This book is one of the few books in English on the subject of melodrama technique. Melodrama integrates speech, music, acting and stage or visual effects, and has specific dramatic, musical and visual characteristics. It has been used in ritual and theatre since antiquity, and has been the compositional basis of entire genres. The book investigates the historical development of the technique up to the 1950s and discusses the eighteenth-century French and German melodrama models, and the respective melodrama writing styles associated with them. This forms the basis for macro- and microanalysis of Ludwig van Beethoven''s melodramas in ''Leonore'' (1805 and 1806, Vienna), ''Fidelio'' (1814, Vienna), ''Egmont'' (comp. 1809/10, premiere 1810), ''Leonore Prohaska'' (1815), ''König Stephan'' (1811, premiere 1812) and ''Die Ruinen von Athen'' (1811, premiere 1812); the latter revised in 1822 as ''Die Weihe des Hauses''. This analytical approach to melodrama as a section or scene in opera or incidental music can be applied to melodrama passages in all genres and will benefit performers, composers, scholars with interdisciplinary interests, and music, drama and film specialists.