Musical dramaturgy

A.Y. 2019/2020
Overall hours
Learning objectives
The course develops students' aptitude to understand and interpret different kinds of music in different music genres and media contexts (theatre music, opera, cinema, etc.). It also aims to encourage them to develop what we could call a "dramaturgical listening" or, to say it in other words, a "dramaturgical awareness" of how music can contribute to define characters, generate action, establish atmosphere (etc.) in a broad range of dramatic genres and media.
The main learning scope of the course of musical dramaturgy/dramaturgy of sound is to enable students to relate their musical ear with the listening to music in an intermedial environment.
Expected learning outcomes
By the end of the course, students will be able to understand the dramatic functions of music in theatre, opera, cinema, etc., with reference to the monographic subject explored each new academic year.
Course syllabus and organization

Single session

Lesson period
First semester
Course syllabus
Title of the monographic course (2019-2010 a.y.): The Tempest's Sounds: Mise-en-scène and Intermedial Adaptations.

The course focuses on three intermedia adaptations of Shakespeare's The Tempest, and it is divided in three units (A-C).
A) The first unit is centered in the analysis and interpretation of the music and soundscape created by Fiorenzo Carpi for Giorgio Strehler's La Tempesta (1978).
B) The second unit focuses on an operatic adaptation of the Shakespeare's play: The Tempest music by Thomas Adès, libretto by Meredith Oakes (2004).
C) The third unit is devoted to a comparison between the science-fiction film Forbidden Planet (1956) and Shakespeare's The Tempest from a musical and sonic perspective. The crucial point is to interpret the presence of the electronic music in the film: The Tempest employs magic, Forbidden Planet utilizes technology.
Prerequisites for admission
Due to the interdisciplinary character of the course, students need to have a basic knowledge of the music, opera, theatre and cinema history. So, it is advisable that students choose Musical Dramaturgy after having attended two or three of the mentioned courses before.
Teaching methods
The course is structured through class lectures and will draw on the Ariel platform for sharing materials and teaching aids.
Teaching Resources
The class will be supported by the reading materials and other digital contents, which will be uploaded to the course's website on the Ariel platform ( The materials and digital contents are intended for study only. They are an integral part of the program, together with the bibliography of the course.

Reading materials for all the units:
- Jan Kott, La bacchetta di Prospero, in Id., Shakespeare nostro contemporaneo, Milano, Feltrinelli, 2002, pp. 166-210
- Linda Hutcheon, Teoria degli adattamenti. I percorsi delle storie fra letteratura, cinema, nuovi media, Roma, Armando, 2011, pp. 19-59 (chapter one: Per una teoria degli adattamenti: Che cosa? Chi? Perché? Dove? Quando?)
- Emilio Sala, La drammaturgia musicale come metodo, in Teatro e musica, edited by Alessio Ramerino, Roma, Bulzoni, 2015 (Quaderni di Gargnano), pp. 15-19

Unit A
- William Shakespeare, Agostino Lombardo, e Giorgio Strehler, La Tempesta tradotta e messa in scena 1977-78 (the correspondence between Strehler and Lombardo only), edited by Rosy Colombo, Roma, Donzelli, 2007. For the correspondence, see pp. 4-132. For the video of La tempesta, see the DVD attached to the book or
- Emilio Sala, Between Mediatization and Live Performance: The Music for Giorgio Strehler's The Tempest (1978), in Musical Listening in the Age of Technological Reproduction, edited by Gianmario Borio, Farnham, Ashgate, 2015, pp. 133-149.

Unit B
- For the Adès' opera, see the Met production directed by Robert Lepage (2012) and available on DVD (Deutsche Grammophon).
- Michael Ewans, Thomas Adès and Meredith Oakes: The Tempest, in Studies in Musical Theatre, vol. 9, n. 3, 2015, pp. 231-250.
- For the students that are able to read music, the full score of the opera is also available in the Department Library: Thomas Adès, The Tempest: Opera in Three Acts, London, Faber, 2007.

Unit C
- The film Forbidden Planet by Fred. M. Wilcox, music by Louis and Bebe Barron (1956), is available on DVD only (not on YouTube).
- Franco Fabbri, Un pianeta proibito: il cinema di fantascienza e la musica elettronica, in Suono/immagine/genere, edited by Ilario Meandri e Andrea Valle, Torino, Kaplan, 2011, pp. 94-103.
- James Wierzbicki, Louis and Bebe Barron's Forbidden Planet. A Film Score Guide, Lanham (Maryland), The Scarecrow Press, 2005, pp. 64-98 ("The Music"), pp. 99-153 ("The Film Score"), and pp. 169-173 (notes).

"Non-attending" students must integrate the program with these additional texts:

Unit A
- Giuseppina Restivo, La tempesta e la storia: prospettive pre-illuministe, in Strehler e oltre. Il Galileo di Brecht e La tempesta di Shakespeare, edited by G. Restivo et al., Bologna, CLUEB, 2010, pp. 219-268.
- Susan Bennett, Theory for Theatre Studies: Sound, London, Methuen Drama, 2019, pp. 1-13 ("Sound: An Introduction") e pp. 41-48 ("Case Study: Shakespeare's The Tempest").

Unit B
- Michael Halliwell, "The island's full of noises, sounds and sweet airs". Thomas Adès' Version of The Tempest, in Musical Islands: Exploring Connections Between Music, Place and Research, edited by Elizabeth Mackinlay et al., Newcastle upon Tyne, Cambridge Scholars Publishing, 2009, pp. 360-380.

Unit C
- James Wierzbicki, Louis and Bebe Barron's Forbidden Planet. A Film Score Guide, Lanham (Maryland), The Scarecrow Press, 2005.
Assessment methods and Criteria
The assessment method consists of an oral exam on the topics developed during the course, by mark expressed on a scale from a minimum of 18 to the maximum of 30.
Unita' didattica A
L-ART/07 - MUSICOLOGY AND HISTORY OF MUSIC - University credits: 3
Lessons: 20 hours
Unita' didattica B
L-ART/07 - MUSICOLOGY AND HISTORY OF MUSIC - University credits: 3
Lessons: 20 hours
Unita' didattica C
L-ART/07 - MUSICOLOGY AND HISTORY OF MUSIC - University credits: 3
Lessons: 20 hours