American pioneers: Ives to Cage and beyond
American Pioneers presents a survey of that peculiarly American innovatory spirit as manifest in the nation's music. On the east coast, early in the twentieth century, this spirit was captured by Charles Ives (whose music lay virtually ignored and unperformed until the world caught up with him, forty years later). On the west coast, Henry Cowell and John Cage encountered similar critical resistance. Their pioneering flair was an act of defiance: Americans throwing off the shackles of European tradition and inventing a new language, seeking to redefine what could or could not be embraced by the term 'music'.
No single book to date has concentrated on this particularly rebellious trend in American music. American Pioneers investigates the life and work of the major American innovators - including Carl Ruggles, Edgard Varese, Harry Partch, Colin McPhee, Lou Harrison and members of America's youngest composing generation - revealing the colourful and often idiosyncratic nature of these characters, and focusing on the peculiarly American quality of their artistic motivation.
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