Musical Borrowing
An Annotated Bibliography

Individual record

[+] Kramer, Lawrence. “Music and the Politics of Memory: Charles Ives’s A Symphony: New England Holidays.Journal of the Society for American Music 2 (November 2008): 459-75.

The relationship between Ives’s musical forms and his political beliefs manifests itself in his music, where Ives created progressive sonic backgrounds to house his regressive views of America in the form of American tunes (quoted or otherwise). Ives identified America as New England before the Civil War: a prominently rural, white and Protestant community. His main challenge in creating a true American music was to incorporate tunes of Americana in a musically authentic way. The music needed not to sound American, but intrinsically be American. Ives utilized two compositional techniques to accomplish his aims. The first is the creation of a sparse “acoustic horizon” in which various pieces can be quoted, altered, or layered. The second is a cyclical form that is created when the end of the piece recalls the beginning, though not necessarily the beginning melody. These two methods of composition create the world that Ives thought was destroyed by urban modernity, the old-fashioned America he idealized so much.

Works: Ives: Thanksgiving and Forefathers’ Day (466) and Washington’s Birthday (470) from A Symphony: New England Holidays.

Sources: Ives: Prelude and Postlude for a Thanksgiving Service (466); Edwin Pearce Christy: Goodnight Ladies (470).

Index Classifications: 1900s

Contributed by: Devin Chaloux, Cynthia Dretel, Nathan Landes

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Musical Borrowing and Reworking - - 2024
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