Music Direction for the Stage: A View from the Podium

Music Direction for the Stage: A View from the Podium

By: Joseph Church (author)Paperback

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Theater music directors must draw on a remarkably broad range of musical skills. Not only do they conduct during rehearsals and performances, but they must also be adept arrangers, choral directors, vocal coaches, and accompanists. Like a record producer, the successful music director must have the flexibility to adjust as needed to a multifaceted job description, one which changes with each production and often with each performer. In Music Direction for the Stage, veteran music director and instructor Joseph Church demystifies the job in a book that offers aspiring and practicing music directors the practical tips and instruction they need in order to mount a successful musical production. Church, one of Broadway's foremost music directors, emerges from the orchestra pit to tell how the music is put into a musical show. He gives particular attention to the music itself, explaining how a music director can best plan the task of learning, analyzing, and teaching each new piece. Based on his years of professional experience, he offers a practical discussion of a music director's methods of analyzing, learning, and practicing a score, thoroughly illustrated by examples from the repertoire. The book also describes how a music director can effectively approach dramatic and choreographic rehearsals, including key tips on cueing music to dialogue and staging, determining incidental music and underscoring, making musical adjustments and revisions in rehearsal, and adjusting style and tempo to performers' needs. A key theme of the book is effective collaboration with other professionals, from the production team to the creative team to the performers themselves, all grounded in Church's real-world experience with professional, amateur, and even student performances. He concludes with a look at music direction as a career, offering invaluable advice on how the enterprising music director can find work and gain standing in the field.

About Author

JOSEPH CHURCH is best known for his work as music director and supervisor of two groundbreaking Broadway musicals, The Who's Tommy and The Lion King. He has worked on countless other productions as music director, conductor, keyboardist, and/or arranger, on and Off-Broadway, nationwide, and worldwide, among them, In The Heights, Sister Act, Les Miserables, Little Shop Of Horrors, Randy Newman's Faust, and Radio City's Christmas Spectacular. Also an active composer, he has written for film, television, the concert stage, and over thirty plays and musicals.


Introduction: The View From The Podium ; Part I: The Music Director: A Job Description ; Chapter 1: Music Direction Yesterday And Today ; Chapter 2: Musical Stage Production ; Chapter 3: Job Opportunities For Music Directors ; Part II: Personnel ; Chapter 4: The Production Team ; Chapter 5: The Creative Team ; Chapter 6: The Music Team ; Chapter 7: The Performers ; Part III: Preproduction ; Chapter 8: Mounting A Production ; Chapter 9: The Music: Assessment And Analysis ; Chapter 10: Arranging For Music Directors ; Part IV: Rehearsals 1: Singers And The Stage ; Chapter 11: Overview Of Rehearsal Process ; Chapter 12: Individual Vocal Rehearsals ; Chapter 13: Ensemble Vocal Rehearsals ; Chapter 14: Rehearsals With Directors And Choreographers ; Chapter 15: Adapting Music To The Production ; Part V: Rehearsals 2: Musicians, Technicians, And The Venue ; Chapter 16: Orchestras And Orchestrations ; Chapter 17: Instrumental Conducting For The Stage ; Chapter 18: From The Studio To The Stage ; Part VI: Performance ; Chapter 19: Conducting In Performance ; Chapter 20: Maintaining A Production And Preserving A Show ; Chapter 21: Working As A Music Director ; Appendix A: Putting It Together ; Appendix B: Bibliography, Suggested Reading, And List Of Musical ; Works Cited

Product Details

  • ISBN13: 9780199993413
  • Format: Paperback
  • Number Of Pages: 416
  • ID: 9780199993413
  • weight: 740
  • ISBN10: 0199993416

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