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MUSIC OF BROADWAY
...AND SOME OF THE MEN WHO WRITE IT
by Neal Ashby

One of the men who write the music of broadway shuts himself up in his apartment when he works, doesn't shave, wears rumpled jeans, does his own cooking, sees no one (Marvin Hamslisch).

Another of Broadway's composers creates new tunes at a piano in a Madison Avenue office building while wearing a dark business suit, white shirt and tie (Richard Rodgers).

A third picks out melodies on a toy xylophone. (Richard Adler)

And a fourth writes music for ten minutes at a time while lying down, then drops off to sleep for a few minutes before resuming. (Stephen Sondheim)

The men who write the music of Broadway are as different as are their methods of work. And the differences are never more sharply apparent than when you ask Richard Rodgers and Marvin Hamslisch some similar question about how musicals are written.

Elder statesman Rodgers, at 73 composer of more hit musicals, probably, than anyone else (Oklahoma!, South Pacific, et al), whose latest, Rex, is due in late March, dismisses such inquiries with an impatient expression and wave of the hand that says: "You just sit down and do it."

by contrast, 31-year-old Hamslisch, who did the music for the smash musical of recent months, A Chorus Line, and seemed "flip" to some in accepting a record three "Oscars" for film composing in 1974, becomes deeply analytical when he discusses his craft. He talks of "the elements of memorability" in a song (repiti-

Below: Marvin Hamlisch (A Chorus Line), Right above: Stephen Sondheim (Pacific Overtures) Right below: Richard Rodgers and Sheldon Harnick (music and lyrics, respectively for the upcoming Rex).

[[image - Stephen Sondheim]]
[[image - Marin Hamlisch]]
[[image - Richard Rodgers and Sheldon Harnick]]

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