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Katarzyna Mielczarek

(Jagiellonian University, Institute of Musicology, Kraków, Poland)

From musical to komedioopera. Musicologist in the face of problems related to the classification of music and theatre genres


Word-musical forms currently popular, such as, for example, musical, have their origins in earlier musical-theatrical genres. Despite the centuries-old tradition of performing works, we still ask ourselves questions about the interaction of theatrical and musical arts within the genre. Research on the integrity of musical and theatrical genres is made much more difficult for very prosaic reasons: musicologists are not very familiar with theatrical traditions, and theatre scientists are unfamiliar with the music. This leads to many misunderstandings and understatements about looking at the musical-theatre genres as a whole, which cannot exist without its musical or theatrical side. However, these are not the only problems related to these issues. Word-musical genres have evolved over the centuries, both in terms of content and form, but also in terms of nomenclature. Looking at these species in Poland and their numerous names, most of which appeared in the nineteenth century, it is difficult to clearly define each of them. The repeated use of names is currently a challenge for researchers to distinguish and assign specific works to a given genre. The juxtaposition of music and theatre pieces that are distant in time allows for a broader view of this form. We can see how music and theatre intertwined in the nineteenth-century genre, and how they do it today in the most popular genre - the musical. The verbal and musical integrity of forms is best manifested in musical and theatrical genres. It is impossible to separate the musical layer from the theatrical and verbal layers. Looking at this form over the centuries, we can notice some methodological problems with the species classification. This is especially evident in the nineteenth century, but the problems remain unresolved to this day. Having a broader context, researchers try to classify musical and theatrical genres, trying to do it based on specific musical or theatrical features.

Short biography

Katarzyna Mielczarek has graduated the Music School in Krosno in the piano class in 2018. In 2021, she graduated in Theater studies at the Jagiellonian University. Currently, she is a fourth-year student of both Musicology and Journalism & Social Communication at the Jagiellonian University in Krakow. Her interests include music in the theatre of the nineteenth century and the interpenetration of music and theatre over the centuries.