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Charles Ives:
Folk Tunes in Classical Music

The Country Band March has 12 recognizable popular and folk tunes in it. But Ives was not the only composer to put borrowed tunes in his music. Many classical composers -- including Ludwig van Beethoven, Mily Balakirev, and Percy Grainger -- used folk music in the pieces they wrote.

Music heard in this episode:
Mozart: Variations on “Ah, Vous Dirai Je Maman”
Bruch: Scottish Fantasy
Bartok: Roumanian Dances
Enesco: Roumanian Rhapsody No. 1
Holst: St. Paul's Suite
Grainger: Lincolnshire Posy
Copland: Billy the Kid
Gould: American Suite
Still: Get on Board
Beethoven: Wellington's Victory
Ives: Country Bank March

Other shows about Charles Ives:
About Charles Ives
Marching Through the Country Band March
American Hymns in Classical Music

Download this month's activity sheet

About Charles Ives
10/20/1874 - 5/19/1954
Born in America

Charles Ives was born in Danbury, Connecticut just nine years after the end of the Civil War. All the members of the Ives family were successful business people, except for Charlie's father George. George Ives was a band director and music teacher who loved to experiment with sound. Those experiments had a big influence on the music that Charlie wrote when he grew up.

As a kid, Charlie was already an excellent musician. He got his first paying job as an organist when he was only 14. But that doesn't mean he didn't do regular kid stuff, too. Charlie loved sports, especially baseball and football.

Charles Ives did not become a professional composer. Instead, he was a highly successful businessman in the early days of life insurance. But Ives spent all his evenings and weekends doing what he really loved, namely composing. Ives never tried to please anyone else with his music -- he did exactly what he liked. As a result, and because of his father's influence, Ives wrote music that was totally different from anyone else's. In fact, his music was way ahead of its time.

See other composers born in America


This Week's Quiz:

1. Which composer used Twinkle Twinkle Little Star in one of his works?






2.Which of the following tunes was used by Gustav Holst in the St. Paul Suite?

When Johnny Comes Marching Home


Goodbye Old Paint

The Girl I Left Behind

Yankee Doodle

3. Beethoven's Wellington's Victory describes what event?

A soccer match

A political debate

A great military battle

A contest

A spelling bee


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