By reading this article, you are going to discover the technical aspects of musicals and in the process, understand what it is really about. Well by technical definition, it means that musical theatre is a form of theatre that is combining dancing, music, songs as well as spoken dialogue. It is a bit related to opera while it intentionally avoids conventions of opera in order to give it a general appeal.
Musical components of musical are referred as score. The sung lines are referred to as lyrics than plain spoken dialogue which is simply as dialogue. Normally, the person who writes the lyrics of musical isn’t the same person who wrote the actual storyline for it. As a matter of fact, this is a very common practice amongst various musical plays.
Fact is, musicals may be done in as fast as few minutes or it can last for couple of hours. Average running time for the modern musicals on the other hand is around 2 hours and 30 minutes with intermission halfway through the entire presentation. Some musicals however go straight through if it isn’t that long. As for the intermission, it takes 10 to 15 minutes when presented and for the average musical, it will carry at least 30 songs with short and long pieces.
Most of the musicals often starts with overture that is used to highlight some songs that will be played and at the same time, used to set the mood of the audience for what they’re about to expect. Oftentimes, the highlights and the most dramatic moments of the musicals are carried out in a song. The reason for this is that, these are the moments in which the creators like you to remember the most and it’s easier to remember if it’s a properly executed 3 to 4 minute song than it is recalling 3 to 4 minute spoken dialogue. If ever the emotion that has to be conveyed is so strong even for a song, then in such cases when dance is added or put in place of singing.
Whether you believe it or not, striking a balance between spoken dialogue and song may appear to be a walk in the park but it’s actually the opposite. The writer in addition has to be careful when writing songs for every character. To give you an example, it is unlikely to see the protagonist singing songs of sorrow and anger. It is quite hard as well to establish drama in musicals as a 5 minute song has fewer words compared to the 5 minute of spoken dialogue. With this said, everything has to be planned and laid down properly in order for the musical to be carried out flawlessly.