Date of Award


Degree Type


Degree Name

Master of Music


School of Music

First Advisor

Dr. Stephen Lias

Second Advisor

Dr. Kristin Lyman

Third Advisor

Dr. Tod Fish

Fourth Advisor

Dr. Angela Bacarisse


Lynn Ahrens and Stephen Flaherty have written musicals together for several decades. This thesis contains an in-depth discussion and stylistic analysis of several songs each from Once on This Island, Ragtime, and Seussical – three Ahrens & Flaherty shows chosen specifically because of their variety in style and subject matter. This analysis includes, among other things, the lyrics and lyric setting, textures, harmonic settings, accompaniment styles, rhythms, and harmonic progressions. The central portion of this document contains the music for nine songs of an original musical titled Fly Like an Eagle. This script is written by Daris Howard and is loosely based on the story of Jim Thorpe. This musical shows some of the styles found in the Ahrens and Flaherty musicals, and will also demonstrate effective use of lyrics, harmonic progressions, and dramatic situations, as Lynn Ahrens and Stephen Flaherty have done.

Creative Commons License

Creative Commons License
This work is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-Noncommercial-No Derivative Works 4.0 License.

Included in

Composition Commons



Tell us how this article helped you.


To view the content in your browser, please download Adobe Reader or, alternately,
you may Download the file to your hard drive.

NOTE: The latest versions of Adobe Reader do not support viewing PDF files within Firefox on Mac OS and if you are using a modern (Intel) Mac, there is no official plugin for viewing PDF files within the browser window.