This is a guide to reference material on American musical theater in the Music Library of the University of the Arts. If you have questions about this guide or about library materials on musical theater contact the UArts Music Librarian.
BIBLIOGRAPHY, DISCOGRAPHY || CHRONOLOGY, HISTORY, ANALYSIS || PRODUCTION || JOURNALS || ADDITIONAL NOTE
- Ganzl, Kurt. The Encyclopedia
of Musical Theatre. 2nd ed. New York: Schirmer Books, 2001. 3 vols.
- Focuses on composers, lyricists,
performers, and directors of
the staged book musical (no vaudeville, revues, or films) ca.
1840-1990s, in the chief centers of Britain, France, Austria, Hungary,
the United States, and Australia. Brief performance histories are
included under show titles; plot summaries are provided for widely
performed works. Works lists follow major composer entries. Biographies
of early performers offer much information published for the first
REF ML102 .M88G3 2001
- Hischak, Thomas. Stage it
with Music: An Encyclopedic Guide to the American Musical Theatre.
Westport, Conn.: Greenwood Press, 1993.
information on about 300 shows as well as brief entries for designers,
producers, directors, choreographers, lyricists, and composers. Perhaps
best consulted for the brief essays on subjects and genres ("Concept
musicals", "Music directors").
REF ML102 .M88H57 1993
- Hitchcock, H. Wiley and Stanley
Sadie, eds. The New Grove Dictionary of American Music. London:
Macmillan, 1986. 4 vols.
- Over 10 years old, this is still,
by far, the most important
resource of its kind. An encyclopedia (terms, musicians, institutions,
festivals, archives), not merely a dictionary, despite the title, with
some 900 contributors. Entries include bibliographies. The article
"Musical Theater" by Andrew Lamb should not be missed.
REF ML101 .U58N4 1986
- Kilgarriff, Michael. Grace,
Beauty, and Banjos. London: Oberon Books, 1999.
- Biographical dictionary of
British music hall performers ca. 1850-1950.
REF ML102 .M88K5 1999
- Slide, Anthony. The
Encyclopedia of Vaudeville. Westport, Conn.: Greenwood Press, 1994.
- Primarily in the nineteenth- and
twentieth-century sense of
music-hall and variety-show entertainment, including musical comedy
acts. A field not well covered otherwise in the literature.
REF ML102 .M88S4 1994
- Bloom, Ken. American Song:
The Complete Musical Theatre Companion. 2nd ed. New York: Schirmer
Books, 1996. 2 vols.
- Casts, song titles, opening dates
and other data for 4,800
American musicals produced between 1877 and 1995. The main body of the
work is an alphabetical list by show title. Includes indexes to the
more-than-70,000 songs and 27,000 personalities listed there.
REF ML128 .M78B5 1996
- Bloom, Ken. Hollywood Song:
The Complete Film and Musical Companion. New York: Facts On File,
1995. 3 vols
- Compilation of basic information
for almost 7,000 films,
including relevant song titles and song-writing credits. Indexes as in
REF ML128 .M7B6 1995
- Ganzl, Kurt. The Blackwell
Guide to Musical Theatre on Record. Oxford: Blackwell Reference,
- Musical theater (as defined by
Ganzl) since the beginning of
the long-play era, ca. 1950. Chapters, more-or-less chronologically
organized, provide a recordings history of major works and conclude
with a discography.
REF ML156.9 .G36 1990
- Hall, Brian. The Performer's
Guide to Theater Songs. 3rd ed. Scottsdale, Ariz.: Rovey Research,
1996. 2 vols.
- Unique in that musical theater
songs are described and indexed
according to practical criteria: voice and character type, techniques
and performing styles. Includes recommendations for study and audition
REF ML128 .M78H3 1996
- Kilgarriff, Michael. Sing Us
One of the Old sSongs: A Guide to Popular Song, 1860-1920. Oxford:
Oxford University Press, 1998.
- Though focused on the British
music hall tradition, this work
registers the ever-increasing popularity of American popular songs in
England. Indexes some 6,000 song titles under more than 1,750 composers
and lyricists. See especially p. 594-605 for songs incorporated into
revues, vaudeville shows, and Broadway musicals.
REF ML128 .P63K5 1998
- Krasker, Tommy and Robert
Kimball. Catalog of the American Musical. [Washington, D.C.]:
National Institute for Opera and Musical Theater, 1988.
- Primary bibliographic
documentation for the vintage American book musicals of Berlin,
Gershwin, Porter, and Rodgers.
REF ML128 .M78K7 1988
- Lax, Roger and Frederick Smith. The
Great Song Thesaurus. New York: Oxford University Press, 1989.
- Good first stop for establishing
basic information on popular
songs through alphabetical, chronological, and keyword lists. Indexes
about 10,000 songs, and indicates theater origins and performers when
REF ML128 .S3L38 1989
- Lewine, Richard and Alfred Simon.
Songs of the Theater. New York: Wilson, 1984.
- In two parts: a list of 17,000
songs from the American theater, followed by a list of stage
productions by show title.
REF ML128 .S3L48 1984
- Raymond, Jack. Show Music on
Record: The First 100 Years. Washington, D.C.: Smithsonian
Institution Press, 1992.
- Systematic discography of songs
from American musicals ca.
1890-1990, commercially issued on analog discs. Indexed by performers,
song titles, and disc manufacturers' numbers.
REF ML156.4 .O61R4 1992
- Bordman, Gerald. American
Musical Theatre: A Chronicle. 3rd ed. New York: Oxford University
- A chronological history,
unprecedented in its detail, of the
American tradition. Each season is clearly marked within the broader
REF ML1711 .B67 2001
- Green, Stanley [rev. Elaine
Smith]. Hollywood Musicals Year by Year. 2nd ed. Milwaukee: Hal
- Newly updated and including
animated film musicals. Composer, cast, director, and studio indexes.
REF ML2075 .M86G7 1999
- Henderson, Amy and Dwight Blocker
Bowers. Red, Hot, and Blue: A Smithsonian Salute to the American
Musical. Washington, D.C.: The National Portrait Gallery and The
National Museum of American History, 1996.
- An illustrated cultural history
published to accompany an
exhibition at the National Portrait Gallery. May be used in tandem with
a like-named set of compact discs issued for the same occasion.
REF ML141 .W3N37 1996
- Suskin, Steven. Opening Night
on Broadway ... [1943-1964]. New York: Schirmer Books, 1990; and More
Opening Nights on Broadway ... [1965-1981]. New York: Schirmer
- Chronological reception history
of musicals premiered in New York City.
REF ML1711.8 .N3S93 1990 / .N3S94 1997
- Suskin, Steven. Show Tunes:
The Songs, Shows, and Careers of Broadway's Major Composers. 3rd
ed. Oxford: Oxford University Press, 2000.
- Arranged alphabetically by
composer, a historical commentary
that can be used in conjunction with the critical quotations in the
Opening Nights books.
REF ML390 .S87S5 2000
- Wilder, Alec. American
Popular Song: The Great Innovators, 1900-1950. New York: Oxford
University Press, 1972.
- A quarter-century old, this
thoughtful if selective survey,
written by a contributor to the tradition, has never been superseded.
Sensitive discussion of stylistic matters. If you want to know what
makes a great song great (or a weak song weak), this is where the
subject is musically tackled.
REF ML3477 .W5A6 1972
- Lucha-Burns, Carol. Musical
Notes: A Practical Guide to Staffing and Staging Standards of the
American Musical Theatre. New York: Greenwood Press, 1986.
- Alphabetical arrangement by show
title. Contains synopses and
production notes (casting, lighting, staging) as well as
instrumentation requirements of the score-&-part sets available
from rental agencies.
REF MT955 .L83M8 1986
- Lynch, Richard. Musicals! A
Complete Selection Guide for Local Productions.Chicago: American
Library Association, 1994.
- Listing about 500 "musical
properties" whose production rights
are controlled through accessible agencies (does not include works that
require private negotiations with copyright owners). Indicates
licensing agent for each show and whether piano-vocal score/selections
volume has ever been published.
REF ML19 .L9 1994
- The Kurt Weill Newsletter.
Semiannual. New York: Kurt Weill Foundation for Music, 1983-
- Show Music. Quarterly.
East Haddam: Goodspeed Opera House Foundation, 1985-
- The Sondheim Review.
Quarterly. Chicago: The Review, 1994-
CHRONOLOGY, HISTORY, ANALYSIS
Of a number of relevant
periodicals, three are of primary interest:
The periodical literature on musical theater is distributed among theater and general-interest as well as music publications. For the former, consult general indexes in the Greenfield Library. For music periodicals, there exist three publishers' cumulations:
--Répertoire Internationale de Littérature Musicale, or RILM.
Abstracts, indexes most formats (books, conference reports, theses, as well as periodicals), though emphasizes coverage of scholarly publications. Has the advantage of providing content abstracts in addition to citations. The print edition, available in Music Library, begins coverage with 1967. Consult quinquennial (5-year) index volumes when available.
REF ML1 .I83 (located on central REF shelves)
--The Music Index has expanded its coverage over the years to include most English and major foreign-language jazz periodicals; has included Down Beat and Metronome from its inception. For the print edition, published since 1949 and available in the Music Library, each volume must be consulted separately. All authors, subjects, and titles in a single alphabetical listing. Also indexes reviews.
REF ML118 .M987M8 (located on central REF shelves)
--International Index to Music Periodicals, or IIMP, is a recent undertaking that is published on CD-ROM and on the Web. For the present its usefulness lies in its being the most up-to-date index, but its coverage is gradually extending chronologically backwards and it promises full text access to articles in the future. The Music Library subscribes to the CD-ROM edition.
For a recommended view of the publishing situation in this field, read Kathleen Abromeit's review of Music Index and IIMP CD-ROMs in Notes 53 (1996-97): 1215-1220.