showman. Their television credits include The Flash, Smash, and Johnny and the Sprites. Both are graduates of the University of Michigan Musical Theatre Program and members of the Dramatists Guild of America, Inc.


The history of American theater would not have developed nor impacted the sound of music today without the composers, directors, and choreographers of incidental and dance music. From the earliest immigrant composers to mainstream maestros and film composers, their successes and sorrows mirrored the masses with failed marriages, alcoholism, earning a living, and dying alone and forgotten. Much of their music was destroyed in fires or lost while touring . . . until now.

Elaborating on the introduction and chronology in Volume 1 and the biographical profiles in Volume 2, the author explores the careers of the masterminds of music from Edgar Stillman Kelley to Charles Zimmerman, with more than 150 musical examples and extensive Notes.

About the author: composer John Franceschina served as Musical Director for more than 150 shows over 50 years. He served on the Musical Theatre Faculties at Florida State University, Syracuse University, and Pennsylvania State University. His previous published works include Sisters of Gore: Seven Gothic Melodramas by British Women, 1790–1843; Gore on Stage: The Plays of Catherine Gore; Homosexualities in the English Theatre: From Lyly to Wilde; Socialists, Socialites, and Sociopaths: Plays and Screenplays by Frank Tuttle; Rape, Incest, Murder! The Marquis de Sade on Stage (3 volumes); David Braham: The American Offenbach; Harry B. Smith: Dean of American Librettists; Duke Ellington’s Music for the Theatre; Hermes Pan: The Man Who Danced with Fred Astaire; and Music Theory through Musical Theatre.

 


The history of American theater would not have developed nor impacted the sound of music today without the composers, directors, and choreographers of incidental and dance music. From the earliest immigrant composers to mainstream maestros and film composers, their successes and sorrows mirrored the masses with failed marriages, alcoholism, earning a living, and dying alone and forgotten. Much of their music was destroyed in fires or lost while touring . . . until now.

Elaborating on the introduction and chronology in Volume 1 and the biographical profiles in Volume 2, the author explores the careers of the masterminds of music from Edgar Stillman Kelley to Charles Zimmerman, with more than 150 musical examples and extensive Notes.

About the author: composer John Franceschina served as Musical Director for more than 150 shows over 50 years. He served on the Musical Theatre Faculties at Florida State University, Syracuse University, and Pennsylvania State University. His previous published works include Sisters of Gore: Seven Gothic Melodramas by British Women, 1790–1843; Gore on Stage: The Plays of Catherine Gore; Homosexualities in the English Theatre: From Lyly to Wilde; Socialists, Socialites, and Sociopaths: Plays and Screenplays by Frank Tuttle; Rape, Incest, Murder! The Marquis de Sade on Stage (3 volumes); David Braham: The American Offenbach; Harry B. Smith: Dean of American Librettists; Duke Ellington’s Music for the Theatre; Hermes Pan: The Man Who Danced with Fred Astaire; and Music Theory through Musical Theatre.

 

Music Theory through Musical Theatre takes a new and powerful approach to music theory. Written specifically for students in music theatre programs, it offers music theory by way of musical theatre. Not a traditional music theory text, Music Theory through Musical Theatre tackles the theoretical foundations of musical theatre and musical theatre literature with an emphasis on what students will need to master in preparation for a professional career as a performer. Veteran music theatre musician John Franceschina brings his years of experience to bear in a book that offers musical theatre educators an important tool in equipping students with what is perhaps the most important element of being a performer: the ability to understand the language of music in the larger dramatic context to which it contributes. The book uses examples exclusively from music theater repertoire, drawing from well-known and more obscure shows and songs. Musical sight reading is consistently at the forefront of the lessons, teaching students to internalize notated music quickly and accurately, a particularly necessary skill in a world where songs can be added between performances. Franceschina consistently links the concepts of music theory and vocal coaching, showing students how identifying the musical structure of and gestures within a piece leads to better use of their time with vocal coaches and ultimately enables better dramatic choices. Combining formal theory with practical exercises, Music Theory through Musical Theatre will be a lifelong resource for students in musical theatre courses, dog-eared and shelved beside other professional resource volumes.
Armed with an eighth-grade education, an inexhaustible imagination, and an innate talent for dancing, Hermes Pan (1909-1990) was a boy from Tennessee who became the most prolific, popular, and memorable choreographer of the glory days of the Hollywood musical. While he may be most well-known for the Fred Astaire-Ginger Rogers musicals which he choreographed at RKO film studios, he also created dances at Twentieth Century-Fox, M-G-M, Paramount, and later for television, winning both the Oscar and the Emmy for best choreography. In Hermes Pan: The Man Who Danced with Fred Astaire, Pan emerges as a man in full, an artist inseparable from his works. He was a choreographer deeply interested in his dancers' personalities, and his dances became his way of embracing and understanding the outside world. Though his time in a Trappist monastery proved to him that he was more suited to choreography than to life as a monk, Pan remained a deeply devout Roman Catholic throughout his creative life, a person firmly convinced of the powers of prayer. While he was rarely to be seen without several beautiful women at his side, it was no secret that Pan was homosexual and even had a life partner. As Pan worked at the nexus of the cinema industry's creative circles during the golden age of the film musical, this book traces not only Pan's personal life but also the history of the Hollywood musical itself. It is a study of Pan, who emerges here as a benevolent perfectionist, and equally of the stars, composers, and directors with whom he worked, from Astaire and Rogers to Betty Grable, Rita Hayworth, Elizabeth Taylor, Sammy Davis Jr., Frank Sinatra, Bob Fosse, George Gershwin, Samuel Goldwyn, and countless other luminaries of American popular entertainment. Author John Franceschina bases his telling of Pan's life on extensive first-hand research into Pan's unpublished correspondence and his own interviews. Pan enjoyed one of the most illustrious careers of any Hollywood dance director, and because his work also spanned across Broadway and television, this book will appeal to readers interested in musical theater history, dance history, and film.
Armed with an eighth-grade education, an inexhaustible imagination, and an innate talent for dancing, Hermes Pan (1909-1990) was a boy from Tennessee who became the most prolific, popular, and memorable choreographer of the glory days of the Hollywood musical. While he may be most well-known for the Fred Astaire-Ginger Rogers musicals which he choreographed at RKO film studios, he also created dances at Twentieth Century-Fox, M-G-M, Paramount, and later for television, winning both the Oscar and the Emmy for best choreography. In Hermes Pan: The Man Who Danced with Fred Astaire, Pan emerges as a man in full, an artist inseparable from his works. He was a choreographer deeply interested in his dancers' personalities, and his dances became his way of embracing and understanding the outside world. Though his time in a Trappist monastery proved to him that he was more suited to choreography than to life as a monk, Pan remained a deeply devout Roman Catholic throughout his creative life, a person firmly convinced of the powers of prayer. While he was rarely to be seen without several beautiful women at his side, it was no secret that Pan was homosexual and even had a life partner. As Pan worked at the nexus of the cinema industry's creative circles during the golden age of the film musical, this book traces not only Pan's personal life but also the history of the Hollywood musical itself. It is a study of Pan, who emerges here as a benevolent perfectionist, and equally of the stars, composers, and directors with whom he worked, from Astaire and Rogers to Betty Grable, Rita Hayworth, Elizabeth Taylor, Sammy Davis Jr., Frank Sinatra, Bob Fosse, George Gershwin, Samuel Goldwyn, and countless other luminaries of American popular entertainment. Author John Franceschina bases his telling of Pan's life on extensive first-hand research into Pan's unpublished correspondence and his own interviews. Pan enjoyed one of the most illustrious careers of any Hollywood dance director, and because his work also spanned across Broadway and television, this book will appeal to readers interested in musical theater history, dance history, and film.
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