1st Edition

Music and Sound in European Theatre Practices, Performances, Perspectives

Edited By David Roesner, Tamara Yasmin Quick Copyright 2025
    356 Pages 31 B/W Illustrations
    by Routledge

    The need for a research volume on European theatre music and sound is almost self-evident.  

    Musical and sonic practices have been an integral part of theatre ever since the artform was first established 2,500 years ago: not just in subsequent genres that are explicitly driven by music, such as opera, operetta, ballet, or musical theatre, but in all kinds of theatrical forms and conventions. Conversely, academic recognition of the role of theatre music, its aesthetics, creative processes, authorships, traditions, and innovations is still insufficient. This volume unites experts from different disciplines and backgrounds to make a significant contribution to the much-needed discourse on theatre music. The term itself is a shapeshifter that signifies different phenomena at different times: the book thus deliberately cast a wide net to explore both the highly contextual terminologies and the many ways in which different times and cultures understand ‘theatre music’. By treating theatre music as a practice, focusing on its role in creating and watching performances, the book appeals to a wide range of readerships: researchers and students of all levels, journalists, audiences, and practitioners.  

    It will be useful to universities and conservatoires alike and relevant for many disciplines in the humanities. 

    List of Contributors



    Ross Brown


    Tamara Yasmin Quick and David Roesner 


    Part 1. Setting the Scene     


    What is Theatre Music? 

    David Roesner 


    More Connecting than Dividing Features? On Historical Precedents of Contemporary Theatre Music  

    Ursula Kramer 


    Part 2. Theatre Music and Musical Heritages in Transition 


    ‘For your time draweth fast, if ye will saved be’ – Ephemerality, Materiality, and the Challenges of Archiving the Theatre Music of the Play Jedermann 

    Natalie Stadler 


    Kilam as Theatre Music in Kurdish Theatre in Turkey 

    Duygu Çelik 


    Ways of Listening: Maqam Music on the Contemporary Stage 

    Deniz Başar 


    Mixtape Dramaturgy. The Case of Jan Klata 

    Anna R. Burzyńska 


    Part 3. Theatre Music and / as Performance          


    Theatre Music as Theatrical Scene – Reflections on a ‘Disciplinary Dilemma’ 

    Tamara Yasmin Quick 


    Staging (Theatre) Music Reception: Voicing Unacoustics in Sophocles’ Trackers 

    Konstantinos Thomaidis 

    More Than Unseen Sounds – Foley on Stage. Performing Live Sound Effects as Musico-Theatrical Practice 

    Margarethe Maierhofer-Lischka 


    Part 4. Theatre Music and / as Experience  


    Overwhelmed by Sound? Staged Effects of Sound and Music on the Audience 

    Julia H. Schröder 


    The Tempest (2016) at the Royal Shakespeare Company: Music and Sound in a Literary Theatre 

    Millie Taylor 


    At the Interface of ‘Theatre Music’ and ‘Music Theatre’. An Analysis of the Joint Works of Ulrich Rasche and Monika Roscher 

    Helena Langewitz 


    The Relationship between Storytelling and Sound Experience in Theatre for Young Audiences 

    Christiane Plank-Baldauf 


    Part 5. Theatre Music Between and Beyond Genres       


    Performance Worlds? Reflections on Music Theatre Scenes Formerly Called Diegetic 

    Christine Fischer 


    Inside Yellow Sound and the Vibrations of the Audience’s Soul  

    Maria Kapsali 


    Narrating Exilic Stories through Composed Atmospheres: A Cognitive-Narratological Investigation of Music in Singulière Odyssée 

    Pieter Verstraete 


    Part 6. Theatre Music and Training            


    An Ethnographic Account of Learning and Training Theatre Music in the Czech and Slovak Independent Theatre Scene 

    Elia Moretti 


    The Shaping of “Good Sound” in Handbooks for Theatre Sound Creation  

    Katharina Rost 




    David Roesner is Professor for Theatre and Music Theatre at the LMU Munich, Germany.   

    Tamara Yasmin Quick works as a Munich-based dramaturg, lecturer, associate researcher, and project coordinator at various academic and artistic institutions.