Collection Items

  • Biography
    Arthur Farwell (1872-1952) Biography. Although Arthur Farwell did not intend to pursue a professional career in music, he became one of America's most influential composers, with over 100 compositions to his name. He is best known for his works based on Native American themes; however, he also used cowboy tunes, African-American spirituals, and Spanish-Californian melodies as the basis of his compositions. Initially, his musical style reflected a...
  • Biography
    H. T. Burleigh (1866-1949) Biography. Although his name is relatively unknown, Harry Thacker Burleigh (named Henry after his father) played a significant role in the development of American art song, having composed over two hundred works in the genre. He was the first African-American composer acclaimed for his concert songs as well as for his adaptations of African-American spirituals. In addition, Burleigh was an accomplished baritone, a meticulous...
  • Biography
    Will Marion Cook (1869-1944) Biography. Biography. Biography. One of the most important figures in pre-jazz African-American music, Will Marion Cook is also one of its better known personalities. As a composer, conductor, performer, teacher, and producer, he had his hand in nearly every aspect of the black music of his time and worked with nearly every other important musician in his fields. Uncompromising and difficult to work with,...
  • Biography
    R. Nathaniel Dett (1882-1943) Biography. Robert Nathaniel Dett was born in Drummondsville, Ontario, Canada, on October 11, 1882. His ancestors were among the slaves who escaped to the North and settled in that slave-founded town. In 1901, Dett began studying piano with Oliver Willis Halstead in nearby Lockport. Three years later he was admitted to the Oberlin Conservatory, where he majored in piano and composition. In 1908, Dett...
  • Biography
    Edward Alexander MacDowell (1860-1908) Biography. Edward MacDowell was one of the most celebrated American composers in the nineteenth century. His compositions won the approval of music critics, both in Europe and the United States, as well as of his contemporaries, including composers such as Franz Liszt and Joachim Raff. MacDowell's early works bear the influence of his training in Germany, reflecting European styles and cultures. Nearly all of...