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Ruth Crawford-Seeger

Ruth Crawford-Seeger (1901-1953), born Ruth Crawford, was a modernist composer in the twenties and early thirties, Crawford-Seeger wrote atonal works based on the music of Schoenberg and her teacher then husband Charles Seeger's dissonant counterpoint. After becoming a communist during the great depression she turned her attentions to ethnomusicology, including transcribing folk songs for John and Alan Lomax, raising her step-son Pete Seeger, Michael Seeger and Peggy Seeger, and writing works inspired by or harmonizing folk songs.

She briefly returned to her modernist roots in the early 1952 with Suite for Wind Quintet, shortly before her death.

Her compositions include her String Quartet (1931), part of which was later orchestrated as Andante, for string orchestra, and settings of poems by Carl Sandburg, who originally introduced her to folk songs.

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