Another nationalistic piece which evokes a sense of pride, although with a dash of bewilderment, would most certainly be
, by Charles Ives. This piece is thesecond piece in a set of three pieces written by Ives in an effort to delineate American society.
, in ABA form, is supposed to represent a boy walking through a 4
of July picnicin Connecticut, listening to multiple bands, falling asleep and dreaming, then waking up. At theintroduction, the dissonant, forte melodies of two marching bands clash against each other andreminded me of a powerful, disorganized U.S. government. Throughout the first section, someportions of the two bands seem to come into harmony, only to be immediately disrupted bydissonant piano, trombones, flutes and more. The two marching bands are paired against eachother through unique, powerful melodies that contrast each other so sharply, it appears theyare responding to each other with a series of playful, patriotic, musical retorts. Towards theend of the first section, the boy falls asleep as the orchestra slowly decrescendos whileindividual instruments begin to die off, bringing a close the dissonant clash of bands. While theboy dreams, the beginning of the second section starts off slowly with an underlying, dissonantbeat of violins that invokes a growing tension in me that foreshadows eventful beginnings. Thisentire section reminds me of waking up outside in tents during my enlistment in the Marines,lying in a sleeping bag listening to the growing bustle of people starting off the morning. Atrumpet lightly interjects to represent reveille: syncopated violins mimic showers turning onand off, an oboe melody representing nature, and finally as camp is finishing up the morningactivities, everything begins to go quiet. Triumphantly, as usual, officers arrive in the form of abrass melody barking orders and detailing the activities of the day before the General arrives.The violins, cymbals, flutes and the rest of the orchestra respond to these orders with a variety