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American Composers and Musicians from A to Z: I (Part 1 – Charles Ives, Anthony Iannaccone, and Andrew Imbrie)

When our series of American Composers and Musicians came around to me this time, the choice was quite limited.  The letter I…hmmmm. I thought,  “Who is an American composer with a last name starting with ‘I’?”  Finally, it dawned on me: you can’t be more of an American composer than Charles Ives, but I have posted about his contributions previously.  He is to be admired for his daring and interesting results of bi-tonality.  Sometimes I think of it as composing from the subconscious, bringing to light unusual (or accidental) tunes and sounds. A very interesting New Englander, Mr. Ives.

But, there are other 20th-century composers with a last name beginning with “I.” Anthony Iannaccone (1943-) studied with American composers Aaron Copland, David Diamond, and Samuel Adler in New York at the Manhattan School of Music and Eastman School of Music. In addition to composing, he taught and founded an electronic music studio (remember Moog synthesizers? That was the hot item in music theory and composition classes in the mid-1970s.) Mr. Iannaccone has won prizes from the National Band Association and the Sigma Alpha Iota/C. F. Peters Competition, as well as the American Bandmaster Association. As a former “band kid” I appreciate new compositions. His compositions also include a song about an American author, Walt Whitman Song, as well as a madrigal (A Whitman Madrigal). I look forward to learning and hearing more works from this second-generation American composer.

Andrew Imbrie (1921-2007) studied piano and crossed the Atlantic to France. Like other young American composers, he made the pilgrimage to France and studied with Nadia Boulanger. Upon his return, he continued his studies with Roger Sessions at Princeton and followed him to University of California, Berkeley.  There he remained until his retirement in 1991. His compositional style was influenced by Bartók and Sessions. I think composers who have a day job as instructors are very fortunate, as they are provided with a great laboratory.  Many talented students and faculty are available for compositions to be performed, and Imbrie’s works include opera, chamber ensembles, chorus, symphonies, sonatas for various instruments and string quartets.

I hereby move that we approve these American composers; the “I’s” have it!

A Blast of Brass!

Last year we discussed method books available from the NLS Music collection for most band and orchestra instruments. We’ve even done some posts on specific instruments, like saxophone and violin. Today, though, I decided to focus a post specifically on brass instruments. “Why brass?” you ask. Well for one, brass instruments are near and dear […]

Carnegie Hall of the South: Nashville’s Musical Legacy, Part 2

This is the second half of a two-part post on Nashville’s musical history and related books in the NLS Music Collection. Read the first part here: Athens of the South: Nashville’s Musical Legacy, Part 1. Nashville’s most famous music venue, the Ryman Auditorium, was completed in 1892 and was originally a church called the Union […]

Athens of the South: Nashville’s Musical Legacy, Part 1

Here in the Music Section of the National Library Service we are counting down the days until the National Conference of Librarians Serving Blind and Physically Handicapped Individuals begins next month in Music City, Nashville, Tennessee! As I mentioned in my last article, I’ve been taking the opportunity to learn about the musical history of […]

American Composers and Musicians from A to Z: D (Part 1 – Dello Joio, Norman)

Norman Dello Joio (born Nicodemo DeGioio) was born in New York City in January 1913. His father and grandfather had been church musicians, and Norman was set to follow their footsteps, as he became the organist and choir director at age 14. When he was 26, he received a scholarship to attend Julliard, where he […]

Back to School: Method Books Edition (Part 2)

Last week, we detailed method books in the collection for wind instruments. This week, we are highlighting method books in our collection for string instruments and percussion, with some jazz method books thrown in for good measure! If there is anything here that could be useful to you or your student, please don’t hesitate to […]

Back to School: Method Books Edition (Part 1)

Although for most of us it still feels like the middle of summer outside, it is time for many folks to begin thinking about back-to-school, and the new books and supplies for the year. That, of course, includes books for music classes, band, and orchestra. In the past, we’ve discussed books for college students, and […]

I Love a Parade!

As this post is published, I hope everyone is preparing for the July 4th celebration. Along with fireworks, grilling at picnics, sunflowers, ice cream and the patriotic significance of this date, I enjoy a parade–any parade. Especially those with floats, clowns, men with funny hats, and of course, marching bands. This most recent Memorial Day […]

NLS Music Section Hits the Road–Performing Outreach

I have always considered the NLS Music Section’s home base in Washington D.C. as a very fine perk of my job. There are numerous opportunities for concerts with great venues such as Kennedy Center, the Strathmore, our own home at the Library of Congress and (according to me) the jewel in the crown of museums, […]

Sousa’s Birthday

Last week on November 4th, Americans performed their civic duty and voted in the 2014 mid-term elections. Last week on November 6th, one of America’s most famous composers, native Washingtonian John Philip Sousa, celebrated his 160th birthday. It is fitting, then, to celebrate a composer’s music that is inextricably tied to American patriotism, both at […]