chapter  6
Composing America
Pages 33

This chapter addresses the composer's thought, world's products of considerable mixing that reflect different visions of an America that is deployed across a fractionated social order. The musical background of Spike Lee's film alternates between the vernacular-inspired symphonic music of Aaron Copland and the rap sounds and lyrics of Public Enemy. Certainly Copland aligned himself with composers who drew from vernacular sources, but he aimed at transcending specific idioms to create a uniquely American music. The Coyote Springs band becomes the carrier of hybrid blues idiom at the center of the novel, as their lyrics reflect the individual and collective catastrophes of Native Americans. The impact of music's dissemination on cultural mixing is evident in the cosmopolitan perspective of the contemporary writer Salman Rushdie, who illustrates the effects in his novel The Ground Beneath her Feet. Clyde Woods elaboration of blues epistemology is offered as an antidote to plantation bloc explanation.