How Roy Harris Became Western

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:
How Roy Harris Became Western

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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

Chapter.  8757 words.  Illustrated.

Subjects: American Music

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