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Ballard, Louis W(ayne)

music american native indian

Ballard, Louis W(ayne), preeminent native American composer and music educator; b. Devil’s Promenade, Quapaw Indian Reservation, Okla., July 8, 1931. He was of distinguished Quapaw-Cherokee descent and was given the name Honganózhe (Grand Eagle). In his youth, he was immersed in native American music but also received piano lessons at the local Baptist mission school. He later pursued an intensive study of the musics of various native American tribes. He studied at the Univ. of Okla., and then at the Univ. of Tulsa, where he took B.M., B.M.E., and M.M. degrees. He also studied with Milhaud and Castelnuovo-Tedesco. From 1962 to 1969 he was an administrator with the Inst. of American Indian Arts in Santa Fe. From 1969 to 1979 he was in charge of the music curriculum of the U.S. Bureau of Indian Affairs school system. He also was chairman of minority concerns in music education for the state of N.Mex. from 1976 to 1982. He publ. My Music Reaches to the Sky (1973) and Music of North American Indians (1975). In some of his compositions, he has used the name Joe Miami. In his music, Ballard combines native American elements with advanced Western compositional techniques.

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