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Ives and Copland.  At the beginning of the twentieth century, American music and music making were still strongly influenced by the mid-nineteenth-century.

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Presentation on theme: "Ives and Copland.  At the beginning of the twentieth century, American music and music making were still strongly influenced by the mid-nineteenth-century."— Presentation transcript:

1 Ives and Copland

2  At the beginning of the twentieth century, American music and music making were still strongly influenced by the mid-nineteenth-century European tradition.  At the time of the nationalist wave , the U.S. was involved in its own inner turmoil: the Civil War, the assassination of President Lincoln and Reconstruction.  American composers were mostly trained in Europe. They often did not pay attention to the music around them: African-American spirituals, New England hymn tunes, Native American songs and dances and jazz bands.  The American public was only interested in imported music.

3  Conservatories of music were founded, concert halls were built and music began to be taught as a serious discipline on university campuses.  At the turn of the century, many composers began or concentrated their careers in Boston.  Many women and African-Americans were also composing  Although music is better established in the U.S., American music often does not get performed in the concert halls.

4  He was the first modernist composer whose work was distinctively American.  He grew up in a small Connecticut town and was the son of a bandmaster and music teacher.  His father’s approach to music was fun-loving and unconventional; he used to play tunes in two different keys at once. This open-minded and experimental approach stayed with Ives all his life.  Ives went to Yale as an undergraduate and then went into the insurance business, devoting his spare time to music.  Over the next ten years, he wrote an enormous quantity of music.

5  Most of his compositions are based on American cultural themes: baseball, Thanksgiving, marching bands, popular songs, the Fourth of July, fireworks and American literature.  He wrote music with wild dissonances; Ives wrote a note to his music copyist, who had “corrected” some of the notes in his manuscript: “Please don’t correct the wrong notes. The wrong notes are right.”  He composed for pianos specially tuned in quarter tones  In The Unanswered Question, two different instrumental groups, sitting separately, play different music at the same time.

6  Second Movement from Three Places in New England (“Putnam’s Camp, Redding, Conn.”)  Composed in for Flute/piccolo, oboe, English horn, clarinet, bassoon, 2 or more horns, 2 or more trumpets, 2 trombones, tuba, piano, timpani, drums, cymbals, strings  Captures a child’s impression of a Fourth of July picnic with singing and marching bands.  In the middle of the picnic, the boy falls asleep and dreams of songs and marches form the time of the American Revolution. When he awakes, he hears the noise of the picnic celebration.  Aural collage – contrasting sounds and textures are overlaid and connected.  Listen multiple times: different ideas surface with every hearing.

7  Born into a Jewish immigrant family. He decided to become a composer at age 15.  At twenty, he went to Paris to study with the famous Nadia Boulanger.  When Copland returned to America in 1924, he decided to compose works that were specifically American in style. He drew from the jazz idiom. His compositions include syncopated rhythms and chord combinations of American jazz.  He also strove to put America into his music by using purely American cultural topics: Billy the Kid, Rodeo, Appalachian Spring  He also quotes folk songs, hymns and country tunes.  Finally, he used very widely space sonorities – deep basses and high, soaring violins- to evoke the wide-open spaces of the American landscape.  Copland wrote books on music, gave lectures, conducted around the world, composed film scores and was the mentor of Leonard Bernstein.

8  Fanfare for the Common Man  Composed in 1942 for 3 trumpets, 4 horns, 3 trombones, tuba, timpani, bass drum, tam-tam  Listen for the open, spacious quality of the piece – his use of triads, fifths and octaves


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