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Sondheim on Music: Minor Details and Major Decisions
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Sondheim on Music: Minor Details and Major Decisions

4.46 of 5 stars 4.46  ·  rating details  ·  50 ratings  ·  8 reviews
Sondheim on Music compiles a series of interviews the author conducted with Stephen Sondheim as they pored over Sondheim's manuscripts and sketches and discussed the creative process. Focusing primarily on six shows, Passion, Assassins, Into the Woods, Sunday in the Park with George, Sweeney Todd, and Pacific Overtures, Sondheim talks about his approaches to musicalizing c ...more
Hardcover, 416 pages
Published November 25th 2002 by Scarecrow Press
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Brilliant stuff! There are a few books out there that chart the history of Sondheim's career, and the creation of his shows. None of these are all-encompassing or breathtaking, but each of them is a worthy read to learn about the characters both on and off-stage who made Sondheim's career what it is.

This book, instead, focusses on the creative process within Sondheim's own head, entirely through interviews with the composer. Sondheim is always enjoyable to listen to, and that's no different here
Steve Carroll
Really fascinating. I wouldn't recommend this book to people without some fundamentals in music theory as it is fairly technical... they should stick with the lyric books. The book is half index of songs and recordings and half transcript of several days of interviews with Sondheim that bounce from show to show and analyze his manuscripts. A perfect version of this book would be a bit more focused on overview and less of just Q&A, but Sondheim states in the text that he considers himself bad ...more
Fascinating; I couldn't put it down. Only complaint is that there's so much space spent on Horowitz asking Sondheim to decipher his drafts... which only sometimes leads to something interesting. Plus, I don't know that I'm ever going to make use of the extensive song listing in the back.
May 08, 2007 beth rated it 5 of 5 stars
Recommends it for: a lover of broadway musicals
what fun it is to take a glimpse into the mind of a genius! but this book of interviews gives you more than just a hint at what the man was thinking. grab onto the stem of one of sondheim's admittedly onerous chords, and take a ride through the staff of story-telling.
A beautiful series of interviews with Sondheim, providing invaluable insights into the work of the greatest musical theatre composer of the 20th century. A must-read for anyone who has ever cared about Sondheim.
Carolyn Broquet
For the true Sondheim fan and the student of music theory. It is fascinating to see how his mind works
and I am in awe of his genius. Not for people who don't know who he is
Cory Howell
This is a really fascinating glimpse into the composing process (and the mind) of one of musical theatre's greatest composers and lyricists. Great stuff!
Michael McLean
Any student of musical theatre should be required to read it. Composers, writers, actors, singers, dancers, critics, or audience members.
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