Charles Ives and Henry Cowell: an unlikely alliance for American music
AuthorPledger, Timothy Mark
AffiliationSchool of Contemporary Music
Document TypeMasters Research thesis
Access StatusThis item is currently not available from this repository
© 2016 Timothy Mark Pledger
Charles Ives and Henry Cowell formed a close friendship and became partners in the promotion, performance and publication of new American works. This thesis examines their lives and relationship to better understand how and why their unlikely alliance came about. Through Cowell’s entrepreneurial talent and Ives hard fought fortune and compositional brilliance they forged a path for new music during the first half of the twentieth century that enabled many unheard and unpublished American composers to be heard in performance for the first time. Firstly, I examine the lives of the two men before they met in 1927 to outline how different their upbringings and lives were. Secondly, I investigate the accomplishments of the two up until their meeting to show the immensely different natures of their talents, and how this effected their relationship and those around them. Thirdly, I look at the collaboration and relationship between the two men. I do this by examining the achievements that came about through their alliance, in particular, the way it involved so many other brilliant artists and the reception of these new artists (and their own) new musical works through performance and publication. The music of Charles Ives has had a profound influence on my attitude towards music making. Through this research it was my intent to come to a closer understanding of that music and how it came to be so important to me from the first time I encountered it. It became evident that without the meeting of Ives and Cowell, even though their relationship would seem highly unlikely, that both Ives and Cowell may not have achieved their goals without the alliance that they forged. Therefore, I set out to understand how this came about and why it was so successful.
KeywordsCharles Ives; Henry Cowell; American music; collaboration; musical relationships
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