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The New York Composers' Forum was a weekly series of new-music concerts sponsored by the Federal Music Project and Works Progress Administration. It showcased the music of modern American composers such as Aaron Copland, Amy Beach, Henry Cowell, and Ruth Crawford Seeger, and included question-and-answer sessions between the composers and audiences. These sessions led to discussions, arguments, and sometimes even riots, all documented in nearly complete transcripts. This book is the first to tell the story of the Composers' Forum. Following the fascinating threads of dialogue from the transcripts, Melissa de Graaf explores the remarkable diversity of composers and musical styles represented, including numerous composers who have since been ignored or forgotten. She also examines the composers' and listeners' attitudes toward modernism, politics, gender, race, and American identity. In this important study of a unique and overlooked American institution, de Graaf shows that "modern" aesthetics in the 1930s comprised far more diverse styles and thought than we imagine today. Melissa J. de Graaf is Associate Professor of Musicology at the University of Miami.