West Side Story: How Music Creates Racial Tension

by Inside the Score

While West Side Story is known for famous hits like “Maria,” “America,” “I Feel Pretty,” “Tonight,” and “Somewhere,” the film’s music also has a deeper narrative function. In this video essay, Inside the Score takes a closer look at how Leonard Bernstein’s music, with lyrics by Stephen Sondheim, is structured to emphasize social division, and racial hierarchy within the film.

West Side Story

Directed by

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