Charles Ives Symphony 4 Analysis

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Charles Ives composed the Symphony No. 4 between 1910 and the mid-1920s. The symphony is unique because it applies a multi-layered complexity, which requires two conductors to synchronize performance due to its huge, varied, and different orchestration. The symphony is composed of 4 different movements, which are Prelude (Maestoso), Comedy (Allegretto), Fugue (Andante moderato con moto), and, lastly, the Finale (Very Slowly-Largo Maestoso). All four symphonies combined take 30 minutes to play. In this assignment, I will discuss on the Finale: Very Slowly-Largo Maestoso, which duration is roughly 10 minutes. According to my analysis, it consists of an estimate of 13 layers of musical events, marked by varying musical tones and rhythms, introduction of different orchestral instruments, and changes in musical intensity. Below is my analysis divided into sections according to the track time and variations of the orchestral events. Section 1 (00:00-01:04): The symphony begins with intense background soundtrack along with marching drumbeats. Section 2 (01:04-01:14): The intense soundtrack is brought to the foreground. It has a nostalgic tone, and the marching drumbeats continue to play. Section 3 (01:14-01:23): A high-pitched soundtrack is introduced to the symphony, which then softens and tones down. The marching drumbeats cease playing. Section 4 (01:23-01:58): The high-pitched soundtrack continues playing alongside the nostalgic soundtrack in a synchronized manner. The piano is also introduced then it dies abruptly. Section 5 (01:59-02:45): The piano and violin play softly in the foreground in synchronized harmony. Section 6 (02:45-02:46): There is a slight pause in the music where all the musical instruments cease playing. Section 5 (02:46-03:02): There is a repeat in the slow rhythm of the violin and the piano. Section 4 (03:02-03:06): There is an abruptly increased pitch in violin creating a nostalgic mood before toning down to the slow violin and piano rhythm. This is slightly similar to the above section 4 at time 01:23. Section 5 (03:06-03:34): Piano and violin again play in a slow rhythm. Section 7 (03:34-03:53): The pitch of the musical instruments increase leading to a higher tone that creates

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