The American musical, though one of the United States' most popular and emblematic musical genres, has long been neglected as a topic for academic study. Only recently have scholars taken up the serious study of musicals, and serious criticism and commentary available to non-professionals is still sparse. The Oxford Handbook of the Amreican Musical is designed to be used by students in all disciplines concerned with the genre, as well as non-academic listeners who want to enrich their experience as audience members. Taking the form of a "keywords" book, it introduces readers to important concepts and terms that shape the history of the musical as a genre, and offers ways to reflect on the specific choices that shape the musicals and their performance. The Handbook offers ways of thinking about musicals that will be of interest to scholars and students as well as performers of all kinds.