Indian Suite

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The Indian Suite for orchestra was composed in 1892 by Edward MacDowell. The composer's second suite for orchestra, it was first performed in New York City by the Boston Symphony on January 23, 1896. The piece is based upon numerous American Indian melodies and rhythms.

The suite is in five movements. The first, "Legend," is built upon two themes, both for horns. The second, "Love Song," is derived from a love song of the Iowa tribe. The third movement is titled "In War-Time" and is martial in character. The fourth movement, "Dirge," is a threnody introduced by the tolling of bells. The fifth and last movement, "Village," is based upon two Iroquois melodies, one in the plucked strings and one played by flute and piccolo accompanied by strings and woodwinds.

A recording of the suite exists; it is distributed by the Naxos Records label.


  • David Ewen, Encyclopedia of Concert Music. New York; Hill and Wang, 1959.