Edgar Varese
French, treated percussion equally with strings. Believed sounds (timbres) were the essential structural components of music, and considered all sounds acceptable as raw material. Used sound masses. Wrote Poeme electronique for tape
Charles Ives
American, worked as insurance salesman had 4 distinct spheres of composition- American vernacular, Protestant church music, European Classical Music, and Experimental Music. Worked in cumulative form. Wrote General William Booth Enters Heaven. Used polytonality, polymeter, quotation, and programed music. Founder of experimental music tradition in US
Henry Cowell
American with no formal music training. Wrote experimental (prepared) piano pieces , including Aolian Harp and The Banshee. Incorperated tone clusters.
Ruth Crawford Seeger
American- First woman to win a Guggenheim Fellowship in music. Started as a progressive, serialistic writer, but then found preserving folk songs to be a greater contribution. Wrote String Quartet- Includes counterpoint, sustaining notes, and presenting a line which is repeated in retrograde.
Aaron Copland
American- wrote accessible music. Combined jazz, traditional Jeish themes, strong dissonances (though usaully diatonic), folk songs, Mexican songs, small orchestras, transparent, wide sonorities, open fifths and octaves. Wrote Appalachian Spring, Billy the Kid, and Rodeo.
William Billings
wrote and published several collections of psalms The New-England Psalm-Singer (1770) and The Continental Harmony (1794)
John Philip Sousa
Conducted the United States Marine Band. The March King. Wrote bad French horn parts. Composed Operettas ans Songs. Stars and Striped Forever.
King Oliver
Led a dixieland band. He took Jazz from New Orleans to Chicago. Coronet.
Louis Armstrong
King Olivers apprentice. Married his piano player, Refined Jazz to be a solo art form. He played trumpet.
Amy Beach
American, wrote in late German romantic style. Music also has ethnic flavor, like Irish tunes in the Gaelic Symphony and the American Indians melody in the String Quartet. *Inspired many future women composers.
Duke Ellington
most important Jazz performer. Played in a jazz club in harlem. He had a stable job and could refine his art. Cotton Tail,
Virgil Thomas
Composer and critic for New York Herald Tribune. Studied with Nadia Boulanger. Influenced by Satie. Collaborated with Gertrude Stein on opera “Four Saints in Three Acts'” and “The Mother of Us All,” based on life of Susan B. Anthony.
Nadia Boulanger
Taught classes in Paris for America’s leading composers. Students include Virgil Thomson and Philip Glass.