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Mavericks and Other Traditions in American Music$
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Michael Broyles

Print publication date: 2004

Print ISBN-13: 9780300100457

Published to Yale Scholarship Online: October 2013

DOI: 10.12987/yale/9780300100457.001.0001

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“Prologue to the Annual Tragedy”

“Prologue to the Annual Tragedy”

(p.92) Chapter 5 “Prologue to the Annual Tragedy”
Mavericks and Other Traditions in American Music

Broyles Michael

Yale University Press

The emergence of modernism in the American musical world represents a dramatic break with the past. Initial attempts to plant musical modernism on American soil proved futile, but change finally occurred in the 1920s, thanks to a group of headstrong, individualist, imaginative, creative maverick composers. It happened in 1922, when ultramodern musicians, helped by sympathizers in the other arts, began to launch what became a successful campaign to establish modernism in American music. These ultramoderns succeeded because they organized in a way no musicians had done before, thus dramatically transforming relationship between artist and the public. In New York, it was the American photographer Alfred Stieglitz who had helped make modernism part of the art world since the beginning of the twentieth century. The man who had his pulse on American music in 1920 was Paul Rosenfeld, the most important voice for the musical avant-garde from 1917 through the 1920.

Keywords:   modernism, American music, maverick composers, arts, ultramoderns, New York, Alfred Stieglitz, Paul Rosenfeld

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