Full Score Analysis for the Working Actor

Interested in learning how a score is built? Check out some of our full score analyses! Find out how a composer develops musical ideas to reflect the core themes of the show.

August 8, 2018

A note before we begin:

Below you'll find my full score analysis of Lerner and Loewe's My Fair Lady. I hope you'll find this analysis useful in your studies! However, if you're interested in something a little lighter, I encourage you to head over to this article, in w...

May 18, 2017

Let’s take a look at The Music Man, Meredith Willson’s tribute to Midwestern small town life in the early twentieth century. For those of you whose parents didn’t drag you to Willson’s childhood home on a road trip through Northern Iowa, it might interest you to know t...

May 17, 2017

A brief disclaimer before we begin: This analysis is not for the faint of heart.  West Side Story has an incredibly complex score and therefore any worthwhile discussion of this music is going to require some prior knowledge of musical forms, terminology, and tradition...

May 17, 2017

When I was younger, I had the opportunity to meet E. L. Doctorow. The author was leading a discussion about his work, and when asked about Ragtime he began to explain how the novel was born. Apparently, he was sitting in his home in New Rochelle, suffering from a parti...

May 8, 2017

Buckle your seatbelts, kiddos, because this is going to be a long one!  Into the Woods, with music and lyrics by Stephen Sondheim and book by James Lapine, is perhaps one of the most elaborately plotted musicals of all time.  With four major intersecting storylines, a...

May 8, 2017

Let's take a look at one of my all-time favorite musicals: Frank Loesser’s Guys and Dolls.  Rhythm is the key thing here.  From the get-go, Loesser uses rhythms to differentiate the straight-laced Salvation Army crowd from the looser gang of gamblers and strippers, but...

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© 2017 by Kerry Fergus. 

From Score to Stage:

         A note from the author

The purpose of this site is to translate what we read on the page to what is eventually seen onstage - to provide a musical framework through which the story as a whole can be understood.  I truly believe that the score can and should be used to enrich performance and thus I hope that this site can be valuable to you, the performer.