Musical Borrowing
An Annotated Bibliography

Individual record

[+] Brancaleone, Francis. "Edward MacDowell and Indian Motives." American Music 7 (Winter 1989): 359-81.

MacDowell made frequent use of motives associated with music of the American Indians, although he disavowed the notion that this practice amounted to the creation of an American national music. His principal source of Indian melodies was Theodore Baker's German dissertation Über die Musik der nordamerikanischen Wilden. MacDowell seems to have been particularly drawn to a "dirge" motive derived from a "Kiowa song of a mother to her absent son" appearing in the Baker, for the motive appears in several works. Compared to similar efforts by his contemporaries, MacDowell finds a method of incorporating Indian motives in his music that is not contextually incongruous and that avoids overwhelming the melodies through over-harmonization.

Works: MacDowell: Sonata tragica, Op. 45, Suite No. 2, "Indian," Op. 48, Woodland Sketches, Op. 51, Sonata No. 3, "Norse," Op. 57, Sea Pieces, Op. 55, Fireside Tales, Op. 61, New England Idyls, Op. 62.

Index Classifications: 1800s

Contributed by: David Lieberman

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