Iowa Stubborn: Meredith Willson's musical characterization of his fellow Iowans | Intellect Skip to content
Volume 3, Issue 1
  • ISSN: 1750-3159
  • E-ISSN: 1750-3167


The song Iowa Stubborn from provides a key to understanding the development and musical content of the work. Willson's Iowa Stubborn insistence on the organic development of songs from the narrative led him to use experimental techniques like speak-song and words-without-songs, some of which were by-products of his long career in radio. By creating a dialogic style of song based on stubborn pitch repetition and a small number of motifs, the composer, who by the early 1950s was Iowa's most famous son, was able to characterize the stubborn natives of the Hawkeye state, both musically and lyrically, in numerous numbers in the score.


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  • Article Type: Article
Keyword(s): Meredith Willson; musical analysis; The Music Man
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