Songs of the Great American West
The 92 songs in this handsomely illustrated songbook compiled and edited by one of America's leading authorities on folklore and folk music colorfully document America's pioneering spirit. In song after song, the triumphs and miseries, thrills and adventures of homesteaders, lumberjacks, cowboys, gold miners, railroad workers, outlaws, and other early Western adventurers come vividly to life.
What people are saying - Write a review
Silber has done a great deal of fine melody search in his works. However, his research is not deep, without consideration for the ethics, mores, period instruments, or interpretation/transmission styles. Further, his self-styled "expertise" is extremely judgmental and "politically correct". He fails miserably in his historical interpretations.
To add to this, neither he, nor his arranger, Earl Robinson, understands the logic of harmonic structure -- the chords accompanying the melodies are very wrong. An average second semester harmony student would have done a far better job of musical arrangement. An example of bad harmonic structure is found on page 109 of the book, "Seeing the Elephant." This is a parody written on Daniel Emmett's "De Boatman Dance". You are given the choices of C or Ami for the opening chords. Neither of these are correct, and sound very wrong. The original opening chords are F Maj. and C Maj. These are the chords that Emmett wrote, as they would have been played on a diatonic accordion. The original music is easily available in many places.
I write this as a published composer, arranger, songwriter, bandleader and performer for 65 years. Further, I was born in a music studio (literally) and participated in countless family sings. I am also a lifelong student of history, anthropology, and a trained archaeologist.