This all started with an obsession with Hamilton, Lin-Manuel Miranda’s spectacular musical. The instant the cast album came out I couldn’t stop listening. I sang it in the shower; I sang it to my cat; I sang in the tiny closet where I poke fish larvae for a living (that’s another story though). It’s hard to pick a single favorite thing about this musical, but way, way up there for me is the way different leitmotifs [repeated musical themes] recur and transform throughout.
I’m currently a grad student in neuroscience. One thing you will learn if you spend any amount of time with neuroscientists is that we’re obsessed with networks. We never found a network we didn’t want to map out in its entirety to see how it fits together. And so it was that, sitting in my tiny closet, poking fish larvae and pondering the beautiful network of leitmotifs that is Hamilton, I had the fatal thought: can I map this?
And, since the only way to answer that question was to try to map it, I did. The results make up this website. I wanted to post them so people could explore and discover new details they might not have appreciated before. You can explore by leitmotif, or by song. You can get to those pages by clicking the menu buttons above, or you can add /by-theme or /by-song to the URL. I wish you all happy exploring!