About Ferruccio Busoni's Indian Diary Book 1
One of Busoni’s harmony students, Natalie Curtis Burlin, eventually became an ethnomusicologist, specialising in Native American tribal songs, which she collected and transcribed with the help of an Edison cylinder recorder and pencil and paper.
In 1907, Curtis Burlin published The Indian’s Book, a collection of about 200 songs from 18 North American tribes. During a visit to the United States, Busoni met with his former student and was inspired by her work.
Her book became the source for the four piano studies in this collection, and for several other pieces, including a set of Indian Diaries for strings, wind and tympani, and an Indian Fantasy for piano and Orchestra.