Major Figures in American Music is the core unit of Oral History of American Music. It consists of over 1000 interviews with composers, performers, and other significant musicians. The first subjects were those most fragile in terms of age and health, such as Eubie Blake, Nadia Boulanger, Aaron Copland, Harry Partch, Charles Seeger, Claire Reis, and Virgil Thomson. Among other senior composers interviewed during the OHAM's first decade were John Cage, Lou Harrison, Ernst Krenek, Leo Ornstein, and William Schuman. As OHAM proceeded, composers actively involved in their careers were included and have been updated periodically. To name a few: John Adams, Anthony Braxton, David Del Tredici, Lukas Foss, David Lang, Steve Reich, and Julia Wolfe. OHAM's program also includes oral histories with emerging young talents, with the plan to track their careers as they unfold in the future. In addition to interviews with primary subjects, the core unit includes testimonies from secondary sources about George Gershwin, Henry Cowell, Harry Lawrence Freeman, Percy Grainger, and Arnold Schoenberg.
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Conditions Governing Access:
Yale users can login to Aviary using their Yale University ID, to stream these interviews without restriction. Other users are able to request access to interviews directly through Aviary.