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Beach's Gaelic Symphony


Beach's "Gaelic" Symphony, the first American symphony composed by a woman, came about at a time when composers and critics were beginning to ask what "American" music should be. Dvorak offered the most stirring solution with his New World Symphony, which found inspiration and material in Native and African-American music. Beach, thoroughly of New England stuff, felt that an American music of the "North" should reach into the music traditions of England, Ireland, and Scotland - the Gaelic traditions. Later she would pivot, sourcing her inspiration in Native music as well as African-American music.  

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