Composers’ Voices from Ives to Ellington - Perlis, Vivian; Van Cleve, Libby - Yale University Press
Performing Arts

Series Information
An Oral History of American Music

Composers’ Voices from Ives to Ellington

An Oral History of American Music

  • Vivian Perlis and Libby Van Cleve
      REVIEWS             PREVIEW             CONTENTS             EXCERPTS      

Out of Print.

Winner of a 2006 ASCAP Deems Taylor Special Recognition Award.

Chosen as a title in the 2006 AAUP University Press Books for Public and Secondary School Libraries

Winner of the 2006 Independent Publisher Book Award in the Performing Arts Category selected by Independent Publisher

For interviews, excerpts, and more information on this book, visit the Oral History, American Music website.

Listen to a podcast of Aaron Copland as interviewed by Vivian Perlis.

Listen to a podcast of Charles Ives, interviews by Vivian Perlis.

The first decades of the twentieth century were a fertile and fascinating period in American musical history. This book and the two CDs that accompany it present an exceptional collection of interviews with and about the most significant musical figures of the era. Tapping the unparalleled materials contained in the Oral History American Music archive at Yale University, Composers’ Voices from Ives to Ellington is a unique account of what it was like for musicians and composers to live and work in those years. It is also the story of the making of the archive, as told by Vivian Perlis, who personally conducted many of the interviews.

Music aficionados can now hear Eubie Blake describe the birth of ragtime or listen to a firsthand account of how Ira Gershwin came to write those famous lines in “Let’s Call the Whole Thing Off.” In-depth interviews with such figures as Henry Cowell, Virgil Thomson, Aaron Copland, and Duke Ellington are included in the book, which also features chapter introductions and fascinating sidebars, illustrations, and anecdotes throughout. Two CDs complete the set, enabling today’s listener to enjoy the remarkablen experience of hearing the actual voices and the music of American composers of the early twentieth century.

Vivian Perlis is founding director and Libby van Cleve is associate director of Oral History American Music at the Yale School of Music and Library.

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Includes 2 CDs