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Theatre Arts 425: Advance of the American Musical   Tags: american, music, musical theater, theater  

History, Development and Analysis of the American Musical Theatre
Last Updated: Sep 9, 2017 URL: Print Guide

Social Aspects Print Page

Social Commentary

Cover of the sheet music, Out in the Cold, c1858. Music by L. O. Emerson, Lyrics by John S. Adams (from the Levy Sheet Music Collection, score digitized by Special Collections at the Milton S. Eisenhower Library of The Johns Hopkins University).


Historical and Social Aspects

Search "musicals social aspects" in Subject  in the library catalog advanced search.

The library has several chronologies in the reference area. You'll notice these are right next to each other on the shelf and easy to browse. These books list world events in many areas, such as the arts, science, politics, etc., in chronological order, sometimes year by year. Use these books to see what was happening in the year or years in which your production was staged.

Chronology of world history: a calendar of principal events from 3000 BC to AD 1973. G. S. P. Freeman-Grenville.
Ref. D11 .F75 1975

The timetables of history: a historical linkage of people and events. Bermard Grun.
Ref. [q.] D11 .G78 2005

Chronology of world history. H.E.L. Mellersh.
Ref. D11 .M39 1999 (4 vols.)

The people’s chronology: a year-by-year record of human events from prehistory to the present. James Trager.
Ref. D11 .T83 1994

Cassell’s chronology of world history : dates, events and ideas that made history. Hywel Williams.
Ref. D11 .W635 2005

Literature Resource Center

If your show is based on a work of literature (or even if it isn't,) this is the place to go. The Literature Resource Center contains biographical information on authors and literary criticism of their works.

In addition, there are entries on people associated with the theater, drama and musicals. A search on West Side Story produces articles not only on the show, but also on Arthur Laurents, Stephen Sondheim and Jerome Robbins.

If you want to explore further, the source information is given.



Search multiple electronic databases and the library catalog at the same time using OneSearch. You will get items in the library plus electronic sources the library has access to such as journal articles, newspaper articles, reviews,etc. To expand your search to items for interlibrary loan, choose "" from the left side bar.

    Periodical Literature

    Journal articles, both current and contemporary with the time periods, are sources that should be consulted.

    If you find a review of a book the library does not own, you may request it through Interlibrary Loan, or ask that we purchase the book for the collection.

    • America: History and Life
      Indexes journal articles, book reviews, dissertations and book chapters having to do with history in the United States. Covers many subject areas, including musical theater. These articles will concentrate on some historical aspect of the genre. For example, a Subject search on oklahoma and rodgers results in a book review and a journal article.
    • Academic Search Premier
      "This multi-disciplinary database provides full text for more than 4,600 journals, including full text for nearly 3,900 peer-reviewed titles."

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