The Wa-Wan and the West

Beth E. Levy

in Frontier Figures

Published by University of California Press

Published in print April 2012 | ISBN: 9780520267763
Published online September 2012 | e-ISBN: 9780520952027 | DOI:
The Wa-Wan and the West

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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

Chapter.  11366 words.  Illustrated.

Subjects: American Music

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