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Struggling to Define a NationAmerican Music and the Twentieth Century$
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Charles Hiroshi Garrett

Print publication date: 2008

Print ISBN-13: 9780520254862

Published to California Scholarship Online: May 2012

DOI: 10.1525/california/9780520254862.001.0001

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Charles Ives's Four Ragtime Dances and “True American Music”

Charles Ives's Four Ragtime Dances and “True American Music”

(p.17) 1 Charles Ives's Four Ragtime Dances and “True American Music”
Struggling to Define a Nation

Charles Hiroshi Garrett

University of California Press

This chapter discusses Charles Ives and his relationship to ragtime, which was the leading popular music at the beginning of the twentieth century. Ives is a composer who was at the center of the canon of American music, and in his Four Ragtime Dances, he bargains the tensions between European and American music. The chapter shows that his early experiments with ragtime represent one of his initial attempts to create a distinctly American music. It also tries to explain what ragtime represents, and identifies the type/s of music Ives believed to best represent America.

Keywords:   ragtime, Charles Ives, American music, Four Ragtime Dances

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