The Composer as Folk Singer

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 Composer as Folk Singer

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This chapter focuses on Roy Harris's folk songs. At the same time Harris was experimenting with autogenesis in Farewell to Pioneers, he was also making forays into a more accessible musical language based on folk song. It was the plausibility of personal identification with folk song that continued to set Harris apart when American composers began turning to folk song in droves during the Depression. Harris's most famous folk-based works appeared at precisely the time when American artists left and right were scrambling to acquaint or reacquaint themselves with American folklore. His largest folk-based work is the Folksong Symphony (1939–40).

Keywords: American music; folk songs; Roy Harris; composers; Folksong Symphony

Chapter.  9545 words.  Illustrated.

Subjects: American Music

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