"Frontier Figures" is a tour-de-force exploration of how the American West, both as physical space and inspiration, animated American music. Examining the work of such composers as Aaron Copland, Roy Harris, Virgil Thomson, Charles Wakefield Cadman, and Arthur Farwell, Beth E. Levy addresses questions of regionalism, race, and representation as well as changing relationships to the natural world to highlight the intersections between classical music and the diverse worlds of Indians, pioneers, and cowboys. Levy draws from an array of genres to show how different brands of western Americana were absorbed into American culture by way of sheet music, radio, lecture recitals, the concert hall, and film. "Frontier Figures" is a comprehensive illumination of what the West meant and still means to composers living and writing long after the close of the frontier.
Beth E. Levy is Associate Professor of Music at the University of California, Davis.
List of Illustrations Acknowledgments Abbreviations Introduction: The Course of Empire Chapter 1. The Wa-Wan and the West Chapter 2. Western Democracy, Western Landscapes, Western Music Part Two. Western Encounters: Charles Wakefield Cadman and Others Chapter 3. Encountering Indians Chapter 4. Staging the West Part Three. American Pastorals Chapter 5. West of Eden Chapter 6. Power in the Land Chapter 7. Harvest Home Part Four. Roy Harris: Provincial Cowboy, White Hope Chapter 8. How Roy Harris Became Western Chapter 9. Manifest Destiny Chapter 10. The Composer as Folk Singer Part Five. Aaron Copland: From Orient to Occident Chapter 11. The Saga of the Prairies Chapter 12. Communal Song, Cosmopolitan Song Chapter 13. Copland and the Cinematic West Conclusion: On the Trail Notes Selected Bibliography Index