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Frontier FiguresAmerican Music and the Mythology of the American West$
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Beth Levy

Print publication date: 2012

Print ISBN-13: 9780520267763

Published to California Scholarship Online: September 2012

DOI: 10.1525/california/9780520267763.001.0001

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The Composer as Folk Singer

The Composer as Folk Singer

(p.268) 10 The Composer as Folk Singer
Frontier Figures

Beth E. Levy

University of California Press

This chapter focuses on Roy Harris's folk songs. At the same time Harris was experimenting with autogenesis in Farewell to Pioneers, he was also making forays into a more accessible musical language based on folk song. It was the plausibility of personal identification with folk song that continued to set Harris apart when American composers began turning to folk song in droves during the Depression. Harris's most famous folk-based works appeared at precisely the time when American artists left and right were scrambling to acquaint or reacquaint themselves with American folklore. His largest folk-based work is the Folksong Symphony (1939–40).

Keywords:   American music, folk songs, Roy Harris, composers, Folksong Symphony

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