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American pioneers: Ives to Cage and beyond

American pioneers: Ives to Cage and beyond

Rich, Alan

The first book to concentrate on the rebellious trend within American music at the turn of the 20th century. 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’. American Pioneers examines Charles Ives, Henry Cowell, John Cage, Carl Ruggles, Edgard Varèse, Harry Patch, Colin McPhee and Lou Harrison, focusing on the peculiarly American quality of their artistic motivation

Book. English.
Published London : Phaidon 1995

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Statement of responsibility: by Alan Rich
ISBN: 0714831735, 9780714831732
Note: MUS.
Physical Description: 240p : ill. ; 22 cm.
Series: 20th-century composers
Subject: Music United States History.; Composers United States.


  1. Charles Ives
  2. Edgard Varese
  3. Henry Cowell
  4. John Cage
  5. new sources, new sounds.

Author note

Alan Rich is an American critic with a passion for contemporary music. He writes for the Los Angeles Weeklyand is author of a number of books and a series of interactive music programs for computers.


'Smoothly executed. The chapter on Cage may well be the best introduction to his thought and work in English.' (Gramophone)||'... has a subtle but insistently inquiring approach to biography and details of artistic development. Alan Rich sets out the facts on early-20th-century music with clarity as well as providing a succinct summary of the background of the rise of concert music in the cultured urban classes if the west coast in the 19th century.' (Musical Times)||'As a series, Phaidon's 20th Century Composers has brought remarkable variety and a welter of information, both necessary and delightfully trivial. Intended both for the general reader and for the more enthusiatically musical...' (The Scotsman)