Spring 2013

Words and Music for Theatrical Performance

Listed in: Music, as MUSI-260  |  Theater and Dance, as THDA-280


Ron Bashford (Section 01)
Harold Y. Meltzer (Section 01)


(Offered as THDA 280 and MUSI 260.) Conducted as a collaborative workshop among student writers and composers, this course explores the close relationship between words and music. While working together on new music/text pieces for the stage, we will seek to arrive at various definitions of "music theater." In addition to ongoing creative assignments, we will examine existing works in various genres, including songs, musical theater, opera and other experimental forms.  Featured writers and composers will include Brecht and Weill, Auden/Kallman and Stravinsky, Sondheim and Bernstein, and Goodman and Adams, among others. Although students with varied experience in musical composition and/or creative writing will be admitted, all students should expect both to write text, to compose music and to work together doing so. Regular class meetings will be supplemented by individual tutorials. The course will culminate in a public performance of final projects created in collaboration with other students.  

Admission with consent of the instructors. Limited to 16 students. Spring semester. Professor Bashford and Visiting Professor Meltzer.


Artistic Practice, Community Based Learning


2022-23: Not offered
Other years: Offered in Fall 2007, Spring 2008, Fall 2008, Spring 2009, Fall 2009, Spring 2010, Fall 2010, Spring 2011, Fall 2011, Spring 2012, Fall 2012, Spring 2013, Fall 2013, Spring 2014, Fall 2014, Spring 2015, Fall 2015, Spring 2016, Fall 2016, Spring 2017, Fall 2017, Spring 2018, Fall 2018, Spring 2019, Fall 2019, Spring 2020, Fall 2020, Spring 2021, Fall 2021, Spring 2022

Pre-registration and submissions for permission

Submitted by Ron Bashford on Saturday, 11/10/2012, at 9:52 AM

If you are interested in this course, you should know that:

(1) You may not pre-register for this course.  Rather, students admitted to the course will be able to register during Add/Drop.  For now, you should complete pre-registration with a back-up course in this "slot."

(2)  Permission is required, and will be based on samples of musical composition and/or text writing, which will be due to the instructors on December 12.  To apply to enroll in this course, please follow the submission instructions below.


Enrollment is limited.  We are looking for student composers and student writers.  You do not need to have experience in both, just one or the other.  Student composers may work in any style, and may make scores or compose by ear (with keyboard or guitar).  Student writers may have experience in playwriting, fiction, poetry and/or creative non-fiction.

The submissions deadline is Wednesday, December 12.  Applications will be acknowledged by email; a class list will be emailed to all applicants by January 15 .  Apply by sending an e-mail with attachments to both rdbashford88@amherst.edu and hymeltzer88@amherst.edu.  Send two samples of creative work.   

The samples may be music composition, or may be either poetry or prose.   

Music submissions, either scores or recordings, should be two distinct compositions, together no longer than fifteen minutes' duration. Scores should be sent in .pdf format; mp3 recordings may be sent via www.yousendit.com only to hymeltzer88@amherst.edu.  Music submissions do not need to contain text or singing.

Prose submissions each should be no more than five double-spaced pages for each selection; poetry submissions each should be between three and five single-spaced pages.  Excerpts from longer work are acceptable.