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Class Year

2019

Abstract

Despite the vast research on the Carlisle Indian Industrial School, music is often overshadowed by the recognition of the school’s athletic program in the discussion of the place of extracurricular activities in Native American assimilation. This paper discusses the role of music in the assimilation of students at the Carlisle Indian School, drawing from the fields of both history and ethnomusicology to demonstrate that music had a much more profound effect on assimilation than athletics. Through a discussion on the differences between Native American and Western art music, and the disparity between their functions in society, it is clear that music marked a more profound transition toward assimilation for Native Americans at Indian boarding schools like the Carlisle Indian Industrial School.

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