Presentation on theme: "Chapter 17. The Search for an American Identity"— Presentation transcript:
1 Chapter 17. The Search for an American Identity Objective-To look at various ways in which America attempted to stake out its own identity in a cultivated art form that is fundamentally European.
2 When did the search for a distinct American music identity arguably begin? - in the late nineteenth century- Antonin DvorákWhy might classical music be perceived to be the least representative form of American music?- the elite, aristocratic, Western European roots of classical music- American orchestras’ emphasis on the music of Western Europeancomposers
3 The Debate over Nationality The debate over nationality was between the “nativist” view and its critics.“nativist” view:that there should evolve a distinctively American music, developing a life of its own not in the shadow of European tradition, together with an audience to appreciate and support such musican idealistic desire to express the national, the specificthe belief that music should express this place and this time
4 critics’ view (a view that has been called “expatriate”): a reverential attitude toward European masters (mainly Germanic)an idealistic dedication to the cosmopolitan, the universalthe belief that music should transcend place and time
5 Music Education and Culture after the Mid-Nineteenth Century What are some of the changes in the patterns of American life that occurred after the Civil War?westward expansion; movement of populationbuilding of more towns and citiesnew wealthadvances in education and cultureBy 1900 symphony orchestras could be found in growing cities (besides New York and Boston).Philadelphia, Pittsburgh, Cincinnati, St. Louis, Los AngelesWho is considered the leading founder and conductor of the American symphony orchestra?Theodore Thomas ( )
6 Idealistic Promoters of a Native Music 1870s—Fisk Jubilee Singers and other groups presented a contrasting view of African American music and culture to that of the minstrel stage.1880s—American Indian music was being collected and studied.1880s—Harrigan and Hart presented plays on the popular musical stage that showed everyday characters in everyday situations.1890s—ragtime arrived in the East from the Midwest.—Czech composer Antonin Dvorák was in America.
7 Arthur Farwell (1872-1952) strong advocate for new American music 1901--founder of a composers’ press: Wa-Wan PressWa-Wan is an Omaha Indian ceremony of peace and brotherhood.published the work of thirty-six American composers (nine women)developed an American music more in touch with American lifeorganized the New York Community ChorusIndian works in arrangements:Impressions of the Wa-Wan Ceremony of the Omahas (1905)Three Indian Songs (1908)Original works based on Indian melodies:Navajo War Dance for piano (1905)
8 “Pawnee Horses”a concert work for solo piano inspired by an Omaha Indian melody.from a collection titled From Mesa and Plain (Wa-Wan Press 1905)Listen forrhythmic complexity of the main melodysyncopationsdescending melodic linetypical of American Indian melodies (see Ch. 3)narrow melodic rangeevoking the overall sound of an Indian chant
9 American Music and American Life three composers who produced the “most quintessentially ‘American sounding’ classical music”George Gershwin (jazz)William Grant Still (blues)Aaron Copland (a Shaker hymn)
10 George Gershwin, Rhapsody in Blue (1924) inspired by the increasingly popular jazz idiom1924: established as a fixture in American classical music with his composition, Rhapsody in BlueRhapsody in Blues, a jazz concerto for piano that was premiered in New York on February 12, 1924.Gershwin was soloist.Listen forjazzy solos (clarinet, trumpet, piano)improvisatory feelthe extended passage for piano solo from about 1:10 (called a cadenza in classical music)
11 William Grant Still (1895-1978) the first African American composer to have a work performed by a major symphony orchestrathe first black composer to have an opera staged by a major companyStill’s education in classical music exceeded Gershwin’s:Oberlin CollegeNew England Conservatory
12 third movement of the Afro-American Symphony, titled “Humor” ragtime idiombanjobluesy inflectionsWhat is European about this work?genre (symphony in four movements)third movement in a symphony: typically a dance movement
13 Aaron Copland (1900-1990) has been labeled "Dean of American music" Born in Brooklyn, NYIn his 20s he went to Paris; studied with Nadia Boulanger.influenced by jazz, cowboy songs, old Shaker melody, revivalist hymns, fiddle tunes1930s ideology: art should serve the peopleHow does Copland capture the sound of the Western Frontier?
14 Appalachian Spring (1944) Understand the synopsis of the story choreographed and danced by Martha Graham ( ), seminal figure in modern dance in early 20th centuryconcert suite of continuous sections later (1945) arr. by Copland