Daniel Decatur Emmett

Banjoist, fiddler, singer, comedian, and author of plays and songs for minstrel shows, Daniel Decatur Emmett (1815-1904) is best known as the composer of the walk-around “Dixie,” originally presented by Bryant's Minstrels in 1859, and of a tune later arranged by Aaron Copland, “De Boatman Dance.” Emmett is but one of many in a succession of entertainers and composers who used the minstrel stage as a popular platform.

Photo: Daniel Decatur Emmett, public domain

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See entry under “Artists, Movements and Ideas”: Daniel Decatur Emmett.

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