Navajo (1903)
Last updated: 18.07.18
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Composer: E.A. van Alstyne Suppliers: dbe15.gif
Editor: Geoff Grainger Sextet A/T/T/T/B/GB(B)
Publisher: Ditty Box Enterprises Publication: DBE 566
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Length: approx. 3¼ mins.
This march and two-step is the instrumental version of Alstyne's first big success, Navajo, which he achieved together with the lyricist Harry H. Williams. It was no doubt a commercial response to the craze for all things Indian which was probably sparked-off by Charles Neil Daniels's Hiawatha (1901). The year 1903 saw many other Indian titles published including Percy Wenrich's Wenonah (1903).
Navajo is a fine march in ABCCDCC form with a 4-bar introduction which is a bass affair and humorously scored Tom Tom. The A and C strains are of 16 bars whilst the B and D are each of 24 bars, a device which works well.
The cover of the original sheet music depicts a handsome Indian maiden in an idyllic mountain setting - no hint of Wounded Knee here!
Navajo was published by Shapiro, Bernstein & Co., New York & Chicago, USA.
A tempo of 180 crotchets/min. is suggested.