Outline how musicals changed from 1960 to the present day.

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Outline the characteristics of the period 1960 to the present day.

During this period musicals began to expand; the ‘Megamusical’ emerged, synthesisers replaced instruments such as strings, the ‘concept musical’ replaced the ‘book musical’, shows were completely integrated, and influences from pop and rock became commonplace.

The ‘Megamusical’ was term used to describe large productions which often had long runs on Broadway and strong special effects similar to those of a blockbuster film. Both ‘Jesus Christ Superstar’ and ‘The Phantom of the Opera’ by Lloyd Webber are both ‘Megamusicals’ which both were Broadway productions and featured large orchestral scoring and amplifications. These two musicals were so successful; they were later made into films.

Lloyd Webber’s musicals heavily features influences from pop and rock. His 1978 musical, ‘Evita’ is dominated by two musical styles; Spanish-tinged rock which is found in ‘Don’t Cry for me Argentina’ and is used to show cynicism, dissembling, and pretence; and a Modern, syncopated, dissonant style to express real feelings which is evident in, ‘There is no one’ through the use of syncopated waltz style with accented dissonances.

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Rock influences can be found in ‘Jesus Christ Superstar’ through the use of rock riffs similar to those used by the band ‘Deep Purple’ in the number, ‘Heaven on Their Minds’. Pop style is also demonstrated in the Crucifixion scene through use of piano solo in a modern jazz style. Pop styles are also found within ‘Joseph and his Amazing Technicolor Dreamcoat’ as ‘Go, go, go Joseph’ contains jazz waltz, electric guitar, and male vocal harmonies in the chorus. ‘Song of the King’ also uses parody 1950s rock’n’roll through the 12 bar blues sequence which is particularly reminiscent of specific ...

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