Texts and Authors

Jim Lovensheimer

in The Oxford Handbook of The American Musical

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

Series: Oxford Handbooks

Texts and Authors


Several experts share their views on the terms, “texts” and “authors”, with regard to the musical. David Savran, theater and cultural theorist, suggests that no form of western theater (with the possible exception of opera) uses as many different media to produce a totality that is always far more than the sum of its parts so the analysis requires an implicit or explicit theorization of multiple systems of signification. Bernhard Radloff reports that a structure is composed of elements of signification by which the greater or lesser unity of those elements makes itself manifest. Kier Elam mentions that the researcher in theater and drama is faced with two quite dissimilar types of textual material, which includes the one that are produced in the theater and another that is composed for the theater. These two potential focuses of semiotic attention are indicated as the theatrical or performance text and the written or dramatic text respectively. Various dramatic texts of the musical do not necessarily relate to each other in any kind of hierarchical system, as the proponents of the composer-dominant approach might have it, but instead produce a somewhat egalitarian intertextuality.

Keywords: performance text; western theater; synaesthetic text; cultural context; dramatic text

Article.  6039 words. 

Subjects: Music ; Musicology and Music History

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