The Music of Charles Ives

The Music of Charles Ives

by Philip Lambert


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With this innovative analysis of the music of Charles Ives, Philip Lambert fills a significant gap in the literature on one of America’s most important composers. Lambert offers the first large-scale theoretical study of Ives’s repertoire, encompassing major works in all genres. He argues that systematic techniques governed Ives’s compositional language and thinking about music, even in his unconventional and apparently unstructured pieces. He portrays Ives as a composer of great diversity and complexity who nevertheless held to a single artistic vision.

Using modes of analysis for post-tonal music and approaches devised specifically for the study of Ives as well, the author explains the origin, evolution, and culmination of Ives’s systematic methods. He discusses important aspects of the composer’s early training, the relation between Ives’s experimental and his concert music, Ives’s fugal and canonic techniques as the basis for his systematic music, his paradigms of procedure and transformation, and pitch relations in Ives’s music, particularly the unfinished Universe Symphony. Lambert refutes the popular image of Ives as a highly eccentric composer haphazardly casting about for arbitrarily regulated ways of generating musical material and instead portrays him as a keenly determined and resourceful artist who gradually discovered ever more powerful tools for creating remarkably original music.

Product Details

ISBN-13: 9780300105346
Publisher: Yale University Press
Publication date: 08/11/1997
Series: Composers of the Twentieth Century Series
Pages: 256
Product dimensions: 6.12(w) x 9.25(h) x (d)

Table of Contents

Preface vii(4)
Acknowledgments xi
1 The Composer and His Language
Part One: Tools and Materials 25(102)
2 Contrapuntal Foundations
3 Analysis I: Tone Roads No. 1
4 Structural Models
5 Transformational Techniques
6 Analysis II: Study No. 5
Part Two: Cyclic Substance 127(80)
7 Transposition Cycles
8 Analysis III: "The Cage,"
9 Combination Cycles
10 "A Universe in Tones,"
Appendix A: Alphabetical List of Works Discussed 207(3)
Appendix B: Chronological List of Works Discussed 210(3)
Notes 213(20)
Bibliography 233(4)
Additional Credits 237(2)
Index 239

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