Musical Borrowing
An Annotated Bibliography

Individual record

[+] Harrison, Lou. "On Quotation." Modern Music 23 (Summer 1946): 166-69.

Many twentieth-century composers are motivated to borrow musical materials out of a sense of nostalgia. Two practices can be found: that of Mahler and Ives and that of the neo-classicists. Mahler and Ives both used quoted material drawn from popular and folk culture, Mahler for the purpose of capturing the spirit of the people and thus enabling himself to speak for them, Ives for the purpose of presenting his observations of life and nature; both seldom develop their musical materials. Ives's process of composition is similar to that of the writer James Joyce, in that both begin with simple subjects and use them to create multi-layered meanings. In contrast to Mahler and Ives, the neo-classicists display their nostalgia through reference not to popular music but to the art music of the 18th century. Ironically, the listener finds neo-classicism, with its limited frame of reference, easier to grasp than the music of Ives and Mahler, which draws from a larger pool of resources.

Index Classifications: 1900s

Contributed by: Sergio Bezerra, Randal Tucker, Jessica Sternfeld

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Musical Borrowing and Reworking - - 2024
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