The National Music of America - online book

The Sources & Factors Influential In Forming America's Music.

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The National Music of America. 271
of the sources of American folk-music, to inquire whether any debt is due to the Aborigines. The American Indian has never been essentially musical. The subject has been thoroughly investigated by Miss Alice Fletcher, Mr. John C. Fillmore, Mr. H. E. Krehbiel, and Dr. J. Walter Fewkes. To the works of these authorities we refer our reader; as for any direct influence upon American musical art' to be exerted by a music that is on the lower savage plane, we have grave doubts ; as well expect the Esqui­maux, or the Bushmen of Australia, to become the foundation of the opera of the future.
1 Yet Mr. MacDowell has attempted this and brought forth an Indian Suite for orchestra. The Indian, of course, would find his music unrecognisable in this developed state, and a composer of this rank could take almost any unpromising theme or figure and make it of interest to his public. In other words, the Indian themes, unadorned, have no especial inspiration beyond the music of the rest of the savage world.
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