Musical Borrowing
An Annotated Bibliography

Individual record

[+] Burkholder, J. Peter. “Charles Ives the Avant-Gardist, Charles Ives the Traditionalist.” In Bericht über das Internationale Symposion “Charles Ives und die amerikanische Musiktradition bis zur Gegenwart,” Köln 1988, edited by Klaus Wolfgang Niemöller, Manuel Gervink, and Paul Terse, 37-51. Kölner Beiträge zur Musikforschung, Vol. 164. Regensburg: Gustav Bosse, 1990.

Charles Ives is as much a part of the European tradition of art music as are his progressive contemporaries in Europe. Ives’s character as a composer was greatly influenced by German Romanticism, which he absorbed through his composition teacher, Horatio Parker. Ives’s connection to the European Romantic tradition can be traced through his use of allusion and quotation throughout his career. Early compositions, up to and including his First Symphony, demonstrate how Ives learned to compose by imitating European models. In his Second Symphony, Ives begins to establish a distinctive voice by emphasizing allusion and quotation of American material. At the same time, the Second Symphony also adopts the elaborate forms of European art music and borrows material from Brahms, Bach, and Wagner. In his Third Symphony, Ives invests American tunes with the seriousness of European art music. The Fourth of July, which culminates with a quotation of Columbia, the Gem of the Ocean, exemplifies Ives’s increasing turn to American subjects and careful use of quotation and texture. While Ives’s importance as an avant-garde composer is certain, he is also a worthy peer of his European contemporaries of international stature.

Works: Ives: Holiday Quickstep (43), Slow March (43), Variations on America (43), Symphony No. 1 in D Minor (44-45), Symphony No. 2 (46), The Fourth of July (48-49)

Sources: Handel: Saul, HWV 53 (43); Johann Christian Heinrich Rinck: Theme and Variations in C Major on God Save the King (43); Dvořák: Symphony No. 9 in E Minor, From the New World (44-45); Wagner: Tristan und Isolde (46); David T. Shaw (or Thomas A’Becket): Columbia, the Gem of the Ocean (48)

Index Classifications: 1800s, 1900s

Contributed by: Matthew Van Vleet

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