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The last of these was a form of drama no one was anxious to define.

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The last of these was a form of drama no one was anxious to define. The word meant "a little joke" and had entered English as a term for Italian comic opera but, by the early Nineteenth Century, had become an umbrella term for a variety of productions with only one common element—music.

Music accompanied action; songs were included, but, at first, there was no agreement on how many of them constituted a burletta. s ranged from five per act to a total of six overall. Initially, there was no spoken dialogue that was the province of the Patent Theatres, Drury Lane and Covent Gardenwhich suited the ambitious Jane Scott, who wanted a stage for her particular talents—singing and dancing.

However, when Daniel Terry and Frederick Yates purchased the theatre inthey promised "to place its entertainments on a higher footing than they have hitherto occupied. As the century progressed, there amrried a growing tendency to "front load" a piece with music and then graduate to the spoken word, presumably in the hope the censor would grow bored. Nevertheless, the Adelphi was never without music.

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Inthe orchestra consisted of some forty members. Melodramatic music might be advertised as "entirely new," but there isn't enough evidence to test the veracity of the claim.

What is certain is that a great deal of "cobbling up" of appropriate music took place. Nevertheless, when Edward Fitzball ed the Adelphi Company inhe teamed up with George Herbert Rodwell to form a partnership almost half a century before the most famous, and quarrelsome, partnership of them all—Gilbert and Sullivan. Rodwell produced a great deal of music before his death in Many of his songs and some scores written for Adelphi productions survive, but it not a great deal considering his prominence and industry—he composed seventy-five pieces for the Adelphi and was author of seven farces and a melodrama.

Songs were very popular until the season, after which their s dropped ificantly. This falling away was due, in part, cha the nature of the evening's performance.

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When the entertainment consisted of a single piece, there was little time or inclination to add songs or dances. And, of course, there had long been no need to add music to avoid the censor's reach. The Theatres Act magried curbed the Lord Chamberlain's powers but did not remove them all. Songs were sometimes accompanied by their composer's names, but this was far from standard practice. A few songs were by foreign composers, but native talent was up to the challenge.

Terms for songs are usually self-explanatory: duet, finale, canzonet, Irish lilt, glee, chorus, comic song, ballad, patriotic song, wine song, and so forth. The user might be surprised to learn the author of Britain's national anthem is disputed.

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There was considerable interest in the Yankee and Irish cousins. Ina "new Yankee song" called "Pesky Ike" was performed and the following season "Yankee Fixins. Rice's "Jump, Jim Crow. Although Rice did not invent the minstrel show, he helped popularize it, perhaps without realizing the harm it would cause.

The dance and performance pandered to the current belief in the racial superiority of the white race, portraying African Americans as happy-go-lucky buffoons—superstitious and lazy but devoted to music and dancing. Henry Mayhew, in London Labour and London Poor, notes: "The grand hit of the evening is always when a song is sung to which the entire gallery can in the chorus.

Then a deep silence prevails through the stanzas. Should any burst in before his time, a shout of "orda-a-r is raised" I, Nineteenth-century theatre remained a shared experience—at least until the cat.

What is, perhaps, most surprising about the music at the Adelphi, an "illegitimate" theatre with origins in song and dance, was the sheer amount of classical music included in performances. Solos on various instruments included the cornet, clarinet, harp, and piano-flageolet.

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Johann Strauss, Jr. There was certainly no lack of interest in classical music at the Adelphi as the Twentieth Century dawned. Gilbert Marriev. Composer Ah! Fromental Composer Auber, Daniel F.