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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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How Roy Harris Became Western

How Roy Harris Became Western

(p.227) 8 How Roy Harris Became Western
Frontier Figures

Beth E. Levy

University of California Press

This chapter focuses on composer Roy Harris, who was profoundly affected by his association with the American West, the meanings of which association changed over time. Along with the prominent composers of his generation, Harris went questing for musical Americanness, and for many years seemed uniquely equipped to tackle the task at hand. Invocations of the American West are so common in his music, writings, and critical reception that even attributes not necessarily attached to his westernness took on a vaguely western glow, helping him turn potential professional liabilities into assets. Harris's isolation from East Coast musical centers became symbolic of his distance from cosmopolitan and commercial forces.

Keywords:   American music, composers, American West, Roy Harris

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