first soprano, second soprano (mezzo soprano), contralto, tenor, baritone and bass. Typically, the leads take on the first soprano and tenor parts, which are female and male exclusive. The songs of an operetta may be short, which is in sharp contrast to the opera. Overall, however, they still retained the same classical style of the opera. Operettas are the precursor to today’s musical theater. Vaudeville, Burlesque, and Cabaret Music The vaudeville music genre gained its name from the valley vau-de-Vire in northwest France. This is where many satirical songs were first created. Vaudeville music is music used behind theatrical performances for entertainment. This music is usually combined with comical performances, and it has a light feel. This type of music became very popular during the turn of the twentieth century. Vaudeville performances were acts put together in the form of a variety show. The performers usually didn’t interact with the audience, so music was used to draw in the audience while watching the act. Burlesque music was created in the early eighteenth century. It described classical music that combined comical and serious elements to create a kind of grotesque effect. Burlesque performances in the Victorian Era became popular between the 1830 and 1890s. They were based on plays or operas that were already well-known, but then they were changed to be comical and risqué. The music was often patched together using pieces of the original play or opera’s score, but odd or unique passages would be added. Parodies of songs and opera arias were both normally used in Victorian burlesque shows. Burlesque took on a new form in the nineteenth century during the Edwardian Era. Some women performing would sing


Chapter 1: The Roots of Music for Stage and Screen

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