Musical Theatre Essay

Musical Theatre Essay

Description  Details

Discipline Arts

Assignment type : Essay


Focusing on ONE musical of your choosing, please answer the following question:

How do the narrative (book) and the musical numbers of your chosen piece interact? What do the musical numbers add to the narrative, and how? In what way do the musical numbers take-away from, undercut or even subvert the narrative? You should write about at least two of the following analytical categories: the sung voice, lyrics, melody, harmony, and dance, and you must focus your analysis on three different musical numbers.

NB: It is likely easiest to choose a ‘book musical’ (one with spoken text) to answer this question, but should you choose a ‘sung-thru’ musical, focus on the difference between the ‘recitative’, scene music, and the numbers.

How you will be assessed

You will need to demonstrate your ability to analyse a piece of musical theatre, focusing on unique aspects of the musical form covered in class, such as singing, melody, harmony, dance, lyrics, structure, narrative form, and genre.

You will be assessed on:

  • Ability to address question in a focused way;
  • Depth of analysis;
  • Evidence of research, use of appropriate literature and secondary sources;
  • Coherent and clear structure and argument;
  • Presentation and attention to detail (spelling, grammar, punctuation);
  • Referencing


  • You must use evidence from the musical. While we acknowledge that it is difficult to find the scripts, scores, or libretti from musicals, be as specific as possible. If you are referring to an action, line or incident in the musical make sure you make reference to where this occurs.


  • ‘Sondheim’s word-play in ‘Getting Married Today’, which appears in Act 1, Scene Six, reinforces Amy’s scattered and fragile state of mind.’
  • You should demonstrate evidence of research in high-quality secondary sources. These include: scholarly books, academic journal articles (such as those uploaded as secondary reading on Blackboard), and research based websites. Do NOT use SparkNotes, GradeSaver or any other such websites. Wikipedia should only be a starting point and should not be used in the body of your essay.
  • The librarians are there to help you find this research material – if you need help accessing Summon (on the Brunel Library website), accessing electronic journal articles, or finding a book, just see them for help.
  • We use the Harvard Referencing System at Brunel. There is a style guide available on Blackboard. (I will also go over this in class).
  • A good essay always starts with a solid plan. Please bring in an essay plan to class on 16 November. We will discuss your essay plans that day. You can also make an appointment to see me in office hours.

DUE: 7 December 2017 by 12 PM Noon

HOW TO SUBMIT: Submit an electronic copy of this essay via Blackboard Learn. Click on ‘Assignments’ in the Sidebar.

Format MLA

Academic Level: –

Volume of 2 pages (550 words)

Type of service: Custom writing

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