The art of singing and dancing in a prepared fictional play has been a time-honored tradition ranging to the early days of civilization. In modern times, these song-filled plays are known as musicals. There are two major kinds of musicals:
- Musical theater: A live theatrical show on stage, where the actors themselves perform for the audience.
Musical film: A movie containing musical numbers. Some musical films exist primarily as showcases for the songs, while others use the musical interludes to advance the movie's plot.