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The American Musical Theatre Song Encyclopedia





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About the book:

The first encyclopedia of theatre songs from Broadway shows ranging from The Black Crook (1866) to the 1994 Tony Award-winning Passion, this handy guide features over 1,800 songs from over 500 musicals. It gives such information as the songs' authors, original performers, and dates and history of recordings. Each song is described and briefly analyzed, explaining how the song fit in the original production and what is notable about its music, lyrics, and presentation. Thoroughly indexed by song title, show, authors, and performers. Of interest to scholars, students, and fans alike.

The musical theatre song is conceived, written, and produced as part of a whole. While it may eventually stand on its own and join the ranks of popular hits, its immediate purpose is clear: it must work in the show. This book is about how hundreds of famous and not-so-famous songs have functioned in the American musical. In addition to identifying the authors and the source of the song, it hopes to explain the song: what kind of song it is, what it is about, what purpose it has in the show, as well as who originally sang it, what the song's history is, and what may be unique about this particular number. It is a book about songs as little pieces of playwriting for the musical theatre. The song entries are presented alphabetically, but the Musicals Listing at the end of the work includes all the songs discussed from a particular show.

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