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Ruth Crawford Seeger

"Ruth Crawford Seeger (July 3, 1901 - November 18, 1953), born Ruth Porter Crawford, was a modernist composer and an American folk music specialist....... she became the first woman to receive the Guggenheim Fellowship......(her) family, including Mike Seeger, Peggy Seeger, Barbara, Penny, and stepson Pete Seeger, moved to Washington D.C. in 1936 after Charles’ appointment to the music division of the Resettlement Administration. While in Washington D.C. Crawford Seeger worked closely with John and Alan Lomax at the Archive of American Folk Song at the Library of Congress to preserve and teach American folk music. Her arrangements and interpretations of American Traditional folk songs are among the most respected.....She was one of the first composers to extend serialism to musical elements other than pitch, and to develop formal plans based on serial operations (Tick 2001)."

Ruth Crawford Seeger: Study in Mixed Accents (1930)

Ruth Crawford Seeger: Rissolty Rossolty (1939) (only 30 seconds of this work-in middle of page)

Ruth Crawford Seeger: String quartet (1931)

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Ruth Crawford Seeger's Contributions to Musical Modernism by Joseph N. Straus

"Ruth Crawford Seeger was a pivotal figure in American avant-garde music of the 1920s and 1930s. She was a friend and protégé of Henry Cowell, a student and later the wife of Charles Seeger, and a close associate of Carl Ruggles, Edgard Varèse, Dane Rudhyar, and other figures in the circle of composers whose music was described, by themselves and others, as “ultra-modern.” The ultra-moderns represented the first generation of American composers to create a self-consciously independent American music. Their music rejected the forms and sonorities of traditional European art music, including its triadic basis, and created a new musical language that favored dissonant intervals, promoted the radical independence of the parts in a polyphonic texture, explored new sound combinations, and sought new ways of structuring rhythm and timbre. In each of these aspects, the ultra-modern music of the 1920s and 1930s, and Crawford’s music in particular, anticipated and enabled the achievements of subsequent generations of American composers...."

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