The Roots of Music for Stage and Screen The right music can evoke feelings of excitement or terror, of happiness or sadness. Just about every television show, movie, or Broadway play is accompanied by music. Sometimes it is the driving force behind the show; other times, it is in the background. Either way, these compositions fit into a genre known as music for stage and screen. Music composed for stage or screen can fit into nearly any musical genre. Rock, jazz, classical, and hip-hop music are all produced for movies, television series, plays, Broadway performances, and other stage or screen productions. Many of the music composers who work in the film industry are elite musicians. Some movies, television shows, musicals, or plays have iconic soundtracks that become as pervasive in the culture as the movie’s topic itself. Music for the stage and screen has changed a lot over the last several hundred years. Throughout the 1700s and the mid- 1800s, music was often used during plays. The music, designed to tell a story or evoke emotion from the audience, was an important part of the overall production. Until the late nineteenth century, there was no way to prerecord a musical score for a play, so stage productions typically had an ensemble to provide music. The size of the


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