Americanizing Bizet’s “Carmen”

When I first scrolled through all the genres listed on the Alexander Street Jazz Music Library, the “Opera and Operetta” category immediately caught my eye, as jazz and opera rarely intersect. Only three results popped up, once of which was titled “Modern Jazz Performances from Bizet’s Carmen” by American jazz guitarist Barney Kessel [1]. The album, released in 1986, takes popular motifs from Bizet’s opera and transforms them into jazz tunes, featuring guitar, brass, woodwind, and percussion instruments.

Georges Bizet (1838-1875) was a French composer who wrote the opera Carmen three months before dying [5]. Carmen takes place in Seville, Spain and places heavy emphasis on the exoticisms of both Spain and the gypsy world. Bizet was drawn to the exotic cultures and music of non-Western European countries, and additionally wrote operas set in Sri Lanka and Egypt [4]. Habanera, or “Havanan Dance,” is sung by the title character Carmen as soldiers in the town square flirt with her and other female workers [3]. The aria frequently repeats the words “L’amour est enfant de bohème,” or “love is a gypsy child.” While Bizet allegedly believed the Habanera to be a folk song, he actually stole it from Spanish composer Sebastian Iradier. Bizet was forced to acknowledge Iradier after this was brought to his attention. 

I decided to focus on comparing Bizet’s famous “Habanera” with Kessel’s version, titled “Free as a Bird.” Habanera begins with a simple, pulsating cello ostinato that continues throughout the entire aria, against the soprano’s descending chromatic line. The rest of the strings join in pizzicato, along with the flute. The triangle and tambourine provide percussive elements.


In “Free as a Bird,” the guitar replaces the cello, and the soprano solo is traded between the saxophone and the flute. While Kessel essentially uses the same melody as Habanera, he adds other contrasting motifs and harmonies, as well as more complex percussion. Towards the middle of the track, the guitar plays a solo improvisation-sounding cadenza, taking Habanera’s basic melody and harmonizing it with 7 and diminished chords, common in jazz music. He then adds in a drumset, gives the melody to the brass, and has the guitar improvise on top. 

What I found most interesting about this album was Kessel’s choice to take Bizet’s melodies and essentially American-ize them by using jazz instruments and chord progressions. The album is also purely instrumental, thus removing all of Bizet’s French text. This choice is ironic, because Bizet did a similar thing when choosing to compose Carmen. As a French composer, he took, and sometimes stole, Spanish melodies, and made them more Western by adding French libretto and generally Western-sounding orchestration. However, Kessel’s adaptation of Bizet’s melodies is not as controversial in my opinion, because Bizet stole non-Western “exotic” music, whereas Kessel took music from a white French composer (and fully credited him).


  1. Barney Kessel : Modern Jazz Performances from Bizet’s Carmen. Recorded January 1, 1986. Contemporary, 1986, Streaming Audio.
  2. “Habanera Lyrics, Translation, and History.” liveaboutdotcom. Accessed 11 Nov. 2019.
  3. Henson, Karen. “Exoticism in Carmen.” Bizet: Carmen; Columbia University. Accessed 11 Nov. 2019.
  4. Macdonald, Hugh. “Bizet, Georges.” Grove Music Online. 2001; Accessed 11 Nov. 2019.

Rhapsody in Blue

After its 1924 premiere in New York City, George Gershwin’s ‘Rhapsody in Blue’ caught the attention of both critics and audiences, and Gershwin became known as the “man who had brought jazz into the concert hall” [1]. Gershwin intentionally combined musical styles from the classical and jazz worlds, creating controversy due to the African-American roots of jazz. As current discourse surrounding appropriation constantly increases among musicians, one may wonder why Gershwin, who was not black, would insert jazz music into his classical compositions.

Gershwin (1898-1937) began as a song plugger in NYC’s Tin Pan Alley when he was only 15 years old. He later became involved in writing Broadway shows, and eventually started composing concert music [1]

As Evan Rapport describes in his article “Bill Finegan’s Gershwin Arrangements and the American Concept of Hybridity,” widespread ideas surround ‘white’ versus ‘black’ music were incredibly binary and distinct from one another during the 1920s. As a result, ‘Rhapsody in Blue’ was considered a ‘symphonic jazz’ piece, a ‘hybrid’ of black and white music. Rapport states:

“[The concert] exploited the taboo appeal of playing music widely associated with popular entertainment and African Americans in a concert hall mostly patronized by wealthy white elites, with boasts such as “the first jazz concert that was ever given in the sacred halls of a symphonic hall“–although black composers and performers were absent from the concert, along with any mention of the black origins of jazz” [4].

Gershwin was so comfortable using black musical ideas because he regarded jazz as American, not specifically black, music; “In speaking of jazz there is one superstition . . . which must be destroyed. This is the superstition that jazz is essentially Negro. . . . Jazz is not Negro but American.” To Gershwin, “Jazz was ‘the voice of the American soul,’ which was ‘black and white . . . all colors and all souls unified in the great melting pot of the world’.” Others, however, believed that Gershwin was ‘diluting’ the quality of classical and jazz music by combining them [4].

Another fact to consider when speculating Gershwin’s intention behind ‘Rhapsody in Blue’ is his Jewish heritage, and the “ambiguous racial position of Jewish Americans” at the time; “His Jewish race existed between black and white, linked to blackness and European otherness, and shaped by centuries of antisemitic rhetoric.” Gershwin’s use of jazz idioms could have therefore been geared “towards the possibility of immigrant assimilation and racial and social mobility in the New World” [4].

In a 1965 annual pops concert at the St. Olaf College Gymnasium was themed around Gershwin’s ‘Rhapsody in Blue’ featuring a student as the piano soloist accompanied by the Chamber Band. The article describes the set-up:

Tables for four complete with tablecloths and candles will cover the gym floor, thus providing a cozy atmosphere. These will be on a first come, first served basis. During the first intermission refreshments will be served to those seated at the tables. During the second intermission those at the tables will be asked to change places with those in the bleachers who will in turn be served refreshments” [3]

This article echoes Rapport’s description of ‘Rhapsody in Blue’s’ premiere; St. Olaf, filled with a mostly white audience,  attempts to turn its gymnasium into a prestigious concert hall complete with tablecloths, candles, and refreshments. In my opinion, “Rhapsody in Blue” is a valuable American piece to study and perform, but one must discuss and consider its racial context and origins to understand Gershwin’s musical intentions.


  1. Carnovale, Norbert, Richard Crawford, and Wayne J. Schneider. “Gershwin, George.” Grove Music Online. 2001. Oxford University Press. Date of access 3 Nov. 2019, <>
  2.  Gershwin, George et al. Rhapsody in blue : American in Paris. Place of publication not identified: Vox, 1901. Print.
  3.  “Pop concert features ‘Rhapsody in Blue’.” The Manitou Messenger (1916-2014),  No. 5, Vol.078, March 12, 1965, page(s): 1
  4.  Rapport, Evan. “Bill Finegan’s Gershwin Arrangements and the American Concept of Hybridity.” Journal of the Society for American Music 2.4 (2008): 507-30. ProQuest. 3 Nov. 2019 .

Ives and Masculinity

Charles Ives (1874-1954) was known as perhaps the most influential American composers of the 20th century; “by his centenary in 1974 he was recognized worldwide as the first composer to create a distinctively American art music” [1]


Unlike the careers of many other prolific composers, he spent most of his working for insurance companies, composing only on the side. As a result, he was sometimes regarded as an amateur and did not become widely successful until late in his life. 


One hallmark ‘American’ feature of his music was his tendency to borrow Protestant hymn melodies and American popular songs, complexifying and inserting them into his pieces. He also heavily quoted European composers in his music, such as Beethoven, Bach, and Massenet [1].


However, Ives constantly went back and revised pieces he had already written, often times adding more dissonance to pieces as time went on, perhaps suggesting a level of insecurity in his composition. In 1921, Henry Bellamann, dean of Chicora College for women, wrote Ives and proposed to program his Concord piano sonata on a lecture recital. Ives’s reply “shows his reluctance to accept praise without a veil of self-deprecation” (Burkholder 215). Ives writes, “I am afraid [the Concord Sonata] will arouse little enthusiasm with most audiences…perhaps by this time you have decided that to undertake my music will be a too arduous and thankless job” (Burkholder 215). He also encourages Bellamann to feel free to make any revisions desired to the sonata. It is somewhat unclear what Ives means by the statement that his piece will be unsuccessful with “most audiences;” either he is unconfident in the sonata, or he thinks it is too good for average listeners to appreciate. I think that it is likely a combination of both sentiments. 



Ives’s father, who had taught Charles his fundamental knowledge in counterpoint and composition, died prematurely and suddenly in 1894 [1]. Ives’s health later began deteriorating, and he developed both diabetes and depression (which he refused to acknowledge and referred to as ‘n  x’). He also suffered from tremors, making it necessary for his wife and daughter to transcribe his letters for him. 


In a 1938 letter to composer and friend John Becker, Ives rants, “These Philharmonic-nice-lady-bird-afternoon-tea-parties are an insult to music and to ‘man’…any American Music (that is not American but made in America) the Philharmonic, the Boston Symphony….play has to be ‘emasculated’ to get the saps’ okay. I would get in a row with these g*dd*mn sissy conductors if I came within cussing distance” (Burkholder 237). Ives argues that ‘feminine’ music is inherently European and not truly American, regardless of where it was composed. This sentiment is interesting, considering Ives drew significant influence from European composers and often quoted them in his pieces. 


In my opinion, the sudden loss of a father figure combined with his forced reliance on the women in his life likely contributed to Ives’ anger towards women and ‘feminine’ music. His insertion of ‘masculine’ traits into his compositions reflect his own insecurities, also evident in how often he revised already composed pieces. However, I am honestly not sure where his view of Americanness and masculinity as synonymous originated from. 


  1. Burkholder, J. Peter, James B. Sinclair, and Gayle Sherwood. “Ives, Charles.” Grove Music Online. 2001. Oxford University Press. Date of access 23 Oct. 2019, <>
  2. Burkholder, J. Peter . Charles Ives and His World . Princeton, N.J: Princeton University Press, 1996. Print.

Goin’ Home

Antonin Dvorak (1841-1904) was a Czech composer who simultaneously exerted substantial influence over the development of American music. 


After extensive persuasion from the National Conservatory of Music, Dvorak travelled to the U.S. in 1892 to direct the school. The president of the conservatory, Jeanette Thurber, wanted Dvorak to found a nationalist, uniquely American style of music (which is ironic because he wasn’t American and hadn’t spent time in America prior to this visit). He remarked, “The Americans expect great things of me. I am to show them the way into the Promised Land, the realm of a new, independent art, in short a national style of music!” (1).


Dvorak turned to black spirituals and folk music as inspiration for American musical sounds:

I am of the opinion that African American songs can provide a secure foundation for a new national school of music and I have arrived at the conviction that the young musicians here merely require prudent direction, earnest application, encouragement and the support of the public in order to co-create a new music school” (2)


Dvorak therefore turned to black student H.T. Burleigh, requesting that he educate him regarding African-American spirituals and plantation songs (1). The New York Philharmonic premiered Dvorak’s “New World Symphony” soon after in 1893, and while Dvorak stated that he did not directly quote any Negro spirituals, he extensively studied the songs and attempted to reflect their characteristics in his work (2).


Years later in 1922, William Fisher, a former student of Dvorak’s, set to words the quintessential Largo melody from the New World Symphony’s second movement. I had actually heard the song, “Goin’ Home” (or Going Home), years ago sung by the British boy choir “Libera.” At the time, I had no knowledge of the song’s history, or of its original inspiration.



Fisher describes the song as follows:

“The Largo, with its haunting English horn solo, is the outpouring of Dvorak’s own home-longing, with something of the loneliness of far-off prairie horizons, the faint memory of the red-man’s bygone days, and a sense of the tragedy of the black-man as it sings in his “spirituals.” Deeper still it is a moving expression of that nostalgia of the soul all human beings feel. That the lyric opening theme of the Largo should spontaneously suggest the words ‘Goin’ home, goin’ home’ is natural enough, and that the lines that follow the melody should take the form of a negro spiritual accords with the genesis of the symphony” (3).



Fisher’s description of the melody differs from Dvorak’s, making it difficult to discern the intention behind the work. Dvorak initially stated that the symphony was inspired by black folk music, but he never directly quoted its tunes, and rather composed the melody to be universally applicable to all Americans. However, William Fisher, whose history included arranging countless negro spirituals, printed “Goin’ Home” in stereotypically black dialect (“I’m jes’ goin’ home). While Fisher was clearly appropriating black spirituals, he wasn’t technically using a black melody. Since Dvorak did not use an original spiritual melody, he was not profiting off of black culture in the same way that Fisher was by arranging other spirituals, even though Dvorak’s intentions were nonetheless problematic.


The message and connotations of “Goin’ Home” would have been different had Dvorak pulled the Largo’s melody directly from a black folk tune. It still would have constituted appropriation, but it also would have highlighted authentic folk music from a marginalized community on an international platform. By coming up with his own melody, Dvorak was not truly authentic and American; this would have been essentially impossible given that he was not innately familiar with black folk traditions. My main argument is that neither option would have been a great choice for Dvorak and Fisher, but the fact that the New World Symphony and Goin’ Home’s melody isn’t a literal negro spiritual changes its connotations.


  1. Döge, K.  (2001). Dvořák, Antonín. Grove Music Online. Retrieved 16 Oct. 2019, from
  2. (2005). Dvorak and New York. Retrieved 16 Oct. 2019, from
  3. Dvorak, Anton, Fisher, William A. Goin’ home- medium voice in D flat. Boston: Oliver Ditson Company, 1922 

White Choirs Singing Spirituals

On January 28th, 1956, famous poet Langston Hughes wrote an article for the Chicago Defender titled “Concerning the Singing of Spirituals Today.” 


Langston Hughes (1902-1967) was an American poet, writer, and leader of the Harlem Renaissance, whose texts have been set to music in over 200 songs (1). He wrote a column every week for the Chicago Defender, a popular black newspaper, where he “chose the pen to convey the suffering and dreams of his people” (2).


In this article, Hughes argues that intent is imperative when singing negro spirituals, specifically for people whose ancestors were never slaves. He states:


“When the spirituals came into being one of the trials and tribulations, frustrations and bewilderments of slavery, they must have had an intense and immediate meaning for the people who made them up and who sang them out of their hearts in the dark hours of bondage…In the days when slaves had neither freedom nor doctors, song must have been a great factor in soothing the wounds of flesh and soul” (3).


Hughes believes that spirituals are integral to meaningful concerts; they have more power compared to other songs in captivating the audience and fostering a universal sense of love and healing. Even when singers do not understand the meaning behind them, spirituals still retain this inherent power.


However, as Hughes acknowledges, many listeners held issue with hearing white choirs sing spirituals. Hughes describes, “The spiritual may easily become the mark of the stereotype – the ever singing Negro” (3). Nonetheless, Hughes believes that once a song is sung, the “song is freed as it is sung..for friend or foe to enjoy impartially. Like all the common gifts of God or nature…the songs may then belong to anyone” (3). There will always be singers who demean and depreciate the music they sing, and who sing for reasons other than their personal joy, but those who invest time and effort in learning the history behind spirituals are fully capable of singing spirituals in a meaningful way.

Hughes advises singers who wish to perform spirituals to consult the works of black poets and scholars. Singers shouldn’t only learn the spirituals on their concert program; rather, they should learn many of the greatest spirituals, and choose which ones having meaning for them. White singers “may unintentionally make of their singing of these songs “stereotypes,” not by design, but simply through immaturity or lack of understanding…When they are sung purely for entertainment…then a little minor crime is committed” (3).

Question still remains nowadays as to whether all choirs should sing spirituals. The St. Olaf Choir, directed by Anton Armstrong, programs several spirituals on all of its concerts. 

Here is an example of them singing “Ride On King Jesus,” arranged by Moses Hogan, on their 2017 tour:

Here is another example of a predominantly white choir singing a spiritual, titled “Keep Your Lamps”:


Anton Armstrong instructs singers in the St. Olaf Choir to sing the words to “Ride On King Jesus” in the dialect slaves would’ve used at the time the song was written. The choir uses darkened vowels, says “da” instead of “the,” and “hinda” instead of “hinder,” to give a few examples. This choir’s performance differs from the Bishop Shanahan High School performance, who sings Keep Your Lamps at an upbeat and exciting tempo and makes no change in how they pronounce the words of the song. While I cannot give a definitive opinion as the rights white people have over singing traditionally black music, I think that being sensitive to pronunciations and the history of the songs is important.


  1. Brown, R.  (2001). Hughes, (James Mercer) Langston. Grove Music Online. Retrieved 9 Oct. 2019, from
  2. The Helix, Volume V , Volume 5 – Issue 9 – 12 12 1968 , 1968 – 1969 © Bowling Green State University
  3. Hughes, L. (1956, Jan 28). Concerning the singing of spirituals today. The Chicago Defender (National Edition) (1921-1967) Retrieved from

Minstrel Shows at School?

Carl Cass was a professor at the University of Oklahoma School of Drama, and wrote a newspaper article titled “Racial and Conventional Types of Make-up” in 1949. 


He begins the article by dividing all races and ethnicities into the following categories: The Yellow Race, The Negro, The American Indian, The Brown Race, The Clown, and The Minstrel.


He describes the physical characteristics and facial features that he believes accompany each race, and offers instructions on how to apply makeup to most resemble this race.

Cass distinguishes between “The Negro” and “The Minstrel,” stating,”Many amateurs tend to confuse the coloring of a negro with that of a minstrel that is really a clown-caricature of a negro” (1). According to Cass, manufacturers sold shades of makeup labeled “light negro” and “mulatto,” which are much lighter in color compared to “minstrel black.”


In addition, he includes a blurb for each race describing their typical facial features. For the minstrel, Cass articulates,

“The lips tend to be thick and protruding. They may be painted as wide as desired, and, occasionally, they may be made to protrude by inserting soft rubber or chewing gum under them…Color a wide strip around the mouth for the lips with either white or very pale flesh-colored grease paint – red is a very inferior color because it lacks contrast with black” (1)


It is interesting how blackface performers placed such an emphasis on the white strip around their lips; perhaps they wanted to ensure that the audience knew they were actually white.


As one of the article’s ‘lessons,’ Cass instructs readers to “Select from papers and magazines pictures of both men and women of all races and nationalities…Classify these pictures and study them” (1)


The author of this article was a professor of drama at the University of Oklahoma, which indicates that minstrel shows were popular with both the general public and college students, and colleges were instructing students in the ‘art’ of minstrelsy.


This advertisement for the National Thespians lists its 1934-5 season “Banner Plays,” described as including “hits for schools, colleges, universities…and all other drama groups.” Enrollment in The National Thespians was open to students with extensive theater experience. Several of these shows include minstrel acts.

The fact that minstrel shows were performed in schools raises the question of intent, and how these shows infiltrated academia. 

Stephen Johnson also poses this question of intent in his book Burnt Cork; he states:

There are questions of intent: whether blackface performance was integrationist, working class, and populist, parodying and complaining about those in power…or whether it was segregationist and derogatory, reinforcing a white status quo of superiority…or both” (3). 

In the case of minstrel performance in schools, the intent was seemingly the latter. Drama teachers taught minstrel makeup application alongside instruction in how to dress like a clown, or how to tailor choice in makeup for the stage. From my interpretation, minstrel shows in schools were simply a part of the standard curriculum, enforcing white supremacy whether the students and professors necessarily realized it or not.

  1. Cass, C. B. (1949, 05). Racial and conventional types of make-up. Dramatics, 20, 6-8. Retrieved from
  2. Advertisement: BANNER PLAY BUREAU, INC. (1934, Oct 01). The High School Thespian, 6, 0-0_2. Retrieved from
  3. JOHNSON, S. (Ed.). (2012). Burnt Cork: Traditions and Legacies of Blackface Minstrelsy. University of Massachusetts Press. Retrieved from

Alan Lomax: “Appendix on Guitar and Banjo Accompaniment”

Alan Lomax (1915-2002) was an American folksong scholar who dedicated his studies to searching for new folk songs to record in the rural South using an ethnographic lens. He investigated the correlation between folk song structures and melodies with folk musicians’ races, locations, and economic status. He compiled many manuscripts during his research, one of which, the “Big Ballad Book,” includes his “Appendix on Guitar and Banjo Accompaniment” [1].


He begins his appendix by describing his findings related to the differences in folk music between black and white communities. He states that white frontiersmen generally sang solo a cappella, whereas “Most Negro singing was group performed and was accompanied at least by clapping, foot-patting, and, frequently, by other instruments, played poly-rhythmically, such as the mouth-bow, the panpipe, the bones, etc.” [2], page 2.


However, according to Lomax, white folk musicians had been recently picking up influences from black musicians they met either “on the job” or “in the slums” [2], page 2. This phenomenon of stealing a culture’s music while simultaneously oppressing that culture was, and is, common among colonizers. They also encountered these ideas through the radio, recordings, and touring minstrel groups. As a result, white folk musicians began incorporating instruments into their songs. 


Lomax additionally comments on the practice of judging folk music through a Western lens. As he points out, Western European harmonic traditions were formed in urban areas, whereas folk music developed in rural parts of America. 


“Although Harmony is taught in schools as if its rules were laws of nature, classical Western European harmony is, in fact, just one more fashion …subject to change as the mood of mankind changes…to graft the ideas of this sophisticated urban music onto the sober, workaday back of folk music is an act of vanity and poor taste” [2], page 2.


As a result, composers like Beethoven and Copland who arranged folk songs for concert settings failed to capture the songs’ emotional tension and melodic simplicity; they made “no contribution to the lasting tradition of the song” [2], page 3. Lomax attributes this to the fact that these composers have not lived with the people from these folk traditions they are adapting from, and yet their arrangements caught on with the public while lacking authenticity. 


Furthermore, Lomax highlights several misconceptions surrounding folk music. He argues that many perceive folk music as based upon improvisation rather than strict structure, and consequently feel free to adapt or arrange songs as they choose.  In actuality, the minimal improvisation that can appear does so in a familiar and traditional way. He also states that while many believe that folk songs evoke individuality, a folk singer actually serves as the “mouthpiece of his culture or subculture” [2], page 5.


Finally, Lomax offers a beginner’s tutorial in how to play folk banjo and guitar, including diagrams of rhythmic strumming and picking patterns like “Carter Family’s Lick” and “Woody’s Lick.” 


The numbers above the notes indicate which strings to pluck, 6 being the lowest string. “Abs” means ‘any bass string.’ The letters below the notes indicate which fingers to use to pluck or strum the strings; “Br” means brush the strings with the first three fingers, and “T” means to use the thumb. The arrows indicate which direction to strum.


  1. Lomax, Alan, and Alan Lomax. Alan Lomax Collection, Manuscripts, Big Ballad Book, -1991. to 1991, 1961. Manuscript/Mixed Material.
  2. Porterfield, Nolan, and Darius L. Thieme. “Lomax family.” Grove Music Online. 2001; Accessed 23 Sep. 2019.


Alice Fletcher: “Indian Songs: Personal Studies of Indian Life”

Alice Fletcher (1838-1923) was an American ethnologist who worked for the Peabody Museum of American Archaeology and Ethnology. She extensively studied the Great Plains Indians, and was frequently able to gain their trust and immerse herself in much of their daily lives. She recorded and transcribed hundreds of songs and recorded observations of their rituals and music (using Western notation, similar to Frances Densmore). While she seemed to care about the Native Americans she interacted with, and even helped one woman get a loan to attend medical school, she also advocated for the Dawes Act, which redistributed reservation land and broke up tribes with the goal of assimilation (1).


This excerpt narrates her experience living on an Omaha reservation. She begins by asking to observe a dance, and her “Indian guide” leads her to a white tent filled with men and women sitting around a large drum (2). She states, “I was startled by a sudden mighty beating of the drum, with such deafening yells and shouts that I feared my ears would burst” (page 1); this echoes Drake’s description of Native American singing as shriek-like. As the music and dancing continues, she describes, “I felt a foreignness that grew into a sense of isolation…I was oppressed with its strangeness…It was nothing but tumult and din to me; the sharply accented drum set my heart to beating painfully and jarred my every nerve” (page 2). She doesn’t see the sounds she hears as music because it doesn’t sound like typical Western classical music, and she, along with many others, holds Native American music to a Western standard. She additionally writes, “The outstretched arms brandishing the war-clubs…called up before me every picture of savages I had ever seen,” calling the Native Americans “terrible creatures” (page 3). The use of the word “savage” relates to all of the course readings we have done so far, which contrast the white view of Native Americans as violent and savage while also nostalgic.


However, in the next paragraph she says that she later “had a laugh with her red friends” over this incident; she sees some Native Americans as savages, and others as her friends. Fletcher grew ill and Native Americans would come sing softly to her without a drum; “the last vestige of the distraction of noise and the confusion of theory was dispelled, and the sweetness, the beauty, and the meaning of these songs were revealed to me…from that time forth I ceased to trouble about scales, tones, rhythm, and melody” (4). She seems to finally realize that she shouldn’t base all musical analysis off of Western scales, and finishes her account by describing different types of songs and transcribing several.


  1. DeVale, Sue Carole. “Fletcher, Alice Cunningham.” Grove Music Online. 2001; Accessed 16 Sep. 2019.
  2. Fletcher, Alice C. “INDIAN SONGS.: PERSONAL STUDIES OF INDIAN LIFE.” Century Illustrated Magazine (1881-1906), 01, 1894, 421,