Ruth Crawford Seeger, composer and folk music specialist, had an amazing career and influence in the world of classical and folk music. Her music was different and exciting because she mixed old and new sounds together. People of all ages still love listening to her music today.
1901: Born on July 3 in Ohio
1919-1921: Attended the American Conservatory of Music in Boston
1932: Married Charles Seeger
1953: Died in Maryland
Ruth and Charles had four children: Mike (folk musician), Peggy (folk singer), Barbara, and Penny. Ruth also had three stepsons Charles, John, and Pete (folk singer/activist.)
Early Music Period (1922-1929)
1920s: Ruth began studying piano performance but switched to composition.
Little Waltz 1922
Try some movement to this piece in ternary form.
|Skip around room.||Stop and mirror w/a partner|
or the teacher.
|Skip around room.|
|Ribbon wands make big looping circles.||Create a different pattern on your own.||Ribbon wands make big looping circles.|
|Step/skip around the room.||Float around the room.||Step/skip around the room.|
Music for Small Orchestra 1926
Listen to the last 2 minutes (video is cued to this spot) for the exciting tempo!
Middle Music Period (1930-1941)
1930: Ruth Crawford was the first woman to win the Guggenheim Music Fellowship
String Quartet 1931
This string quartet was her most famous and influential work. Here’s the beginning of movement 4. Can you imagine it as the music for a movie? What would be happening on the screen?
Rissolty Rossolty 1939
1930s: Began writing down and arranging American folk music and working with Alan and John Lomax. Here’s an arrangement of the folk song Rissolty Rossolty.
Risseldy Rosseldy on TPT
This classic tongue-twisting folk song now has a sparkling Orff arrangement for your students in grades 3-6.
Also included is a listening lesson with coloring sheet for Ruth Crawford Seeger’s instrumental piece, Rissolty Rossolty!
Late Music Period (1942-1953)
Suite for Wind Quintet 1952
This two-movement piece is another of her classical modernist works. Pick an animal for each instrument and describe what they are doing in the first 2 minutes of the piece. Bassoon, clarinet, oboe, horn, flute.