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Rethinking American Music$
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Tara Browner and Thomas L. Riis

Print publication date: 2019

Print ISBN-13: 9780252042324

Published to Illinois Scholarship Online: September 2019

DOI: 10.5622/illinois/9780252042324.001.0001

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Ferruccio Busoni and The Indians’ Book

Ferruccio Busoni and The Indians’ Book

(p.283) 12 Ferruccio Busoni and The Indians’ Book
Rethinking American Music

Tara Browner

University of Illinois Press

Doing ethnography with music lies at the heart of this chapter. Browner’s “Ferruccio Busoni and TheIndians’ Book” looks at the complex ethnographic transformations that affect American music beyond issues of individual identity. Between 1913 and 1915, Italian virtuoso pianist and composer Ferruccio Busoni wrote three works based on transcriptions of Native American songs that he had received from Natalie Curtis, an ethnographer who was also his former theory pupil. Busoni’s use of American Indian melodies as a basis for European art music was unusual to say the least, and Browner considers his work from many perspectives.

Keywords:   ethnographic transformation, Ferruccio Busoni, The Indians’ Book, Native American song, Natalie Curtis, American Indian melodies

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