Alex Bádue, assistant professor of music and musical theatre scholar, presented “How Do You Measure a Year? Jonathan Larson and the Creation of the Musical Rent, 1995–1996” at the Library of Congress (LoC) this spring. The talk was part of a joint lecture series presented by the American Musicological Society (AMS) and the Music Division of the LoC to highlight musicological research conducted in the Division’s collections.

In 2015, Bádue did research for his dissertation on musical theater from the 1980s and 1990s at the LoC, using the archive’s Jonathan Larson papers to write about the compositional process for the musical Rent.

The presentation, based on lyric sketches, letters, and scripts in the Jonathan Larson Collection, focused on the final year of Larson’s seven-year project. Bádue presented a timeline that includes major events in the making of the musical that have not yet been accounted for in the historiography of Rent and its original production. 

The AMS/LoC Lecture Series gives anyone who conducts research in the LoC’s music archive the opportunity to submit a lecture proposal to present the results of that research.

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