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Dissertation/Thesis Abstract

Native American influence in the piano music of Louis W. Ballard
by Crappell, Courtney J., D.M.A., The University of Oklahoma, 2008, 166; 3355760
Abstract (Summary)

Louis Wayne Ballard (1931-2007) combined his experiences in Native American music with his knowledge of Western art music to form a unique compositional style. As a Quapaw/Cherokee Indian he worked to synthesize Western and Native American music in an endeavor to create an awareness of Native American aesthetics in the mainstream consciousness of Western audiences. This study explores Native American influence in Ballard's compositions for solo piano and piano with orchestra. These works include the Four American Indian Piano Preludes (1963), two fantasies entitled A City of Silver (1981) and A City of Fire (1983), an impromptu entitled A City of Light (1984), and a partially completed piano concerto, later finished by Brent Michael Davids and titled as the Indiana Concerto for Piano and Orchestra (2007).

Interviews with participants familiar with Ballard's life and work inform discussion of his piano works and expand the biographical data previously available in dictionaries, encyclopedias, books, and dissertations. Native American musical style and imagery found within his piano music is examined using written descriptions, transcriptions, and recordings of traditional Native American music.

Ballard was the first Native American composer to incorporate Native American musical style within a Western idiom. This study aims to make his piano works more accessible for performers and teachers and introduce audiences to the cultural resources that lie within Ballard's compositions.

Indexing (document details)
Advisor: Gates, Edward, Conlon, Paula
Commitee: Gilman, Patricia, Magrath, Jane, Stephenson, Kenneth
School: The University of Oklahoma
Department: School of Music
School Location: United States -- Oklahoma
Source: DAI-A 70/05, Dissertation Abstracts International
Subjects: Biographies, Music, Native American studies
Keywords: American, Ballard, Louis W., Indian, Native, Native American, Piano
Publication Number: 3355760
ISBN: 978-1-109-15151-0
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