Techno is a form of electronic dance music that emerged in Detroit, Michigan, in the United States during the mid-to-late 1980s. The first recorded use of the word techno in reference to a specific genre of music was in 1988. Many styles of techno now exist, but Detroit techno is seen as the foundation upon which a number of sub-genres have been built. In Detroit, techno resulted from the melding of black styles including Chicago house, funk and electric jazz with electronic music by artists such as Kraftwerk, Giorgio Moroder, Yellow Magic Orchestra. Added to this is the influence of futuristic and fictional themes relevant to life in American late capitalist society, with Alvin Toffler's book The Third Wave being a notable point of reference. Pioneering producer and DJ Juan Atkins cites Toffler's phrase "techno rebels" as inspiring him to use the word techno to describe the musical style he helped to create; this unique blend of influences aligns techno with the aesthetic referred to as afrofuturism.
To producers such as Derrick May, the transference of spirit from the body to the machine is a central preoccupation. In this manner: "techno dance music defeats what Adorno saw as the alienating effect of mechanisation on the modern consciousness". Stylistically, techno is repetitive instrumental music produced for use in a continuous DJ set; the central rhythmic component is most in common time, where time is marked with a bass drum on each quarter note pulse, a backbeat played by snare or clap on the second and fourth pulses of the bar, an open hi-hat sounding every second eighth note. The tempo tends to vary between 120 to 150 beats per minute, depending on the style of techno; the creative use of music production technology, such as drum machines and digital audio workstations, is viewed as an important aspect of the music's aesthetic. Many producers use retro electronic musical devices to create what they consider to be an authentic techno sound. Drum machines from the 1980s such as Roland's TR-808 and TR-909 are prized, software emulations of such retro technology are popular among techno producers.
Music journalists and fans of techno are selective in their use of the term. The initial blueprint for techno developed during the mid-1980s in Belleville, Michigan, a suburb of Detroit by Juan Atkins, Kevin Saunderson and Derrick May, all of whom attended school together at Belleville High, with the addition of Eddie Fowlkes, Blake Baxter and James Pennington. By the close of the 1980s, the pioneers had recorded and released material under various guises: Atkins as Model 500, Magic Juan. There were a number of joint ventures, including Kevin Saunderson's group Inner City, which saw collaborations with Atkins, vocalist Paris Grey, fellow DJs James Pennington and; the Electrifying Mojo was the first radio DJ to play music by Atkins and Saunderson. Mojo refused to follow pre-established radio formats or playlists, he promoted social and cultural awareness of the African American community. In exploring techno's origins writer Kodwo Eshun maintains that "Kraftwerk are to Techno what Muddy Waters is to the Rolling Stones: the authentic, the origin, the real."
Juan Atkins has acknowledged that he had an early enthusiasm for Kraftwerk and Giorgio Moroder Moroder's work with Donna Summer and the producer's own album E=MC2. Atkins mentions that "around 1980 I had a tape of nothing but Kraftwerk, Devo, Giorgio Moroder and Gary Numan, I'd ride around in my car playing it." Atkins has claimed he was unaware of Kraftwerk's music prior to his collaboration with Richard "3070" Davis as Cybotron, two years after he had first started experimenting with electronic instruments. Regarding his initial impression of Kraftwerk, Atkins notes that they were "clean and precise" relative to the "weird UFO sounds" featured in his "psychedelic" music. Derrick May identified the influence of Kraftwerk and other European synthesizer music in commenting that "it was just classy and clean, to us it was beautiful, like outer space. Living around Detroit, there was so little beauty... everything is an ugly mess in Detroit, so we were attracted to this music. It, ignited our imagination!".
May has commented that he considered his music a direct continuation of the European synthesizer tradition. He identified Japanese synthpop act Yellow Magic Orchestra member Ryuichi Sakamoto, British band Ultravox, as influences, along with Kraftwerk. YMO's song "Technopolis", a tribute to Tokyo as an electronic mecca, is considered an "interesting contribution" to the development of Detroit techno, foreshadowing concepts that Atkins and Davis would explore with Cybotron. Kevin Saunderson has acknowledged the influence of Europe but he claims to have been more inspired by the idea of making music with electronic equipment: "I was more infatuated with the idea that I can do this all myself." Prior to achieving notoriety, Saunderson and Fowlkes shared common interests as budding musicians, "mix" tape traders, aspiring DJs. They found musical inspiration via the Midnight Funk Association, an eclectic five-hour late-night radio program hosted on various Detroit radio stations, including WCHB, WGPR, WJLB-FM from 1977 through the mid-1980s by DJ Charles "The Electrifying Mojo" Johnson.
Eurobeat refers to two styles of dance music that originated in Europe: one is a British variant of Euro disco influenced by dance-pop, the other is a Hi-NRG-driven form of Italo disco. Both developed in the 1980s. In the United States, Eurobeat was sometimes marketed as Hi-NRG and for a short while shared this term with the early freestyle music hits. Italo disco was referred to as Eurobeat due to the negative connotations of the word "disco" in the minds of the United States' population in the 1980s. "Eurobeat" is directly related to the Japanese Para Para dance culture as it influences many song and business decisions. The term "Eurobeat" was first used in the UK when Ian Levine's Eastbound Expressway released their single "You're a Beat" in recognition to the slower tempo of Hi-NRG music emerging from Europe; the majority of Hi-NRG songs tended to be from 124 to 138 BPM whereas the European releases tended to be from 108 to 120 BPM. Many European acts managed to break through under this new recognition, namely the likes of Modern Talking, Bad Boys Blue and Spagna.
It was used commercially to describe the Stock Aitken Waterman–produced hits by Dead or Alive, Jason Donovan and Kylie Minogue which were based on the British experience with Italo disco during holidays in Greece and elsewhere. "Eurobeat" was applied to the first hits from the Pet Shop Boys and other UK-based dance music and electropop groups of the time. Those "Eurobeat" hits had a European beat, topped the UK charts, and, in the USA, received radio airplay and contributed to the evolution of New York's Freestyle genre. "Braun European Top 20" on MTV Europe aired on MTV USA during summer 1987 to 1989, spreading the UK's Eurobeat sound. But after the summer of 1988, the style lost popularity, with the exception of Kylie Minogue and Jason Donovan. By the summer of'89 the term "Eurobeat" was replaced by other labels and the music changed to 90s Eurodance and Euro house; the term "Eurobeat" was used only in the UK during 1986–1988, for specific Italian 80s Euro disco imports, such as Sabrina Salerno and Baltimora.
Meanwhile, in Japan in 1985, the term "Eurobeat" was applied to all continental-European dance music imports. These were Italian and German-produced Italo disco releases; that sound became the soundtrack of the Para Para nightclub culture, that has existed since the early 1980s. Japan experienced Italo disco through the success of the German group Arabesque, which broke up in 1984; this did not prevent the release of two Italo disco-sounding singles in 1985 and 1986, produced and mixed by Michael Cretu. The solo success of Arabesque's lead singer Sandra further introduced this sound to Japan; this attracted the attention of many Italo disco producers and by the late 80s while the Germans faded out of the outdated Italo disco scene and went for other newly rising popular scenes trance, the Italians created a new sound for Japan, but unknown in the rest of the world. In Japan, this music is called "Eurobeat", "Super Eurobeat", "Eurobeat Flash". In the early 1990s when Eurobeat's popularity was decreasing in Japan, two Japanese men, the owner and a managing director of Avex, a small import record shop at the time, decided to release a compilation CD.
They went to Italy and met Giancarlo Pasquini known as Dave Rodgers a member of the Italo disco band Aleph, released the compilation CD, the first Super Eurobeat, which proved an instant success and re-sparked Eurobeat's popularity in Japan. Despite its European origins, the Eurobeat style's main market has always been Japan, where its synthetic and upbeat stylings are popular. Though many European people and American people have heard of Eurodance, Euro disco and Euro house, this flavor of Eurobeat is unknown in Europe and only became somewhat popular in the Western world, it appeals to some Euro-house fans. The anime series Initial D, based on the manga by Shuichi Shigeno, uses Eurobeat music in its episodes during racing scenes between the characters, because of this it has come to the attention of some anime fans outside Japan. Eurobeat's sound is its main link to its Italo disco origins, where it was just one of many different experiments in pure electronic dance. There are certain synth instruments that recur across the entire genre: a sequenced octave bass, characteristic are the energetic and heavy use of synths, distinctive brass and harp sounds, tight, predictable percussion in the background.
These sounds are layered with vocals and natural instruments into complex, ever-shifting melodies that, at their best, burst with energy. In 1998, Bemani, a branch of the video game company Konami made a hit video dance machine, Dance Dance Revolution; the game acquired Eurobeat songs from the Dancemania compilation series from Toshiba EMI. Over time, DDR has featured Eurobeat songs on-and-off in their songlists. However, their number has dwindled due to efforts to make DDR more marketable to North American markets. There has been a push to add more Eurobeat into DDR, most with the addition of Super Eurobeat tracks in the latest arcade release, Dance Dance Revolution X2. Other music games in Konami's lineup feature a large number of Eurobeat tracks, including Beatmania, Beatmania IIDX, jubeat; the popularity of the genre led Konami to create a Para Para game. Eurobeat evolved while preserving its essence. In the late 1970s and early 1980s, Hi-NRG, 70s Euro disco, space disco, Canadian disco, Italo disco (a.k
A synthesizer or synthesiser is an electronic musical instrument that generates audio signals that may be converted to sound. Synthesizers may imitate traditional musical instruments such as piano, vocals, or natural sounds such as ocean waves, they are played with a musical keyboard, but they can be controlled via a variety of other devices, including music sequencers, instrument controllers, guitar synthesizers, wind controllers, electronic drums. Synthesizers without built-in controllers are called sound modules, are controlled via USB, MIDI or CV/gate using a controller device a MIDI keyboard or other controller. Synthesizers use various methods to generate electronic signals. Among the most popular waveform synthesis techniques are subtractive synthesis, additive synthesis, wavetable synthesis, frequency modulation synthesis, phase distortion synthesis, physical modeling synthesis and sample-based synthesis. Synthesizers were first used in pop music in the 1960s. In the late 1970s, synths were used in progressive rock and disco.
In the 1980s, the invention of the inexpensive Yamaha DX7 synth made digital synthesizers available. 1980s pop and dance music made heavy use of synthesizers. In the 2010s, synthesizers are used in many genres, such as pop, hip hop, metal and dance. Contemporary classical music composers from the 20th and 21st century write compositions for synthesizer; the beginnings of the synthesizer are difficult to trace, as it is difficult to draw a distinction between synthesizers and some early electric or electronic musical instruments. One of the earliest electric musical instruments, the Musical Telegraph, was invented in 1876 by American electrical engineer Elisha Gray, he accidentally discovered the sound generation from a self-vibrating electromechanical circuit, invented a basic single-note oscillator. This instrument used steel reeds with oscillations created by electromagnets transmitted over a telegraph line. Gray built a simple loudspeaker device into models, consisting of a vibrating diaphragm in a magnetic field, to make the oscillator audible.
This instrument was a remote electromechanical musical instrument that used telegraphy and electric buzzers that generated fixed timbre sound. Though it lacked an arbitrary sound-synthesis function, some have erroneously called it the first synthesizer. In 1897 Thaddeus Cahill was granted his first patent for an electronic musical instrument, which by 1901 he had developed into the Telharmonium capable of additive synthesis. Cahill's business was unsuccessful for various reasons, but similar and more compact instruments were subsequently developed, such as electronic and tonewheel organs including the Hammond organ, invented in 1935. In 1906, American engineer Lee de Forest invented the first amplifying vacuum tube, the Audion whose amplification of weak audio signals contributed to advances in sound recording and film, the invention of early electronic musical instruments including the theremin, the ondes martenot, the trautonium. Most of these early instruments used heterodyne circuits to produce audio frequencies, were limited in their synthesis capabilities.
The ondes martenot and trautonium were continuously developed for several decades developing qualities similar to synthesizers. In the 1920s, Arseny Avraamov developed various systems of graphic sonic art, similar graphical sound and tonewheel systems were developed around the world. In 1938, USSR engineer Yevgeny Murzin designed a compositional tool called ANS, one of the earliest real-time additive synthesizers using optoelectronics. Although his idea of reconstructing a sound from its visible image was simple, the instrument was not realized until 20 years in 1958, as Murzin was, "an engineer who worked in areas unrelated to music". In the 1930s and 1940s, the basic elements required for the modern analog subtractive synthesizers — electronic oscillators, audio filters, envelope controllers, various effects units — had appeared and were utilized in several electronic instruments; the earliest polyphonic synthesizers were developed in the United States. The Warbo Formant Orgel developed by Harald Bode in Germany in 1937, was a four-voice key-assignment keyboard with two formant filters and a dynamic envelope controller.
The Hammond Novachord released in 1939, was an electronic keyboard that used twelve sets of top-octave oscillators with octave dividers to generate sound, with vibrato, a resonator filter bank and a dynamic envelope controller. During the three years that Hammond manufactured this model, 1,069 units were shipped, but production was discontinued at the start of World War II. Both instruments were the forerunners of the electronic organs and polyphonic synthesizers. In the 1940s and 1950s, before the popularization of electronic organs and the introductions of combo organs, manufacturers developed various portable monophonic electronic instruments with small keyboards; these small instruments consisted of an electronic oscillator, vibrato effect, passive filters. Most were designed for conventional ensembles, rather than as experimental instruments for electronic music studios, but contributed to the evolution of modern synthesizers; these instruments include the Solovox, Multimonica and Clavioline.
In the late 1940s, Canadian inventor and composer, Hugh Le Caine invented the Electronic Sackbut, a voltage-controlled electronic musical instrument that provided the earliest real-time control of three aspects of sound —corresponding to today's touch-sensitive keyboard and modulation controllers. The controllers were impl
The Pointer Sisters
The Pointer Sisters are an American R&B singing group from Oakland, who achieved mainstream success during the 1970s and 1980s. Spanning over four decades, their repertoire has included such diverse genres as pop, jazz, electronic music, blues, funk, dance and rock; the Pointer Sisters have won three Grammy Awards and received a star on the Hollywood Walk of Fame in 1994. The group had 13 US top 20 hits between 1973 and 1985; the group had its origins when sisters June and Bonnie Pointer began performing in clubs in 1969 as "Pointers, a Pair". The line-up grew to a trio, they released several unsuccessful singles. The trio grew to a quartet when sister Ruth joined in December 1972, they signed with Blue Thumb Records, recorded their debut album, began seeing more success, winning a Grammy Award in 1975 for Best Country Vocal Performance for "Fairytale". Bonnie left the group in 1978 to commence a solo career with modest success; the group achieved its greatest commercial success as a trio during the 1980s consisting of the line-up of June and Anita, winning two more Grammys for the top 10 hits "Jump" and "Automatic".
The group's other U. S. top 10 hits are "Fire", "He's So Shy", "Slow Hand", the remixed version of "I'm So Excited" and "Neutron Dance". June Pointer, the youngest sister, struggled with drug addiction for much of her career, leaving the group in April 2004 and dying from extensive cancer in April 2006, at the age of 52, she was replaced by Ruth's daughter Issa Pointer. This trio had a number two hit in Belgium in 2005, covering "Sisters Are Doin' It for Themselves" with Belgian singer Natalia. Since 2009, the group has consisted of Anita, Ruth and Ruth's granddaughter Sadako Pointer. While all four women remain in the group, they most perform as a trio rotating the lineup as needed. In December 2016, Billboard magazine ranked them as the 80th most successful dance artists of all-time. In December 2017, Billboard magazine ranked them as the 93rd most successful Hot 100 Artist of all-time and as the 32nd most successful Hot 100 Women Artist of all-time; as children in West Oakland, the Pointer sisters and brothers were encouraged to listen to and sing gospel music by their parents Reverend Elton Pointer and Sarah Pointer.
However, they were told rock and roll and the blues were "the devil's music", it was only when they were away from their watchful parents that they could sing these styles. They sang at a local Church of God in Christ congregation in West Oakland, but as the sisters grew older their love of other styles of music began to grow; when June, the youngest sister, brought home a copy of the Elvis Presley record All Shook Up, she was surprised that her mother allowed her to play it, until discovering that her mother had been pacified by the song "Crying in the Chapel" on the "B" side of the record. The sisters graduated from Oakland Technical High School: Ruth in 1963, Anita in 1965, Bonnie in 1968. After leaving school Ruth, the oldest sister, was married with two children Faun and Malik, the second oldest sister was married with a child Jada. Bonnie, the third oldest sister, June, the youngest, sought a show business career and they formed a duo, "Pointers, A Pair." Anita quit her job to join the group.
They began touring and performing and provided backing vocals for artists such as Grace Slick, Sylvester James, Boz Scaggs and Elvin Bishop. It was while supporting Bishop at a nightclub appearance in 1971 that the sisters were signed to a recording contract with Atlantic Records; the resulting singles that came from their Atlantic tenure failed to become hits but the sisters were enjoying their newfound recording career. One recording, has become a Northern Soul classic i.e. "Send him back" Atlantic 45 2893. Massive at Wigan Casino around 1973-1974. Send him back is still a monster around the revitalizing Northern Soul scene now worldwide; the temptation to join them overwhelmed Ruth and, in December 1972, she joined the group. The quartet began to record their first full-fledged album. Upon signing, they agreed that they did not want to follow the current trend of pop music but wanted to create an original sound that combined jazz music, jazz singing, be-bop music. In search of a visual style for their act, they remembered the poverty of their childhood and their ability to improvise, used their experience to assemble a collection of vintage 1940s clothes from thrift shops, that would comprise their costumes and give them the distinctive look they were searching for.
In 1976, they were asked to record "Pinball Number Count" for Sesame Street, a series of educational cartoons teaching kids how to count. It was a feature on the show for many years, they made their television debut performance at the Troubadour nightclub in Los Angeles on The Helen Reddy Show. In 1974, they joined Reddy on the track "Showbiz" which appeared on her "Easy" album; the group's self-titled first album, featuring the backing of Bay Area stalwarts the Hoodoo Rhythm Devils, was released in 1973 and received strong reviews, with the group being lauded for their versatility and originality: its first single "Yes We Can Can" - an Allen Toussaint-penned song, a minor R&B hit for Lee Dorsey in 1970 - afforded the Pointer Sisters the first chart hit reaching #11 on the Billboard Hot 100, while both "Yes We Can Ca
A bassline is the term used in many styles of music, such as jazz, funk and electronic, traditional music, or classical music for the low-pitched instrumental part or line played by a rhythm section instrument such as the electric bass, double bass, tuba or keyboard. In unaccompanied solo performance, basslines may be played in the lower register of any instrument such as guitar or piano while melody and/or further accompaniment is provided in the middle or upper register. In solo music for piano and pipe organ, these instruments have an excellent lower register that can be used to play a deep bassline. On organs, the bass line is played using the pedal keyboard and massive 16' and 32' bass pipes. Basslines in popular music use "riffs" or "grooves", which are simple, appealing musical motifs or phrases that are repeated, with variation, throughout the song. "The bass differs from other voices because of the particular role it plays in supporting and defining harmonic motion. It does so at levels ranging from immediate, chord-by-chord events to the larger harmonic organization of a entire work."Bassline riffs emphasize the chord tones of each chord, which helps to define a song's key.
Basslines align with the drums. Other rhythm instruments join in to create a more interesting rhythmic variations; the type of rhythmic pulse used in basslines varies in different types of music. In swing jazz and jump blues, basslines are created from a continuous sequence of quarter notes in a scalar, stepwise or arpeggio-based part called a "walking bass line". In Latin, salsa music, jazz fusion, reggae and some types of rock and metal, basslines may be rhythmically complex and syncopated. In bluegrass and traditional country music, basslines emphasize the root and fifth of each chord. Though basslines may be played by many different types of instruments and in a broad musical range, they are played on bass instruments and in the range at least an octave and a half below middle C. In classical music such as string quartets and symphonies, basslines play the same harmonic and rhythmic role. Most popular musical ensembles include an instrument capable of playing bass notes. In the 1890s, a tuba was used.
From the 1920s to the 1940s, most popular music groups used the double bass as the bass instrument. Starting in the 1950s, the bass guitar began to replace the double bass in most types of popular music, such as rock and roll and folk; the bass guitar was easier to transport and, given that it uses magnetic pickups, easier to amplify to loud stage volumes without the risk of audio feedback, a common problem with the amplified double bass. By the 1970s and 1980s, the electric bass was used in jazz fusion groups; the double bass was still used in some types of popular music that recreated styles from the 1940s and 1950s such as jazz, traditional 1950s blues, jump blues and rockabilly. In some popular music bands, keyboard instruments are used to play the bass line. In organ trios, for example, a Hammond organ player performs the basslines using the organ's pedal keyboard. In some types of popular music, such as hip-hop or house music, the bass lines are played using bass synthesizers, sequencers, or electro-acoustically modeled samples of basslines.
Basslines are important in many forms of dance and electronic music, such as electro and bass, most forms of house and trance. In these genres, basslines are always performed on synthesizers, either physical, such as the Minimoog and the Roland TB-303, or virtual, such as Sytrus and ZynAddSubFX. In hip hop, producer Rick Rubin popularized the technique of creating basslines by lengthening the bass drum decay of the TR-808 drum machine and tuning it to different pitches. Chinese orchestras use the zhōng dà ruǎn for creating basslines. Other, less common bass instruments are the lā ruǎn, dī yīn gé hú, da dī hú developed during the 1930s. Russian balalaika orchestra use bass balalaika and contrabass balalaika. Australia's indigenous music and some World music, influenced by Australian music uses didjeridus for basslines. In classical music, the bassline is always written out for the performers in musical notation. In orchestral repertoire, the basslines are played by the double basses and cellos in the string section, by bassoons and bass clarinets in the woodwinds and by bass trombones, tubas and a variety of other low brass instruments.
In symphonies from the Classical period, a single bassline was written for the cellos and basses. By the end of the Classical period, with Beethoven's symphonies and double basses were given separate parts. In general, the more complex passages and rapid note sequences are given to the cellos, while the basses play a simpler bassline; the timpani play a role in orchestral basslines, albeit confined in 17th and early 18th century works to a few notes the tonic and the dominant below it. In a small number of symphonies, the pipe organ is used to play basslines. In chamber music, the bassline is played by the cello in string quartets and the bassoon i
The slang term "drag" refers to the wearing of clothing of the opposite sex, may be used as a noun as in the expression in drag, or as an adjective as in drag show. The use of "drag" in this sense appeared in print. One suggested etymological root is 19th-century theatre slang, from the sensation of long skirts trailing on the floor. Men dressed or disguised as women have featured in traditional rituals for centuries. For example, the characters of some regional variants of the traditional mummers play, which were traditionally always performed by men, include Besom Bet; the variant performed around Plough Monday in Eastern England is known as the Plough Play and involves two female characters, the young "Lady Bright and Gay" and "Old Dame Jane" and a dispute about a bastard child. A character called Bessy accompanied the Plough Jags in places where no play was performed: "she" was a man dressed in women's clothes, who carried a collecting box for money and other largesse. "Maid Marian" of the Abbots Bromley Horn Dance is played by a man, the Maid Marians referred to in old documents as having taken part in May Games and other festivals with Morris dancers would most also have been men.
The "consort" of the Castleton Garland King was traditionally a man and was simply referred to as "The Woman". Cross-dressing elements of performance traditions are widespread cultural phenomena. In England, actors in Shakespearean plays, all Elizabethan theatre, were all male. Shakespeare used the conventions to enrich the gender confusions of As You Like It, Ben Jonson manipulated the same conventions in Epicœne, or The Silent Woman; the plot device of the film Shakespeare in Love turns upon this Elizabethan convention. During the reign of Charles II the rules were relaxed to allow women to play female roles on the London stage, reflecting the French fashion, the convention of men playing female roles disappeared. However, in current-day British pantomime, the Pantomime dame is a traditional role played by a man in drag, while the Principal boy, such as Prince Charming or Dick Whittington, is played by a girl. Within the dramatic fiction, a double standard affected the uses of drag. In male-dominated societies where active roles were reserved to men, a woman might dress as a man under the pressures of her dramatic predicament.
In these societies a man's position was above a woman's, causing a rising action that suited itself to tragedy, sentimental melodrama and comedies of manners that involved confused identities. A man dressed as a woman was thought to be a falling action only suited to broad low comedy and burlesque. Les Ballets Trockadero de Monte Carlo are an all-male ballet troupe where much of the humor is in seeing male dancers en travesti; these conventions of male-dominated societies were unbroken before the 20th century, when rigid gender roles were undermined and began to dissolve. This evolution changed drag in the last decades of the 20th century. Among contemporary drag performers, the theatrical drag queen or street queen may at times be seen less as a "female impersonator" per se, but as a drag queen, the role of the queen existing as an identity based in neither mainstream male nor mainstream female conventions. Examples include Danny La Rue or RuPaul. In the 1890s the slapstick drag traditions of undergraduate productions were permissible fare to the same middle-class American audiences that were scandalized to hear that in New York City, rouged young men in skirts were standing on tables to dance the Can-Can in Bowery dives like The Slide.
Drag shows were popular night club entertainment in New York in the 20s were forced underground, until the "Jewel Box Revue" played Harlem's Apollo Theater in the 1950s: "49 men and a girl." The girl received a roar of applause, when she was revealed as the same smart young man in dinner clothes, introducing each of the evening's acts. In Baroque opera, where soprano roles for men were sung by castrati, Handel's heroine Bradamante, in the opera Alcina, disguises herself as a man to save her lover, played by a male soprano. In Romantic opera, certain roles of young boys were written for alto and soprano voices and acted by women en travestie; the most familiar trouser role in pre-Romantic opera is Cherubino in Mozart's Marriage of Figaro. Romantic opera continued the convention: there are trouser roles for women in drag in Rossini's Semiramide, Donizetti's Rosamonda d'Inghilterra and Anna Bolena, Berlioz's Benvenuto Cellini, a page in Verdi's Don Carlo; the convention was beginning to die out with Siebel, the ingenuous youth in Charles Gounod's Faust and the gypsy boy Beppe in Mascagni's L'Amico Fritz, so that Offenbach gave the role of Cupid to a real boy in Orphée aux Enfers.
But Sarah Bernhardt played Hamlet in tights, giving French audiences a glimpse of Leg and Prince Orlovsky, who gives the ball in Die Fledermaus, is a mezzo-sopr
Musical theatre is a form of theatrical performance that combines songs, spoken dialogue and dance. The story and emotional content of a musical – humor, love, anger – are communicated through the words, music and technical aspects of the entertainment as an integrated whole. Although musical theatre overlaps with other theatrical forms like opera and dance, it may be distinguished by the equal importance given to the music as compared with the dialogue and other elements. Since the early 20th century, musical theatre stage works have been called musicals. Although music has been a part of dramatic presentations since ancient times, modern Western musical theatre emerged during the 19th century, with many structural elements established by the works of Gilbert and Sullivan in Britain and those of Harrigan and Hart in America; these were followed by the numerous Edwardian musical comedies and the musical theatre works of American creators like George M. Cohan at the turn of the 20th century.
The Princess Theatre musicals and other smart shows like Of Thee I Sing were artistic steps forward beyond revues and other frothy entertainments of the early 20th century and led to such groundbreaking works as Show Boat and Oklahoma!. Some of the most famous musicals through the decades that followed include West Side Story, The Fantasticks, Hair, A Chorus Line, Les Misérables, The Phantom of the Opera, The Producers and Hamilton. Musicals are performed around the world, they may be presented in large venues, such as big-budget Broadway or West End productions in New York City or London. Alternatively, musicals may be staged in smaller venues, such as fringe theatre, Off-Broadway, Off-Off-Broadway, regional theatre, or community theatre productions, or on tour. Musicals are presented by amateur and school groups in churches and other performance spaces. In addition to the United States and Britain, there are vibrant musical theatre scenes in continental Europe, Australasia and Latin America.
Since the 20th century, the "book musical" has been defined as a musical play where songs and dances are integrated into a well-made story with serious dramatic goals, able to evoke genuine emotions other than laughter. The three main components of a book musical are its music and book; the book or script of a musical refers to the story, character development and dramatic structure, including the spoken dialogue and stage directions, but it can refer to the dialogue and lyrics together, which are sometimes referred to as the libretto. The music and lyrics together form the score of a musical and include songs, incidental music and musical scenes, which are "theatrical sequence set to music combining song with spoken dialogue." The interpretation of a musical is the responsibility of its creative team, which includes a director, a musical director a choreographer and sometimes an orchestrator. A musical's production is creatively characterized by technical aspects, such as set design, stage properties and sound.
The creative team and interpretations change from the original production to succeeding productions. Some production elements, may be retained from the original production. There is no fixed length for a musical. While it can range from a short one-act entertainment to several acts and several hours in length, most musicals range from one and a half to three hours. Musicals are presented in two acts, with one short intermission, the first act is longer than the second; the first act introduces nearly all of the characters and most of the music and ends with the introduction of a dramatic conflict or plot complication while the second act may introduce a few new songs but contains reprises of important musical themes and resolves the conflict or complication. A book musical is built around four to six main theme tunes that are reprised in the show, although it sometimes consists of a series of songs not directly musically related. Spoken dialogue is interspersed between musical numbers, although "sung dialogue" or recitative may be used in so-called "sung-through" musicals such as Jesus Christ Superstar, Les Misérables and Hamilton.
Several shorter musicals on Broadway and in the West End have been presented in one act in recent decades. Moments of greatest dramatic intensity in a book musical are performed in song. Proverbially, "when the emotion becomes too strong for speech, you sing. In a book musical, a song is ideally crafted to suit the character and their situation within the story; as The New York Times critic Ben Brantley described the ideal of song in theatre when reviewing the 2008 revival of Gypsy: "There is no separation at all between song and character, what happens in those uncommon moments when musicals reach upward to achieve their ideal reasons to be." Many fewer words are sung in a five-minute song than are spoken in a five-minute block of dialogue. Therefore, there is less time to develop drama in a musical than in a straight play of equivalent length, since a musical devotes more time to music than to dialogue. Within the compressed nature of a musical, the writers must develop the plot; the ma