Curtis [Curtis Burlin], Natalie
- Charles Haywood
- , revised by Anne Dhu McLucas
(b New York, NY, April 26, 1875; d Paris, France, Oct 23, 1921). American Musician, transcriber, folksong collector, and folklorist. She studied music at the National Conservatory and the Paris Conservatoire. After visiting the Chicago World’s Fair and other expositions, she became intrigued with Native American music and abandoned plans for a career as a concert pianist in order to work among American Indians. She began in 1903 by recording Hopi songs on Edison wax cylinders and spent extensive time with other Southwestern tribes, as well as with the Plains Indians. Her transcriptions of the songs of 18 tribes resulted in the publication of The Indians’ Book (1907, 2/1923/R), a collection of 200 songs transcribed mainly from live performances. She included notes on the tribes and some contextual information on singers, as well as free translations of the texts. Most innovative was her approach to formatting the songs to reflect their formal structure. This book led to further opportunities for research, publications, and speaking engagements. Curtis inserted aspects of native cultures into the Arts and Crafts movement and worked for reform of Indian affairs....