Stacy Wolf

in The Oxford Handbook of The American Musical

Published in print November 2011 | ISBN: 9780195385946
Published online September 2012 | | DOI:

Series: Oxford Handbooks


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This article provides an overview of the evolution of the American musicals covered in this book. It focuses on how the study of the American musical might proceed, either by historiography, history, media, identity, the various elements of performance (how a musical is put together), and by the audience (how the commercialism of the musical organizes its production and its reception). The self-reflexive structure means that some descriptions in the book mention the same musical in different analytical contexts, and some traverse the same historical moment from different interpretive perspectives. The studies focusing on a single musical relying on archival research to unearth details about the production process are also presented in the book. The book promotes scholarship supporting the study of musicals that is gradually attracting students, as more dissertations are written and books published on musicals each year.

Keywords: American musicals; musical history; production process; musical play or film; elements of performance; media studies

Article.  1626 words. 

Subjects: Music ; Musicology and Music History

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