This book is the first full-length analytical study of the music of Ruth Crawford Seeger. Crawford was a pivotal figure in the American avant-garde, the so-called 'ultra-modern' movement of the 1920s and 1930s. In addition to her historical significance, as part of the first generation of American composers to step out from the shadow of European models, her music deserves attention for its original and compelling structures and its expressive power. Crawford created new ways of writing melodies, of combining them in heterogeneous juxtaposition, of projecting musical ideas over the largest spans of time, and of structuring rhythm and dynamics alongside pitch. In her innovative musical language, Crawford wrote a small handful of works that should now take their rightful place in the musical modernist canon.
Table of Contents1. Introduction; 2. Elements of a style; 3. Six analyses; 4. Crawford's music in its context; Biography; Index.