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Musical Theatre: Composers & Lyricists

Composers and Lyricists

We have many books and e-books on composers and lyricists.  Most books about composers are in the ML 410 area, alphabetically by composer.  See the reference librarian for assistance. 

Berlin, Irving

  • Barrett, Mary Ellin.  Irving Berlin:  A Daughter’s Memoir.  (ML410 .B499 B37 1994)
  • Bergreen, Laurence.  As Thousands Cheer:  The Life of Irving Berlin.  (ML410.B499 B5 1996)
  • Freedland, Michael.  Irving Berlin.  (ML410 .B499 F74 1974)
  • Jablonski, Edward.  Irving Berlin:  American Troubadour.  (ML410 .B499 J33 1999)

Bernstein, Leonard

  • Burton, Humphrey.  Leonard Bernstein.  (ML410 .B566 B9 1995)
  • Secrest, Meryle.  Leonard Bernstein:  A Life.  (ML410 .B566 S43 1994)

Gershwin, George & Ira

  • Furia, Philip.  Ira Gershwin:  The Art of the Lyricist.  Oxford University Press, 1997.  (e-book)
  • Gershwin, Ira.  Lyrics on Several Occasions... (ML 54.6 .G28 L9 1959)
  • Pollack, Howard.  George Gershwin:  His Life and Work.  (ML410 .G288 P65 2007)
  • Schwartz, Charles. Gershwin, His Life and Music.  (ML410 .G288 S33)
  • Wyatt, Robert.  The George Gershwin Reader.  (ML410 .G288 G47 2004)

Harburg, E.Y.

  • Alonso, Harriet H.  Yip Harburg.  Wesleyan University Press, 2012.  (E-book)

Herman, Jerry

Kander & Ebb

  • Kander, Ebb, and Fred Lawrence.  Colored Lights:  Forty Years of Words and Music, Show Biz, Collaboration, and All That Jazz.  (ML410 .K163 A3 2003)
  • Leve, James.  Kander and Ebb.  Yale University Press, 2009.  E-book.

Kern, Jerome

  • Banfield, Stephen.  Jerome Kern.  (ML410.K385 B36 2006, also available as an e-book)
  • Freedland, Michael.  Jerome Kern  (ML410 .K385 F7 1981)
  • Hischak, Thomas S.  The Jerome Kern Encyclopedia (ML 410 .K385 H57 2013)

Lerner, Alan Jay

Lloyd Webber, Andrew.

  • Snelson, John.  Andrew Lloyd Webber.  (ML410 .L788 S64 2004; also available as an e-book)
  • Walsh, Michael.  Andrew Lloyd Webber:  His Life and Works:  A Critical Biography.  (ML410 .L78 W3 1997)

Mercer, Johnny

  • Eskew, Glenn T.  Johnny Mercer:  Southern Songwriter for the World.  (ML423 .M446 E75 2013)
  • Mercer, Johnny.  The Complete Lyrics of Johnny Mercer.  (ML54.6 .M45 C66 2009)

Porter, Cole

  • McBrien, William.  Cole Porter:  A Biography.  (ML410 .P7844 M33 1998)

Rogers & Hammerstein (& Hart)

  • Block, Geoffrey.  Richard Rodgers.  (ML410 .R6315 B56 2003; also available as an e-book)
  • Block Geoffrey.  The Richard Rodgers Reader.  Oxford University Press, 2002.  E-book
  • Fordin, Hugh.  Getting to Know Him:  A Biography of Oscar Hammerstein (introduction by Stephen Sondheim) (ML 423 .H24 F7 1995)
  • Hart, Lorenz.  The Complete Lyrics of Lorenz Hart.  (Oversize ML 54.6 .H4 H4 1986)
  • Hischak, Thomas S.  The Rodgers & Hammerstein Encyclopedia.  Greenwood Press, 2007.  E-book
  • Hyland, William.  Richard Rodgers.  (ML410 .R6315 H95 1998)
  • Mordden, Ethan.  Rodgers & Hammerstein.  (ML410 .R6315 M7 1995)
  • Nolan, Frederick.  Lorenz Hart:  A Poet on Broadway.  Oxford University Press, 1995.  E-book
  • Nolan, Frederick W.  The Sound of Their Music:  The Story of Rodgers & Hammerstein.  (ML410 .R6315 N64)
  • Rodgers, Richard.  Musical Stages:  An Autobiography.  (ML410 .R6315 A3 [1975] and ML410 .R6315 A3 2002)
  • Secrest, Meryle.  Somewhere for Me:  A Biography of Richard Rodgers.  (ML410 .R6315 S43 2001)
  • Symonds, Dominic.  We’ll Have Manhattan:  The Early Works of Rodgers & Hart, 1919-1931.  (ML410 .R6315 S96 2015)

Schwartz, Stephen

  • De Giere, Carol.  Defying Gravity:  The Creative Career of Stephen Schwartz, from Godspell to Wicked.  (ML410 .S42 D4 2008)
  • Laird, Paul R.  The Musical Theatre of Stephen Schwartz:  From Godspell to Wicked and Beyond.  (ML410 .S42 L36 2014; also available as an e-book)
  • Laird, Paul R.  Wicked:  A Musical Biography.  (ML410 .S42 L38 2011)

Sondheim, Stephen – see this page for resources on Sondheim

Weill, Kurt


Other books:


The Dictionary of Literary Biography Complete Online has a volume on pre-1960 American lyricists, with articles on most of the lyricists named above, and others such as Comden & Green, Dorothy Fields, Sheldon Harnick, and Frank Loesser.


Art of the American Musical:  Conversations with the Creators (Rutgers University Press, 2005) contains interviews with several songwriters, including:

More Books

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