Musicals and Musical Theater

Musical theater, or “a musical,” as it’s come to be called, is one of the best forms of entertainment ever devised, in my opinion. You can get it all in there – you can have comedy and/or drama, music, songs, and dance all rolled up into one production on stage, on a movie screen, or even on a television screen.

You are told a wonderful and compelling story (drama) or you are made to laugh until you roll in the aisles (comedy). But above all, the whole story is told with more than just words or pictures.

“The Black Crook” is recognized as the first musical, and it’s what gave America the right to claim having created the musical entertainment genre. The play was based on the novel by Charles M. Barras. “The Black Crook” opened on September 12, 1866, and ran for a record-breaking 474 performances. It was performed at the at the 3,200-seat Niblo’s Garden on Broadway, New York City. There have been countless “revivals” of “The Black Crook” over the years.

Musicals are presented as big-budget, high-end extravaganzas on Broadway stages and in smaller-budget off-Broadway theaters. They’re presented in big-budget movies and in not-so-extravagant low-budget films. They’re presented by professionals, by amateur community theater groups, and by high school drama departments. Even kindergarten classes stage musicals starring vegetables and animals.

Musicals are generally profitable, no matter what venue they are presented in. Leave it to corporate America to find a cash cow. Today, Broadway musicals are most often corporate-sponsored. Musicals are making a comeback on television today, as well.

There are even musicals that have been created for the Internet! The best example is “Dr. Horrible’s Sing-Along Blog,” about a low-rent super-villain played by Neil Patrick Harris.

Concerts as Entertainment

I doubt anybody would argue the point that concerts could be called anything other than part of the “entertainment industry.”

The definition of “concert” is: a live performance, usually of music, before an audience. You’ll notice that the definition doesn’t specify what kind of music or the venue of the performance. That’s because there are concerts that feature music from classical to rap, and every genre in between.

Concerts are held in wonderful old theaters and concert halls that were built especially for the performance of music and have positively amazing acoustics. Concerts are also held outdoors in open-air venues where there are no acoustics at all. And we’ve all attended a junior high school band concert that was held in the school auditorium, gym, or cafeteria, where the acoustics are absolutely atrocious with sound bouncing around everywhere.

Nevertheless, no matter what kind of music or what the venue of the performance, a concert is entertainment. Although I must point out that sometimes audiences are drawn to concerts and are willing to pay dearly for tickets to concerts not just to hear the music being performed. Sometimes the audience is drawn to a concert because of the venue (Woodstock), the performers (famous singers or musicians), or because it is their duty as a parent to attend no matter how bad the music might be.

Famous singers and musicians often go on concert tours. The same concert is performed, but each night the performance occurs in a different city. Particularly in the rock and roll, pop, or rap genres, concert tours are very popular avenues to allow fans the opportunity to see their favorite singers and musicians perform. Ticket sales for concert tour performances usually represent a large percentage of the profits made by record companies, managers, and producers.

High School Musical – The Movie Plot

Troy Bolton and Gabriela Montez were forced to sing a duet at a New Year’s party in a ski resort and instantly clicked. They exchanged numbers thinking they were not going to see each other again after the winter break.

As soon as Troy goes back to school he resumes his jock days as the team captain of the East High basketball team Wildcats. Gabriela on the other hand, finds herself the new girl at East High when her mom gets transferred to a new job at Albuquerque, New Mexico. In school, Gabriela and Troy once again cross paths.

Troy and Gabriela find themselves in a situation where they have to listen to their hearts more than to people’s opinions about them. Troy and Gabriela end up auditioning for the school’s musical where they become up for the lead roles against brother and sister tandem Sharpay and Ryan Evans.

Sharpay and Ryan Evans have been the stars of their school’s musicals since they started going to East High and now they can’t believe that the school jock has auditioned with the new girl for the latest musical. They feel that people should stay with their cliques and remain committed to a single interest. Even Troy’s basketball teammates make a big deal out of Troy auditioning for the role because in their minds, athletes do not spend their days singing up on stage and trying to become an actor. To them, the whole idea of Troy auditioning for the school musical is just utterly preposterous.

Even Troy’s father is unsupportive of Troy’s new found interest in music and acting. To him, the only way Troy can guarantee that he has a bright future is to focus on his basketball so he can land a college scholarship. He fears the musical will take Troy’s focus off basketball.

Meanwhile, Sharpay discovers Gabriela’s high aptitude for Math and how she was the Math whiz in her former school. She submits Gabriela’s credentials to the Math team in school without the knowledge of Gabriela. Gabriela is instantly recruited by the Math Decathlon team.

Sharpay and Ryan try to make a point that jocks should hang out with jocks, geniuses with geniuses, etc. They are determined to keep Troy on the basketball team and Gabriela on the Math Decathlon team so that they can play the lead roles in the upcoming winter musicale. Sharpay together with Troy’s and Gabriela’s friends device a plan that will help her keep the two lead stars off the musical.

Gabriela’s feelings end up feeling hurt and she decides to give up trying out during the final audition. When Troy makes his peace with Gabriela and they decide to give the audition a shot, Sharpay once again finds a way to move the audition date to coincide with a basketball game and the Math Decathlon.

Thinking the two stars won’t show up for the audition the teacher almost gives the lead roles to Sharpay and Ryan but with the Math Decathlon and the whole basketball team now behind Gabriela and Troy, they are able to work out a plan so that the two can still audition. Troy and Gabriela audition at the last minute and completely blew away the audience that has come to watch them perform.

Film Music and the Mind-Body Connection

What does movie music do for you??

As I sit here watching the Golden Globe Awards, I can’t help but think of all the fabulous music that I have heard when at the movies. As a child, my sister and I woulod go to the movies most Saturday afternoon and sit through a double-feature. Back in the 50’s, this was often a Western double feature or a horror-flick double feature. I honestly came to love much of the music from the Westerns. I don’t even remember any music that went with a horror film.

You’ve heard me say before that the Hollywood composers are masters of touching emotions with music (and the silent movie pianists before them) and whenever emotions are powerfully touched, the memory is etched and inseparably connected to the music and the emotion. Some of my favorites from childhood (I’m not ashamed to admit) are the Disney tunes like “When You Wish Upon a Star” or “Chim-Chiminee.” In my teen years I loved “April Love” and “Lara’s Theme” from Dr. Zhivago. I’ll always love the theme from “Exodus” and “Bridge on the River Kwai.” You get the point, I’m sure. Music affects the mind and the body in as powerful a way as anything I can imagine. Every time we hear favorite, familiar music, our brains give us a big shot of serotonin, endorphins and other feel-good neurotransmitters. Music is certainly my drug of choice. I’d love to know your thoughts on this? For more information, please go to

The Top 8 Things The Music, Television, Movie And Consumer Electronics Industries Should Do

The music, television, movie and consumer electronics industries (hereafter collectively referred to as the industry) have been struggling with the rapid advance of technology and the new virtuality of content. Here are the top eight things the industry should do to harness the technology and recapture the simple tenet of giving the customer what they want.

1. Offer three consumption models.

a. Offer all content free with ads.

All content should be available on demand all the time free with ads. The best examples of this so far are music videos at and and TV shows at The worst examples of this are the television networks who still insist on having their content time expire after only a short period of availability. Networks should use the ad model to make their entire catalog of shows, current and past, available for free all the time. All media stores, such as iTunes, should also introduce the option of listening to or watching a brief ad per 10 minutes of content or so in order to enjoy the entire content rather than just short preview clips.

b. Rent all content without ads for a fee.

This is the same as 1a only without the ads for a fee. The best examples of this so far are Netflix and Yahoo! Music Unlimited. With the former, for as low as $8.99 per month, you can rent any movie in the store, and that now includes some that can be watched directly online. With the latter, for as low as $5.99 per month, you can listen to every song in the store as many times as you want with no ads. All media stores and sites should offer this option.

c. Sell all content Digital Rights Management(DRM, or copy protection)-free.

There will still always be a market for owning content outright, such as for those times where you just don’t have an Internet connection or don’t want to be tethered to a server. In these cases, for both online virtual formats and offline physical formats, DRM simply should go. It has proven to hamper sales significantly due to treating everyday paying customers as if they are pirates, restricting them to play back the content on too few devices, giving them the chore of backing up and managing licenses on their computer and violating their fair use rights. DRM will always be defeatable and the industry simply needs to stop investing an inordinate amount of time and money into something that has a negative impact on their bottom line. The industry should abandon it and get back to the basic premise of allowing the customer the joy of experiencing the content they paid for without any strings attached. The best example of this so far is EMI which is now allowing media stores to sell DRM-free songs.

2. Wireless Internet-enable all devices.

The computer cannot be the only access point. TVs, cable boxes, disc players, DVRs, game consoles, portables, boom boxes, phones, car head units – in short all playback devices – should come with built-in wireless connection to the Internet for access to content servers. The best examples of this so far are the PlayStation 3 and the iPhone/iPod touch Wi-Fi Music Store.

3. End format wars.

When a new format is needed to advance the industry to the next level, there should be one and only one format that goes to market and becomes the standard. Like 1c, this applies to both online virtual formats and offline physical formats.

The current example in physical formats is Blu-ray vs. HD DVD. Two formats were necessary at first to spur competition, but the differences between them at this point are so negligible that ultimately one has to win for either to succeed. A standards body needs to exist to allow competition at first and to oversee a limited beta period to ensure customer opinions are factored in, but then to ultimately pick a winner before full-scale market launch. Companies should be required to register candidate formats in the early stages. The standards body should track investment and invention level of each candidate along the way. Then a winner should be chosen with a percentage of the licensing revenue going to all of the candidates commensurate with their investment and invention level. The candidates either agree to these terms from the get-go or they do not participate in determining and profiting from the next generation format.

The current example in virtual formats is mp3 vs. AAC vs. WMA vs. yet others for audio, and mpeg-4 (H.264) vs. WMV (VC-1) vs. yet others for video. Coupled with 1c, the industry should have standardized on mp3 and mpeg-4 a long time ago to ensure that all content will be universally playable on every device.

Correcting this immediately is essential. The industry should get a standards body in place as soon as possible and declare much overdue industry standards, such as Blu-ray, mp3 and mpeg-4. The marketplace will rejoice, sales will skyrocket and the floodgates will open on the dam the industry itself has been one of the largest contributors to building.

4. Allow playlists to be defined and stored on the servers.

What 1a and 1b do is move us away from the need to store and manage our own copies of the content on our client devices (or on our shelves). Moving playlists off of the clients is a natural extension of that. When we can dial up all content including our favorite playlists on demand all the time anywhere we have an Internet connection, the convenience of not having to permanently store and backup our own copies of the data will start to prevail. The best example of this so far is Yahoo! Music Jukebox.

5. Offer movies by the chapter in addition to whole.

Just as the norm is now to be able to buy individual songs rather than just whole albums, the same option should be available for buying the individual chapters of movies. Doing so would offer the same advantages as individual song sales – the ability to collect favorite chapters at lower cost and storage use, the ability to direct-access chapters on playback and the ability to arrange favorite chapters from various movies into playlists. Note that this would require players to pre-cache the next chapter to ensure gapless chapter-to-chapter playback, but that is certainly doable.

6. Offer a choice of bitrates.

Highly compressed bitrates were fine at first, but there is no doubt that even with today’s bandwidth and storage (which will only grow with time), those who want to enjoy higher bitrates should have the option. With 1a and 1b, bandwidth is the primary factor, and clearly higher bitrates are possible even today. With 1c online formats, storage is also a factor, but even with today’s capacities some may choose quality over quantity for must-have content.

7. Piggyback audio on video for physical formats.

The industry moving to a new physical format is a big undertaking. Assuming a new HD format succeeds for video, then audio should just piggyback on that success. The video format will obviously have enough capacity for audio, and consumers will not have to buy additional players. Previous HD audio attempts of DVD-Audio and Super Audio CD failed for several reasons – separate audio-only players, no single digital connection such as HDMI, format war, etc. – all of which can be avoided once either Blu-ray or HD DVD is declared the standard. Albums in uncompressed PCM, both 2-channel stereo and multi-channel surround, with HD extras such as music videos, live concert footage and still photos all played through an existing player with single HDMI connection would be very compelling. With lossless compression such as Dolby TrueHD, perhaps entire album box sets could fit on one disc. These are exciting new possibilities.

8. Leverage viral marketing.

This is an extension of 1a. Provide url-addressability to free ad-coupled content that sites anywhere can provide links to – it essentially equates to free marketing for you. It doesn’t matter from where the eyeballs found the content, just that they found it. More eyeballs means more ad revenue in your pocket and more exposure that will lead to the eventual purchase of the content and related merchandise such as concert tickets, t-shirts, posters, action figures, toys, etc. A free ad-supported lure has always been necessary (radio and TV) for widespread exposure. The best examples of this so far are music videos at and and TV shows at Music, movies and all TV programs should get on board and realize the massive new source of constant ad revenue never before possible without the new technology.

These eight things would take the industry out of its current slump and carry it into unprecedented growth territory.

How to Make a Video With Music and Pictures

Whether you just came back from your holiday, during which you managed to take thousands of great photos, or want to show your friends a few pictures of your cat, you might want to use images and music and create a great video instead. This might sound like something truly complicated, but even if you have no experience at all, you can easily create great videos in a matter of minutes.

How to make a video with music and pictures:

  1. In order to do that you obviously need music and pictures: keep in mind that the vast majority of media and images, available online are protected by copyright, so using them without permission is not a good idea. You can use your own photos and free music or you can compose your own as there are many software tools that would help you do that.
  2. Once you have the images and music, you will have to put the two together. If you run Windows Vista or Windows 7, you can use Windows Live Movie Maker, which will not only let you make a movie out of your photos and music, but also comes with a few basic editing options as well. It allows the users to create dynamic slideshows, use various effects, work with transitions, and even add text to their videos. If you do not have the program installed on your computer, you can download and install it free from the Microsoft’s website. Mac users can achieve the same (and probably a bit more) with iMovie, which is an easy to use and feature-rich video editor.
  3. Use an online slideshow or video creation service: there are numerous websites such as Animoto, Flixtime and Stupeflix, which allow users to upload photos and music and create slideshows or videos. Some of these sites are completely free, others might require registration, and some services let you create semi-professional looking videos without any restrictions for a small fee.
  4. Professional video editing software will let you make videos with music and pictures and so much more: tools like Sony Vegas and Adobe After Effects are capable of creating videos with unmatched quality. However, they are mostly suitable for professionals since they come with endless number of effects, options, and add-ons and have a high learning curve as well.

Armed with this basic knowledge, gather your best photos and music, create a stunning video, and feel free to share it with all your friends and strangers online!

Find Music and Movies at Great Prices

If you enjoy watching music or listening to movies in your spare time, there are many ways to save money on your entertainment needs. Whether you are a movie and music collector or you prefer to watch, listen, and then move on, there are many options available.

Take a look at the following available options when you are in search of your next entertainment fix.

o Buy and Trade Online – You can now find many movies and music CDs for a great price online. Many companies now offer online stores where you can save a bundle on your next purchases. These companies can charge lower prices, since they do not have to mark the cost up to cover a store front business. You can also find online websites that allow you to swap movies and CDs with other members. It doesn’t cost anything to sign up for these sites; you simply receive credits for items you swap and then you can use them to pick out items from other members.

o Join a Rental Club – There are many companies online you can now rent movies from through the mail. You can sign up online and pick out your favorites. The company ships the movies to your door and when you return them, you get another set. If you are bad about deadlines, these sites are great, since they do not charge late fees.

o Sign Up For a Membership – You can sign up for many music and movie clubs and get great deals. These companies will give you a set number of movies or CDs for a discounted price just for joining and then you are required to purchase a set number of new items each year. In general, you can usually save up to 40% off of store prices by purchasing through a club.

o Buy Used From Local Companies – Many music and movie stores will sell used products at a discounted price. Movie stores generally purchase a lot of copies for the release of a movie, but as the hype subsides, they will cut back to just a few copies and sell the others at a great rate. Used music stores will usually have an exchange program. You can trade in used CDs for credit to buy others. By doing this, they can offer great rates on used CDs.

o Patience Is A Virtue – Most stores, whether they are new or used, will mark down prices once a movie or album has been on the market for a while. If you can be patient a few weeks, you can usually see a significant savings off of the original new release price.

o Coupons Offer Savings – You can also look in your local newspaper or online and find coupons for your next movie or music purchase. Searching online is a great way to find coupons quickly and print them out. Many companies now have complete sites that offer nothing but coupons. You can usually find a great deal; just make sure you check expiration dates.

How Can I Download Music And Movies To A PSP?

If you are asking the question: “How can I download music and movies to a PSP?”. Don’t worry, it is not as difficult as you think, even though you are new on this technical stuff. Before that we have to know that PSP compatible Audio formats are MP3, AAC, WMA and Video format is MP4.

  • First you have to convert the files you want to download, I recommend you to download Aimersoft, which is available for free on the internet.
  • If you do not have any USB cable to connect your PSP to your computer, you can buy one with less than $10 on eBay or a retail store in your area
  • After connecting your PSP to your computer you will see a “PSP” folder, you can drag your music files to your music folder under the “PSP” folder.
  • As for video, you can create a video folder under “MP_ROOT”, copy the video files to the video folder you just created.
  • If you want to do it more conveniently, you can use the above mentioned software, it has a tool called PSP video manager that can help you add video to PSP directly.

As mentioned before it is not difficult to download music or video to your portable Play-station.

If you are looking for more software and unlimited games, videos, or music download. Please visit this site, How can I download music and movies to a PSP?, to read more details about how you can make your PSP looks cool.

Music and Movies: History of the Soundtrack – Pt 1

Music and film have always gone together. In fact, before ‘talkies’ came along, the only sound you’d hear in a silent movie would be music. Silent film star, Charlie Chaplin was one of the finest physical comedians to ever grace the silver screen. But despite this, without music in the background, even his best films would be missing something. There’s no doubt about it, music adds an emotional element to whatever may be occurring on film. Music can enhance and punctuate the entire spectrum of human emotion. Can anyone imagine a movie without music? Would you even want to?

One the first great musicals, the 1939 fantasy masterpiece and timeless classic, “The Wizard of Oz”, starring the velvet voiced Judy Garland, is probably most peoples’ first exposure to a movie musical. The longtime children’s classic about a Kansas farm-girl named, Dorothy, who, along with her dog, Toto, is whisked away by a tornado to the magical land of Oz. There she befriends many strange and wonderful characters and makes a serious enemy in the form of a wicked witch, as she tries to get back home. Along with the imaginative story, the songs such as, “Somewhere Over the Rainbow” and “Ding Dong, the Witch is Dead!”, have since become a part of our popular culture. That same year, the first full length color film, the sweeping epic, “Gone With the Wind”, about life in the south before,during, and after the civil war. The film’s main musical theme was widely popular and still recognizable even today. Another very popular soundtrack was Walt Disney’s first full length animated film, the classic, “Snow White and the Seven Dwarfs”. Released in 1937, Snow White made musical and movie history by being the first film to have it’s soundtrack transferred to record disk. Other notable Disney film soundtracks were 1940’s “Pinocchio” and the animated and live action, “Mary Poppins”, released in 1964.

In 1955, Rodgers and Hammerstein’s broadway musical, “Oklahoma”, was brought to the big screen. Director, Fred Zinnemann fillmed the movie in the wide open spaces of Arizona. The visually beautiful film was big, bright, and colorful. However, the cinematography did not overpower Rodgers and Hammerstein’s musical score, but rather complemented it. Oklahoma is classic musical film fare for all audiences. Remember “Oh What a Beautiful Mornin”? That song, along with other classics graced the film’s soundtrack. Another Rodgers and Hammerstein musical brought to the big screen in 1965 with movie classic results, is the beautifully filmed, “Sound of Music”. The memorable songs and Julie Andrew’s outstanding performance as the governess of a wealthy man’s children in Nazi occupied Austria, is a wonderful musical about the human spirit’s ability to be uplifted by song in the face of unspeakable madness.

In 1961, we saw a musical retelling of Shakespeare’s,”Romeo and Juliet” in the film “West Side Story”. Starring the beautiful Natalie Wood, the story revolves around two rival gangs, the ‘Jets’, a white gang, and a Hispanic gang called the ‘Sharks’. Complications arise when Maria,(Wood), the sister of the Sharks gang leader falls in love with the leader of the Jets. True, the fighting/dancing sequences are a bit corny, but the songs in the film, such as, “Somewhere”, “I Feel Pretty”, and of course, “When You’re a Jet” are all classics. In fact, the 2003 film, “Anger Management”, starring Adam Sandler and Jack Nicholson, there’s a scene in which Nicholson playfully goads Sandler into singing, “I Feel Pretty”, to ease his tensions. 42 years later, and yes, youthful audiences may not have known where the song came from, but they recognized it.

Download Unlimited Music And Movies – Find What Is Best For You!

I’m sure you are probably aware that you can download music and movies for free on the Internet. What you may not be aware of however is that this is sometimes not safe and even in certain circumstances, illegal. In this article I will go over several different methods for getting free media on the Internet.

Over the past few years there has been a lot of hype surrounding ‘BitTorrent’. This is a highly efficient protocol that allows users to download a huge amount of data relatively fast. Each user downloading supplies parts of the files to other users. Although this way of obtaining files is great, many of the sites that use this are illegal in the United States. The corporations that manage the music and movie industries actively monitor many of these sites and in many cases sue people for using them. You should definitely be careful when dealing with any sites that use BitTorrent to obtain music and movies.

Usenet is a global, decentralized, distributed Internet discussion system. Over the course of the last decade people have figured out ways to distribute files over Usenet, encoding them into messages. The files have to be broken up over many messages, and a lot of the time files will be incomplete. There is also a lot of illegal content on Usenet. While it is harder to track people who obtain files there, it is not impossible. Usenet is somewhat hard to navigate, and requires sufficient knowledge about computers.

Recently there have been sites springing up like Unlimited Download Center. These sites offer unlimited downloads for a one time payment. I have found that these sites are great because they do the work for you. You don’t have to bother with worrying about spyware, viruses or anything else that may come up. Everything is right there for you. These sites are what I use personally and I recommend them. Pay once, and you’re set!

Getting unlimited free music and movies is great, it’s just best to keep things safe. There is no sense ruining your computer or even worse, getting in trouble with the law. I’m off to get some new music!

Music And Movies Download Sites – Are They A Scam?

Surfing the Internet, looking for music and movies to download, you will find a lot of so called music and movie download sites. These sites do not provide you with music, or movies to download, no, they provide you with file sharing soft ware you can use to search for, and download music, movies and games. Most of them also provide you with cd burning soft ware and they have a helpdesk for those members who run in to problems with their downloading.

These site are under attack.

First of all there is the entertainment industry that want to shut them down.
They claim that these file sharing programs are used to download copy right protected materials.
This is true of course, but lots of people download and trade files legally on file-sharing networks.You can, for example, legally download music from hundreds of bands and thousands live concerts, as well as multiple software titles and games.
File sharing has enabled music fans from around the world to build the largest library of recorded music in history. File sharing is not illegal as long as you obey and comply with all relevant copyright laws.
Sharing copyrighted material without permission could be illegal in your country.
In america the RIAA (Recording Industry Association of America) are leading the fight against the sharing of copyrighted music. Others, like hollywood’s MPAA (Motion Picture Association of America) are also starting to get involved and are taking legal action against the music and movie download sites.
It will not be easy to shut down these download sites. Especially since the Internet has no borders, it will be an almost impossible task, to get all the countries in the world to agree on how to legislate Internet downloading.

Another attack on music and movies download sites comes from, what I call, seasoned Internet users.
They claim these download sites are a scam, because they charge for something you can get for free.
Well, you could get it for free, that is true.
These download sites provide you with soft ware to search for and download files from the Internet.
They provide you with soft ware to burn these files on a cd should you wish to do so.

All this software is available for free on the Internet, but for an Internet novice it could be a daunting task to look for this kind of soft ware, to decide which soft ware to use, how to use it.On top of that they have to make sure that they do not download spy ware, ad ware or what ever.
Joining a download site and have all the info in one place is not a bad option for most of them.
Another advantage is the fact that these download sites provide a help desk for their members.
Is it a scam if you provide info that people could get for free elsewhere?

Consider this.

You are looking for a telephone number, so you look it up in the phone book.
Say you do not have the right phone book, you can go out looking for it.
You probably can find this free info in the library.

You can also pick up the phone and ring an information service.

They will provide you with this free info
and they will charge you for it.

So, is this information service a scam?

I do not think so, and I also do not think that the music and movies download sites are a scam.

Provided of course that they tell you what you can expect from them before you sign up with them, and that they deliver on this promise

If you want to join a download site, chose one that gives a guaranty that you can have your money back if not satisfied.

Once you have joined, test out everything, especially their helpdesk.

If you have no questions, ask them a few things you know already, just to test their response.

And last but not least, do not hesitate to charge back your money if you are not completely satisfied.

Happy downloading!