It took hearing a love song to change Thurlow Lieurance's life.
During the fall of 1911, the composer and musician heard and recorded a haunting melody while visiting the Crow Reservation in Montana.
The melody stuck with him.
Lieurance was inspired to compose "By the Waters of Minnetonka."
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It brought him international fame and encouraged many Americans to have a growing awareness and appreciation of American Indian music.
Lieurance later wrote:
"That night marked an epoch in my life, opened to me a new world. What work I have since done has been due chiefly to that song."
Lieurance served as the dean of fine arts at Wichita University — now Wichita State University — from 1926 to 1945.
He was born near Oskaloosa, Iowa, on March 21, 1878. When he was still a child, his family moved to Neosho Falls.
When the Spanish-American War began in 1898, Lieurance served as a bandsman in the 22nd Kansas Volunteer Regiment.
Following the war, he studied at the Cincinnati College of Music. While there, he began teaching and directed town bands.
Lieurance was in his mid-30s when he visited his brother, Edward, an Indian Service physician in Montana. It was then Lieurance heard the song that changed his life.
He was one of the first performers to use the American Indian flute in contemporary music, collecting flutes and making them. He also wrote a handbook of Indian music, art and language.
Question: How many compositions is Thurlow Lieurance’s credited with writing?
Answer to Tuesday’s question: Neewollah is Halloween spelled backwards.
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