Louis W. Ballard e la musica colta dei nativi americani


  • Emanuele Arciuli




Louis Wayne Ballard (1931-2007) was the first native american to become a classical composer in the tradition of Western music. Despite to his historic importance, his figure is not yet so well-known and his music is rarely performed even in the States. This short essay tries to bring a contribution to a better knowledge of Louis W Ballard’s personality, his life and his music. His style combined the strong commitment in Native American music with his deep knowledge of Western music to create a unique compositional style, and was endeavoring a better awareness of Native American aesthetics in the mainstream consciousness of Western audiences. This study shows Native American influence in Ballard's compositions as well the development of his own style, thanks to the influences of such teachers as Béla Rósza, Darius Milhaud and Mario Castelnuovo Tedesco. It includes a short list of his major works for piano, choir, orchestra and chamber ensembles. This study reports the pedagogical aspects of Ballard’s work, including books on Native American music and dance. This contribution aims to make his works more accessible for performers and teachers and introduce audiences to an important figure, not only for Native American culture but also for American music in full.


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