Native American Song at the Frontiers of Early Modern Music

Native American Song at the Frontiers of Early Modern Music

by Olivia A. Bloechl


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Olivia A. Bloechl reconceives the history of French and English music from the sixteenth through to the eighteenth century from the perspective of colonial history. She demonstrates how encounters with Native American music in the early years of colonization changed the course of European music history. Colonial wealth provided for sumptuous and elite musical display, and American musical practices, materials, and ideas fed Europeans' taste for exoticism, as in the masques, ballets, and operas discussed here. The gradual association of Native American song with derogatory stereotypes of musical 'savagery' pressed Europeans to distinguish their own music as civilized and rational. Drawing on evidence from a wide array of musical, linguistic, and visual sources, this book demonstrates that early American colonization shaped European music cultures in fundamental ways, and it offers a fresh, politically and transculturally informed approach to the study of music in the early colonial Atlantic world.

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Product Details

ISBN-13: 9781108940832
Publisher: Cambridge University Press
Publication date: 10/15/2020
Series: New Perspectives in Music History and Criticism , #17
Pages: 301
Product dimensions: 6.00(w) x 9.00(h) x 0.68(d)

About the Author

Olivia A. Bloechl is Assistant Professor in the Department of Musicology, University of California, Los Angeles.

Table of Contents

1. On colonial difference and musical frontiers: directions for a postcolonial musicology; Part I. Transatlantic Savagery: 2. Protestant imperialism and the metaphysics of new world song; 3. The voice of possession; 4. The voice of prophecy; Part II. Staging the Indian: 5. Musicking Indians in the Stuart court masque; 6. Savage Lully; 7. Rameau's Les sauvages and the aporia of musical nature; Conclusion. Opera, elsewhere.

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