This project currently focuses on the lyrics in the musical Hamilton: An American Musical. In regards to characters, we are looking specifically at who is talking the most in the musical versus who is talked about the most and who individual characters are referencing. Learning more about who a character talks about and is connected with can give us a better understanding of relationships between characters.

Another aspect we're looking at in-depth is the repeated words found throughout multiple songs. There are several lines that are present in three or more songs. These phrases contribute towards characterization, the story, and themes present throughout the musical. We will look at where these phrases appear and track when they appear the most or don't appear at all in regards to the overall story.

Along with the musical's characters and themes, we decided to investigate the historical accuracy of the musical by researching specific lyrics. We were interested in finding out if the musical was more factual or more fictional, so we selected over 100 lyrics to research to determine the historical accuracy of Hamilton: An American Musical.

Other elements we're interested in include dates and places. We've created an interactive Google Map which features all the places mentioned in Hamilton and in the description of each waypoint is a list of the songs that particular place is referenced. We've also created a timeline which has each song's events dated by year. We've also included a more in-depth description of the events with exact or estimated dates to establish a specific time frame for the musical.



A student at the University of Pittsburgh at Greensburg, Audrey Hunker is pursuing a major in Creative and Professional Writing and a Digital Studies Certficate. She is an original member of The Lope de Vega Project team and a founding member and leader of The Hamilton Project team. Her go-to song from Hamilton to perform in the car is "You'll Be Back."


Bri Filer is a student at the University of Pittsburgh at Greensburgh, majoring in Creative and Professional Writing, minoring in English Literature, and pursuing a Digital Studies Certificate. She is a founding member of the Hamilton Project team. Her go-to song from Hamilton to rap along to is "My Shot."


Mark-up Process:

To start the project, we took the lyrics for the musical off of the Atlantic Records website and decided to mark them up using TEI. From there we created an ODD to identify which TEI elements we would be using in our project. Within the ODD we created Schemas that would fire on our attributes specific to phrases and names so no spelling errors would occur. and we used regular expressions to accurately tag all the elements we were planning to look further into during analysis. After tagging up all key elements and turning all the lyric text files into XML that kept the song's original format, the song's XML files were transformed using XSLT into HTML files featuring a JavaScript checklist box to highlight all the names, dates, phrases, and places in each song.

Frequency of Character References and Speeches Network Graphs:

One question we had while analysing the lyrics was about how often characters spoke in the musical and how often characters were referenced in the musical. We further wanted to investigate who references who as well to see which characters discuss each other and to see which characters talk about themselves. In order to investigate this, a directed network graph was created in Cytoscape to show the indegree of how often a character is referenced which is represented by the size of the nodes in the graph and the outdegree of how often a character speaks which is represented by the color of the nodes in the graph. To compile the information, XQuery was used to grab all distinct speakers and look down to see specific references to characters the speaker made throughout the entire musical. A TSV was saved from the output data and that was imported into cytoscape to compile the graph. In Cytoscape the edges which related to each song in the musical were bundled to help provide better readability. Another graph was created without bundling the edges to create separate network graphs for each song to show which characters referenced who in each song. A personography table, created using XSLT, lists the distinct names of people refenced by that character, who references that character, and the number of times that character is referenced.

Line Graph and Table of Repeated Phrases

One of the goals of the project was to track repeated words/phrases within the musical. We chose eight distinct phrases: my shot, satisifed, helpless, wait, legacy, time, look around, and rise (up). For more information as to why we chose these phrases, please click here. To investigate the frequency of these phrases, we created a line graph that would track each phrase in each song over the entire musical. Using XSLT to run over our collection of XML versions of the songs, we created an SVG graph. A corresponding table was created in the same fasion.

Map of Places Mentioned in Hamilton: An American Musical

To gain a better understanding of the more historical side of the musical, we chose to create a map that would visualize all the places mentioned in Hamilton. XQuery was used to grab the distinct place names and we used a GPS Visualizer to obtain the geo co-ordinates in the form of a KML file. Using XQuery, a second KML file was produced that contained each place name and the list of songs that place appeared in. From there, an XSLT transformation combined the two KML files into one, which was uploaded onto Google Maps and embedded on our page.

Bar Graph of Fact, Fiction, and Ambiguity in the Lyrics

In order to determine the historical accuracy of the musical, we first had to select lyrics to investigate. We selected certain lines that raised questions of authenticity or suggested further research. After selecting the lyrics, we primarily referred to Ron Chernow's biography on Alexander Hamilton that the musical's creator, Lin Manuel Miranda, used when writing the musical. After our research, the data was formed into a bar graph created using SVG to show the percentage of factual, fictional, or ambiguous lyrics.

Timeline of Hamilton: An American Musical

As we were interested in the historical accuracy of the musical, we decided to look into the specific dates mentioned in the songs. From the dates already supplied in the song lyrics, each song was looked over and had relevant events mentioned within the lyrics researched. After finding dates or estimations for the dates of events, we added a list event element into the XML for each song marking up the specific events, dates, and descriptions. Once every song had a list event element added, the songs were uploaded to eXistdb and using XQuery we created a timeline in SVG. We only grabbed the years in XQuery and created our timeline to represent the repeating years as larger circles on the timeline.


For our project we resourced the lyrics from Atlantic Records. The online tools we used to collect information and create visualizations for this project include eXistdb, used to create the timeline,Cytoscape, used in creating network graphs, Voyant, to help identify recurring phrases, and GPS Visualizer and Google Maps, to create the map. All images were resourced from Google Images.

In our research regarding historical accuracy, we referred mainly to the biography "Alexander Hamilton" by Ron Chernow. The book that inspired Lin-Manuel Miranda to write "Hamilton: An American Musical", it was interesting to see what Mirand chose to keep historically accurate and what he chose to change in his stage adaption.

We love Hamilton and have thoroughly enjoyed creating this site and discovering new things about the musical. If you're interested in learning more than what we have to offer check out these sites which provide more information about the musical or analysis of the lyrics: