Maria (West Side Story song)

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Single by Johnny Mathis
from the album Faithfully
B-side"Hey Love"
ReleasedMay 9, 1960
RecordedNovember 6, 1959[1]
StudioColumbia 30th Street Studio, New York City
GenreTraditional pop
Songwriter(s)Leonard Bernstein
Stephen Sondheim
Producer(s)Glenn Osser

"Maria" is a song from the 1957 Broadway musical West Side Story, sung by the lead character Tony. The music was written by Leonard Bernstein and lyrics by Stephen Sondheim. The song was published in 1956.

"Maria" is sung by the male lead Tony when he learns the name of the girl he's fallen in love with is "Maria". The name "Maria" is spoken or sung in the song 29 times. Originally written in B major by Bernstein - but later lowered a half step to Bb major for the Original Broadway production - which then modulates to D major respectively. In the 1961 film however, the song was in the key of A major modulating to D-flat major.

The song is widely known for its use of the melodic interval of a tritone in the main theme. The song is an example of the use of Lydian mode, which is the same as the major scale but with a raised 4th, giving the tritone characteristic of this piece.

Cover versions[edit]

It was also sampled in the song Almost Like Praying by Lin-Manuel Miranda.[4]


  1. ^ (2017) The Voice of Romance: The Columbia Original Album Collection by Johnny Mathis [CD booklet]. New York: Sony Music Entertainment 88985 36892 2.
  2. ^ Sergio FranchiWomen in My Life at Discogs
  3. ^ Johnny Mathis interviewed on the Pop Chronicles (1969)
  4. ^ Diaz, Thatiana (4 October 2017). "Lin-Manuel Miranda Remaking West Side Story's "Maria" for Puerto Rico". People. Retrieved 6 October 2017.