Writing for Musical Theater
This seminar will explore the process of lyric writing and music composition through studying selected songs of the composers and lyricists from the 1930's to the present. We will examine forms of musical numbers—moving from the simplest theater format to full scenes involving songs, dialogue, and action. In addition, we will study Broadway protocol and standards for lyric writing, in contrast to that of “popular” music, while outlining: rhyming, internal rhyming, singability, the development of an idea, forward motion of drama, and overall design. Finally, we will discuss evolutions in compositional techniques, moving from standard tonal configurations to more complicated rhythmic and textural settings.