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Frontier Figures

American Music and the Mythology of the American West

Beth E. Levy (Author)

Available worldwide
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Paperback, 470 pages
ISBN: 9780520267787
April 2012
$36.95, £25.95
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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.
List of Illustrations
Acknowledgments
Abbreviations

Introduction: The Course of Empire

Chapter 1. The Wa-Wan and the West
Chapter 2. Western Democracy, Western Landscapes, Western Music

Part Two. Western Encounters: Charles Wakefield Cadman and Others
Chapter 3. Encountering Indians
Chapter 4. Staging the West

Part Three. American Pastorals
Chapter 5. West of Eden
Chapter 6. Power in the Land
Chapter 7. Harvest Home

Part Four. Roy Harris: Provincial Cowboy, White Hope
Chapter 8. How Roy Harris Became Western
Chapter 9. Manifest Destiny
Chapter 10. The Composer as Folk Singer

Part Five. Aaron Copland: From Orient to Occident
Chapter 11. The Saga of the Prairies
Chapter 12. Communal Song, Cosmopolitan Song
Chapter 13. Copland and the Cinematic West

Conclusion: On the Trail

Notes
Selected Bibliography
Index
Beth E. Levy is Associate Professor of Music at the University of California, Davis.
“Music professor Levy looks at how Western Americana has been woven into American culture via music.”—Sacramento Bee
“In this work, Levy offers an amazing amount of scholarship. She has researched nearly every person and event of this period, many now long forgotten. . . . Highly recommended.”—W.K. Kearns, Emeritus, University of Colorado at Boulder Choice
“Think about the open prairie, or the Western mountain ranges, and music comes to mind. Expansive music, evoking broad vistas. . . . But what makes that music sound “American?” And how did the composers use a symphony orchestra — an ensemble with European roots, rarely heard in the American West during the 1800s — to conjure up images of peaks and plains, cowboys and horses? This is the topic that Beth Levy, an associate professor in the music department at UC Davis, examines in her new book.”—Davis Enterprise
"Beth Levy has written an elegant work of depth and breadth that gives generous space to the idea of the American West. Her discussions of more than a dozen composers and their works—some usual suspects, others rather unexpected—reveal the 'varied musical ecosystems of the west.' Levy takes us with her on the trail in prose that is by turns pithy and poetic, but always spot on."—Denise Von Glahn, author of The Sounds of Place: Music and the American Cultural Landscape

“Big and bold as the terrain it covers, Beth Levy’s Frontier Figures takes us on a gratifying road trip, traversing American ‘classical’ compositions that conjure up landscapes from the Middle West to the shores of the Pacific. En route, we encounter many now-famous composers, such as Aaron Copland, Roy Harris, and Virgil Thomson, along with others who have faded from view. Throughout, Levy treats the ‘West’ as both geographic location and mythologized ideal, demonstrating its power on the American musical imagination.”—Carol Oja, author of Making Music Modern: New York in the 1920s.

1

The Wa-Wan and the West

The Ragged Edge of History

If on the afternoon of 27 April 1919, you found yourself seated at the Greek Theatre on the campus of the University of California, Berkeley, you would have witnessed and most likely been asked to participate in California: A Masque of Music. With musical numbers and libretto crafted by Arthur Farwell and personnel recruited from the ranks of the Berkeley Music Department, the masque places a toga-clad personification of California in the company of the muses: "California! {apos}tis a name Worthy of Apollo's nine; {apos}tis music's self/Soft syllabled upon the silent air." Only six of the nine muses grace the stage, but California seems destined to join their number if she can pass the musical "tests" set forth by Apollo and the Spirit of Ancient Greece. Having produced the requisite instrumentalists from isolated corners of the outdoor amphitheater, California musters her forces for the final test: choral song. "From hill, from canyon, shore and fragrant grove,/From city, vineyard, white Sierras' snows,/With summons far I call you to this shrine/... O noble children of our Western world."

Springing as it does from the mouth of California, "our Western world" is a deliberately ambiguous phrase, and this ambiguity lies at the heart of Farwell's West. If early twentieth-century California represented the endpoint of westward expansion in the United States, the golden reward of America's Manifest Destiny, it also occupied a special spot on the continuum of "Western civilization." Though mythological, the masque is set explicitly in "the present," and it privileges symbolic meanings over strict adherence to chronology. In the first scene, for example, three groups are conjured up in turn to sing Farwell's own arrangements. Each chorus features a tune transcribed by an ethnologist, and each setting reflects the tension that would forever mark Farwell's approach to the West: on the one hand, a scientific emphasis on anthropological fact; on the other, a subjective identification bordering on rapture:

"First let the red race speak, whose plaintive strain/Charms the divinities of wood and plain." (The division of the chorus on one side, accompanied by the orchestra, sings the "Bird Dance of the Cahuillas")

"The black race now, redeemed from slavery's smart,/Pathetic-humorous in its artless art." (The division of the chorus on the other side sings the "Moanin' Dove")

"Last the bold race who bore across the main/To California's shores, romantic Spain."

(Both divisions of the chorus together sing "Chata cara de bule.")

This gradual introduction of ethnic groups reflects something other than actual demographic data. While it might make historical sense to give Indians pride of place, the Spanish settled California long before there was a substantial black population-let alone an English-speaking, spiritual-singing black population. Instead, it is tempting to see in this ethnic procession Farwell's implicit judgment about the relative usefulness of each group's music to the task at hand: ensuring that the western United States could take up the artistic mantle of ancient Greece.

For Farwell, Indian song represented a uniquely valuable resource and a necessary starting point in the creation of "a new art-life" for America-a project in which black music occupied an explicit but historically uncomfortable middle ground. While Farwell recognized the spiritual as a resource for the community singing movement, he preferred to speak of "Spanish folksongs" whose value was in his eyes "beyond all power to estimate or predict." Therefore, in the masque, it is "romantic Spain" who eventually ascends to stand beside California and the muses.

But this is not where Farwell's California masque ends. After the choral groups unite and ascend the stage, they perform music that emphasizes the union of diverse populations and draws the largely Anglo audience into Farwell's vision: a medley of university fight songs, followed by "Hail California." The Spirit of Ancient Greece reminds California that song holds the key to national cohesion. The chorus responds with Farwell's wartime anthem "Our Country's Prayer," sparking an on-stage discussion of religion. The Spirit of Ancient Greece invokes Almighty Zeus, but her plea goes unanswered. Instead, the audience is invited to join California's chorus, singing praise, in Farwell's words, to "the God that IS." All present rise and sing an amply foreshadowed "Battle Hymn of the Republic." By the end, the regional has been subsumed into the national and even the supranational through the invocation of a larger, vaguely Christian world. The western vantage point seems all but forgotten. Yet its human and natural resources were crucial at every step of the way.

The same might be said for Farwell's career. His early and most influential years were almost wholly identified with Indian-inspired material and the Wa-Wan Press (1901-11). At midcareer, his involvement with the community chorus movement, initiated during World War I and reaching its height during his years in California (1918-27), placed him on the front lines of a national campaign. By the 1940s, Farwell was inclined to express himself in polytonal experiments and ruminations about creative intuition that bear no regional references. While the composer's later projects seem to leave the West behind, their outlook remained consistent with his Indianist aesthetic and his community chorus work. Indeed, I aim to show how deeply and purposefully intertwined these visions were.

A "New Art Life" for America

Although his attitudes toward Indians would never completely slough off their skin of exoticism, Farwell found in Indian ritual a valuable example of the power of music to unify and sanctify a community. He chose to name his signature achievement, the Wa-Wan Press, after an Omaha ceremony of unity and coming-of-age; under its banner he wished to bring together American composers and to celebrate their new artistic maturity. Farwell founded the press in Newton Center, Massachusetts, two years after returning from his European studies and finding no ready publisher for his scores. As he remarked in his "Letter to American Composers," "Either American composers must inspire some one else to build up this work or they must do it themselves." The latter was evidently the easier project. Farwell's unwavering commitment earned him repeated encomiums from the start. The critic Lawrence Gilman hailed the press in 1903 as "probably the most determined, courageous, and enlightened endeavor to assist the cause of American music that has yet been made." During the decade before its copyrights were ceded to G. Schirmer, the press issued vocal and instrumental pieces by some thirty-seven composers, usually young and often unpublished, among them Henry Gilbert, Edward Burlingame Hill, Harvey Worthington Loomis, and Arthur Shepherd, not to mention Farwell himself.

Throughout his life, Farwell described the Wa-Wan enterprise as a challenge to mainstream commercialism. "Salability," he recalled in the 1940s, "had nothing to do with the matter whatsoever." Yet his idealism always went hand in hand with a certain defensiveness. Midway through the press's third year, Farwell answered potential detractors: "The Wa-Wan Press does not represent itself as a collection of masterpieces. It does not aim to be that which critics praise. It does not propitiate the gods of traditional culture. It does not seek to elevate the masses. It respects no coterie. It does not attempt to 'cover mediocrity with a cloak of patriotism.' It is not a financial scheme masquerading as a 'noble cause.'" Instead of stating what the Wa-Wan was, Farwell emphasized what the Wa-Wan did: namely, to foster American composition, which he called "the goal, the core, the very grail of life." Though he denied being a "nationalist," Farwell wanted to cultivate specifically American art with "convincing qualities of color, form, and spirit from our nature-world and our humanity." Evaluating the press's first year, he noted that the Wa-Wan already exhibited a character "different from that of the music of other lands," stating that its works were "independent of old-world prejudices, yet remembering old-world victories."

Farwell's anti-European stance soon grew stronger. In 1902, he argued that the main hindrance to a "new art-life" for America was the overwhelmingly and exclusively German influence on the nation's musical institutions, an obstacle "so large that it is difficult to see": "since our national musical education, both public and private, is almost wholly German, we inevitably, and yet unwittingly, see everything through German glasses.... Therefore the first correction we must bring to our musical vision is to cease to see everything through German spectacles, however wonderful, however sublime those spectacles may be in themselves!" Farwell's resistance to things German had its exceptions, especially when he could point to the presence of folk influences (which he usually could): Thus, "Beethoven demonstrated, and Wagner both insisted and demonstrated, that the greatest music must eventually arise from a Folk." And again, "No one has penetrated more deeply than Wagner himself, the nature of the folk-spirit, nor drawn more freely from the wealth of folk-expression."

Folk-based efforts were always an important part of Farwell's plan, and often a point of contention with his critics. At times, he defined folk song narrowly. In preparation for a lecture tour, he explained that "only the songs of Stephen Foster, George Root and a few scattering songs, such as 'Dixie,'" could properly be called American folk song (WJ, 140-41). More often, however, folk expression was so broad and pervasive a category for Farwell that even original art music could fall under its purview. He noted that "the folk" have "no monopoly" on the creation of folk song: "The composer of culture, prompted by new feelings in a new land, and untrammelled ... by obsolete or alien traditions, will accomplish the same end upon another plane, and, so to speak, create folk-song of a second degree." Divested of the "obsolete" and "alien," the American composer would of necessity turn inward, both psychologically and geographically.

Spiritual Artifacts

Farwell framed the close relationship between folk and art music in terms of historical inevitability. For him, the incorporation of Native American influences into American music was not a matter of choice, but simply a matter of time. Nowhere was this more apparent than in his ideas about Indian music and its "assimilation" according to what he called "the natural law ... of the impossibility of annihilating race spirit," namely, "When one race conquers, absorbs, or annihilates another, the spirit, the animus of the destroyed race invariably persists, in the end, in all its aspects, -its arts, customs, traditions, temper, -in the life of the conquering race." That same year (1903), in an essay for a wider audience, Farwell explained: "Because we have conquered them, mingled with them (to an extent not dreamed of by the dwellers in our Eastern cities), have been thrilled in turn by the land which thrilled them, we will inevitably have inhaled great draughts of their splendid optimism and faith, their freedom of spirit and largeness of feeling, and their power to appropriate nature's teeming stores of energy. This is not only a poetic but also a scientific fact." The thrill of the land, facilitated by the subjugation and relocation of its original inhabitants, was for Farwell both necessary and sufficient to inspire a truly American art.

What those Eastern city dwellers could not imagine, Farwell believed he knew from personal experience. Even in the frankly midwestern context of his youth, Farwell found a combination of spiritual and physical proximity to Indian life. As he put it in 1909,

The Indian, his life, customs, romance-in books or in real life-constitute a world in which every American boy revels at one time or another. I had lived in an Indian village on Lake Superior, seen the Sioux in strange sun dances, and heard the impressive speeches of the old priests. On my father's hunting expeditions, we had been taken into the great woods by Indian guides; and I had seen Sitting Bull in captivity and had heard of his exploits.... To this day I never see an Indian, especially an Indian on horseback, even in a "Wild West Show," without a tingling thrill coursing up my spine, such as I experience from the climaxes of certain music. (WJ, 77-78)

It was convenient for him that late nineteenth-century Minnesota harbored its fair share of Indian mystique, but Farwell also considered "playing Indian" to be a birthright of American boyhood. Moreover, his language reveals that, for him, the experience of seeing Native Americans in the flesh always had at least as much to do with aesthetics as with anthropology.

Despite these formative experiences, Farwell's initial approach to Native American music was hesitant. Alice C. Fletcher's modest tome Indian Story and Song from North America was the catalyst in his Indian adventures. Farwell took to heart her suggestion that these "aboriginal songs" (harmonized by John Comfort Fillmore) could become "themes, novel and characteristic, for the American composer." Farwell happened upon the collection around the time of its publication in 1899, and by 1901 he had completed the ten pieces included in American Indian Melodies, nine of which took their melodies directly from Fletcher. In fact, his setting of "The Old Man's Love Song" so resembles Fletcher's printed page that at first glance it is difficult to say whether it qualifies as a new composition at all (see example 1). Farwell was strictly faithful to Fillmore's choice of key signature, meter, and rhythmic notation, adding only expressive and dynamic markings.

As if to compensate for his literal borrowing of melodic material, Farwell dramatized his account of the impact Fletcher's book had on him. At first, he was more impressed by the strength of Indian stories than by the beauty of Indian song. In his 1902 article "Aspects of Indian Music," he described his frustration with Fillmore's harmonic settings, which he considered "too general in character to bear out the special significance of the different melodies." After a summer of ruminating on Wagnerian mythology, he "picked up the book of Indian songs again":

This time, however, I did not play these melodies over on the piano, with the elementary harmonies with which they had been provided. Divesting them of these harmonies, I sang them, as actual songs, softly to myself, taking pains to carry out the rhythms exactly as indicated. Here was a revelation! The melodies took on a new meaning. Primitive as these songs were, each now appeared to be a distinct and concentrated musical idea.... Nothing was more natural than to take advantage of the situation. In fact the combination of circumstances fairly called out for action of some kind. (WJ, 79-80)

With a combination of religious fervor and good business sense, Farwell framed his vocation as an opportunity but also a calling to "take advantage" of his newfound Indian sympathies.

As Farwell described it, his "insight into the Indian character" depended both on his own emotional investment in the material and on a strict adherence to what might be considered the sacred texts of his experience; he internalized the melodies and carried out the rhythms "exactly as indicated." But if Fletcher became his Bible, Fillmore was a false prophet who could not or did not want to allow Indian song the "heightened art value" that Farwell was sure it possessed. The chief point of contention was harmony. Farwell owned a copy of Fillmore's book The Harmonic Structure of Indian Music, but he seems to have gone out of his way to subvert Fillmore's theoretical principles. His harmonic choices veer instead toward the Wagnerian. In Farwell's setting of "The Old Man's Love Song," the third beats of measures that Fillmore had allowed to float unperturbed over tonic G-major chords have become almost spasmodic, clutching not at the expected D-F? but slipping instead to C?-E in bar 1 and C-E? in bar 2 before settling uneasily on the C-E that rests against the open fifth drone (G-D) of the left hand. Farwell enlivened what Fillmore had left static, first through bass arpeggiation (bars 7-8) and then with a striking diminished seventh chord (bar 9). He explained: "We are driven to chromatics and modern effects in harmony in order to represent those various feelings characterizing, for the Indian himself, the various emotions underlying the different songs."

Significantly, Farwell's ideas about the Indian worldview came not from adult contact with actual Native Americans, but rather from personal intuition (heavily influenced by the harmonic norms of his favorite composers) and isolated immersion in the song as artifact. Farwell was not exactly lacking in ethnological scruples. To a greater extent than many of his Indianist colleagues, he warned against "the folly of any attempt to produce great results without including the religious, legendary or life significance underlying the songs. Any attempt on the part of composers to use the mere notes of the melodies detached from their generating ideas, will lead only to a barren reproduction of the old musical forms, disguised with new colors which have in themselves no vitalizing power."

But Farwell's means of coming to understand the songs was decidedly not ethnographic. He minimized the importance of face-to-face contact and empirical observation. He emphasized instead the sufficiency of what was already, so to speak, in white possession: the melody as fixed in notation and the text translated into English. In this light, Farwell's assertions about Native America's role in the development of American music gain unmistakable overtones of imperialism: "The hunger of art growth in a new country is never appeased until every available source of new art life, and especially folk-expression, has been seized upon and assimilated.... Materialistically, America is sufficiently conquered. We have wrested a living from the soil from East to West, and now we must wrest from it its treasure of poetry."

"Dawn," "Hurakan," and the Limits of Ethnography

Farwell capitalized on his own investment in "The Old Man's Love Song," producing versions for solo voice (1908) and a cappella chorus (1901, 1937). Shortly after finishing the piano miniatures of 1901, he crafted a more extended piano piece whose title, "Dawn," is taken from the song's epigraph: "With the dawn I seek thee." Farwell cited this new work as evidence that "we have a distinctive and beautiful folk-song, born of life amidst our own forests, prairies, and mountains, which may form a worthy basis for musical art-works of larger dimensions." He framed this development as a natural step in the evolution of any national music, listing among his predecessors the ancient Greeks, Josquin, Bach, Beethoven, Dvo?ák, Grieg, Tchaikovsky, and above all Wagner. Compared with any of these composers, however, Farwell placed a greater value on fidelity to the tunes he borrowed. "Dawn" presents a strictly sectional structure (see example 2). "The Old Man's Love Song" appears verbatim over a changing background of accompanimental figurations in measures 1-40 and 65-82, and a contrasting middle section is based on an unidentified Otoe melody (bars 41-64). A gradual thickening of the texture leads to sonorous chords and an apotheosis of sorts, but repetition and reverence for the source text overwhelmed Farwell's grandiose hopes, as the composer himself seems to have admitted in a carefully couched disclaimer: "It is with no desire to forestall criticism that we state plainly our attitude toward this work, which is regarded as an essay, a reaching out into new fields, and therefore, but a partial attainment of what it is hoped to gain eventually."

Other piano solos from 1902 bear out Farwell's more ambitious aims: "Ichibuzzhi," which expands on one of the pieces in American Indian Melodies, and a new work called "The Domain of Hurakan." Like "Dawn," "The Domain of Hurakan" concerns itself with questions of creation and rebirth. But while "Dawn" depicted the tranquility of an old man's reverie, "Hurakan" offers a stormier picture as befits its namesake, a Mesoamerican wind god, whom Farwell linked to "cosmic and elemental feelings and impulses." "Hurakan" represents a significantly freer and more elaborate treatment of melodic material. One portion of a Vancouver game song is detached and used to begin the central nocturne section, which is otherwise devoted to newly composed material using motives derived from the other borrowed themes: a Pawnee game song and a Navajo "night chant." Fletcher herself praised "Hurakan" as "large and masterly ... American in scope and feeling," and Lawrence Gilman called it "a fantasy conceived in the spirit of the Indian creation-myths, a finely vigorous and notable achievement."

A critic for the Musical Courier observed that despite being a piano piece, "Hurakan" "aimed for orchestral effects," and Farwell seems to have agreed. He orchestrated the work in 1910 and before one of its performances appended an extensive program note, justifying the work's "rhapsodic" character with a fanciful program:

A traveller, at night, enters an Indian lodge near the Pacific. Within, in the glare of the firelight, he sees a company of Indians singing and swaying in the animated rhythm of the game. As he watches them their ceaseless motions seem to represent to him the eternal wash and play of the waves of the ocean, and he remembers the ancient legend which tells that "Hurakan, the mighty wind, passed over the waters and called for the earth." The traveller goes out into the night and walks along by the seashore, beyond the sound of the revellers. He hears the murmurings of the sea, and far-off melodies come to him-the sound of the wind over the water, or the distant crying of sea birds-dim sounds which die away at last into nothingness.

It requires no great leap of imagination to identify the traveler with Farwell himself: a visitor, an observer, distant and alone. As it happens, his narrative program mirrors almost exactly Fletcher's prose introduction to the "Vancouver Game Song" in Indian Story and Song. In both cases, the perspective is frankly a white one, yet with Farwell, this frankness is complicated by a deeply felt belief in his own capacity to channel "Indian spirit." An anthropological residue adheres to Farwell's story-the "game" of the game song and the "night" of the night chant remain. But these features now justify a psychological response, not an anthropological one.

Indeed, apart from the transcription work discussed below, anthropology was rarely the goal of Farwell's engagement with Native America. In the introduction to the Wa-Wan's publication Traditional Songs of the Zuñis, by the controversial arranger Carlos Troyer, Farwell makes explicit his views on the limitations of ethnography. "We have tried four methods of approach to the Indian," he writes.: "First, by fighting him; second, by seeking to convert him; third, by treating him as a scientific specimen; fourth, by offering him the hand of fellowship." Of these methods, the first yielded only "wounds, torture and death, and the material for a little superficial romance," and the second was stymied by bigotry and misunderstanding. But the third method, the scientific method, was equally unsuccessful: "By the third process we have filled the shelves of great museums with rare and valuable objects, all carefully labeled, and the museum libraries with books learnedly written by scientists for scientists. It is wonderful work, but there is an aristocracy, a free-masonry about it all, that constitutes an almost impassible barrier between it and the America [sic] people." Though better than soldiers or missionaries, museum makers preserved knowledge of Indian lifeways in forms that common Americans could not access or understand. Farwell's outlook was both loftier and, in a way, more realistic in its solipsism: Indian folklore had nothing to offer unless it could be made relevant to a contemporary worldview. As he put it in 1903, "Only where Indian life and American life meet at the shrine of the universal, will living art be born."

Perhaps to Farwell's surprise, the Indian predilections of the Wa-Wan Press caused more consternation among his critics than his anti-German fulminations. Some critics attacked the very notion of incorporating Indian song into art music. In his first anniversary issue, Farwell countered with the matter-of-fact observation that his "'Indian Melodies' have made quicker and more universal appeal, and have earned a larger demand than anything we have yet published." Later, with the benefit of hindsight, and the candor of old age, he admitted that "the Indian music, because of its novelty, became a powerful weapon of propaganda; it enabled me to reach large numbers of people. Indeed I could not have made this national campaign without it."

More difficult to stifle was the perception that the Wa-Wan Press had singled out Indian music as the only viable path to America's new "art-life." First of all, there was the "Wa-Wan" name and logo. In the white heat of Farwell's engagement with Indian Story and Song, the "Wa-Wan" rubric had seemed not only apt but prophetic. As he recalled in 1909, "I was so filled with enthusiasm over the Indian music ... that nothing but an Indian name would do. Had I foreseen at that time that such a name would mislead people as to the broadly American aims of my undertaking, I would probably have chosen otherwise.". Farwell pointed out time and time again that folk-based works were only one branch of American composition. But he was on shaky ground when he claimed that all folk materials were equal in the eyes of the press. Indians did hold a special status in the Wa-Wan's pages, especially during the early years. Thanks to the contributions of Farwell and his associates, especially Loomis and Troyer, the number of Indianist works published grossly outnumbered the total of all other folk-based pieces combined. An early brochure described "quarterly publications of American compositions and the Indian music," and the back cover of Wa-Wan issues regularly carried a concise statement of purpose that singled out Indian lore. Sometime in early 1906, Farwell made one and only one change to his mission statement, replacing "the melodies and folk-lore of the American Indians" with "the melodies of American folk songs."

The Continental Divide

Farwell was generally adamant in his insistence on national unity over sectionalism. At the end of the press's third year, he clarified: "Ordinarily, there are easterners, westerners, northerners, southerners, Bostonians and what not.... How, then, can any of these reasonably be expected to grasp, even with faint animation, the central vivifying principle of the Wa-Wan, which is forgetfulness of section in the unifying spirit of the whole?" Yet Farwell also felt that the western United States held a special potential because of its open-minded citizens and its distance from cosmopolitan Europe. During his first visit to Los Angeles, Farwell conveyed his enthusiasm to Wa-Wan readers: "We must reckon with the west. The Great Word of the west has not yet been spoken in art,-when it arises, many traditions must fall. Here the mind is overwhelmed by the vastness of nature's plan.... Already there are many ... Botticellis in the rough, scattered about these deserts and Edens of the west." Comparing contemporary America to an ancient Greece in which overcivilized Athens required renewal from its own West (Sicily and Corinth), he wrote: "History is repeating itself.... Again we have the vast, vague, significant west, and the self-centered and consciously cultured east. And the culture of the east is in part borrowed from Europe, as the eastern culture of Greece was in part borrowed from the Orient." Thankfully, the distinguishing features of the western landscape ensured that America's renaissance would be unique. "The Rockies, the plains and the Pacific," Farwell continued, "will afford another stimulus to the creative mind than the Isles of Greece."

Farwell himself found this stimulus first in Indian music and then in western peoples and places. The narrative of his artistic awakening, including the four "western tours" he undertook between October 1903 and March 1907, survives in slightly eccentric form under the title Wanderjahre of a Revolutionist, published in weekly installments by Musical America during May and June 1909. By the spring of 1903, he recalled, he was already nurturing "an ardent desire" to see the Far West for three reasons: to observe "the musical conditions of the whole country at first hand"; to give "a broad trial" to his newest compositions based on Native American themes; and "to get out into the Indian country, and hear the Indians sing" (WJ, 95).

Though Farwell sometimes cited Indians' presence in every American state as a reason for their universal appeal, especially when he wished to distinguish Indian music from black or Hispanic music, he more often associated Indians with the West-the Plains, the pueblos, or the reservations to which many tribes had already been removed. Indians may have had a ghostly presence in Farwell's native Minnesota, but he knew that his chances of hearing Indian music depended on his getting out west. The prospect of closer contact with Native American people was certainly an enticement, but Farwell already considered himself something of an Indian aficionado. In fact, the expertise he had manufactured in this area was precisely what made his westward travel possible-an irony that was not lost on the composer himself. He noted that the means of financing his trips was, "curiously enough, the very thing disparaged by such critics as had noticed it ... namely-the Indian music.... I realized that in the making of this Indian music I had forged the wings by which I could fly out of my Eastern prison" (WJ, 95-96).

Farwell called each of his four ventures a "western tour"-perhaps because each circuit extended as far as California, or perhaps simply because each involved travel beyond the cultural spheres of Boston and New York. The first trip took him from coast to coast with stops in upstate New York, his native Minnesota, Chicago, Kansas City, and Denver; he spent Christmas week at the Grand Canyon before continuing on to the West Coast for the month of January. Farwell made sure to hit cities where he had relatives or friendly contacts, and numerous music clubs and civic groups responded favorably to his advance publicity.

Ever effusive, Farwell devoted special energy to capturing the thunderous impact of the landscape during his first trip. Having reached his native state, he took a stand on the banks of the Mississippi to exclaim: "How vastly these great scenes exceed in space and grandeur anything which may be witnessed upon the Rhine! ... What great unwritten music lingers about these dreaming lands!" (WJ, 98). By the time he reached New Mexico, he was clearly, exultantly, on unfamiliar ground:

Going over the Great Divide, and into New Mexico for the first time, it is hard to believe that these strange infinite stretches of opaline desert, mesa-grit and mysterious, are part of the same old United States that we have always known. A dweller of the East, the Mississippi Valley, or the Northwest suddenly dropped down into this extraordinary region would certainly think himself nowhere except in Egypt, or possibly on Mars. And the strange beings that came crowding up to the train at stopping places-no one familiar with the Sioux or any of the Middle Western tribes would take this unfamiliar race at the first glance for Indians.... At the pueblo of Isleta, near Albuquerque, I first had the opportunity of seeing these strange and picturesque desert dwellers in the midst of their native surroundings, and of casually hearing a few of their songs. (WJ, 101-2)

On the rim of the Grand Canyon, Farwell finally found himself at a loss for words when he "arrived at the edge of the world":

I had often wondered what it would be like to die and wake up on the other side, or to be Beethoven, or Wagner, or Dante. But such slight experiences are engulfed in the great one of that first glimpse into the incredible other-world of the Grand Canyon of Arizona. One cannot write about this place. There is no word, no phrase, no description that does not belittle it, unless we go to the Apocalypse.... I sat there watching the lights and shadows play and change over the strange distances and depths of this wonderworld, and heard the unwritten symphonies of the ages past and the ages to come. (WJ, 102)

Farwell's tours were motivated by curiosity and the anticipation of modest financial gain; it quickly became apparent, however, that the chief advantage of his sojourns would be the personal contacts he made along the way. Everywhere he went, he found supportive women and like-minded men, and he expressed his appreciation of the region's receptiveness in a variety of newspaper pieces, perhaps most explicitly in Portland, Oregon, where an unnamed interviewer quoted the composer's opinion that "American ideals are purer in this section of the country, too, for one does not find so much European alloy in them, and individuals are not afraid to think for themselves and express what they think in plain terms." Farwell's regional emphasis was not lost on his western (or midwestern) audiences. Under the headline "Western Genius to the Fore," one Minnesotan reported: "It is satisfying to our Western pride to note that out of a dozen names mentioned by Mr. Farwell as among the best of the American composers, at least a half are Western men." Farwell was likewise proud to have sparked East Coast interest in "western musical expressions" (WJ, 128). Here and elsewhere, Farwell's "West" encompassed anything that was distant-literally or metaphorically-from the European past.

The lecture component of Farwell's first trip was devoted to a tripartite presentation usually titled "Music and Myth of the American Indians and Its Relation to American Composition." Most of what Farwell said on the topic can be pieced together from tour publicity and the copious review articles Farwell collected at almost every stop on his western journey and pasted into an extensive but deeply redundant scrapbook held in the Arthur Farwell Collection. Many of these clippings seem to paraphrase his lectures quite closely, and the substance of the lecture-recital changed very little from city to city. On the 1903-4 circuit, Farwell usually led with a report on the state of composition in America, paying particular attention not only to "Indian racial expression," but also to popular music, ragtime, and cowboy song. The talk's next section was illustrated with excerpts drawn mostly from the American Indian Melodies and grouped into three categories: "elemental or cosmic songs," "songs of human expression," and "songs of the superhuman." It explained "the Indian's place in American life and thought," the "indestructibility of race spirit," the worship of "the Great Mystery," and the "inseparableness of story and song." Almost every documented lecture ended with a selection of "original compositions developed from Indian themes" that expanded in tandem with the Wa-Wan's catalog of Indianist scores.

As Michael Pisani has ably demonstrated, "Indian Music Talks" were more than a passing fancy during the early twentieth century. Farwell seems to have pioneered the genre, but he was soon joined by many others, often frank imitators of his lecture-recital format. Several singers adopted portions of his program, but apparently they felt free to do the talking themselves if Farwell was not in town. Among composers, Loomis, Cadman, Troyer, and Thurlow Lieurance took lecture-recitals on the road. Yet Farwell's presentation seems to have carried especially strong anthropological authority because of his association first with Alice Fletcher and later with Charles Lummis. The earliest versions of his "Western Tour" brochures declared this kinship using the words of New York critic Henry Krehbiel, who wrote in 1902: "Miss Alice C. Fletcher has found a sympathetic companion in Mr. Arthur Farwell ... who has made the first sustained attempt to infuse [Indian melody] with poetical significance and emotion by means of harmony." Fletcher's own, private endorsement would soon follow. Shortly before Farwell set out on his lecture circuit, she declared to Farwell's mother, Sara, "how impressed I am with the progress your son is making.... His trip this Autumn will surely do him and the country good." Contemporary newspapers frequently exaggerated Farwell's ethnological expertise and especially his work with Lummis, often blurring the line between transcription and fieldwork, claiming that he lived for years "among the Indians."

Just as Farwell did, Charles Wakefield Cadman made sure that his "American Indian Music Talk" sported a veneer of anthropology. He mentioned Fletcher in the first paragraph of his descriptive brochure and took care to point out that the performance of the"Omaha Tribal Prayer" by Cadman's singer-collaborator Paul Kennedy Harper had earned "the unqualified approval of Francis La Flesche, a son of Chief Joseph of the Omaha Tribe." Yet other passages in Cadman's brochure and the structure of the talk itself emphasize musical appeal more than cultural awareness. "Musical history, psychology, and ethnology are touched upon lightly," the brochure states. Given the popularity of his Four American Indian Songs, Cadman's credentials rested more with the list of venerable singers who had already performed his music than on the scholarly sources for his tunes. Like Farwell, Cadman offered simple transcriptions before moving on to more elaborate scores-generally works by MacDowell, Troyer, and Farwell, all outnumbered by pieces by Cadman himself. But unlike Farwell, who grouped his numbers on the basis of their content, Cadman took a decidedly "musical" approach. He opened with the same "Old Man's Love Song," but immediately after it, he played an excerpt from the first movement Beethoven's "Appassionata" Sonata, op. 57 (to illustrate some shared facet of melodic construction). He juxtaposed his own idealization of "The Mother's Vow" with portions of Grieg's Peer Gynt Suite and Tchaikovsky's Symphonie "Pathétique." In perhaps the most credible of his three comparisons, one that he actually learned from Fletcher and La Flesche, he followed the "Omaha Tribal Prayer" with a "Gregorian Chant of the 7th Century" and a "Mohammedan Call to Prayer," each harmonized by Cadman himself. He wrote to La Flesche: "We sang the three religious songs first unaccompanied and as they would be heard in their native environment with afterward a simple harmonized accompaniment. This convinced the audience that all music really had its genesis in the same emotional root-springing from the same soil-and when they caught this fact-the bond of sympathy was established and the enjoyment and appreciation keen. It was most gratifying." From start to finish, Cadman aimed to explain Indian music and make it more accessible through productive comparisons with more familiar music.

By contrast, Farwell's emphasis on the particularity of Indian music is striking. In his eyes, its value lay not in its similarity to established classics, but in the departures from European tradition that it could enable. He proclaimed that Indian music "springs from, and interprets in new colors, the 'great mystery,' ... to which refreshing source American life is leading us back from the artificialities and technicalities which have latterly beset European culture." While Cadman might have adapted his format to deliver a "Negro Music Talk" or even a "Persian Music Talk" with equal ease, for Farwell, only Native America carried the "cosmic," "human," and "superhuman" powers to revitalize American music. He wanted audiences to recognize Indian ideals (not Indian sounds) as familiar: "love of nature, reverence for its great invisible powers, freedom of spirit, self-reliance and stoical courage, dignity, elemental breadth of nature, intrinsic spiritual worth." Without an understanding of the common humanity of the Indian (whose myths Farwell believed to be entirely transparent to any sympathetic mind), the progress of American art would falter: "We shall not know what Indian mythology has for us, and for the aggregate expression of the west, until we know all that the Indian has dreamed."

War and Peace

Implicit in Farwell's fervent, if imaginary, identification with the Indian is an effort to counteract some of the more egregious stereotypes that had long colored white views of Native life. Pisani counts among these "bloodthirsty warriors or traitorous scouts ... occasionally a noble chieftain or a dark, mysterious maiden ... the murderous thief, the idler and drunkard, or the embittered 'half-breed.'" Farwell considered it a source of satisfaction that his American Indian Melodies had already brought to life alternative images of Indians, "to supplant the tales of scalps and tortures which have constituted heretofore nearly the whole stock in trade of his European reputation." As Pisani has demonstrated, these stereotypes circulated in the United States as well as in Europe; but Farwell nonetheless offered a valuable corrective. His selection of "Wa-Wan" as a motto reflects this, for it memorializes a ceremony of "peace, fellowship, and song" that Farwell attempted to explicate in a new lecture-recital for his second western tour (see figure 2). In contrast to the piecemeal presentation of the original Indian Music Talk, Farwell here attempted to recreate an entire ritual, and thus to present Indian music in its most meaningful form: "These ceremonials mark the culmination of Indian racial expression; they focus and crystallize for us the inmost meanings of Indian racial life, exactly as the Greek drama preserves for us the great central truths of Greek civilization." Compressing a multiday event into a single evening, Farwell nonetheless sought to retain its ritual structure and, by extension, an aura of communal experience that foreshadows his later work in pageantry and civic singing.

More than anything he could play or say, Farwell felt that with his own Wa-Wan ceremony, he could draw audiences into an experience that would yield insight into "the Indian character." He observed: "The ritual is not someone's idea or explanation of the Indian's view of the world and of life, but is that view revealing itself ... speaking for itself in the very music which the Indian himself conceived and employed in the enacting of those scenes." This lecture-recital featured roughly a dozen tunes transcribed by Fletcher and Fillmore in their Study of Omaha Indian Music, and eight of these tunes found their way into a new piano suite that Farwell titled Impressions of the Wa-Wan Ceremony of the Omahas (1906): "Receiving the Messenger" (no. 33 in Fletcher/Fillmore), Nearing the Village" (no. 34), "Song of Approach" (no. 35), "Laying Down the Pipes" (no. 38), "Raising the Pipes" (no. 39), "Invocation" (no. 42a), Song of Peace (no. 42), "Choral" (no. 41). Apart from switching the placement of no. 42 and no. 42a, and moving the "Choral" to a valedictory position at the end of the cycle, Farwell replicates the music as it occurs during the ritual action: the formal delivery and acceptance of sacred pipes representing peace and prosperity.

As he did in the American Indian Melodies, Farwell preserves most of the essential aspects of the tunes as he found them in print, keeping Fillmore's key signatures in five of the eight pieces. Apart from the occasional elision of measures that reiterate the final note of a phrase, Farwell relies on repetition of whole tunes or multiple phrases rather than developing motives or inventing related melodic material. The overall effect, however, is rather more elaborate here than in the earlier piano miniatures. Several of the pieces involve introductory or closing gestures that expand on the borrowed melody, usually in the form of a partial reprise or an echo-an effect that Pisani finds crucial to the popular history of Indianism. The third vignette, "Song of Approach," bears this type of rhetorical frame. Like most of the melodies Farwell favored, the tune is pentatonic, linking it in early twentieth-century parlance to "primitive" musics from around the world and allowing for a variety of harmonic realizations. Fillmore's setting clearly assumed a key signature of A?; Farwell instead assumes the minor mode, and although he raises the melody by a half step, its notes occupy the same lines and spaces on the musical staff that they did in Fillmore's harmonization, yielding the peculiar result that Farwell's borrowing looks more faithful to Fillmore than it actually is.

Farwell's opening gesture (now E-F?-E instead of Fillmore's E?-F-E?) is stretched for dramatic effect and made to accommodate a flamboyant arpeggiation of chromatic harmonies before being echoed at a lower register and in a simpler guise (see example 3). His initial harmonic progression might be understood as a move from a seriously altered II7 chord (G?-B-D-F?, but with B? replacing B?) to the tonic F? minor, which itself has been transformed into a seventh chord by the E? dictated by the pitches of the borrowed melody. The impact, however, is purely coloristic. The sense of a tonal center arrives first with the bass tremolo in measure 3 marked "in imitation of Indian drum," and from this point on F? functions as a pedal, sounding in some register on almost every quarter-note beat until the rhapsodic figuration of the opening returns to close the piece. For this entire time (mm. 6-33), the accompaniment throbs a double-drumbeat figure comprising an eighth note followed by a sixteenth note-substituting length for strength in an approximation of the typical STRONG-weak articulation of the Plains tribes.

It is easy to imagine Farwell's Impressions evolving over the course of his western tour as he would have had ample chance to tinker with each setting until he was pleased with the result. In one of the earliest analytical studies of the composer, Edgar Lee Kirk in fact gave Farwell's lecture recitals credit for his fluency at the keyboard. Not surprisingly, the composer favored a more psychological explanation for the relative elaborateness of his Wa-Wan miniatures:

The pianoforte sketches based upon this ceremony have been called "Impressions" since they depend, in feeling, largely upon early memories of the Indian of the west.... They aim to reflect in some measure the peaceful nature of the ceremony, the quiet and the breadth of the prairie, and to serve as an introductory insight into certain lesser known phases of Indian life. Peace, fellowship, song,-these gifts of the Great Spirit shall not pass with the Indian, and may long remind us of the efforts and deeds through which he sought to attain them.

Though the sad fate of the Indian might already have been sealed, Indian gifts could still be handed down to future generations. Farwell considered himself in a position to transmit this legacy because he had grown up on native soil: "It is not without powerful influence upon after life [sic] to spend the impressionable years of childhood and youth there upon the very ground where so lately, and so remote from the thought of the outer world, were enacted the scenes and performed the deeds of a romantic and heroic epoch."

"Peace, fellowship, song"-though Farwell was forceful in articulating these themes, they were not necessarily what audiences wanted to hear. Among the dozens of newspaper reviews that Farwell collected while on tour, few convey anything about audience reaction. A bevy of headlines show the variety of ways in which audiences understood and misunderstood Farwell's message: "The Mental and Emotional Life of the Indian," "Myth and Song Inseperable [sic]," "Much Music in Indian Songs," and "Weird Singing Enraptures Women." One observer considered the Omaha setting "The Song of the Deathless Voice" to be "very much like 'My Old Kentucky Home,' without the 'weep no more my lady.'" The question of reception was particularly thorny where Farwell's ideas bumped up against long-standing traditions of western-themed entertainment. In an anecdotal passage from Farwell's travelogue, he relished having been mistaken for a Wild West show of the Buffalo Bill variety while visiting Kinsley, Kansas:

A stray cowpuncher, in search of a lively time, read the legend "American Indians" on a placard in the village street announcing my lecture-recital, and determined to take it in. He paid his quarter without asking any questions, like a good sport, and went into the little church where the event was about to begin. Leaning over the back of a pew, he timidly touched a man in the audience on the shoulder and said, "Say, is dis a show?" Being assured that it was, he took a seat and attended carefully; but after waiting vainly for half an hour for the scalping, or at least a little shooting to begin, he slid quietly out into the night in search of more thrilling adventures. (WJ, 100)

Farwell frequently had to contend with widely held prejudices about the West, and it should not be surprising that he also found ways to turn these stereotypes to advantage. For example, he added a "Navajo War Dance" to his catalog in what he claimed was a calculated response to public opinion that his works celebrating the "quaint, poetic, and picturesque aspects" of Indian life were insufficiently "savage": "Evidently I must reform and do something really Indian," he wrote in 1909 (WJ, 123). For melodic material, Farwell chose "something to make your blood curdle and your hair to stand on end" (EDC, 384). In fact, Farwell wrote two Navajo War Dances and, as Thomas Stoner has pointed out, the two are often confused. Both are tripartite, featuring two borrowed melodies deployed in vigorous outer sections and contrasting midsections. The more famous of the two (in common time with a key signature of E major) is usually referred to as "Navajo War Dance No. 2." It was written sometime in 1904, revised and labeled op. 29 circa 1908, and revived in the 1940s by John Kirkpatrick, who published his own edition and programmed it frequently. Together with "Pawnee Horses," it remains one of Farwell's most compelling works, and yet its origins are somewhat mysterious. Given the work's popularity, it is surprising that Farwell never divulged his source tunes. Perhaps this is because both war dances seem more at home in the solo recital than the lecture-recital.

More than any of his earlier works, the "Navajo War Dance No. 2" makes liberal use of small-scale repetition not just as a background feature but as an engine that can be manipulated to create momentum-as if Farwell's belated acknowledgment of the "savage" Indian freed him to explore rhythmic and textural considerations, not just melodic or harmonic ones. In the outer sections of the piece, the ostinato overwhelms the melody in its claim on the listener's attention. The serpentine bass line unsettles the texture, at least at first, when its not-quite-chromatic sequences of pitches is still surprising. During the first section, the figuration from bar 1 (D?-C-D-C-C?-C-C-B) or bar 2 (D?-C-D-C-C?-C-B-F?) appears in every measure that is not interrupted by a full stop in the melodic phrasing (see example 4). By bar 24, when the repetition becomes less literal, the ostinato has been so well established that a few pitch alterations have little effect on the impression of constancy.

The "Navajo War Dance No. 2" is emphatic, but circularity on many levels renders its violence curiously impotent. The motoric ostinato goes nowhere: the focal note, E, can be heard on almost every beat except at points like measure 6, where both melody and accompaniment come to rest on B in a type of primitivist half cadence. The gradual thickening of texture that gives momentum to each section is undermined by the melody's modular phrasing, which dictates abrupt halts that remain startling even after repeated hearings. The third section rises to a climax no higher than the first, and although a sequential extension (m. 50) helps prepare the listener for an ending, the possibility remains that the piece will double back on itself yet again.

Until the original tune comes to light, it is difficult to say whether the "exotic" features of the "Navajo War Dance No. 2" came from Farwell's pen or from the borrowed melody. Alas, no reviews seem to have survived from his 1907 performance in Logan, Utah, where Farwell "held forth for American music in the Mormon Tabernacle, and tried a Navajo War Dance on the elect" (WJ, 144), but composer Benjamin Lambord recognized in 1915 that the piece represented an extreme for Farwell in its "barbaric crudity," noting that the composer had "renounced almost all defined harmony, preserving only the vigorous rhythm of the dance in the bold intervals of the Indian melody." If the "barbaric crudity" was unusual for Farwell, the particular manner of his harmonic renunciation was not. Chromatic harmonies seem to have been the norm for Farwell, but both of his war dances exploit melodic chromaticism to excess. The other Navajo War Dance begins with an off-kilter chromatic scale that rumbles through the piano's lowest register.

As initially published in the folk collection From Mesa and Plain of 1905, this less famous war dance is immediately followed by Farwell's other lasting contribution to the repertoire of Indianist piano miniatures: "Pawnee Horses," which the Bostonian composer and violinist Charles Martin Loeffler called in 1949 "the best composition yet written by an American." Here we find chromatic activity of a different persuasion. The beginning, middle, and end of the piece feature a three-bar passage saturated with half steps that are designed to confuse harmonic perceptions, not to intensify the motion toward or away from a tonal center (see example 5). Although the pillar pitches for the key of C major (the tonic C and the dominant G) sound together in the opening chord, they are immediately dispersed into mutually exclusive groups as all twelve chromatic pitches are aligned and divided to present both of the available whole-tone scales, spelled G F E? D? B A and A? F? E D C B?.

For several years Farwell had advocated French and Russian models as a counterweight to American's overwhelmingly German musical life, and in "Pawnee Horses" we have evidence that he took his own advice, employing one of Debussy's favorite scales to make a pointed departure from common practice harmony. While the downward trajectory of these framing bars may be linked to the typically descending phrases of Native American melody, the accompanying sense of harmonic free fall has its roots in a resistance to the patterns of tension and release dictated by Wagnerian and post-Wagnerian harmony. Like each of the tritones in the French augmented sixth chords that Farwell so enjoyed, the whole tone scale divides the octave into equal parts, eschewing a single center in favor of a cosmic democracy of pitches. The power of C and G to solidify a tonal center is dissolved in a downward spiral of intervals that achieves a not-quite-equal division of the octave; extracting the notes played by the right thumb yields a near cycle of minor thirds starting with a fall from B to G? to F but slipping down a half step before the last minor third can sound (E-D? replaces the expected F-D).

In overall form, "Pawnee Horses" is simpler than either war dance. Once the tune gets under way, in the middle register at the pickup to bar 4, much of the mysterious atmosphere evaporates. A? takes its rightful place as an upper neighbor to the dominant G and ostinato figuration hammers home G and C almost exclusively. The two statements of the melody are separated and brought to a close by reprises of the whole-tone opening (mm. 15-17, 25-28). Farwell may have intended the regular structure and accompaniment of "Pawnee Horses" as foils for a melody that he considered "so complex and difficult in its rhythm as to render it virtually impossible as a song to be sung by any known singer except an Indian" (WJ, 124). In effect, however, the ostinato figures transfer the striking directionlessness of the whole-tone opening to rhythmic and harmonic realms.

Like the war dances, "Pawnee Horses" is built on drones and the reiteration of small rhythmic cells. In this case, however, the constant motion suggests an environment free from human intervention: "There go the Pawnee horses," the epigraph reads, "I do not want them,-I have taken enough." Two discrete layers of accompanying material surround the melody, but they take no notice of its stops and starts. The implied fade-in (soft accompaniment followed by "well pronounced" melody) and literal fade-out suggest that the listener has been privileged to catch a glimpse of nature in transit-not a dance of "savages," but the running of animals only barely tame, as Farwell states: "The melody carries the rhythm of the gallop and the spirit of the scene as only an Indian would have conceived it" (WJ, 124).

This last assertion points to the central paradox of Farwell's Indianism: the impossible claim of complete spiritual identification with borrowed material. The war dances show that he was not immune to contemporary stereotypes about native savagery, and some of his piano miniatures engage with the conventional icons of Indian removal-the "defeated warrior" and the "vanishing race." But Farwell's desire to serve as a conduit for "Indian spirit" was so fused with his self-image as a pioneer for American music that such sunset themes are outnumbered in his oeuvre by works that emphasize peace, dawn, and rebirth.

Indians Again

After 1901, Indian music was never absent from Farwell's professional life, and in fact it haunted his reputation in ways that he came to resent. By the end of his life, he could state flatly: "It is in fact a matter of regret to me that my Indian works are being brought to performance more widely than my very greatly numerous other works, not based on folk themes of any kind." Yet Farwell surely knew that he was partly responsible for his lingering Indianist associations, as he continued to adapt his earlier piano works to new formats. One of the earliest such arrangements was Three Indian Songs (1908), in which Farwell adapted three excerpts from his American Indian Melodies. Farwell described these songs as his response to the false but potentially profitable impression that he was a popular songwriter: "As I had never written an Indian song in my life except to transcribe literally and publish a little one-page 'Bird Dance Song' of the Cahuillas, I felt that if I was to make this shadowy reputation secure, the quicker I could write some Indian songs the better" (WJ, 170). As if to stamp the set with his superior ethnological expertise, particularly since he was now operating on Cadman's home turf, he selected one melody from each category in his Indian Music Talk: the cosmic "Inketunga's Thunder Song," the human "The Old Man's Love Song," and the superhuman "Song of the Deathless Voice." Unlike Cadman's sentimental fare, these were meant to be "striking modern vocal developments, boldly Indian," replete with Indian names and vocables. For each song, Farwell included English lyrics (some paraphrased from Fletcher) translating the original into the more conventional language of unrequited love and stoic death.

Farwell also made choral arrangements of four of the pieces included in American Indian Melodies, and they became favorites at Westminster Choir College in the late 1930s and 1940s. Despite his grumbling, these and a second installment of four choruses gave particular satisfaction to Farwell in his later years. He wrote to his daughter Sara in 1946: "Toscanini heard [the Westminster Choir] do my Navajo War Dance and said something to the effect that it was the best American composition he had heard. He wanted to orchestrate it, but found that as written for the voices it won't transcribe rightly for orchestra! I guess I'll make an independent orchestration ... and show it to him."

There are only two exceptions to this pattern of recycling and rearrangement, and each one shows Farwell returning to the familiar ground of Indian material when trying out a new form or genre. First, in 1914, he sketched "Indian Fugue-Fantasia" for string quartet (arranged for piano in 1938 but never published). In Evelyn Davis Culbertson's words, it is "more Fantasia than Fugue," but it does come complete with augmentation, inversion, and a contrapuntal strictness unusual for the composer (EDC, 513). More important is Farwell's single-movement string quartet of 1923, The Hako, which represents his last and by far his longest original essay on Indian themes.

Farwell had once believed that with his 1906 Impressions of the Wa-Wan Ceremony he had taken Indian melody "about as far as it will go in modern music" (WJ, 138-39). The Hako tests this hypothesis by taking a very similar ritual as the basis for a much more intricate work. Like the Wa-Wan of the Omaha, the Pawnee tribe's Hako ceremony is a protracted ritual of unification between two different tribes or clans within a tribe-one led by a man designated as the "Father" and the other led by the "Son"-whose symbolic actions are meant to ensure peace, prosperity, and the procreation of children. Both ceremonies were recorded in great detail by Fletcher, and both invest power in sacred objects created during months of preparation.

The crucial difference between Farwell's Impressions of the Wa-Wan Ceremony and The Hako is a matter of form. In the earlier work, the outlines of the Indian ritual itself provided a loosely unifying framework for a series of otherwise self-sufficient miniatures. In The Hako, the work unfolds along the lines of sonata form as understood in the nineteenth century, complete with introduction, exposition, development, recapitulation, and coda. Commissioned by the Los Angeles-based Zoellner Quartet, The Hako represents Farwell's first claim to unify western melos with the elite genres of "western" classical music.

Inserting Indian melodies into a canon so hallowed by European masterworks was no easy task, as the composer seems to have recognized. Although the work won an honorable mention at the 1926 Ojai Valley Chamber Music Festival and was performed on both coasts, Farwell was still uncertain of its success. As he wrote to Arthur Cohn (of the Dorian and Stringart Quartets) in 1935, it remained to be seen whether The Hako could be "pulled through by a vigorous and convincing performance, whether with time and understanding of its Indian implications, it will at last carry the day-or simply, whether I have set out to do too much with a string quartet." Farwell was anxious that the players should instill the performance with the proper "Indian spirit." To this end, he offered some instructions:

Certain things must be brought to [the quartet's] interpretation before it has even a chance of proving itself, e.g. the immensely reverential spirit of the Indian in general, and his immense dignity, and the unction with which each syllable is taken in his singing. Specifically, I might speak of the reverential attitude of the chanted prayer of the priests which forms the greater part of the introduction ... [and] the dignity of the processional ... where the held note of 1st vl. indicated the flatness of the plains, the 2nd vl. the swaying of the feathered stems, viola the inevitable drum, cello the priests chant.... In short the work has to be dramatized, and dramatized with an intelligent and sympathetic understanding. The hearer should feel "here is something real, purposeful, expressive, going on, even if I do not yet understand the full meaning behind it."

In Farwell's view, the composer alone could go only so far. Responsibility was shared with performers, who must adopt the proper mindset, and especially with listeners, who must cultivate the proper respect for the work's spiritual import.

Farwell did not shy away from programmatic links between his score and the ritual that inspired it. The swaying of feathers, the drum, lightning, thunder, the woodpecker and the owl-all these are meant to be audible in the quartet. More complex are the moments when ritual meanings and formal functions intersect. At the opening, for example, the priests' invocation coincides nicely with the evocative material and harmonic freedom of a sonata form introduction. Above and below a drone on E, first violin and cello intone a pentatonic melody "like a pulsating chant"; Farwell holds fast to the original tune for five measures before the drone is transferred to the bass lines and the other voices rise upward exactly as the ceremony would suggest: "like a prayer" (see example 6).

The exposition and development sections instead suggest two kinds of tension between the melody of the American West and the norms of "western" classical music. While the episodic introduction presented an "exotic" surface meant to signal "Indianness," those themes that are most crucial to the working out of the conventional sonata form exposition are couched in late-romantic harmonies that threaten to overwhelm any impression of the indigenous. In the development section, by contrast, Farwell's reverential attitude toward his borrowed melodies seems to overwhelm his ability to create momentum. The section begins with the dignified "processional" Farwell described in his letter: a complete statement of the introductory priests' chant (in its original key) is played out against the lovely "swaying" countermelody in second violin before undergoing the expected fragmentation (see example 7). At points, Farwell works with segments small enough to be called motives, but more often entire measures or pairs of measures are preserved, resulting in an overly regular pacing. This was, after all, one of Farwell's first large-scale compositions, and while it bears traces of inexperience with the genre-particularly in its unrelentingly four-voice texture-it also reveals much stronger traces of what he had already absorbed from his work with Indian music: namely an impulse to preserve as he encountered it (i.e., in western notation) melodic material that he recognized as sacred.

Farwell's attempt to reconcile the music of the West with the genres of western music proved more difficult than he might have imagined. Like the participants in the Hako ceremony, he was concerned with cycles of renewal, inaugurating a "new art-life for America," or sparking a spiritual awakening through Indian song. Most of all, it was the moment of frontiering that captured his imagination. Understanding this aspect of Farwell's westward gaze sheds some light on the enthusiasm he mustered for the grassroots projects (community choruses and historical pageantry) that occupied him after the demise of the Wa-Wan Press. It also helps explain his tendency to see even his best efforts as works-in-progress. In 1906, he prefaced his Impressions of the Wa-Wan Ceremony of the Omahas:

When all is said, when all is done that can be done today to crush or to obliterate the race that dwelt in this land before us, there still remains a dignity, a vastness, a freedom, in our memory of the Indian of the plains, an investiture of heroic circumstance, which seems destined to haunt us until it be accorded at last a full and adequate measure of artistic expression. Such an art, stripped of every detail of modern civilization, surcharged with the elemental forces of earth and sky, and the passions and deeds of heroic and primal men, may not be for the cities of the east. But it is not impossible that such a development may arise in the west.

While the historians who followed Turner grappled with the uncertain consequences of the final chapters of westward expansion, Farwell, whose frontiers were largely figurative, could instead paint an ever-receding horizon-one whose natural and human resources were inexhaustible.

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