Music Theory for Musical Theatre is a textbook designed to demystify music theory and analysis to make it more accessible to the musical theatre student. It aims to equip the student with a basic skill set that he or she can directly apply to the art form. John Bell and Steven R. Chicurel explore how musical theatre composers use basic principles of music theory to help illuminate characters and tell stories, while helping the student understand the form, structure, and dramatic power of musical theatre repertoire.
The material is presented in three parts. Part I breaks down key concepts in the rudiments of music theory, including melody, rhythm, harmony, and form, while using excerpts from musical theatre literature to illustrate these ideas. Part II offers full analyses of musical theatre songs, presenting a model for singing actors on how to use musical analysis as an aid in performance. The workbook in Part III provides hands-on drills and exercises that the reader can use to facilitate skill development of the ideas presented in part one. Published with a lay-flat binding for easy use in the classroom and concluding with a glossary that reinforces important terminology, this textbook fills a long-neglected need in musical theatre study that will be beneficial to beginning and advanced students alike.