Sunday, August 19, 2012

Pg. 99: Beth E. Levy's "Frontier Figures"

The current feature at the Page 99 Test: Frontier Figures: American Music and the Mythology of the American West by Beth E. Levy.

About the book, from the publisher:
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.
Read Chapter 1 (on composer Arthur Farwell) and learn more about the book at the University of California Press website.

Beth Levy is Associate Professor of Music at the University of California, Davis. Her contribution to the volume Aaron Copland and His World, ed. Carol J. Oja and Judith Tick, won the Society for American Music’s Irving Lowens Award for the year’s best article on American Music.

The Page 99 Test: Frontier Figures.

--Marshal Zeringue