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Imagining Native America in Music

by Michael V. Pisani

This book offers a comprehensive look at musical representations of native America from the precolonial past through the American West and up to the present. The discussion covers a wide range of topics, from the ballets of Lully in the court of Louis XIV to popular ballads of the nineteenth century; from eighteenth-century British-American theater to the musical theater of Irving Berlin; from chamber music by Dvoˆrák to film music for Apaches in Hollywood Westerns. Michael Pisani demonstrates how European colonists and their descendants were fascinated by the idea of race and ethnicity in music, and he examines how music contributed to the complex process of cultural mediation. Pisani reveals how certain themes and metaphors changed over the centuries and shows how much of this "Indian music," which was and continues to be largely imagined, alternately idealized and vilified the peoples of native America.

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