Charles Ives

Composer: Charles Edward Ives
Date of Birth: October 20, 1874
Date of Death: May 19, 1954
Nationality: American
Period/Era/Style: Romantic/20th Century – Modernism
Contribution(s): Ives was an American modernist composer. He is one of the first American composers of international renown, though his music was largely ignored during his life, and many of his works went unperformed for many years. Over time, he came to be regarded as an “American original”, He combined the American popular and church-music traditions of his youth with European art music, and was among the first composers to engage in a systematic program of experimental music, with musical techniques including polytonality, polyrhythm, tone clusters, aleatory elements, and quarter tones foreshadowing many musical innovations of the 20th century.

Sources of Ives’ tonal imagery are hymn tunes and traditional songs, the town band at holiday parade, the fiddlers at Saturday night dances, patriotic songs, sentimental parlor ballads, and the melodies of Stephen Foster.

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Composer’s Examples

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