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 American Musical covers many disciplines concerned with the genre. 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 text offers ways of thinking about musicals.