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Commercial name for the New York theater district. Few of the theaters are actually on Broadway, but many are in the Times Square area. The “Broadway” designation as a term, according to Actor’s Equity, refers to a theater with at least 500 seats; off-Broadway houses are smaller.

See Musical theater.

Article

J-Pop  

Noriko Manabe

A form of popular music that has been dominant in Japan and features catchy melodies with Japanese lyrics sung over Western-pop accompaniments. The term was coined by foreign-owned record chains such as Tower Records in the 1980s and was picked up in 1988 by the radio station J-Wave; it came into general parlance in the 1990s. The genre was partly the product of the mainstreaming of rock and the blending of that style with kayōkyoku (Japanese-language pop music in Western style). Musical tracks may draw from a number of styles, including pop, rock, R&B, hip-hop, and Okinawan music, and “world music” catchy melodies that can be used as hooks for jingles or sung in a karaoke bar are highly prized. Notable artists include the female pop idols Ayumi Hamasaki, Utada Hikaru, and Koda Kumi; boy bands, such as SMAP and Arashi, from the artist management company Johnny’s; and rock bands such as the B’z....

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Christopher Balme

The dances and music of the Polynesian peoples have had varying impact on the United States over the last one and half centuries. Of greatest importance are Hawaiian music and dance, including musical instruments such as the Pedal steel guitar and Ukulele, and practices such as the Hula (see Hawaii). Owing to US colonial involvement in the region, exchange and influences transcend just the Hawaiian connection. For the 1909 production Inside the Earth at the New York Hippodrome 50 Maori performers were imported from New Zealand for the season. To promote her 1926 silent film, Aloma of the South Seas, the dancer Gilda Gray toured with a Polynesian band, The Royal Samoans, and performed her “Polynesian dance” before showings. The Royal Samoans capitalized on the craze for Hawaiian and Tahitian music and dancing. They performed throughout the United States in the interwar period, even obtaining a live cameo in the ...

Article

Susan Feder

revised by Michael Mauskapf

[Pop, Promenade]

Orchestral programs modeled after European promenade concerts of the 19th century, in which light classical music was played while the audience was served refreshments. The development of pops concerts in America reflected an emerging emphasis on the audience and an explicitly articulated division between so-called serious and light classical music propagated by conductor Theodore Thomas and others. Such concerts were traditionally structured in three parts, in which lively pieces—overtures, marches, and galops—were played in the outer sections while the middle section typically included waltzes and occasionally more serious works; encores were a regular feature. These concerts often took place in outdoor venues during the summer season, and featured audience promenades during the intermissions. Initially, works by European composers such as Rossini, Grieg, Liszt, and J. Strauss dominated the programs of pops concerts, but excerpts from musicals and operettas by De Koven and Herbert, among others, soon became a significant component. In general these concerts were understood as a vehicle to reach new audiences and broaden the appeal of orchestras and orchestral music....

Article

Colette Simonot

A style of popular music in which the synthesizer dominates. The precursors to synthpop include Kraftwerk, Jean-Michel Jarre, Gary Numan, and Giorgio Moroder, who experimented with synthesized sounds in the 1970s and earlier. Synthesizers soon became inexpensive enough to be widely used, and in the late 1970s and the 1980s several bands adopted the synthesizer as the basis of their musical style, which came to be known as synthpop. The style promotes artificiality, or synthetic sounds. Artists do not use synthesizers to imitate acoustic instruments, but instead exploit unique electronic sounds. Vocals may be void of emotion to complement the machine-made sounds. Rhythms tend to be mechanical and ostinato patterns are common. Synthpop was dominated by such British artists as Soft Cell, OMD, Ultravox, the Human League, Depeche Mode, Erasure, Talk Talk, the Thompson Twins, Bronski Beat, Howard Jones, and the Eurythmics. Synthpop artists are usually linked to the New wave...

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Karen Collins

Video game music is distinct from music in most other media forms in that when composed well (according to the standards of the game community), the music is dynamic; that is, responsive to game events and player actions. This can mean, for instance, that various parameters of the music (such as tempo, key, and instrumentation), or sequences or sections of music, are altered based in real time on what is happening in the game. For example, a player-generated change in music occurs in Koji Kondo’s music for Super Mario World (Nintendo, 1992); when the player’s character Mario jumps on a character (the dinosaur, Yoshi), a layer of percussion is added to the music. When the player jumps off, the percussion track is removed. In addition to player-generated changes, run-time game parameters such as player health, number of enemies, time of day, or location in the game can alter what music is being played....

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John Smock

Dionis Loire from Forest Hills High School in Queens plays Guitar Hero by RedOctane on Friday, Oct. 14, 2005 at the DigitalLife Expo in New York City. Players use colored buttons on the neck of the guitar to shoot targets and make heavy metal music at the same time. The DigitalLife Expo features cutting-edge technology for work, home and play....