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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 Wa-Wan and the West

The Wa-Wan and the West

(p.23) 1 The Wa-Wan and the West
Frontier Figures

Beth E. Levy

University of California Press

This chapter focuses on the music of Arthur Farwell. Although his attitudes toward Indians would never completely slough off their skin of exoticism, Farwell found in Indian ritual a valuable example of the power of music to unify and sanctify a community. He chose to name his signature achievement, the Wa- Wan Press, after an Omaha ceremony of unity and coming-of-age; under its banner he wished to bring together American composers and to celebrate their new artistic maturity. Farwell framed the close relationship between folk and art music in terms of historical inevitability. For him, the incorporation of Native American influences into American music was not a matter of choice, but simply a matter of time.

Keywords:   Arthur Farwell, Indians, music, Wa-Wan Press, Native Americans, folk music, composers

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