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Introduction

Introduction Special Issue American Music Onstage Gayle Magee On May 12, 2009, four months into the Obama administration, the president and first lady hosted the inaugural Poetry Jam Session at the White House. Among the performers were Lin-Manuel Miranda, who, with his collaborator and accompanist, Alex Lacamoire, premiered what would become the opening number for Hamilton. Introducing the musical exposition of Alexander Hamilton’s journey from Caribbean poverty to New York’s harbor, Miranda described his fledgling idea to write a concept album “about the life of someone I think embodies hip hop: Treasury Secretary Alexander Hamilton.” In response to the audience’s skeptical, somewhat nervous laughter, Miranda defended his decision, stating that “I believe that he embodies words’ ability to make a difference.”1 By the time Miranda returned to the White House with the show’s cast in the spring of 2016, Hamilton the musical had become a global phenomenon. This special issue of American Music on music and the stage includes two appearances of Miranda’s paradigm-shifting work. Philip Gentry’s review essay on the Hamilton sensation in its many manifestations uncovers “the complex fluidity of Hamilton’s many texts” and the ways in which these “innovations seem poised to change the future of http://www.deepdyve.com/assets/images/DeepDyve-Logo-lg.png American Music University of Illinois Press

Introduction

American Music , Volume 35 (2) – Aug 30, 2017

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Publisher
University of Illinois Press
Copyright
Copyright © University of Illinois Press
ISSN
1945-2349
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Abstract

Special Issue American Music Onstage Gayle Magee On May 12, 2009, four months into the Obama administration, the president and first lady hosted the inaugural Poetry Jam Session at the White House. Among the performers were Lin-Manuel Miranda, who, with his collaborator and accompanist, Alex Lacamoire, premiered what would become the opening number for Hamilton. Introducing the musical exposition of Alexander Hamilton’s journey from Caribbean poverty to New York’s harbor, Miranda described his fledgling idea to write a concept album “about the life of someone I think embodies hip hop: Treasury Secretary Alexander Hamilton.” In response to the audience’s skeptical, somewhat nervous laughter, Miranda defended his decision, stating that “I believe that he embodies words’ ability to make a difference.”1 By the time Miranda returned to the White House with the show’s cast in the spring of 2016, Hamilton the musical had become a global phenomenon. This special issue of American Music on music and the stage includes two appearances of Miranda’s paradigm-shifting work. Philip Gentry’s review essay on the Hamilton sensation in its many manifestations uncovers “the complex fluidity of Hamilton’s many texts” and the ways in which these “innovations seem poised to change the future of

Journal

American MusicUniversity of Illinois Press

Published: Aug 30, 2017

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