All Made of Tunes Charles Ives and the Uses of Musical Borrowing J. Peter Burkholder

Publication date:
11 Aug 2004
Yale University Press
568 pages: 235 x 156mm


Charles Ives is famous for using borrowed material in his music. Almost two hundred individual works or movements, spanning his entire career and representing more than a third of his output, incorporate music by other composers or from his own previous work. In this book, the eminent Ives scholar J. Peter Burkholder identifies the different kinds of "quotations" in Ives's music, explores the complex musical, aesthetic, and psychological motivations behind the borrowings, and shows the purpose, techniques, and effects that characterize each one.

Burkholder catalogues fourteen distinct ways that Ives borrowed, ranging from direct quotation to paraphrase, variation, collage, modeling, and stylistic allusion. Arguing that these borrowing procedures were compositional strategies, he provides a new perspective on Ives's process of composition. In addition, by tracing the development of Ives's borrowing practices through his career, he contributes to an understanding of the composer's stylistic evolution. And by showing how much of Ives's music uses borrowing procedures that are common to many composers, he reveals that Ives is not as far removed from the classic-romantic tradition as has been thought. Finally, Burkholder's comprehensive treatment of Ives's borrowing techniques offers a new perspective on the entire field of musical borrowing.

Winner of the Choice 1996 Outstanding Academic Book Award

"An extremely important and gracefully written book on a significant and controversial topic. It is the most thoroughgoing study of Ives's compositional procedures that has yet been attempted."?Larry Starr, author of A Union of Diversities: Style in the Music of Charles Ives

?Burkholder?s remarkable book succeeds in creating a different composite portrait of the musical consciousness of a great composer.??Judith Tick, American Music

"A unique, pathbreaking, and utterly convincing study of Ives's music."?David Nicholls, BBC Music Magazine

"Written very clearly, the book is aimed at those interested in knowing as much as possible about the origins of Ives' melodies and how he constructed his music."?Alan Hirsch, Booklist

"Much that seems obscure in Ives' music becomes comprehensible as Burkholder sorts out its tangled roots with patient clarity. We are left with a deeper understanding of Ives' compositional process and of his relationship to the wider musical world."?Edward Lundergan, Choral Journal

?All Made of Tunes probably ranks among the most ambitious studies of any twentieth-century composer?s works.??Carol K. Baron, Journal of the American Musicological Society

"The book is well stocked with music examples and tables, enabling it to be used as a reference work, and has almost 100 pages of notes and bibliography. It abundantly fulfils its promise 'to help us hear the music better' and enriches our experience of Ives in a way that is totally sympathetic to the man and his music."?Peter Dickinson, Music & Letters

"This book should be in the library of every scholar with a serious interest in Ives's music. . . . Burkholder's writing throughout . . . is refreshingly clear, and his ability to organize vast amounts of detail into coherent and logical sequences is one of the greatest strengths of the book, and particularly appropriate to its subject."?Kathryn Bumpass, Notes

"A well-balanced view of Ives's music. . . . [A] pathbreaking study."?David Nicholls, Times Literary Supplement

"A unique in-depth study of Ives's works, the most panoramic view of the music ever written, based on a new and convincing perspective."?H. Wiley Hitchcock, City University of New York