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Sat, Mar 18


Boise State University Morrison Center

Lecture-recital at Boise State University

The Fusion of Western and Native American Music in the Works of Ginastera and Ballard as an Instrument of Negotiation between Cultural Identities. College Music Society 2023 Northwest Regional Conference

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Lecture-recital at Boise State University
Lecture-recital at Boise State University

Time & Location

Mar 18, 2023, 10:00 AM – 10:30 AM MDT

Boise State University Morrison Center, 2201 W Cesar Chavez Ln, Boise, ID 83725, USA

About the event

While science, technology, and innovative communication media enrich our growing globalized world, contrasts between ethnicities and cultural identities still provoke social tensions. Can music play a positive role in this scenario? Music as a language is capable of interpreting the evolution of cultural identities and functioning as an intermediary in the negotiation between ethnicities. This research aims to provide evidence that Ballard’s Four American Indian Piano Preludes and Ginastera’s Piano Sonata no. 2 op. 53 work in this sense by fusing Native-American musical elements with compositional techniques belonging to European musical artistry. In his Piano Sonata no.2 (1981), Alberto Ginastera treated indigenous music as one of the fundamental symbols of Argentine culture, as compared to the Gauchesco one. These two symbols are opposed, juxtaposed, fused in atonal textures, and ultimately gathered together as in the dream of a unified, big Latin American Nation. Louis Ballard, as a Quapaw-Cherokee composer with classical education, once declared: “I believe that an artist can get to the heart of a culture through new forms alien to that culture.” Four American Indian Preludes for Piano, a set of four descriptive pieces each one portraying a scene relevant to the Quapaw culture, are composed in a dry post-tonal language that helps deliver the Native idiom. By conducting a semantic analysis of the two pieces, I will demonstrate that both the composers were willing to connect the indigenous roots of their culture with the modern dominating post-colonial world—though each used a different approach.

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