American musical theater songs in the undergraduate vocal studio : a survey of current practice, guidelines for repertoire selection, and pedagogical analyses of selected songs

No Thumbnail Available
Bell, Jeffery E.
Pohly, Linda, 1954-
Issue Date
Thesis (D.A.)
School of Music
Other Identifiers

American musical theater songs are popular with the general public, and many college and university voice students are familiar with them. Some voice teachers also use musical theater repertoire to varying degrees in voice instruction. Such familiarity and interest lend significance to this study of the songs in a teaching context. There is therefore a need for the establishment of repertoire-selection guidelines and pedagogical analysis of selected musical theater songs so that additional teachers will become well informed.Following the introduction in Chapter One, the results of a survey sent to one hundred members of the National Association of Teachers of Singing are presented. The survey posed questions concerning the current use of musical theater songs. Among other things, the results revealed strong interest in the analysis and application of this literature in the voice studio. Guidelines for repertoire selection (also used by the author in selecting songs that address specific aspects of singing) are introduced in Chapter Three, along with a description of analytical procedures. Chapters Four through Eight include summaries of the analyses and suggested applications in the voice studio:Developing the ability to sing longer phrases"You'll Never Walk Alone" (Rodgers)"Where Is Love?" (Bart)"After the Ball" (Harris)• Developing the ability to sing wide intervals in a legato fashion "Lost in the Stars" (Weill)"Warm All Over" (Loesser)"Green Finch and Linnet Bird" (Sondheim)•Developing the ability to articulate words rapidly "My Darling, My Darling" (Loesser) "Seventy-Six Trombones" (Willson) "Soliloquy" (Rodgers)•Developing the ability to move smoothly between registers "Someone to Watch Over Me" (Gershwin) "Where or When" (Rodgers) "O1' Man River" (Kern)•Managing a large range and mature quality "Maria" (Bernstein)"Memory" (Lloyd Webber) "One More Kiss" (Sondheim)Conclusions in Chapter Nine include: (1) teachers should judge musical theater songs by the same criteria as other songs; (2) musical theater literature offers useful material for students who are striving to develop certain aspects of singing; (3) analyses of selected songs demonstrate their suitability for pedagogical use; and (4) there is a need for additional critical analysis of musical theater literature.