New World Musicals: The Plumed Serpent and David

  • Susan ReidEmail author
Part of the Palgrave Studies in Music and Literature book series (PASTMULI)


This chapter, “New World Musicals: The Plumed Serpent and David”, argues that the “Songs and Hymns of Quetzalcoatl” incorporated in the text of The Plumed Serpent and the ten pieces of music Lawrence composed for his final play David are integral to their form and structure in ways that blur the boundaries between prose and poetry, music and drama. These experimental works resemble the modernist operas Le Testament de Villon by Pound and Four Saints in Three Acts by Gertrude Stein, while Lawrence also draws on the rhythms of Native American songs to create “New World” music that is more comparable with the Aztec compositions of Carlos Chávez or the corporealism of Harry Partch than with the “American” music of Antonín Dvořák or Aaron Copland.


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Copyright information

© The Author(s) 2019

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.University of Northampton NorthamptonNorthamptonshireUK

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