MUSIC IN AMERICA
The way to write American music is simple. All you have to do is to be an American and then write any kind of music you wish.
The most important fact about American music of the mid- twentieth century is its diversity and vigor. In contrast to the situation in the early 1900's, when interest in and performance of music was largely limited to metropolitan centers and an American composer was a rara avis, by 1950 music was being written, played, and listened to across the land by ever-increasing numbers of people. This is not to say that our composers immediately found audiences and fame but, rather, that at least their chances for recognition and performances were as favorable here as in any other place. The growth of music departments in colleges and universities with their composers-in-residence and festival concerts helped to establish the American composer as a valuable and respected member of his community.
This chapter will be devoted to six American composers born close to the turn of the century. These men still went to Europe in the twenties for advanced study and stimulation, but when they returned they did much to create genuine twentieth-century American music. It will be