The American Musical and the Formation of National Identity

The American Musical and the Formation of National Identity The American musical has achieved and maintained relevance to people in America than any other performance based art This thoughtful history of the genre intended for readers of all stripes offers p

  • Title: The American Musical and the Formation of National Identity
  • Author: Raymond Knapp
  • ISBN: 9780691126135
  • Page: 480
  • Format: Paperback
  • The American musical has achieved and maintained relevance to people in America than any other performance based art This thoughtful history of the genre, intended for readers of all stripes, offers probing discussions of how American musicals, especially through their musical numbers, advance themes related to American national identity.Written by a musicologist andThe American musical has achieved and maintained relevance to people in America than any other performance based art This thoughtful history of the genre, intended for readers of all stripes, offers probing discussions of how American musicals, especially through their musical numbers, advance themes related to American national identity.Written by a musicologist and supported by a wealth of illustrative audio examples on the book s website , the book examines key historical antecedents to the musical, including the Gilbert and Sullivan operetta, nineteenth and early twentieth century American burlesque and vaudeville, Tin Pan Alley, and other song types It then proceeds thematically, focusing primarily on fifteen mainstream shows from the twentieth century, with discussions of such notable productions as Show Boat 1927 , Porgy and Bess 1935 , Oklahoma 1943 , West Side Story 1957 , Hair 1967 , Pacific Overtures 1976 , and Assassins 1991.The shows are grouped according to their treatment of themes that include defining America, mythologies, counter mythologies, race and ethnicity, dealing with World War II, and exoticism Each chapter concludes with a brief consideration of available scholarship on related subjects an extensive appendix provides information on each show discussed, including plot summaries and song lists, and a listing of important films, videos, audio recordings, published scores, and libretti associated with each musical.

    One thought on “The American Musical and the Formation of National Identity”

    1. This is not a good book to read if you're someone unfamiliar with the history of musical theater and want a general overview (for that, see Our Musicals, Ourselves), but it's fascinating if you already have some knowledge on the subject and want analysis of specific shows from a more critical eye with regards to social implications. As far as how interesting and useful I found the specific analyses, I think almost everyone would have different opinions on this, but I found the Oklahoma! analysis [...]

    2. A detailed analysis of select musicals, but a less well organized argument about their overarching role in American national conscience.

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