"A stunningly original, breakthrough book whose contribution to musical scholarship will be substantial and exceptionally valuable. This book moves in directions I had never considered, forcing me to think about musicals in a truly fresh way. The author analyzes the music of this repertory in an ingenious (and highly readable) fashion that consistently illuminates connections to historical and critical ideas. It is thus the first book that succeeds in presenting the music of musical theater as a full-fledged cultural and artistic phenomenon, wholly justifying scholarly scrutiny. A brilliant analysis."--Rose Rosengard Subotnik, Brown University"The most readable, focused, sustained and contextualized study of the genre I've encountered. The author's breadth, experience and reliability as a scholar and teacher shine through on every page."--Stephen Banfield, University of Bristol, UKKnapp, Raymond is the author of 'American Musical & the Formation of National Identity ', published 2006 under ISBN 9780691126135 and ISBN 0691126135.