Israel Isidore Baline was born in the Russian village of Tyumen on May 11th, 1888. His family left in the mid 1890s to escape the persecution of the Jewish community and settled in New York City (biography.com). Israel dropped out of school at age thirteen (Kenrick 143). Baline was a street singer as a teen and in 1906 he got a job as a singing waiter in Chinatown (biography.com). The first song he ever had published was called “Marie From Sunny Italy” (biography.com). He wrote it in 1907 with Nick Nicholson writing the music. Baline’s name was misspelled on the sheet music as “I. Berlin” (biography.com). He decided to keep it and changed his name to Irving Berlin (biography.com) . It was in this way that the legend was born.
Not very long after changing his name Berlin became the co-owner of his own publishing firm (Kenrick 143). He decided to try composing his own music despite the fact that he couldn’t read musical notation and didn’t know much about the piano (143). He worked out his melodies by using only the black keys (143). He was musically illiterate and he couldn’t write the music he composed in his head (Horowitz 264). He would sing it to a musical secretary who would then write it down and play it back to him (264). He would help the secretary find the right harmonies and accompaniments until what he heard matched what was in his head (264). Most of his music sketches were typed out, either done by Berlin himself or one of his secretaries (264). The typed lyrics usually included annotations where he would cross out a word or write a replacement line over in the margins (264). Berlin reworked his songs many times before they were finished (264). He was also a list maker, like most lyricists are (264). His lyric sket...
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...96 revival of Annie Get Your Gun (267). Berlin stepped out of the public eye and managed his shows and songs until he died in 1989 (268). He was 101 years old. Jerome Kern said of him, “Irving Berlin has no place in American music; he is American music” (268).
Horowitz, Mark Eden. "The Craft Of Making Art: The Creative Processes Of Eight Musical Theatre Songwriters." Studies In Musical Theatre 7.2 (2013): 261-283.Humanities Full Text (H.W. Wilson). Web. 23 Mar. 2014.
Green, Stanley, and Cary Ginell. Broadway Musicals Show by Show. 7th. Milwaukee: Applause Theatre & Cinema Books, 2011. Print. (Green and Ginell )
Kenrick, John. Musical Theatre A History. New York: The Continuum International Publishing Group, 2008. Print.
"Irving Berlin." 2014. The Biography Channel website. Mar 29 2014, 05:06 http://www.biography.com/people/irving-berlin-9209473.
... a severe tragedy, a heart attack. It was the first heart attack Frank had ever had. For the next couple years Frank had not been seen in public. In 1998, Frank was back in the news. Unfortunately, it was about Frank’s Health. Sinatra had died of a heart attack at age 82 on May 14. The nation was astounded. This was the biggest music celebrity news since TuPac’s death. News channels everywhere interrupting their broadcasts for this special bulletin. The first teen idol that the country had ever seen was dead. The most ingenious singer the country had ever seen was dead. It was the second time the music had died. His life has touched the world and has forever changed the art of singing, as we know it.
Oscar Hammerstein II, born July 12, 1895, came from a family of theater people. His grandfather, Oscar Hammerstein I, built theatres and loved opera. Following him, would be a generation of theatre managers and Vaudeville presenters. But the true love of theatrical storytelling was in Hammerstein II. From an earlier age, Hammerstein was a quick worker and very productive when it came to his work. Unlike all lyricists at the time, he wrote the libretto to most of the musicals for which he contributed the lyrics. Therefore, the scenes in which his lyrics are place stemmed from the same creative mind. Much of his early career was with many different composers like Herbert Stothart, Otto Harbach, and Jerome Kern. Yet, his name was often
Musical theatre has been around for quite a while. But where exactly did it come from? The book Anything Goes, written by Ethan Mordden looks to explore just that. From operas to musical comedies, Mordden covers the basic history of musical theatre and why it’s important for the world to know.
Copland was born in New York City in 1900. Copland had a large and loving family in New York. His childhood was comfortable, as his father owned a department store where Copland worked for much of his young life. Copland’s mother is described by the composer as "affectionate and a very nice mother to have" (pp. 18) Copland showed an early interest in music, and by the age of eleven, he had surpassed the knowledge of his older sister in the ways of the piano. As a child, he had taken lessons from his sister, but by eleven, he felt that he needed to consult an outside source in order to learn more.
Arthur Laurents wrote the book, which, again, was roughly based off of the memoirs of Gypsy Rose Lee. The well established and highly respected, Jule Styne wrote the music for Gypsy. Stephen Sondheim, who was not as popular at the time, wrote the lyrics. Sondheim expressed his desire to write the music for the show, but Gypsy star, Ethel Merman insisted that an experienced composer write the music. Sondheim was turned off by this request, but still wrote the lyrics due to the advice given to him by his mentor, Oscar Hammerstein. Hammerstein believed Sondheim would learn a lot by writing for a star. Jerome Robbins directed and choreographed the original Broadway production. With a stacked directing and production team, it is no surprise that Gypsy’s debut was a smash hit. The original production of Gypsy ran for two years - totaling up to 702 performances and was nominated for eight Tony Awards.
Django Reinhardt was born into the lifestyle of his gypsy parents on January 24th, 1910 in a village of Belgium known as Liberchies. Django, Romani for “I awake,” has inspired and astonished various generations of musicians and lovers of jazz with his remarkable control of the guitar and the story of his upbringing. At just the age of eight, his parents moved near the stretch of barricades that encompassed the streets of old Paris. Up until he was about twenty years old, he had never really set down roots somewhere, worn a suit, or lived in a real house. These French Gypsies, also known as Manouches, were living in a world of their own, primitive in their way of thinking and skeptical of popular science. Django was raised in a lifestyle that was one big contradiction, one moment he was in the swarming city of Paris and the next he found himself in the old fashioned life of a wandering gypsy. Although Django was born into a life of hardship, he had a righteous and honorable soul, which ultimately manifested itself into his music.
learned he all-or-nothing commercial hothouse of Broadway. Like Hammerstein, he has written the occasional pop song (with Jule Styne for Tony Bennett) and dabbled in films (Stavisky, Reds, Dick Tracy), but, like Hammerstein, he has always come back to the theatre. His initial success came as a somewhat reluctant lyricist to Leonard Bernstein on West Side Story (1957) and Jule Styne on Gypsy (1959). Exciting and adventurous as those shows were in their day, and for all their enduring popularity, Sondheim's philosophy since is encapsulated in one of his song titles: "I Never Do Anything Twice". His first score as composer-lyricist was A Funny Thing Happened On The Way To The Forum (1962) - a show so funny few people spotted how experimental it was: it's still the only successful musical farce. In the following three decades, critics detected a Sondheim style - a fondness for the harmonic language of Ravel and Debussy; a reliance on vamps and skewed harmonies to destabilise the melody; a tendency to densely literate lyrics. But, all that said, it's the versatility that still impresses: you couldn't swap a song from the exuberantly explosive pit-band score of Anyone Can Whistle (1964) with one of the Orientally influenced musical scenes in Pacific Overtures (1976); you couldn't mistake the neurotic pop score of Company (1970) for the elegantly ever-waltzing A Little Night Music (1973). Sondheim hit his stride in the Seventies, forming a unique
Elmer won one Academy Award and was nominated for 14, one Emmy Award and was nominated for two, two Golden Globe Awards and was nominated for three, one Downbeat Award, two Western Heritage Awards, and was nominated for five Grammy Awards and two Tony Awards. He composed over 200 film scores for 51 different movies. His vigorous work earned him the title of “a Composer of Scores Capable of Outshining their films” by The New York Times. He is known for his versatile nature and love of diversity. He told Time’s Barbara Isenberg, “I rarely do anything at the same time each day, simply because anything you do routinely cannot possibly be fresh. I think a life with change in it keeps you young.” Bernstein was wise, but had a young heart filled with energy and optimism that is missed dearly by filmmakers and enthusiasts across not only America, but the
America. Berlin developed a unique musical style by playing only on the “Black Keys.” He became a legend at age 30 and his music served as social barometer for much of the 20th century. Though these two composers really much enjoyed and were very talented in playing the piano, these two artists had different elements of music used in their music.
Steve Reich was recently called “America’s greatest composer” (The Village Voice). That is exactly what he is. He was born on October 3, 1936 in New York City, NY. Reich had his first big music debut at the young age of 14 when he was introduced to Stravinsky and Bach (Morrison). He went to Cornell University at the age of 16 and received a degree in philosophy (Morrison). After that, Reich entered The Julliard School in 1957. While he was there he studied with a tonal composer, William Bergsma, and pianist, Vincent Perschetti (Morrison). In 1970, Reich went to Africa and studied at the University of Ghana. After spending a few weeks there and listening to the Ghanaian style of music he was inspired to write his musical composition, “Drumming” (Morrison). This happening, and many others helped to develop Reich’s musical style. Reich also wrote his most famous compositions, Music for 18 Musicians, during this time.
On July 12, 1985, Oscar Hammerstein II was born into a show business family. Residing in New York New York, his father and uncle, Willie and Arthur Hammerstein, were successful theater managers, and his grandfather, Oscar Hammerstein I, was a famous opera impresario. His father was not supportive of his son’s desire to participate in the arts, even though it was the business most of his family was involved in. Because of his father’s decision, Oscar he was a great man Hammerstein studied at Columbia University, focusing on pre-law. It was not until his father’s death during his second year at school that Hammerstein began writing lyrics. From here, he began writing and performing in many of their varsity shows. He enjoyed this so much that he dropped out of Columbia University to pursue a career in theater as an assistant stage manager with his Uncle Arthur.
Theatre has heavily evolved over the past 100 years, particularly Musical Theatre- a subgenre of theatre in which the storyline is conveyed relying on songs and lyrics rather than dialogue. From its origination in Athens, musical theatre has spread across the world and is a popular form of entertainment today. This essay will discuss the evolution and change of musical theatre from 1980-2016, primarily focusing on Broadway (New York) and the West End (London). It will consider in depth, the time periods of: The 1980s: “Brit Hits”- the influence of European mega musicals, the 1990s: “The downfall of musicals”- what failed and what redeemed, and the 2000s/2010s: “The Resurgence of musicals”- including the rise of pop and movie musicals. Concluding