How Hamilton the Musical Became a Phenomenon

Since its debut in 2015, Hamilton the Musical has truly become a cultural phenomenon. It broke Tony Award records by being nominated 16 times, and has received critical acclaim; its creator, Lin-Manuel Miranda has become extraordinarily successful.

Aside from its important historical implications, Hamilton includes powerful music that budding musicians can learn from. Here are a few tips they can pick up:

1. Reinvent.

Hamilton effectively retells history in an entirely new way; the details of Alexander Hamilton’s political career had never before been explained through contemporary music. When creating music, new mediums can reinvent old stories. Don’t be afraid be inventive.

2. Take your time.

Lin-Manuel Miranda took more than a year to write the hit song, “My Shot.” When creating music, do not rush the creative process; take as much time as you need and do not settle for creating anything less than the best.

3. Tell a story.

The entirety of the musical can be listened to on Spotify and the story of Alexander Hamilton’s life is told succinctly and clearly. Much like musicals, many albums aim to tell a story from start to finish. Storytelling through music can be compelling and effectively keep your listeners’ attention.

Hamilton the Musical uses music to retell a true and compelling story; musicians can learn a lot from its artistic reinvention of history.

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Jana is a Communication Studies major and French Studies minor at the University of San Francisco. She loves Mac DeMarco, Beyonce, and the ocean.

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