In 1997 a computer beat a human composer and music professor in composing a Bach-sounding chorale. In 2016, the world’s first computer-generated musical premiered in London’s West End. Now what lies ahead for Broadway musical theatre? This chapter explores the technology behind the computer-generated musical and state-of-the-art digital musicology tools, and points out that Broadway canons largely determine the musical theatre sound that digital tools capture and recreate. It then proposes six metrics of (re)canonizing US Broadway musicals in the digital age, including personal canonization. Stressing the importance of diversifying the “American” sound and reinventing the Broadway song machine (formulas that constitute a hit Broadway song), it argues that digital musicology offers human beings tools to rethink and reassess the past, develop musical theatre pedagogy, and challenge composers to create futures of a new and more varied “American” sound.
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Databases and Online Gateways
The “What-If Machine”: whim-project.eu
New York Philharmonic Digital Archive: archives.nyphil.org/index.php
New York Philharmonic Github: github.com/nyphilarchive/PerformanceHistory
Online Chopin Variorum Edition: chopinonline.ac.uk/ocve
The Juilliard Manuscript Collection: juilliardmanuscriptcollection.org
Online Resources for Music Scholars: hcl.harvard.edu/research/guides/onmusic
Digital Resources for Musicology: drm.ccarh.org
Humdrum Toolkit: humdrum.org
music21 Toolkit: web.mit.edu/music21/
Music Imaging Technologies: musitek.com
Playbill Online: playbill.com
Internet Broadway Database: ibdb.com
Web of Science: apps.webofknowledge.com
Broadway League: broadway.org
The Open Syllabus Project: opensyllabusproject.org
Editors and Affiliations
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Liu, S. (2017). Recanonizing “American” Sound and Reinventing the Broadway Song Machine: Digital Musicology Futures of Broadway Musicals. In: Hillman-McCord, J. (eds) iBroadway. Palgrave Macmillan, Cham. https://doi.org/10.1007/978-3-319-64876-7_12
Publisher Name: Palgrave Macmillan, Cham
Print ISBN: 978-3-319-64875-0
Online ISBN: 978-3-319-64876-7