EPILOGUE

. . . Music, like life . . . is a becoming. It rests, not in what it is, but in what it would be; it seeks expression, not in terms of fact, but in terms of hope.

-- Reverend C. Robbins, at a memorial service for Horatio Parker

We could, of course, cite a number of problems: conditions that explain past and current hindrances to the evolution of American art. There is the American musical inferiority complex that has affected some composers; the American tendency to treat every activity, even music, according to the canons of business; and the widespread and unfortunate anti-intellectual approach to life that has dominated the American experience. These are only a few of the serious problems confronting the American musician.

Yet there is hope for America's music. This hope lies in the fact that there are currently composers at work who are creating a vital and exciting new music based on the experiences of former generations. With these composers, only a few of whom have been mentioned in the previous chapter, rests the possibility of a profound American musical maturity. Roger Sessions' mid-1950s comment that "the 'great line of western tradition' provides the most fertile source of nourishment . . . for American music" 1 has proved to be only partly accurate, for although America is linked to European culture in countless ways, American individuality has finally as-

-211-

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Essays on American Music
Table of contents

Table of contents

  • Recent Titles in Contributions in American History ii
  • Title Page iii
  • Contents ix
  • Plates xi
  • Preface xiii
  • Acknowledgments xvii
  • Prologue 3
  • Chapter 1 The Yankee Tunesmiths 17
  • Chapter 2 Louis Moreau Gottschalk 49
  • Chapter 3 The American-Europeans 73
  • Chapter4 Charles Tomlinson Griffes 87
  • Chapter 5 Charles Edward Ives 105
  • Chapter 6 Quincy Porter: Composer-Professor 133
  • Chapter 7 Virgil Thomson 161
  • Chapter 8 The New Eclecticism 179
  • Epilogue 211
  • Notes 215
  • Bibliography 233
  • Index 247
  • About the Author 261
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