And so it comes to an end. The final Blog Post for our musical time traveling journey! We have come a long way and have looked at many things from the instropective Romantic Era composers to the expressionists of the early 20th Centuries!
What have we learned? The number one lesson to me is that music has evolved over the years but continues to be the voice of the people and society. Like I stated in my last blog post, music (and always will be) the ultimate storyteller.
Which brings me to my last topic, which holds special place in my heart. Today I would like to discuss musical theater. As a high school student, I practically grew up in musical theater as a proud member of our theater group. That said, this art form holds a very special place in my heart.
Musical theater has been around for centuries and like opera is a story telling vessel. Perhaps one of the most recognizable and famous productions/pieces is West Side Story which was a collaboration by Arthur Laurents, Jerome Robbins, Stephen Sondheim, and Leonard Bernstein. By now everyone knows of the Jets, Sharks, and Tony, and Maria. It was for all sakes and purposes the modern Romeo and Juliet. But the real significance of the production was that it was so revolutionary popular that it paved the way for other more modern musical theater pieces on Televesion and other genres, including movies. One of the most significant impacts of the piece was that it approached themes that were prevalent during the era including racism and prejudice. This point was well stated in an article written by Kimberly Kaye for http://www.broadway.com/buzz/5769/the-incredible-saga-of-west-side-story/ in 2009. Kaye states that “If West Side Story influenced the musical theatre, it was in content, not form.”
And so ends our musical journey together. I have learned quite a bit about the growth and development of music and I hope you have enjoyed it as much as me.