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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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PRINTED FROM CALIFORNIA SCHOLARSHIP ONLINE (www.california.universitypressscholarship.com). (c) Copyright University of California Press, 2021. All Rights Reserved. An individual user may print out a PDF of a single chapter of a monograph in CALSO for personal use.date: 28 September 2021

Staging the West

Staging the West

(p.124) 4 Staging the West
Frontier Figures

Beth E. Levy

University of California Press

Before his career came to an end in the 1940s, Cadman had written operas or operettas set in Puritan New England, Arizona, California, the upper Mississippi Valley, Mexico, Cuba, and Japan, as well as pageants for Colorado and Portland and a small assortment of film music. With or without Indian characters, these works offer variations on the theme of encounter: between cultures, between lovers, and between man and nature. Cadman's high school operettas, like his vast quantity of pedagogical piano miniatures, were written more or less on demand for publishers eager to meet a market for “good” and useful music. Designed to be immediately accessible, these works traffic in stock figures, offering a valuable index to early twentieth-century associations between people, places, and sounds. By extracting the western highlights of this catalog and organizing them into a “scenic tour,” this chapter addresses Cadman's treatment of the varied musical ecosystems of the West. It also provides brief side trips into the works of his near contemporaries.

Keywords:   Charles Wakefield Cadman, American music, operas, composers

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