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The Sound of Their Music: Biography of Rodgers and Hammerstein



The Sound of Their Music: Biography of Rodgers and Hammerstein
Reading Level
     edHelper's suggested reading level:   grades 9 to 12
     Flesch-Kincaid grade level:   9.7

Vocabulary
     challenging words:    operetta, theatrical, influential, integral, unavailable, writing, partnership, notable, racism, impact, alcoholism, amateur, contribution, addition, based, emphasis
     content words:    Richard Rogers, Oscar Hammerstein, Richard Rodgers, Lorenz Hart, When Hart, Green Grow, State Fair, Show Boat, Jerome Kern, South Pacific


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The Sound of Their Music: Biography of Rodgers and Hammerstein
By Beth Beutler
  

1     Caption: Richard Rogers (on left) with Oscar Hammerstein
 
2     Considered the "most consistently fruitful and successful partnerships in American musical theatre," the duo of Richard Rodgers and Oscar Hammerstein has blessed the world with entertaining music for years. If you've ever seen a Broadway musical, chances are you've heard some of their work. They had a major impact on the music of America, though neither of them lived past the age of 77. (Richard Rodgers was born in 1902 and died on December 30, 1979. Oscar Hammerstein was born in 1895 and died in 1960.) They are considered to be among the most influential musical artists of the 20th century.
 
3     Before partnering with Hammerstein, Rodgers first worked with Lorenz Hart. However, Hart developed a problem with alcohol, and Rodgers secretly approached Hammerstein about forming a partnership. When Hart was unavailable to work on Oklahoma!, Rodgers and Hammerstein officially began working together. However, they handled their working arrangement differently than did Rodgers and Hart. Instead of having Rodgers write music first and then Hart write the lyrics, Hammerstein would first write lyrics to which Rodgers would then write music.

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