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The Sounds of Place
Music and the American Cultural Landscape
Denise Von Glahn

2003 • 376 pp. 6 illus. 6 x 9 1/4"
Music / Cultural Studies

$45.00 Paperback, 978-1-55553-709-8

The Sounds of Place teaches us extraordinary new things about pieces that we thought we knew (or perhaps thought we knew all that was important... [continued in Reviews below]”—Journal of Musicological Research

Looks at the ways in which America’s places, from the natural wonders of Niagara Falls and the Grand Canyon to the urban landscape of New York City, have inspired American composers from the nation's beginnings to the present

Focusing on instrumental works of high-art music, Von Glahn analyzes thoroughly the soundscapes of fourteen diverse composers who have commemorated American places. Organized chronologically, the volume looks at such distinctive American musical voices and works as Anthony Philip Heinrich, The War of the Elements and the Thundering of Niagara; Charles Ives, The Housatonic at Stockbridge and From Hanover Square North, at the End of a Tragic Day, the Voice of the People Again Arose; Aaron Copland, Quiet City and Music for a Great City; Duke Ellington, Harlem; Roy Harris, Cimarron; Ferde Grofé, Grand Canyon Suite; Robert Starer, Hudson Valley Suite; and Steve Reich, Vermont Counterpoint and New York Counterpoint.

Click here for TABLE OF CONTENTS

Reviews / Endorsements

The Sounds of Place teaches us extraordinary new things about pieces that we thought we knew (or perhaps thought we knew all that was important to know about them). The chapter on Ives above all is a must-read for anyone with a serious interest in this composer. For these and for many other reasons, The Sounds of Place is an enlightening and enriching book.”—Journal of Musicological Research

“This is an excellent book, a pleasure to read and a substantial contribution to American musicology, cultural geography, and interdisciplinary scholarship.”—American Historical Review

“Operating with a pleasantly light touch when it comes to critical theorizing about place, Von Glahn illuminates how composers’ attitudes toward America shaped their depictions and how the sites composers chose to commemorate reflect a general shift from valorizing unspoiled nature to recognizing (for good or ill) the human impact on the natural and national landscape.”—American Studies

Denise Von Glahn is assistant professor of music history and musicology at Florida State University. She lives in Tallahassee, Florida.

Sun, 17 Dec 2017 14:08:28 -0500