Music Drama (DRA3095)

30 credits

Music often plays an important, supportive role in theatre – helping to set the scene, for example, or underscoring the action. Sometimes, however, music and related elements are the subjects of drama. Theatre is made that is thematically or conceptually about music (i.e. organised sound), and/or about music-making, music-appreciation, and/or being a musician. Such work sheds light on associated factors, such as identity-construction, social formations and relationships, and ways of perceiving – and being in – the world.

This module investigates ‘music drama’ – an umbrella term for plays and performance pieces that are about music – and considers different styles of Western drama and theatre from the twentieth and twenty-first centuries. What can plays reveal about our understanding of music, its place in society, its cultural and aesthetic value, and its significance in our lives? We will set out to explore the philosophical and sociological implications of drama and theatre that is about music (and, by extension, about many other things) – engaging various musical genres and modes of expression in the process.