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MUSA 05—The Music and Scripts of In Dahomey

Edited by Thomas L. Riis

Purchase from A-R Editions or preview on Google Books.

With more than 1,100 performances in the United States and England between 1902 and 1905, In Dahomey became a landmark of American musical theater. Created and performed entirely by African-Americans, it showcased the talents of conservatory-trained composer Will Marion Cook and the popular vaudevillians Bert Williams and George Walker. This edition presents the surviving musical and textual materials of In Dahomey in a comprehensive piano-vocal score. In Dahomey was a fluid production with an ever-changing script and series of musical novelties. Riis's research brings the show's widely dispersed sheet music sources and two extant versions of the script together for the first time, casting light on both African-American cultural history and the performance traditions of American musical theater.


Graziano, John. Review of The Music and Scripts of In Dahomey, edited by Thomas L. Riis. The Sonneck Society for American Music Bulletin 23, no. 3 (1997).