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Elements of Musical Theater

A theater lyric is a compact
pattern of words that when set
to music communicates
information vital to the
dramatic life of a show.
“Lyrics put language to the task
of expressing thoughts and
emotions through the
denotative and connotative
meanings of words, patterns of
literary development and form.”
Denotative vs. Connotative

• An explicit factual • A more emotional

definition found in the meaning that comes
dictionary. from personal
• Marks out boundaries experience.
and specific • Conveys association
limitations. and overtones

Good lyricists use both types of meaning

Description Carefully re-creating the impression
of each experience.
Exposition Begins the motion of the plot, pushes
it forward and records its conclusion.
Narration Relates a connected sequence of
events that tell us what happened to
whom, when, where and how.a
Persuasion Exploiting a situation in order to
convince another to accept an idea.
Types of Songs
• Ballad – love songs. How to say I love
you, without actually saying it.
• Charm Song- gives a vision of a world where
every thing turns out well in the end.
• Comedy Song – turns the frustrations of life into
• Musical Scene- all dramatic action is set to
• “I am” Song
• “I want” Song