This course will assist students in meeting these standards:
Distinguish the esthetic, social and musical features of music theatre in contemporary creative output.
Develop analytical and compositional thinking on terms such as dramaturgy, narration, composition, bodiness, gesture.
Course Content (Syllabus)
The course investigates the historical, musical and social frame within which music theatre emerges in contemporary creative output. In this frame, music theatre pieces will be examined, both from the early postwar period (Kagel, Stockhausen, Goebbels, Aperghis, Cage), as well as from the younger generation (Stehen-Andersen, Walshe, Prins). More specifically, the works will be examined in regard to the content, the compositional process and the musical notation. Ultimate goal of the the course is the familiarisation of the students with the music theatre field and basic terms such as dramaturgy, narration, composition, bodiness and gesture, both in analytical as well as in compositional level. The process through which these goals are achieved include i) contact in practice with the object in study (audiovisual media and discussion), ii) familiarisation with the bibliography and iiia) critical analysis through writing or iiib) creative deepening through short compositions.
The course is open to all the students of the Music Department, but it is specially encouraged for composition students and actors/actresses to attend it.
Students can choose between written assignment and composing a short music theatre piece.
Final written assignment: 60%
Project presentation: 25%
Attendance and participation: 15%
Through the teaching process, the students will form a small group (2-3 members) and then, after discussion with the tutor, will organise the outline of their assignment. The assignment should present in detail a piece of music theatre or the sum of the music theatre production of a composer.
Assignment length: 3000-4000 words. Main parts:
Introductory paragraph pointing out the main parts of the assignment.
Main part, where the bibliography is creatively used and the piece in discuss is analysed or the sum of the creative production is presented.
Final paragraph, summarising and concluding.
Bibliography, gathered with tutor’s consultation.
Assignment’s evaluation: Focus on the subject, Validation through analysis, Validation through bibliography, Organisation and syntactic clarity, Interest in Reading.
During the final lectures, the assignments will be presented using powerpoint. During the presentations, the students must point out the main focus parts, using musical examples and short analysis extracts. Duration of the presentation is between 15 and 20 minutes.
Through the teaching process, the students will form small groups, including one composer and up to three performers (musicians and/or actors). In collaboration with the tutor, they will create a concept and then will carry on composing in a collaborative way a short piece of music theatre. The main themes that must be addressed are i) the musical and bodily gesture, ii) the narration, iii) the dramaturgy.
Apart from the score (which can be notated in any way), a text of about 1000 words accompanying the score must be delivered. In the text, the composer and performers must explain the compositional choices and practices.
During the final lectures, the compositions will be live performed. For each performance, a programme note (max. 200 words) must be delivered to the audience.