"Country Band" March Historical Perspectives, Stylistic Considerations, and Rehearsal Strategies




Arnold, Jermie Steven

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American composer Charles Ives was first and foremost a bandsman. Having been raised in the band world by his father, his first works were for band. Though only four of Ives's original works for band survive, many of his other works have been transcribed or arranged for band. Among these <italic>"Country Band" March</italic> is unique. Originally written between 1904-05 for theater orchestra, this work chronicles the events, circumstances, and realities of Ives's experience in the "band world." Ives's use of polymeter, polytonal passages, and multiple layers of rhythm, pitch, texture, distinguishes it as among the first of Ives's instrumental works to do so. Additionally, these characteristics provide considerable performance challenges for conductors and their ensembles. This study provides an overview of <italic>"Country Band" March </italic> including historical context, stylistic considerations, and rehearsal strategies. An exploration of the historical context will allow the conductor and ensemble member to understand the 19th-century band and thus more accurately perform the nuances Ives uses to portray these "country bands." It will also inform the conductor's ability to make accurate stylistic choices. A discussion of significant performance challenges and possible solutions to these challenges allows a more diverse level of ensembles to perform the work. Thus,<italic> "Country Band" March</italic> will be appreciated by more conductors and ensembles as among the best works for band.



Music, History, Music education, Band, Charles Ives, Conducting, March, March Style