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Musical Theatre

Books, sheet music, how-to, CDs and DVDs with search tips for performers and fans of this genre.

Reference Books for Songs

Sheet Music Tips

Sheet music for musical theatre has a special vocabulary:

Vocal Scores contain all the songs for a musical, arranged for piano accompaniment, sometimes with cues before the songs.  The songs will be in the original keys.  These will be the editions used by performers to prepare for stage performance. 

  • To search only for these editions in a keyword search, you need to use "NOT Excerpts" to eliminate selections and excerpts. 
  • The exact subject term is "Musicals -- vocal scores with piano" 
  • The Library of Congress call number classification for these is M 1503.

Vocal Selections contain the most important songs from a musical, arranged for piano accompaniment.  The songs are sometimes edited or transposed to different keys.  Sometimes these are the only published songbooks for a musical, especially a recent musical. 

  • The subject search term for these scores is "musicals--excerpts--vocal scores with piano."
  • The Library of Congress call number classification for these is M 1508.

Anthologies contain songs from a variety of musicals, usually for a specific voice type or songs by a single composer.  The most important series is the Singers Musical Theatre Anthology, which has several volumes for each voice type, plus CDs of the accompaniment.   An index to the series can be found at the Publisher's Website:  http://www.halleonard.com/bin/MiscVocalSmtaindex2013.pdf

  • The subject search term for anthologies is "musicals--excerpts--vocal scores with piano."
  • The Library of Congress call number classification for these is M 1507.

Historic Popular Music

These sites contain .pdf files of sheet music songs from before 1923.  Some of this music originated as songs for the early periods of American musical theatre.