MUSP 181: Musical Theater Orchestra I

Citrus College Course Outline of Record

Citrus College Course Outline of Record
Heading Value
Effective Term: Spring 2022
Credits: 4
Total Contact Hours: 144
Lecture Hours : 36
Lab Hours: 0
Hours Arranged: 108
Outside of Class Hours: 72
Prerequisite: Skills assessment or audition.
Transferable to CSU: Yes
Transferable to UC: Yes - Approved
Grading Method: Standard Letter

Catalog Course Description

Musical Theater Orchestra I offers beginning instruction in instrumental performance of conducted orchestral ensemble accompaniment of live staged dance, drama and song, including contemporary Broadway literature, and film and media soundtrack. This course introduces the unique challenges of musical theatre performance that differ from those of concert stage performance, including following live dramatic action, pit orchestra orientation, woodwind doubling, underscore, click track and headphone use, book organization and music marking. 36 lecture hours, 108 lab hours arranged.

Course Objectives

  • play their chosen instrument at a beginning level as evidenced by their achievement and control of tone production, articulation, intonation, velocity, rhythmic projection, dynamics, expression and appropriate style.
  • translate the music notation of medium (Grade 3) musical theatre, film and media literature consisting of clef, key signature, linear and harmonic note designation, meter, rhythmic subdivision (counting), dynamics (loudness level and variation), articulation, form, phrasing interpretation, and terminology.
  • demonstrate knowledge of beginning level concepts of musical theatre orchestra blend and balance, intonation anticipation and adjustment, style and articulation interpretation, and fundamental music theory applications.

Major Course Content

  1. Assessment of individual students' entry instrumental proficiency
  2. Review of professional musical theater orchestra rehearsal and performance etiquette
  3. Review and development of tone production techniques
  4. Review and development of intonation adjustment techniques
  5. Review and development of articulation techniques
  6. Introduction to technical velocity development strategies
  7. Introduction to musical theater orchestra notation terminology
  8. Introduction to musical theater orchestra conductor gestural commands
  9. Review and development of a personal practice regimen
  10. Introduction to musical theater orchestra musical rhythm concepts
  11. Introduction to individual, sectional and ensemble balance and blend concepts
  12. Review and development of phrasing, expression and dynamics techniques
  13. Review and development of sight-reading skills
  14. Ongoing presentation of the historical, cultural, stylistic, theoretical, interactional, structural and formal elements of the musical theater orchestra, film and media literature rehearsed and performed
  15. Review of the standard categories, instruments and procedures of musical theater orchestra, film and media literature performance evaluation
  16. Preparation and performance of musical theater orchestra, film and media literature focusing on individual part performance proficiency integrated with ensemble awareness

Hours Arranged Content

  1. Instrument sections and section combinations meet weekly to rehearse assigned literature content and review and develop:
    1. Tone production techniques
    2. Intonation adjustment techniques
    3. Articulation techniques
    4. Technical velocity skills
    5. Phrasing, expression and dynamics techniques 
  2. Additional full ensemble lab rehearsals are scheduled beyond the scheduled class and sectional times, especially during the weeks and days approaching major performances to strengthen:
    1. Responsiveness to conductor gestural commands
    2. Musical rhythm execution and precision
    3. Individual, sectional and ensemble balance and blend

Suggested Reading Other Than Required Textbook

Internet and/or library research (composer; historical era; stylistic, structural and formal elements; etc.) including listening, of musical theater, film and media literature rehearsed and performed.

Examples of Required Writing Assignments

1. Written evaluation of live and recorded musical theater, film and media performances using standard music adjudication forms.
2. Essays evaluating live and recorded musical theater, film and media performances.

Examples of Outside Assignments

Study individual parts Study reference recordings Practice skills

Instruction Type(s)

Lab, Lecture