Essays on American Music

Essays on American Music

Essays on American Music

Essays on American Music

Synopsis

"The final chapter on the 'new eclecticism' is a major statement on composers now active and producing works of importance.... The bibliography is a comprehensive list of the existing literature on the study of American music. Recommended." -Library Journal

Excerpt

The beginnings of this book can be traced to 1962 when I first heard John Kirkpatrick's recording of Charles Ives "Concord" Sonata, the 78 RPM version on Columbia Records. Although the copy was much scratched from library use, my hearing of the music sparked an intense interest in Ives. During the 1963-1964 academic year at Cornell College, a tutorial with Winifred Van Etten on American literature, and transcendental literature in particular, led to undergraduate study on Charles Ives, which was completed under the devoted guidance of Delinda Roggensack. At Yale University I came into contact with the Ives Collection, and in 1966 I began working with the manuscripts. One result of these studies was the editing and performing of one of Ives's piano works, the Varied Air and Variations, and the eventual further reconstructing and editing of the work with John Kirkpatrick, who by the late 1960s had become a friend and an important influence in my ever-growing interest in American music.

I began to play the music of Gottschalk, Griffes, Ives, and contemporary American composers. In the summer of 1970, a grant from the National Endowment for the Humanities allowed me to work in the Ives Collection at Yale and to obtain much of the information which has found its way into Chapter 5 of this book. Durthe 1971-1972 and 1973-1974 academic years, I taught a course in American music at Washington College. My enthusiasm for much of this music was by that time very great, and reflections on America's music in the form of a book became a necessity.

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