Thinking Out Loud: Musicals, and The Importance of a Good Story–Introduction

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When I was younger, I was part of the musical theater community in high school. A number of the students including my sister cliqued into it, while the rest of us loved music, singing, and dancing, but never regarded the act of performing as something that defined our personalities and interests. Don’t get me wrong–everyone there was an individual, but there was a definite split between those of us who can love any musical as long as the music was good (aka the Glee fans), and those of us who couldn’t share the same interests even if we tried to. Even so, it was a very nice group of people.

I will try to explain the reasons why I feel the way I do about musicals. It might have something to do with excessive levels of comedy and tragedy being amplified by specific styles of music. Maybe music can tell us how to feel about a story rather than let the story flow into the emotions itself before the music locks us into it. It’s possible that when the story isn’t regarded as important, music can be used as a crutch to try to hold up an unchallenging story. I have no idea how often music is being used like this, but I believe that I have seen this happen. I will also discuss how good music can be used to allow clichés to flourish. In this case, I’m going to talk about the high school trope—my personal pet peeve.

I’m going to discuss this subject through a series of posts.  In the next four blog posts starting tomorrow, I’m probably going to say things that you don’t agree with. I’m going to state my own opinions that might change in the future; however, through these posts, I want to encourage you to never let a weak story pass you by just because the music that went with it was good. A good story can help us to learn how to socialize in an honest, and forgiving way that helps us to know the truth, and keeps us from being stuck with our pride, shame, or our own opinions. Let’s not lose our capacity to move beyond ourselves—we are strong enough to handle tales that go against the grain of our limited perspectives, and that show us something we have never seen before. We have to be because this kind of strength shapes our own intentions towards others, and helps us to form relationships in true humility. In a world that seems to be in the process of swapping humility for pride and shame, moving beyond ourselves has become deeply crucial now.

The first subject that I’m going to be discussing is excessive tragedy.  It will be up on this blog tomorrow.

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