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The New Music TheaterSeeing the Voice, Hearing the Body$
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Eric Salzman and Thomas Desi

Print publication date: 2008

Print ISBN-13: 9780195099362

Published to Oxford Scholarship Online: January 2010

DOI: 10.1093/acprof:oso/9780195099362.001.0001

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Toward a Theory of the New Music Theater

Toward a Theory of the New Music Theater

(p.309) Chapter 19 Toward a Theory of the New Music Theater
The New Music Theater

Eric Salzman

Thomas Desi

Oxford University Press

Music theater may be a process or a product. Works are rarely static and the process begins from the first development of the piece and continues through its performance history. Beyond the text is the meta-text, which may be defined as interpretation. The intentionality of a performance may be more important than even the libretto or the score in understanding the work or the performance. The axis of interpretation, improvisation, and co-creation differs for every music-theater project and brings into question issues of authorship between collaborators. Works are usually created with the image of an ideal audience in mind. There is almost always an auteur, not necessarily the composer, who is the central voice. The score, not the libretto, is traditionally the essential or idealized underlying text, but in many contemporary works it loses its authority. Timing or musical dramaturgy may exercise control over the mise en scène, but other elements may be equally important.

Keywords:   co-creation, authorship, collaborators

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