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Sheet Music of the Week: American Indian Edition

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"American Indian Melodies," harmonized by Arthur Farwell. Newton Center: Wa-Wan Press, 1901.

On this day in 1924, Congress passed the Indian Citizenship Act, which granted citizenship to all Native Americans born in the United States. In the Muse remembers this day with American Indian Melodies, one of the first publications  by the Wa-Wan Press. Arthur Farwell, who harmonized the traditional melodies,  founded the imprint in 1901 as a vehicle for the distribution of American music.  The name Wa-Wan, which Alice C. Fletcher’s Study of Omaha Indian Music defines as  “to sing to someone,”  honors an important ceremony of the Omaha Indians which upheld peace, fellowship, and song.  Learn more about Arthur Farwell and find more of his compositions in the Song of America presentation  in the Performing Arts Encyclopedia. Read more about the Indian Citizenship Act, and evolving U.S. policy towards our indigenous peoples, in Today in History. And stay tuned to this space for news of more Wa-Wan press material which will be made available online later this year.


Comments (2)

  1. Thank you to Pat Padua and the Library of Congress for recognizing Arthur Farwell for his contribution to American music and to the Celebration of the American Indian. It is quite an honor that our grandfather has been associated with an event as great as the passage of the Indian Citizenship Act.

    And thank you to the Library of Congress for providing a resource that allows the public the opportunity to view and download Arthur Farwell’s music and the music of other American composers.

    Keep up the good work.

  2. What an amazing and creative family! I have been blessed to know (briefly) Brice and Ruth and (more long term) Jonathan and Sharon and thus, thru them, their amazing Father and Grandfather. More folk should be aware of the impact a single man and his family can have on history and posterity. Cheers from Down Under — Michael Knight (aka Forest)

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