The songs or the book?

DownloadedFile-1I’m currently reading Julian Woolford’s book, How Musicals Work.  (http://www.julianwoolford.net/) It’s a very good resource and I can see myself referring to it over and over again as I continue to create this musical.

One thing that I may be a little out of step with though is whether a musical should begin with the book or the music.

According to Julian, the traditional and best way to write a musical is for “the bookwriter to write a play, without songs, and present it to the composer and lyricist to add the songs.”DownloadedFile

In my case, although I do have the basic story, my characters still need a lot of development before I can begin writing the play. However, I do already have most of the songs. I guess every musical is different and I can draw some comfort from the success of musicals such as Mama Mia, which certainly wouldn’t exist if Abba’s music hadn’t been here first.

So I’m thinking the songs or book question may be a little like the chicken or the egg … reasons for both, equally valid, and food for stimulating, productive ideas.


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