Go to Home Page

Cal Poly SLO

Department of Music

Go to Musical Theater Index
Theater Index
Course Information - Music 324: History of Musical Theater - Fall 2002
Professor: Dr. Alyson McLamore Office Phone: 756-2612
Email: amclamor@calpoly.edu Office: 132 Davidson Music Center
Web Site: http://cla.calpoly.edu/~amclamor  

Office Hours: Mon 12-1:30 & 3-3:30; Tues 5-5:30; Wed 12-1:30 & 3-3:30; Thurs 5-5:30 and by appointment–just ask!

Course Description: Music 324: History of Musical Theater is a survey course which will examine the history and masterworks of musical theater, beginning with the birth of opera but concentrating on its role in the United States. The course will consist of lecture/discussions, guided and independent listening, a course paper, and periodic examinations.


You will need to purchase the course reader which is available at "Second Edition" in the University Union. Please bring this booklet with you to class every day. It contains texts for the selections we are covering, guidelines for course paper, the contents of the course recordings, and many other wonderful and exciting things.

Composite Recordings are in the Music Department Office (room 129) and in Kennedy Library (Learning Resources and Curriculum). Set up regular listening times in your weekly schedule, and listen often! The Music Department is open:

Mon-Thurs 8 am - 4:30 pm and 7 pm - 10 pm
Friday 8 am - 4:30 pm
Saturday 9 am - 1 pm
Sunday 12 pm - 4 pm

Chapter Reading Assignments are available online.

Prerequisites: completion of GE Area A and a foundation course in Area C.

Course Requirements:

I. Two Exams (20% each), on October 10 and October 31 (scary!). You will need an 882 Scantron for each.

II. Two Show Questionnaires (not factored into your grade, but required in order to pass the class). Questionnaire guidelines and forms are in the course reader; they are due October 15 and November 7 .

III. A Final on December 12 (30% of the grade). Again, bring an 882 Scantron form.

IV. A Paper (30%). You will compare two different shows by the same composer. Guidelines for the paper are in the Reader, and the due date is November 26. (There are earlier due dates for the choice of topic, the bibliography, and the outline.).

V. Set Your Alarm. A large portion of the material for which you are responsible will come out of the class lectures. It is impossible for you to 'hear' the music and 'see' the videos we covered when you review someone else's notes, so regular attendance is essential!!

VI. All portions of the course requirements must be completed in order to receive a passing grade.

back to the top


Music 324 - History of Musical Theater - Course Outline - Fall 2002

Week 1 Sept. 24 Tues. Introduction; The Earliest Music for the Stage
  Sept. 26 Thurs. Opera Gains a Sense of Humor
Week 2 Oct. 1 Tues. Opera in the Old and New World
  Oct. 3 Thurs. Birth of Operetta

Sample Quiz

Week 3 Oct. 8 Tues. The Evolving American Musical Stage

Topic due for Paper

  Oct. 10 Thurs. Exam I (start working on your bibliography!)
Week 4 Oct. 15 Tues. Beyond Musical Comedy?

Show Questionnaire No. 1 due

  Oct. 17 Thurs. Books and Lyrics Intensify (see me if you need help finding good sources)
Week 5 Oct. 22 Tues. The Power of Lyrics and Staging

Bibliography due for Paper

  Oct. 24 Thurs. The Musical Score: Style and Substance (get going on your song analysis!)
Week 6 Oct. 29 Tues. The Dance
  Oct. 31 Thurs. Exam II
Week 7 Nov. 5 Tues. Rodgers and Hammerstein (see me for help with analysis or thesis statements!)
Nov. 7 Thurs. Rodgers and Hammerstein

Show Questionnaire No. 1 due

Week 8 Nov. 12 Tues. Layers of Subtext

Outline due for Paper

  Nov. 14 Thurs. Compositional and Performance Choices
Week 9 Nov. 19 Tues Lloyd Webber and Rice (if you want me to pre-read your paper, turn it in now!)
  Nov. 21 Thurs Lloyd Webber and not Rice
Week 10 Nov. 26 Tues. Stephen Sondheim

Paper due

  Nov. 28 Thurs.

HOLIDAY (Thanksgiving)

Week 11 Dec. 3 Tues. Stephen Sondheim
  Dec. 5 Thurs. Schönberg and Boublil
Finals Dec. 12 Thurs.

Final - 4:10 PM -7:00 PM

back to the top

Go to Home Page Go to Musical Theater Index Go to Classes Page Go to Alyson McLamore's Current Class Schedule
Musical Theater Index