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MUS 395


Investigation of specialized topics in areas such as music history, literature, musical cultures and performance issues. Recent offerings have included Jazz Styles and Analysis, Psychology of Music, and Mind, Body & Wellness.

Distribution Area Prerequisites Credits
MUS 230 or consent of instructor 1/2-1 course

Fall Semester information

Elissa Harbert

395A: Tps:History of Broadway Musicals

For over a century, Broadway musicals have been among the most popular and influential forms of entertainment in the United States and beyond. This course provides a survey of the genre's history, important creators and performers, innovations, and conventions. After examining the genre's origins in ballad opera, operetta, minstrelsy, and vaudeville, we will proceed chronologically to consider major stylistic trends and shifts across the decades to the present. Along the way, we will explore how the music, lyrics, and narratives of key musicals interact with cultural issues of their times and ours. By considering their often problematic messages about race, ethnicity, gender, class, politics, and other issues, students will develop a deep understanding of musical theater's position in society as well as its musico-dramatic structure and conventions.