MUS 124 1001

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MUS 124 HISTORY OF THE AMERICAN MUSICAL THEATRE
SYLLABUS AND STUDY GUIDES
INSTRUCTOR: PROFESSOR STEPHANIE ARRIGOTTI
Office Hours Cedar 113 M-TH 4-5:15
Phone 445-4250 Email [email protected]
Welcome to the class! I look forward to sharing with you the highlights of the exciting world of musical theatre from its beginnings through
the present day.
By the completion of this course, students should be able to:
• Explain what makes scores and libretti effective, recognize character development and note the function of songs in integrated musicals.
• Describe the various key players that create and present a live musical.
• Identify the art forms that preceded the American musical and show their influence in current musicals.
• Recognize major musical theatre composers throughout the last century and identify their major contributions.
• Identify different types of musicals, including jukebox, concept and book musicals.
• Discuss the plots and reviews of several current shows on Broadway
• Engage in forums and write reports using college level writing skills.
• Demonstrate the use of music and dance to develop plot and character in integrated musicals.
Your competency in these objectives will be measured by your participation in forums, online texts, short reports and two proctored exams.
Some general information about taking this web course
Computer Skills Required:
Word processing skills, including saving and retrieving documents.
Basic internet skills, including, but not limited to: emailing with attachments, searches, navigation, specifying URLs or locations, etc.
All internet students should complete an Online Student Orientation: https://wnc.instructure.com/courses/1065621
If you have any problems or questions about WNC Online, use the links and phone numbers listed at the bottom of this page. If you need
someone on campus, call 445-3227 or email [email protected], the WNC Library Reference Desk. You can also get help in person by visiting
the WNC Library Reference Desk on the Carson City campus.
Transcripts of the lectures are available for the hearing impaired. Contact me for more information.
Communication and Social Skills Required:
I ask all students to email me during the first week of class to supply their current contact information. Often what is listed with Admissions is
outdated and it is important that I am able to answer your questions and communicate with you. Be sure to have a functioning email address
that you check frequently. When you ask a question within the course, it is sent to me as an email and I respond to it through email. It enables
me to respond more quickly to your questions. I try to respond to your questions quickly, certainly within 24 hours on weekdays.
You will find some forums in the course. This is an important part of the educational experience. Intelligent discussions will broaden your
perceptions. Be prepared to offer insights, share music you’ve discovered, make statements, point out discrepancies, agree, and disagree.
Take the time to read what your classmates say in the forums. Everyone comes to this class with his or her own previous experiences in musical theater, and each of us can learn from others. Treat each other with courtesy and respect.
Write grammatically, using appropriate capitalization, punctuation and correct spelling. You are participating in a college course, not texting
your friends. Here is a rubric to show standards of writing grading practices: http://www.slideshare.net/eklauber/grammar-assessment-rubric
You are encouraged to use the online English tutoring service if you need help with your writing: http://www.wnc.edu/studentservices/asc/
online/ Also, the reports should be in your own words - never copy/paste a website.
Energy Required:
There is an old rule of thumb that says that a three-credit course requires three hours of class and an additional six hours of study every
week. Since we don’t have class time, this means you should invest about nine hours of study every week for this course listening to lectures,
watching musicals and researching responses to the forums.
I am listing the dates of each section of the course in this outline. It is important that you stay on track with these dates. Perhaps the most
common reason students do not succeed in internet classes is that many students do not invest time in the course until the end of the semester, then are unable to master the material in the remaining time. To prevent this, I am requiring that you complete the tests for each section
by the date listed. Late exams will not be accepted. Late forums and assignments will be penalized.
Ethics Required:
It is, of course, very important that you do your own work and that you adhere to the codes of academic integrity: http://www.wnc.edu/policymanual/3-4-5.php
Downloading and using the video tapes or transcripts of these lectures outside of this class is not allowed.
Text Required:
You are not required to purchase a text for this course. You will reinforce much of the information contained in this course on two free websites: www.musicals101.com. and Broadway, The American Musical: http://www.pbs.org/wnet/broadway/. The material from the musicals101
website has also been converted into a textbook: Kenrick, Musical Theatre: A History. Amazon.com sells the Kindle and the paperback edition for less than $20. While both the websites and the text have extensive useful information, they have far more information than what is
required in this course and it is organized differently. In this course, I put the most weight on what still is presented today in theaters or shows
that heavily influenced current repertoire. Consequently, this text is not required, only recommended.
Instead, I require that students invest their money in opening a Netflix account so they can watch complete musicals. You need
to get the type of account in which DVD’s are mailed to you (sometimes two at a time), as the selections you will be watching are
not always available by streaming. You only need this account from February through April so you will need to pay for two months
of service, as the first month is a free trial. There is a formidable list of musicals readily available on Netflix. I have listed more than 50
of them at the end of this syllabus that are well done and worth watching. You are required to watch 10 of these (speicified within the course)
and encouraged to watch more. Not a scary request: watch movies on Netflix! A course on musical theater won’t make any sense if you
don’t watch several musicals. Attending a live performance of a musical does cost more, but after seeing the lecture on how a live musical is
created, you will appreciate the experience of seeing a finished product. I will negatively grade students who avoid watching full movies by
watching clips on youtube and reading synopses on wikipedia. It is always obvious to me when a student does not watch the full musical. Your
exams will have questions that can only be answered if you have watched the musical. Do your job. Pop some popcorn. Watch the musical.
You will find a chronological listing of the shows and composers we are covering in each section. Since the lectures sometimes cover individual composers or types of musicals, this will help you see how all this information fits together. You will be asked to name composers from
each era on your exams, so refer to these chronologies when working through the class.
The canvas log in page is: https://wnc.instructure.com/login
The student log in support page is: https://wnc.instructure.com/courses/1074625
Students can also call Canvas technical support for log in help or technical support 24/7 at 855-308-2493
How you are graded
Your grade is computed as follows:
PLEASE NOTE: WHILE THE RUBRIC INDICATES THAT A CERTAIN NUMBER OF POINTS ARE ASSIGNED FOR GRAMMAR AND
FOR QUALITY OF RESPONSE, POSTINGS THAT DO NOT ANSWER THE QUESTION OR THAT ARE NOT WRITTEN IN COLLEGELEVEL WRITING WILL BE RETURNED TO THE STUDENT UNGRADED. STUDENTS WILL BE GIVEN AN OPPORTUNITY TO
RESUBMIT THEIR WORK, IF TIME IS AVAILABLE FOR THEM TO DO SO.
Forums
8%
Short Text assignments
24%
Reports
18%
Midterm and Final
25% each
Extra credit
5%
After most sections of the class, you give a little feedback - something to encourage intelligent viewing of the musicals and critical
thinking. Three sections of the course have a forum which reinforces material covered that week. The purpose of the forums is to
provide a topic that encourages some thoughtful analysis and conversation. After posting your own entry, you need to read others’
forum postings and post an insightful response to at least one posting per forum. An example of a significant response would be, “I
disagree that Gilbert and Sullivan were targeting Frederick in this show because...” Responses that will not earn credit are, “I love that
song so much! Thanks for sharing!” These responses, while friendly, show a lethargic engagement in the course and poor interaction
with your classmates and will not count as forum participation. Each forum is worth 4% of your grade - 3% for your posting and 1% for
your response to someone else’s post. You should post in forums during the week listed. While we appreciate hearing from you in the
“Introduce Yourself” forum, that posting does not contribute to your grade. LATE POSTINGS WILL LOSE POINTS. THE LATER THEY
ARE, THE MORE POINTS THEY LOSE. THE LAST DAY TO PARTICIPATE IN FORUMS AND ASSIGNMENTS IS DECEMBER 1.
YOU WILL NOT BE GIVEN CREDIT FOR POSTINGS AFTER THAT DATE.
Three sections of the course have text assignments. These are simply one or two paragraph responses to a question that asks
you to think analytically about a musical that you have been assigned to watch. While it should be thoughtfully answered, this is not a
report that requires research and annotation. It is simply thoughtful feedback on one aspect of the musical, expressed in college-level
writing, using proper grammar, spelling and punctuation. These are worth 4 points each.
Three sections require reports that are about one page long. Both are explained in the assignment itself. The Phantom of the Opera
and Les Misérables reports should be your own thoughts: no research is involved. For the Broadway report, you should be gathering
information from multiple sources. If you would like the support of reference librarians for this or other courses, contact the library: http://
library.wnc.edu/ The Broadway report will not be accepted late because some of that information is covered in the last lecture and you
should do your research before listening to that lecture.
A short study guide is provided in each section of the course for the midterm and final. Use these! All work in this course may be
completed at your own computer except for the tests, which must be proctored at a test site to ensure academic integrity. Information
on WNC testing sites is listed here: http://www.wnc.edu/wnconline/ If you’d like a proctored exam in Reno, email [email protected] to
find out when their testing service is available. If you are not near any of these cities, please contact me personally to determine another
testing site. Be aware that some sites have limited hours. Some require appointments. No cell phones or other technology may be
brought to the test site. You must bring a photo ID with you to present to the moderator. No late tests are allowed.
You may earn a maximum of 5 extra percent of your final grade by attending an approved musical theatre production and writing
a one-page report on the show itself - not a review, but a discussion of the composer, interesting facts about the production, critical
reviews of the Broadway run. You will enjoy the performance much more if you write this report before attending the show. Your reports
should be submitted through this assignment. You may attend any live college-level or professional musicals for this report.
This semester, the college is presenting Meredith Willson’s The Music Man. General admission tickets to this production are $28 and
$25. Students in this class are authorized to buy two-for-one tickets on opening night, Friday, May 8. This special price will be available
to you for advance ticket sales starting April 15 and must be purchased through our office: 775-445-4249. This discount is not available through online sales. If there is a different musical you’d like to attend, you should email me first to confirm that it is acceptable.
THE LAST DAY TO SUBMIT EXTRA CREDIT REPORTS IS TUESDAY, DEC. 1. REPORTS WILL NOT BE ACCEPTED AFTER THAT.
To summarize, this is the chronological point breakdown of assignments and exams for the class, showing maximum possible
points. Assignments and exams may be submitted before the due date.
Due Date
9/6 Introduce Yourself
0
9/13 Current Influence of Burlesque/Vaudeville/Extravaganza Forum: Up to 3 points for your own post, 1 for your response: 4
9/20 Pirates of Penzance Assignment
4
9/27 Integrated Musicals of Rodgers and Hammerstein Forum: Up to 3 points for your own post, 1 for your response:
4
10/4 The Music Man Assignment
4
10/11 West Side Story Assignment
4
10/18 My Fair Lady Assignment
4
10/23 Midterm (The midterm will be available in the testing centers in early October and must be completed by Oct. 22)
25
BE AWARE THAT TESTING CENTERS HAVE LIMITED HOURS AND SOME DARK DAYS. DON’T MISS YOUR TEST!
The last day to drop the course and receive a W is 10/29. Your midterm grades will be posted within the course before that date.
11/1
Broadway Report
9
11/8
Chicago Assignment
4
11/22 The Phantom of the Opera Report 9
12/1 Final day for late assignments
12/1 Last day to submit extra credit report
12/6
Les Misérables Assignment
4
12/16Final
25
Total
100
The grading system is as follows:
93-100 A
90-92 A-
87-89 B+
83-86 B
80-82 B-
77-79 C+
73-76 C
70-72 C
67-69 D+
63-66 D
60-62 D-
0-59
F
Check the gradebook in the class to monitor your grades during the course of the semester.
IMPORTANT!!! WNC instructors can no longer assign W’s to students.
The only way a student may receive a W grade is by applying for a W himself
BEFORE October 29.
The only grade that instructors can assign to a missing-in-action student who does not withdraw from a class is an F.
This is a college-wide policy that applies to all of your courses. http://www.wnc.edu/calendar/academics/
SOME OF THE MUSICALS AVAILABLE ON NETFLIX
(Musicals in red are required viewing. See course assignments for viewing dates.)
AbbaMamma Mia
Adler and Ross
Damn Yankees
Adler and Ross
The Pajama Game
Lionel BartOliver!
Baum, Arlen
The Wizard of Oz
Leonard Bernstein
On the Town
Leonard Bernstein
West Side Story
Jerry Boch
Fiddler on the Roof
Boublil and Shonberg
Les Misérables: movie and concert versions
Irving Berlin
Holiday Inn
Irving Berlin
Top Hat
Nacio Herb Brown
Singin’ In the Rain
Chaplin, de Paul
Seven Brides for Seven Brothers
George M. Cohan
Yankee Doodle Dandy
Disney
Beauty and the Beast
DisneyThe Lion King
DisneyMary Poppins
George Gershwin
An American in Paris
Gilbert and Sullivan
The Pirates of Penzance (look for the production with Kevin Kline)
Marvin Hamlisch
A Chorus Line
Glen HansardOnce
Jerry Herman
Hello, Dolly!
Jerry HermanMame
Jacobs, CaseyGrease
Kander and Ebb
Cabaret
Kander and Ebb
Chicago
Jonathan Larson
Rent
Mitch Leigh
Man of La Mancha
Frank Loesser
Guys and Dolls
Lerner and Loewe
Brigadoon
Lerner and Loewe
Camelot
Steve Margoshes
Fame
Lerner and Loewe
My Fair Lady
Rodgers and Hammerstein
Carousel
Select one from the following four:
Rodgers and Hammerstein The King and I
Rodgers and Hammerstein Oklahoma! (be sure to select the production with Hugh Jackman)
Rodgers and Hammerstein South Pacific
Rodgers and Hammerstein The Sound of Music
Marc ShaimanHairspray
Tom SnowFootloose
Stephen Sondheim
Company
Stephen Sondheim
A funny thing happened on the way to the forum
Stephen Sondheim
Into the Woods
Stephen Sondheim
Sweeney Todd
Charles StrouseAnnie
Charles Strouse
Bye Bye Birdie
Jule Styne
Funny Girl
Jule StyneGypsy
Harry Warren
42nd Street
Andrew Lloyd Webber
Evita
Andrew Lloyd Webber
The Phantom of the Opera: two different versions
Andrew Lloyd Webber
Love Never Dies
Meredith Willson
The Music Man
Now get started on your class!
Enter the course and click on “Modules” in the left column. Open the
first module, Elements of a Musical, by clicking on the arrow on the
right side of the bar. Read the document “What to look for - What
to remember,” then print it so you can refer to it while watching the
videos in this module. When you click on a video, you move to a page
that shows the title of that video. Click on that title and it will take
you to the video. As you watch the video lectures, take notes so that
you can identify the terms and and answer the questions listed in the
“What to Remember” document. If you need to look at another source
to help you answer these questions, check out the links found in the
same document. Follow this pattern as you move through the course.
Please introduce yourself during the first week of class in the “Introduce
Yourself” forum. Your first graded forum is in week two.
Any questions? Call me: 775-445-4250 or email me:
[email protected] Enjoy!
COURSE DATA
MUS 124 HISTORY OF THE AMERICAN MUSICAL THEATRE
Cultural, musical and theatrical survey of musical theatre in the United States,from the mid-nineteenth century to the present.
University transfer, Fulfills the UNR and WNC Core Fine Arts Requirement
Assistance available to students with disabilities: http://www.wnc.edu/studentservices/dss/
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