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Musical Theater Research: Ancient History
Musicals have had many different names throughout time: comic operas, operettas, opera bouffe, burlesque, burletta, extravaganza, musical comedy, etc. Musical Theater is a form of performance that combines songs, dancing and spoken word to tell a story.
Musical theater has grown and developed from simple songs used for entertainment on the streets. However, the real purpose of a musicals is to aim or transport the audience into a different world and to help people escape the reality of the world and take a break.
The term musical theater originated from the ancient Greeks. A lot of the ancient Greeks songs were fun and up beat. The ancient Greeks have included music and dance in their stage comedies and tragedies as early as the 5th Century B.C. They would perform on stage in huge amphitheaters! The musicals that took place featured mainly sexual humor, political, and social satire. Masses and masses of people came from all over to see these musical performances. The songs are a huge part of the plot and often meant for the chorus to comment on the actions taking place. Back then Musical solos were not even heard of! . Even though the Musicals had no direct change on the way modern musical theater is expressed and presented, it at least demonstrated that show tunes have been around for hundreds almost thousands of years.
After a while, the Romans began to copy and strengthen the traditions of Greek Theater. The 3rd Century B.C. comedies of Plautus included song and dance routines performed with orchestral accompaniment. Since they performed a lot, the Roman actors attached metal chips called “sabilla” to make the dance steps more audible. The Romans were the first to create tap shoes. The Romans performed in wooden structures, much more smaller than the Greeks theaters. Today, we keep the trend of special effects in our own time. In the 12th and 13th centuries, The Play of Herod and The Play of Daniel...
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