The musical is a theatrical genre, combining comedy, song, dance and tap dancing.
It appeared at the very beginning of the 20th century and is in line with the marriage of theatre and classical music that had given rise to ballet, opera, opera, food opera and operetta in previous centuries. It has developed particularly in the United States, dissociating itself from the classical genre since the 1910s by integrating "new" music such as jazz. In fact, the term nowadays refers mainly to the United States and more specifically Broadway.
As with the term "comic opera", the use of the word "comedy" is to be understood in a broad sense: indeed, the themes of the musical can be light or tragic. Thus West Side Story, inspired by Shakespeare Romeo and Juliet's drama, cannot be considered as a "comic" play. This is why the designations musical theatre or musical performance have been preferred for about twenty years, as well as the word musical1, mainly for Anglo-Saxon productions.
By extension, the term also refers to a musical film in everyday language. The worlds of musical comedy and musical film are indeed closely linked: many musicals have been adapted to cinema since the arrival of talking cinema. It happens, more rarely, that a musical film is the subject of a stage adaptation, such as State Fair (1945) adapted for the stage in 1992, Mary Poppins (1964), Chitty Chitty Bang Bang (1968), Victor Victoria (1982), or the animated feature films of Disney studios, La Belle et la Bête, Le Roi lion, La Petite Sirène, Tarzan and Aladdin. Finally, some non-musical films can also be adapted, such as Billy Elliot (2000).