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

4.44  ·  Rating details ·  95 Ratings  ·  9 Reviews
Stephen Sondheim is widely regarded as the most important composer and lyricist of musical theater in the second half of the 20th century. Celebrating his 80th birthday, this new edition of Sondheim on Music finds him in these guided interviews expounding in great depth and detail on his craft. As a natural teacher, thoughtful and opinionated, Sondheim discusses the art of ...more
Hardcover, 568 pages
Published October 15th 2010 by Scarecrow Press (first published November 25th 2002)
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Sammy
Sep 21, 2010 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: music
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
...more
Wendell Barnes
Jul 28, 2013 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Only for the Sondheimaholic musician. I am not a musician but enjoy singing Sondheim so some of the technical musicology was above my head. But I found myself singing or humming underneath each time a phrase or title was mentioned, which was continuously throughout the book. Especially enjoyed the interviews with SS. Felt as if this was part III of the trilogy begun with "Finishing the Hat" and "Look I Made a Hat" by SS. Last part, listings of all songs, singers and recordings was tedious and to ...more
Steve Carroll
Dec 28, 2011 rated it really liked it
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
Bob
Jul 26, 2012 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
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.
beth
Apr 13, 2007 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
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.
Blanche
Aug 12, 2009 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: music
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
Dec 29, 2010 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
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
Michael McLean
Jan 18, 2011 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: nonfiction
Any student of musical theatre should be required to read it. Composers, writers, actors, singers, dancers, critics, or audience members.
Cory Howell
Jul 06, 2009 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
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!
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