West Side Story is a classic tragedy of Romeo and Juliet which concentrates on the ideology of prejudice, power, rage and belonging between two distinct rival gangs and families. Romeo and Juliet is set in the 1500s, and West Side Story is set in the 1950s, and both have the same plot through modern interpretation and retelling. Even though their settings are centuries apart, West Side Story is a direct rendition of Shakespeare's original play, with themes set to fit the modern perspective.


The literary basis for Porgy and Bess is the novel Porgy. The 1935 opera was adapted from the 1927 novel Porgy, created by Heyward. Gershwin recreated the actors during the opening of the original Broadway production of Porgy and Bess. The plot and the setting are a virtual duplicate of the one seen in the 1935 stage production.

The story and conflict in both stories are interesting and dramatic. West Side Story like Porgy and Bess combines acting, instrumental composition, and dance. The story and emotional content are communicated through music. The musical dramas were a reflection of race relations in America. The dark theme, sophisticated music, extended dance scenes, and focus on social problems represent a turning point in American musical theater.

West Side Story reflects the scourge of prejudice and its implication for love. The plot and the setting show how the community is fully involved in Porgy and Bess where the core characters can act in relative isolation. On the other hand, Porgy and Bess is a reflection of a prism through which race relations in America were viewed in the past. Porgy and Bess mainly focuses on race, addiction, and religion. In the setting, the singing changes ones perception; it is lighter at times and more obvious all the way through.

West Side Story is set in the mid-1950s, in an ethnic neighborhood in New York City. It focuses on social problems that marked a turning point in American musical theater. Most part of the neighborhoods comprised of immigrants from different ethnic backgrounds.

Porgy and Bess a Gershwins renowned opera is set in the late 1920s among demeaning portrayal of black tenement dwellers, mostly fishermen in Charleston, South Carolina. The plot reflected an era of white misconceptions about black life. In the musical, racial manifestations together with an all-black cast and a mix of authentic African American music was embodied by a series of black tradition.

In the West Side Story, the protagonists and antagonists were both cultures. The musical does not particularly highlight either of the characters, which makes them all equally significant to the story. In the musical, we see Brawling street gangs fighting to prove who will regain control of the streets, and Tonis and Marias demise makes them all equally important to the story. With resistance from both sides, tensions between their respective groups grew toward tragedy.

Crown is the antagonist in Porgy and Bess a drug dealer and a thug. He is notorious and controversial due to his evil traits. He is also known for being controlling to attain his interests. Crown kills a man and goes into hiding, and Bess seeks shelter with Porgy. Porgy is the protagonist of the opera as he played a vital role in all the controversies of the play. Porgy experiences terrible events due to his indecision, fair and virtuous ways of supporting the moral good. His struggle in dealing with the antagonist is what precedes the story.

The West Side Story is about conflicting backgrounds. It tells a tragic story in a musical comedy. The characters draw support from people around them as they struggle with unhomely circumstances. Throughout the story, we see that both groups are the key characters since no character is more important than the rest.

Porgy and Bess play is a black musical set in the late 1920s among demeaning portrayal of black tenement dwellers. It was embodied by a series of black tradition. The story and its emotional content are communicated through musical dramas reflection on social problems.

Bright Sheng, John Cage, and Gyorgy Ligeti are three Western modern composers whose works have over the years been influenced by Asian or African music.

Bright Sheng

Bright Sheng is an Asian-American composer whose orchestral, stage and vocal works are evident with a strong Asian musical technique. His musical works transcend conventional aesthetic boundaries that explicitly mix Asian and American elements. In his compositions, Sheng applies distinctive sound to express musical ideas from his ancestral heritage. Shengs most notable composition is ''The Silver River'', which brought together an ensemble of western and Chinese drama, opera, and theater. The story is based on a Chinese myth. His major influences lay in various Asian cultures with an interest in Ancient Chinese classic text which became his standard composition tool. To him, the rhythm not only offers the creative audience sounds but challenges their minds with a herald of the American new music that will arise. All his musical compilations feature an Asian musical technique, cultural, and ethnic identity different from other European-American composers who do not approach Asian cultures and music intellectually and culturally.

John Cage

John Cage was a pioneer of concert pieces such as interludes, sonatas, and dance-related works. He is mostly known for his 1952 work which was performed without sound. The contents of that composition were not silent but sound from the environment as heard by his audience. While he was studying, Cage came across the chance-controlled music which became his standard composition of the tool. In one of his lectures, he describes his music as "a purposeless play". His earlier works lacked expressive appeal and power as they were composed using mathematical procedures. Cage used to compose musical pieces by writing down results from the mathematical procedures. Before the technique was improved to his later pieces such as sonatas and interludes, Cage's interest in music was extremely chromatic. It is seen in his earlier work like Sonata for Clarinet. His style of music made it both controversial and popular in the broader aesthetics of performance.

Gyorgy Ligeti

Ligetis technique was good as it gave rise to a new sound in music. The paradox was that the man who had such an extraordinary imagination displayed in his early compositions which consisted of the pitch as well as the timbre.

Oliver Messiaen, Pierre Boulez, and George Crumb employed the use of the new musical techniques in their later works.

Oliver Messiaen

Messiaen was raised in a Catholic household thus his faith formed the foundation of his musical compositions. The religious content in his music caused scandal at the time and established him as a creative genius. Though in the end certain aspects in his life had influenced his compositions such as L'ab?me d'oiseaux, which is one of Messiaens earlier compositions that contained birdsongs.

Pierre Boulez

Pierre Boulez composed a radically new path for classical music in the 20th century. Mr. Boulez started a revolution in music together with other European composers. In traditional genres, the composer incorporated a more flexible and modern institution in the orchestra. Mr. Boulez set to work on R?pons, for a small orchestra with six percussion soloists whose sounds are digitally transformed and regenerated. It was first performed in October 1981. Additionally, he worked on ?clat/Multiples, a similar percussion-based orchestra that he abandoned. His performances entirely consisted of recent and new works with short programs of chamber music, played by members of the orchestra.

George Crumb

Crumb is one of the most widely performed and recorded composers of the twentieth century. He tremendously expanded the tonal resources of music since he believed that music was highly expressive. Crumb found new sounds and inspiration in the sounds of nature, ancient Greek, Indian, and Japanese music. His interest in such kind of composition incorporated new musical techniques into his music in traditional genres.

In earlier years, technology was used to compose and perform various pieces. The growth of technology has had its effect in music. For instance, Varezes Po?me Electronique, also known as Electronic Poem, was designed with the intention of showcasing a corporation's work. Corbusier came up with the idea as a way of creating a sound not considered as musical. Before technology was discovered, most works were composed using conventional instruments. Earlier works used aesthetics and methodologies idiomatic to tape music. Var?se took advantage of technology to gain organized sound. Poeme Electronique still stands as a realization of one of the early masterworks of electronic music.

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Mr. Babbitt's earliest work Ensembles for Synthesizer was a liberation for live performers. Technological innovation manipulated the use of sound to the standpoint of the composition. Babbitt pursued technological tools capable of expanding tonal resources of music since he believed that music was highly expressive. Babbitt took advantage of the flexibility of technology which brought about synthesized sound and total serialism. Babbitt considered electronic music to be more abstract than the use of tape music.

Machover is an innovator and a composer in the application of technology in an orchestra. Hyperstring Trilogy by Machover is recognized as his most noteworthy work. In 1986, Machover invented a technology that enhanced and expanded the three pieces. The three pieces explore despair, hope, pain, and recovery gained and lost by technology. He focused on augmenting instruments with the goal of implementing and developing new technology to increase the function of the performers as well as the musical instruments. His interest in technology resources propelled his thinking in the use of new musical and technological resources.

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