Difference Between a Play and a Musical?

Plays and musicals are two very different types of entertainment. They are very similar, but there is a difference between a play and a musical. The biggest difference is that a musical is a live performance. A musical performance happens in front of an audience. The audience is there to see the actors, singers and dancers perform their roles. A musical performance is different from a play because it involves live music, live singing and dancing.

In this post, we describe what makes a musical different from a play and explain how to tell the difference between a musical and a play.

What is a play?

A play can be a performance by actors or a piece of writing written by a playwright. The term is also used to refer to a theatre production, which is where actors perform plays in front of an audience. A play has three main parts – a script, a set and a cast of actors. The script tells the story and directs how the actors perform the action.

The set helps create a ‘stage’ for the play, but the actors can move freely around it and make it as realistic as possible. The cast of actors is the group of people that play different roles in the play. They wear costumes that make them look different from each other and from the audience.

Some plays, such as comedy and musicals, are written specifically for the purpose of being performed. Other plays are for general audiences and are called ‘plays for all’. All of these types of play have different forms, and the form of the play determines how many actors and where the play is performed.

Playwright – A writer of a play. He or she writes the script, which tells the story of the play.

Theatre – An area or building where plays are performed.

Theatre – A place or building where plays are performed.

Actor – Someone who performs in a play.

Stage – A place on which a play is performed.

Set – The background scenery of the stage.

Costume – Clothes worn by actors.

Audience – People who watch a play.

Performance – The way in which a play is performed.

Play – A performance of a play.

What is a musical?

A musical is an instrumental piece of music. There is no singing involved.

A musical can be played on any number of instruments. Instruments include the piano, guitar, drums, bass, violin, viola, cello, flute, clarinet, saxophone, trumpet, trombone, percussion, and keyboard.

There is a lot of variety in types of music. For example, there are classical pieces, pop songs, country songs, jazz songs, rock songs, rap songs, and hip hop songs.

A musical may be performed live in a concert hall or recorded in a studio.

In general, a musical has a beat. This means that there are certain sections in a musical that repeat. This includes:

  • The intro (the part of the musical that starts playing when you turn on the CD player)
  • The outro (the part of the musical that starts playing when you turn off the CD player)

What Is the Difference Between a Play and a Musical?

A musical is different than a play because:

– Musicals have an additional element, often involving song or dancing

– Musicals usually have lyrics

– The characters in a musical have to sing

– Music is a large part of a musical

– Musicals have a lot of singing and dancing

A play has:

– Only dialogue

– No additional music or dancing

– Plays don’t have to have any lyrics

– Characters in a play usually don’t have to sing

– The play doesn’t have to have music

How to make a play or musical

Playwright, composer and lyricist Stephen Sondheim once said: “You don’t have to be great to start, but if you’re not good enough, you’ll never be better.”

To make a musical, first you need to have a clear idea of what you want to accomplish. Then you have to know how to write music that works with the story you’ve created. This article covers the first of those two things: What you want to accomplish.

Step one: Decide exactly

what it is you want to make. Is it a full production, a workshop or just a song for your friends? The first step to creating something new is to have a clear idea of what it is that you want to create.

The best way to come up with ideas for new musicals is to keep your ears open and let yourself be inspired.

Step two: Write it down

After deciding what it is that you want to make, write down all your thoughts and ideas. This will allow you to see your ideas in black and white and will allow you to avoid getting lost in your own creativity.

Step three: Start from the beginning

Now that you know what you want to accomplish, start by brainstorming ideas. Start with some ideas that seem interesting to you and try to connect them together.

For example, if you were writing a musical about a boy who moves to a new town, try to figure out which elements you could use in order to tell this story. What are some places you can go with this story? Where could you find characters that you could work with?

Once you’ve found an idea that you’re interested in, it’s time to get specific.

Step four: Create a list of details

After you’ve figured out the story you want to tell, you should have a clearer idea of what your characters will look like and what the world in which they live will look like. Make a list of all the details you can think of that would help you tell your story.

For example, in your play about a boy who moves to a new town, make a list of all the things that you can imagine about his new neighborhood and about what he will do and feel when he first gets there.

Step five: Find a way to tell the story

Finally, it’s time to start thinking about how you can make this story real.


In conclusion, the difference between a play and a musical is that the former has dialogue while the latter does not. A play can be a comedy, a drama, or a musical. The main difference between the two is that a musical is usually performed with music and lyrics, and a play is usually performed without music or lyrics.

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