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Justin Hurwitz's picks for musical newbies

La La Land composer Justin Hurwitz provides listeners with a gateway into the world of musicals.
Composer Justin Hurwitz is up for two Academy Awards this year, best original score and original song, for his work on Damien Chazelle's La La Land. (Getty Images)

La La Land was one of 2016's breakout films, making it one of the biggest musicals in recent years. Not familiar with musical movies, though? Allow La La Land's composer Justin Hurwitz to give you a mini crash course in the genre.

Below, Hurwitz chose musical numbers from two classic films that he thinks would make the perfect gateway for people who are new to musicals.


'Let's Call the Whole Thing Off' from Shall We Dance (1937)

"It's playful and fun and funny, and then it turns into this great dance, or really, a skating number. For people who don't know musicals that well, it's a great way to get into musicals and see what a musical number can be in its most classical way."

'Moon River' from Breakfast at Tiffany's (1961)

"This song is gorgeously orchestrated and just simply done. It's an unforgettable moment in that movie, one of the most gorgeous songs ever recorded, I think." 

— Produced by Ben Edwards

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