Charles Ives
Overview
 
Charles Edward Ives was an American modernist composer
Composer
A composer is a person who creates music, either by musical notation or oral tradition, for interpretation and performance, or through direct manipulation of sonic material through electronic media...

. He is one of the first American composers of international renown, though Ives' music was largely ignored during his life, and many of his works went unperformed for many years. Over time, Ives came to be regarded as an "American Original". Ives combined the American popular and church-music
Hymn
A hymn is a type of song, usually religious, specifically written for the purpose of praise, adoration or prayer, and typically addressed to a deity or deities, or to a prominent figure or personification...

 traditions of his youth with European art music, and was among the first composers to engage in a systematic program of experimental music
Experimental music
Experimental music refers, in the English-language literature, to a compositional tradition which arose in the mid-20th century, applied particularly in North America to music composed in such a way that its outcome is unforeseeable. Its most famous and influential exponent was John Cage...

, with musical technique
Musical technique
Musical technique is the ability of instrumental and vocal musicians to exert optimal control of the their instrument or vocal cords in order to produce the precise musical effects they desire. Improving one's technique generally entails practicing exercises that improve one's muscular sensitivity...

s including polytonality
Polytonality
The musical use of more than one key simultaneously is polytonality . Bitonality is the use of only two different keys at the same time...

, polyrhythm
Polyrhythm
Polyrhythm is the simultaneous sounding of two or more independent rhythms.Polyrhythm in general is a nonspecific term for the simultaneous occurrence of two or more conflicting rhythms, of which cross-rhythm is a specific and definable subset.—Novotney Polyrhythms can be distinguished from...

, tone cluster
Tone cluster
A tone cluster is a musical chord comprising at least three consecutive tones in a scale. Prototypical tone clusters are based on the chromatic scale, and are separated by semitones. For instance, three adjacent piano keys struck simultaneously produce a tone cluster...

s, aleatoric
Aleatoric music
Aleatoric music is music in which some element of the composition is left to chance, and/or some primary element of a composed work's realization is left to the determination of its performer...

 elements, and quarter tone
Quarter tone
A quarter tone , is a pitch halfway between the usual notes of a chromatic scale, an interval about half as wide as a semitone, which is half a whole tone....

s, foreshadowing many musical innovations of the 20th century.

Sources of Ives' tonal imagery are hymn tune
Hymn tune
A hymn tune is the melody of a musical composition to which a hymn text is sung. Musically speaking, a hymn is generally understood to have four-part harmony, a fast harmonic rhythm , and no refrain or chorus....

s and traditional songs, the town band at holiday parade, the fiddlers at Saturday night dances, patriotic songs, sentimental parlor ballads, and the melodies of Stephen Foster
Stephen Foster
Stephen Collins Foster , known as the "father of American music", was the pre-eminent songwriter in the United States of the 19th century...

.
Charles Ives was born in Danbury
Danbury, Connecticut
Danbury is a city in northern Fairfield County, Connecticut, United States. It had population at the 2010 census of 80,893. Danbury is the fourth largest city in Fairfield County and is the seventh largest city in Connecticut....

, Connecticut
Connecticut
Connecticut is a state in the New England region of the northeastern United States. It is bordered by Rhode Island to the east, Massachusetts to the north, and the state of New York to the west and the south .Connecticut is named for the Connecticut River, the major U.S. river that approximately...

 in 1874, the son of George Ives, a U.S. Army
United States Army
The United States Army is the main branch of the United States Armed Forces responsible for land-based military operations. It is the largest and oldest established branch of the U.S. military, and is one of seven U.S. uniformed services...

 bandleader in the American Civil War
American Civil War
The American Civil War was a civil war fought in the United States of America. In response to the election of Abraham Lincoln as President of the United States, 11 southern slave states declared their secession from the United States and formed the Confederate States of America ; the other 25...

, and his wife Mary Parmelee.
Encyclopedia
Charles Edward Ives was an American modernist composer
Composer
A composer is a person who creates music, either by musical notation or oral tradition, for interpretation and performance, or through direct manipulation of sonic material through electronic media...

. He is one of the first American composers of international renown, though Ives' music was largely ignored during his life, and many of his works went unperformed for many years. Over time, Ives came to be regarded as an "American Original". Ives combined the American popular and church-music
Hymn
A hymn is a type of song, usually religious, specifically written for the purpose of praise, adoration or prayer, and typically addressed to a deity or deities, or to a prominent figure or personification...

 traditions of his youth with European art music, and was among the first composers to engage in a systematic program of experimental music
Experimental music
Experimental music refers, in the English-language literature, to a compositional tradition which arose in the mid-20th century, applied particularly in North America to music composed in such a way that its outcome is unforeseeable. Its most famous and influential exponent was John Cage...

, with musical technique
Musical technique
Musical technique is the ability of instrumental and vocal musicians to exert optimal control of the their instrument or vocal cords in order to produce the precise musical effects they desire. Improving one's technique generally entails practicing exercises that improve one's muscular sensitivity...

s including polytonality
Polytonality
The musical use of more than one key simultaneously is polytonality . Bitonality is the use of only two different keys at the same time...

, polyrhythm
Polyrhythm
Polyrhythm is the simultaneous sounding of two or more independent rhythms.Polyrhythm in general is a nonspecific term for the simultaneous occurrence of two or more conflicting rhythms, of which cross-rhythm is a specific and definable subset.—Novotney Polyrhythms can be distinguished from...

, tone cluster
Tone cluster
A tone cluster is a musical chord comprising at least three consecutive tones in a scale. Prototypical tone clusters are based on the chromatic scale, and are separated by semitones. For instance, three adjacent piano keys struck simultaneously produce a tone cluster...

s, aleatoric
Aleatoric music
Aleatoric music is music in which some element of the composition is left to chance, and/or some primary element of a composed work's realization is left to the determination of its performer...

 elements, and quarter tone
Quarter tone
A quarter tone , is a pitch halfway between the usual notes of a chromatic scale, an interval about half as wide as a semitone, which is half a whole tone....

s, foreshadowing many musical innovations of the 20th century.

Sources of Ives' tonal imagery are hymn tune
Hymn tune
A hymn tune is the melody of a musical composition to which a hymn text is sung. Musically speaking, a hymn is generally understood to have four-part harmony, a fast harmonic rhythm , and no refrain or chorus....

s and traditional songs, the town band at holiday parade, the fiddlers at Saturday night dances, patriotic songs, sentimental parlor ballads, and the melodies of Stephen Foster
Stephen Foster
Stephen Collins Foster , known as the "father of American music", was the pre-eminent songwriter in the United States of the 19th century...

.

Biography

Charles Ives was born in Danbury
Danbury, Connecticut
Danbury is a city in northern Fairfield County, Connecticut, United States. It had population at the 2010 census of 80,893. Danbury is the fourth largest city in Fairfield County and is the seventh largest city in Connecticut....

, Connecticut
Connecticut
Connecticut is a state in the New England region of the northeastern United States. It is bordered by Rhode Island to the east, Massachusetts to the north, and the state of New York to the west and the south .Connecticut is named for the Connecticut River, the major U.S. river that approximately...

 in 1874, the son of George Ives, a U.S. Army
United States Army
The United States Army is the main branch of the United States Armed Forces responsible for land-based military operations. It is the largest and oldest established branch of the U.S. military, and is one of seven U.S. uniformed services...

 bandleader in the American Civil War
American Civil War
The American Civil War was a civil war fought in the United States of America. In response to the election of Abraham Lincoln as President of the United States, 11 southern slave states declared their secession from the United States and formed the Confederate States of America ; the other 25...

, and his wife Mary Parmelee. A strong influence of Charles's may have been sitting in the Danbury town square, listening to his father's marching band and other bands on other sides of the square simultaneously
Simultaneity (music)
In music, a simultaneity is more than one complete musical texture occurring at the same time, rather than in succession. This first appeared in the music of Charles Ives, and is common in the music of Conlon Nancarrow and others....

. George Ives' unique music lessons were also a strong influence on Charles; George Ives took an open-minded approach to musical theory, encouraging his son to experiment in bitonal and polytonal harmonizations. It was from his father that Charles Ives also learned the music of Stephen Foster
Stephen Foster
Stephen Collins Foster , known as the "father of American music", was the pre-eminent songwriter in the United States of the 19th century...

. Ives became a church organist
Organist
An organist is a musician who plays any type of organ. An organist may play solo organ works, play with an ensemble or orchestra, or accompany one or more singers or instrumental soloists...

 at the age of 14 and wrote various hymns and songs for church services, including his Variations on 'America' .

Ives moved to New Haven
New Haven, Connecticut
New Haven is the second-largest city in Connecticut and the sixth-largest in New England. According to the 2010 Census, New Haven's population increased by 5.0% between 2000 and 2010, a rate higher than that of the State of Connecticut, and higher than that of the state's five largest cities, and...

 in 1893, enrolling in the Hopkins School
Hopkins School
The Hopkins School is a private, college-preparatory, coeducational day school, located in New Haven, Connecticut....

, where he captained the baseball team. In September 1894, Ives entered Yale University
Yale University
Yale University is a private, Ivy League university located in New Haven, Connecticut, United States. Founded in 1701 in the Colony of Connecticut, the university is the third-oldest institution of higher education in the United States...

, studying under Horatio Parker
Horatio Parker
Horatio William Parker was an American composer, organist and teacher. He was a central figure in musical life in New Haven, Connecticut in the late 19th century, and is best remembered as the teacher of Charles Ives....

. Here he composed in a choral style similar to his mentor, writing church music and even an 1896 campaign song for William McKinley
William McKinley
William McKinley, Jr. was the 25th President of the United States . He is best known for winning fiercely fought elections, while supporting the gold standard and high tariffs; he succeeded in forging a Republican coalition that for the most part dominated national politics until the 1930s...

. On November 4, 1894, Charles's father died, a crushing blow to the young composer, but to a large degree Ives continued the musical experimentation he had begun with George Ives.

At Yale, Ives was a prominent figure; he was a member of HeBoule, Delta Kappa Epsilon
Delta Kappa Epsilon
Delta Kappa Epsilon is a fraternity founded at Yale College in 1844 by 15 men of the sophomore class who had not been invited to join the two existing societies...

 (Phi chapter) and Wolf's Head Society
Wolf's Head (secret society)
Wolf's Head Society is an undergraduate senior or secret society at Yale University, New Haven, CT, USA. Membership is recomposed annually of fifteen or sixteen Yale University students, typically juniors from the college...

, and sat as chairman of the Ivy Committee
Ivy League
The Ivy League is an athletic conference comprising eight private institutions of higher education in the Northeastern United States. The conference name is also commonly used to refer to those eight schools as a group...

. He enjoyed sports at Yale and played on the varsity football team. Michael C. Murphy, his coach, once remarked that it was a "crying shame" that Charles Ives spent so much time at music as otherwise he could have been a champion sprinter. His works Calcium Light Night
Calcium Light Night
Calcium Light Night is a piece of music by American composer Charles Ives. It is one of his Cartoons or Take-Offs and is scored for piccolo, clarinet, cornet, trombone, bass drum, and two pianos...

 and Yale-Princeton Football Game show the influence of college and sports on Ives' composition. He wrote his Symphony No. 1
Symphony No. 1 (Ives)
Charles Ives's Symphony No. 1 in D minor, written between 1898 and 1902, is a good example of how Ives learned from composers before him. Many of his later symphonies relied on Protestant hymns as the main theme...

 as his senior thesis under Parker's supervision.

He continued his work as a church organist until May 1902. In 1899, he moved to employment with the insurance agency Charles H. Raymond & Co., where he stayed until 1906. In 1907, upon the failure of Raymond & Co., he and his friend Julian Myrick
Julian Myrick
Julian Southall Myrick was an insurance salesman and promoter of tennis from the United States.Myrick was born in Murfreesboro, North Carolina on March 1, 1880. In 1898, Myrick entered the insurance business as an application clerk at the Mutual Insurance Company. In 1906, Myrick partnered with his...

 formed their own insurance agency Ives & Co., which later became Ives & Myrick, where he remained until he retired. During his career as an insurance executive, Ives devised creative ways to structure life-insurance packages for people of means, which laid the foundation of the modern practice of estate planning
Estate planning
Estate planning is the process of anticipating and arranging for the disposal of an estate. Estate planning typically attempts to eliminate uncertainties over the administration of a probate and maximize the value of the estate by reducing taxes and other expenses...

. His Life Insurance with Relation to Inheritance Tax, published in 1918, was well received. As a result of this he achieved considerable fame in the insurance industry of his time, with many of his business peers surprised to learn that he was also a composer. In his spare time he composed music and, until his marriage, worked as an organist in Danbury and New Haven
New Haven, Connecticut
New Haven is the second-largest city in Connecticut and the sixth-largest in New England. According to the 2010 Census, New Haven's population increased by 5.0% between 2000 and 2010, a rate higher than that of the State of Connecticut, and higher than that of the state's five largest cities, and...

 as well as Bloomfield
Bloomfield, New Jersey
Bloomfield is a township in Essex County, New Jersey, United States. As of the 2010 United States Census, the township population was 47,315. It surrounds the Bloomfield Green Historic District.-History:...

, New Jersey
New Jersey
New Jersey is a state in the Northeastern and Middle Atlantic regions of the United States. , its population was 8,791,894. It is bordered on the north and east by the state of New York, on the southeast and south by the Atlantic Ocean, on the west by Pennsylvania and on the southwest by Delaware...

 and New York City.

In 1907, Ives suffered the first of several "heart attacks" (as he and his family called them) that he had throughout his lifetime. These attacks may have been psychological in origin rather than physical. Following his recovery from the 1907 attack, Ives entered into one of the most creative periods of his life as a composer.

After marrying Harmony Twitchell in 1908, they moved into their own apartment in New York. He had a remarkably successful career in insurance, and continued to be a prolific composer until he suffered another of several heart attacks in 1918, after which he composed very little, writing his very last piece, the song "Sunrise", in August 1926. In 1922, Ives published his 114 Songs, which represents the breadth of his work as a composer — it includes art songs, songs he wrote as a teenager and young man, and highly dissonant songs such as "The Majority."

According to his wife, one day in early 1927 he came downstairs with tears in his eyes. He could compose no more, he said, "nothing sounds right." There have been numerous theories advanced to explain the silence of his late years, which seems as mysterious as the last several decades of the life of Jean Sibelius
Jean Sibelius
Jean Sibelius was a Finnish composer of the later Romantic period whose music played an important role in the formation of the Finnish national identity. His mastery of the orchestra has been described as "prodigious."...

, who also stopped composing at almost the same time. While Ives had stopped composing, and was increasingly plagued by health problems, he did continue to revise and refine his earlier work, as well as oversee premieres of his music. After continuing health problems, including diabetes, in 1930 he retired from his insurance business, which gave him more time to devote to his musical work, but he was unable to write any new music. During the 1940s he revised his Concord Sonata, publishing it in 1947 (an earlier version of the sonata and the accompanying prose volume, Essays Before a Sonata were privately printed in 1920).

Ives died in 1954 in New York City.
His widow bequeathed the royalties from his music to the American Academy of Arts and Letters for the Charles Ives Prize
Charles Ives Prize
The Charles Ives Prize is a scholarship for young composers, awarded by the American Academy of Arts and Letters: scholarships of $7500, and fellowships of $15,000....

.

Early period (before 1900)

As a youth, Charles was musically trained by his father George Ives, the bandmaster in Danbury, Connecticut. Charles played drums in his father's band at an early age, then learned to play piano and organ as his "main" instrument. He was a sought-after organist in some of the local churches as a teenager and once received a favorable newspaper review. George Ives engaged his son with challenging musical exercises such as alternative tunings and bitonal singing exercises. The elder Ives experimented with having two marching bands start at opposite ends of town playing two different songs in different keys while marching towards each other. Charles later credited his father as the seminal musical influence in his life.

Ives was formally trained in music at Yale. His First Symphony shows a grasp of the academic skills needed to write in the traditional sonata form
Sonata form
Sonata form is a large-scale musical structure used widely since the middle of the 18th century . While it is typically used in the first movement of multi-movement pieces, it is sometimes used in subsequent movements as well—particularly the final movement...

 of the late 19th century, as well as a tendency to display an individual and iconoclastic harmonic style. His father was a band leader, and like Hector Berlioz
Hector Berlioz
Hector Berlioz was a French Romantic composer, best known for his compositions Symphonie fantastique and Grande messe des morts . Berlioz made significant contributions to the modern orchestra with his Treatise on Instrumentation. He specified huge orchestral forces for some of his works; as a...

, Ives was fascinated with both outdoor music and instrumentation. His attempts to fuse these interests coupled with his devotion to Beethoven set the direction for the remainder of his musical life.

Ives published a large collection of his songs, many of which had piano parts that paralleled modern movements in Europe, including bitonality and pantonality
Pantonality
In music pantonality may refer to:*Twelve tone music, seen as an extension of tonality to all keys *Nonfunctional tonality or pandiatonicism...

. He was an accomplished pianist who could improvise in a variety of styles, including those then quite new. Though he is now best known for his orchestral music, he composed two string quartets and other works of chamber music
Chamber music
Chamber music is a form of classical music, written for a small group of instruments which traditionally could be accommodated in a palace chamber. Most broadly, it includes any art music that is performed by a small number of performers with one performer to a part...

. His work as an organist led him to write Variations on "America" in 1891, which he premiered at a recital celebrating the Fourth of July
United States Declaration of Independence
The Declaration of Independence was a statement adopted by the Continental Congress on July 4, 1776, which announced that the thirteen American colonies then at war with Great Britain regarded themselves as independent states, and no longer a part of the British Empire. John Adams put forth a...

. The piece takes the tune
My Country, 'Tis of Thee
"My Country, 'Tis of Thee", also known as "America", is an American patriotic song, whose lyrics were written by Samuel Francis Smith. The melody derived from Muzio Clementi's Symphony No. 3, and is shared with "God Save the Queen," used by many members of the Commonwealth of Nations...

 (which is the same one as is used for the national anthem of the United Kingdom
God Save the Queen
"God Save the Queen" is an anthem used in a number of Commonwealth realms and British Crown Dependencies. The words of the song, like its title, are adapted to the gender of the current monarch, with "King" replacing "Queen", "he" replacing "she", and so forth, when a king reigns...

) through a series of fairly standard but witty variations; it was not published until 1949. The variations differ sharply: a running line, a set of close harmonies, a march, and a polonaise
Polonaise
The polonaise is a slow dance of Polish origin, in 3/4 time. Its name is French for "Polish."The polonaise had a rhythm quite close to that of the Swedish semiquaver or sixteenth-note polska, and the two dances have a common origin....

; the interludes are one of the first uses of bitonality; William Schuman
William Schuman
William Howard Schuman was an American composer and music administrator.-Life:Born in Manhattan in New York City to Samuel and Rachel Schuman, Schuman was named after the twenty-seventh U.S. president, William Howard Taft, although his family preferred to call him Bill...

 arranged this for orchestra in 1964 and again for symphonic band in 1968.

Middle period (1900–1910)

Around the turn of twentieth century Ives composed his Symphony No. 2
Symphony No. 2 (Ives)
The Second Symphony was written by Charles Ives between 1897 and 1901. It consists of five movements and lasts approximately 40 minutes.-Scoring:...

, signifying a departure from the conservative approach of his composition teacher at Yale, Horatio Parker. His first symphony is a more conventional piece since Parker had insisted that he stick to the older European style. However, the second symphony, composed after he had graduated, adopted new techniques that included musical quotations, unusual phrasing and orchestration, and even a blatantly dissonant 11-note chord ending the work. The second symphony foreshadows his later compositional style even though the piece is relatively conservative by Ives' standards.

In 1906, Ives composed what some have argued was the first radical musical work of the twentieth century, Central Park in the Dark
Central Park in the Dark
Central Park in the Dark is a music composition by Charles Ives for chamber orchestra. It was composed in 1906 and has been paired with The Unanswered Question as part of “Two Contemplations” and Hallowe’en and The Pond in “Three Outdoor Scenes.”...

. The piece evokes an evening comparing sounds from nearby nightclubs in Manhattan (playing the popular music of the day, ragtime, quoting "Hello! Ma Baby
Hello! Ma Baby
"Hello! Ma Baby" is a Tin Pan Alley song written in 1899 by the team of Joseph E. Howard and Ida Emerson . Its subject is a man who has a girlfriend he knows only through the telephone...

" and even Sousa's
John Philip Sousa
John Philip Sousa was an American composer and conductor of the late Romantic era, known particularly for American military and patriotic marches. Because of his mastery of march composition, he is known as "The March King" or the "American March King" due to his British counterpart Kenneth J....

 "Washington Post March
The Washington Post (march)
"The Washington Post" is a march composed by John Philip Sousa in 1889. Since then, it has remained as one of his most popular marches throughout the United States and many countries abroad.-History:...

") with the mysterious dark and misty qualities of the Central Park woods (played by the strings). The string harmony uses shifting chord structures that are not solely based on thirds but a combination of thirds, fourths, and fifths. Near the end of the piece the remainder of the orchestra builds up to a grand chaos ending on a dissonant chord, leaving the string section to end the piece save for a brief violin duo superimposed over the unusual chord structures.

Ives had composed two symphonies, but it is with The Unanswered Question
The Unanswered Question
The Unanswered Question is a work by American composer Charles Ives. It was originally the first of "Two Contemplations" composed in 1906, paired with another piece called Central Park in the Dark. As with many of Ives' works, it was largely unknown until much later in his life, being first...

 (1906), written for the highly unusual combination of trumpet
Trumpet
The trumpet is the musical instrument with the highest register in the brass family. Trumpets are among the oldest musical instruments, dating back to at least 1500 BCE. They are played by blowing air through closed lips, producing a "buzzing" sound which starts a standing wave vibration in the air...

, four flute
Flute
The flute is a musical instrument of the woodwind family. Unlike woodwind instruments with reeds, a flute is an aerophone or reedless wind instrument that produces its sound from the flow of air across an opening...

s, and string orchestra
String orchestra
A string orchestra is an orchestra composed solely or primarily of instruments from the string family. These instruments are the violin, the viola, the cello, the double bass , the piano, the harp, and sometimes percussion...

, that he established the mature sonic world that became his signature style. The strings (located offstage) play very slow, chorale
Chorale
A chorale was originally a hymn sung by a Christian congregation. In certain modern usage, this term may also include classical settings of such hymns and works of a similar character....

-like music throughout the piece while on several occasions the trumpet (positioned behind the audience) plays a short motif that Ives described as "the eternal question of existence". Each time the trumpet is answered with increasingly shrill outbursts from the flutes (onstage) — apart from the last: the unanswered question. The piece is typical Ives — it juxtaposes various disparate elements, it appears to be driven by a narrative never fully revealed to the audience, and it is tremendously mysterious. It has become one of his more popular works. Leonard Bernstein
Leonard Bernstein
Leonard Bernstein August 25, 1918 – October 14, 1990) was an American conductor, composer, author, music lecturer and pianist. He was among the first conductors born and educated in the United States of America to receive worldwide acclaim...

 borrowed its title for his Charles Eliot Norton Lectures
Charles Eliot Norton Lectures
The Charles Eliot Norton Professorship of Poetry at Harvard University was established in 1925 as an annual lectureship in "poetry in the broadest sense" and named for the university's former professor of fine arts. Distinguished creative figures and scholars in the arts, including painting,...

 in 1973, noting that he always thought of the piece as a musical question, not a metaphysical one.

Mature period (1910–1923)

Starting around 1910 Ives began composing his most accomplished works including the Holiday Symphony
A Symphony: New England Holidays
A Symphony: New England Holidays, also known as A New England Holiday Symphony or simply a Holiday Symphony, is a composition for orchestra written by Charles Ives. It took Ives from 1897 to 1913 to complete all four movements. The four movements in order are:*I. Washington’s Birthday*II....

 and arguably his best-known piece, Three Places in New England
Three Places in New England
The Three Places in New England is a composition for orchestra by Charles Ives. It was composed across a long span of time , however the bulk was written between 1911 and 1914. The piece is famous for its use of musical quotation and paraphrasing, as explained later in this article...

.

Pieces such as The Unanswered Question
The Unanswered Question
The Unanswered Question is a work by American composer Charles Ives. It was originally the first of "Two Contemplations" composed in 1906, paired with another piece called Central Park in the Dark. As with many of Ives' works, it was largely unknown until much later in his life, being first...

 were almost certainly influenced by the New England transcendentalist
Transcendentalism
Transcendentalism is a philosophical movement that developed in the 1830s and 1840s in the New England region of the United States as a protest against the general state of culture and society, and in particular, the state of intellectualism at Harvard University and the doctrine of the Unitarian...

 writers Ralph Waldo Emerson
Ralph Waldo Emerson
Ralph Waldo Emerson was an American essayist, lecturer, and poet, who led the Transcendentalist movement of the mid-19th century...

 and Henry David Thoreau
Henry David Thoreau
Henry David Thoreau was an American author, poet, philosopher, abolitionist, naturalist, tax resister, development critic, surveyor, historian, and leading transcendentalist...

. These were important influences to Ives, as he acknowledged in his Piano Sonata No. 2: "Concord, Mass., 1840–60"
Piano Sonata No. 2 (Ives)
The Piano Sonata No. 2, Concord, Mass., 1840–60 by Charles Ives, commonly known as the Concord Sonata, is one of the composer's best-known and most highly regarded pieces....

 (1909–15), which he described as an "...impression of the spirit of transcendentalism that is associated in the minds of many with Concord, Mass., of over a half century ago... undertaken in impressionistic pictures of Emerson and Thoreau, a sketch of the Alcotts
Louisa May Alcott
Louisa May Alcott was an American novelist. She is best known for the novel Little Women and its sequels Little Men and Jo's Boys. Little Women was set in the Alcott family home, Orchard House in Concord, Massachusetts, and published in 1868...

, and a scherzo
Scherzo
A scherzo is a piece of music, often a movement from a larger piece such as a symphony or a sonata. The scherzo's precise definition has varied over the years, but it often refers to a movement which replaces the minuet as the third movement in a four-movement work, such as a symphony, sonata, or...

 supposed to reflect a lighter quality which is often found in the fantastic side of Hawthorne
Nathaniel Hawthorne
Nathaniel Hawthorne was an American novelist and short story writer.Nathaniel Hawthorne was born in 1804 in the city of Salem, Massachusetts to Nathaniel Hathorne and the former Elizabeth Clarke Manning. His ancestors include John Hathorne, a judge during the Salem Witch Trials...

."

The sonata is possibly Ives' best-known piece for solo piano (although it should be noted that there is an optional part for flute). (A part for viola
Viola
The viola is a bowed string instrument. It is the middle voice of the violin family, between the violin and the cello.- Form :The viola is similar in material and construction to the violin. A full-size viola's body is between and longer than the body of a full-size violin , with an average...

 in the "Emerson" movement is not intended for a viola player — it is simply the "viola part" from the original "Emerson" Concerto
Emerson Concerto
The "Emerson" Piano Concerto was the first draft of Charles Ives's "Emerson" movement of the Second Piano Sonata The "Emerson" Piano Concerto (also entitled the "Emerson" Overture for Piano and Orchestra) was the first draft of Charles Ives's "Emerson" movement of the Second Piano Sonata The...

 sketch, which was also to be played by bassoon and tubular bells.) Rhythmically and harmonically, it is typically adventurous, and it demonstrates Ives' fondness for quotation
Musical quotation
Musical quotation is the practice of directly quoting another work in a new composition. The quotation may be from the same composer's work , or from a different composer's work ....

 — on several occasions the opening motto from Beethoven
Ludwig van Beethoven
Ludwig van Beethoven was a German composer and pianist. A crucial figure in the transition between the Classical and Romantic eras in Western art music, he remains one of the most famous and influential composers of all time.Born in Bonn, then the capital of the Electorate of Cologne and part of...

's Fifth Symphony
Symphony No. 5 (Beethoven)
The Symphony No. 5 in C minor, Op. 67, was written by Ludwig van Beethoven in 1804–08. This symphony is one of the most popular and best-known compositions in all of classical music, and one of the most often played symphonies. It comprises four movements: an opening sonata, an andante, and a fast...

 is quoted. It also contains one of the most striking examples of Ives' experimentalism: in the second movement, he instructs the pianist to use a 14+3/4 in piece of wood to produce a dense but generally very soft cluster chord. All these effects are combined to create one of the towering masterworks of 20th century piano literature—an unprecedented masterpiece of American music.

Perhaps the most remarkable piece of orchestral music Ives completed was his Fourth Symphony
Symphony No. 4 (Ives)
The Symphony No. 4, S. 4 by Charles Ives was written between the years of 1910 and 1916. The symphony is notable for its multi-layered complexity - usually necessitating two conductors in performance - and for its over-sized orchestra...

 (1910–16). The list of forces required to perform the work alone is extraordinary. The work closely mirrors The Unanswered Question. There is no shortage of novel effects. (A tremolando
Tremolo
Tremolo, or tremolando, is a musical term that describes various trembling effects, falling roughly into two types. The first is a rapid reiteration...

 is heard throughout the second movement. A fight between discordance and traditional tonal music is heard in the final movement. The piece ends quietly with just the percussion playing at a distance.) In it, Ives finally resolves all of his compositional issues and the full force of his considerable genius is heard. The final movement can be seen as an apotheosis of his work and a culmination of his musical achievement. A complete performance was not given until 1965, almost half a century after the symphony was completed, and more than a decade after Ives' death.

Ives left behind material for an unfinished Universe Symphony
Universe Symphony (Ives)
The Universe Symphony is an unfinished work by American classical music composer Charles Ives.The date of composition is unknown, but he probably worked on it periodically between 1911 and 1928...

, which he was unable to assemble in his lifetime despite two decades of work. This was due to his health problems as well as his shifting conception of the work. There have been several attempts at completion or performing version. However, none has found its way into general performance. The symphony takes the ideas in the Symphony No. 4 to an even higher level, with complex cross-rhythms and difficult layered dissonance along with unusual instrumental combinations.

Ives' chamber works include the String Quartet No. 2, where the parts are often written at extremes of counterpoint
Counterpoint
In music, counterpoint is the relationship between two or more voices that are independent in contour and rhythm and are harmonically interdependent . It has been most commonly identified in classical music, developing strongly during the Renaissance and in much of the common practice period,...

, ranging from spiky dissonance in the movement labeled "Arguments" to transcendentally slow. This range of extremes is frequent in Ives' music — crushing blare and dissonance contrasted with lyrical quiet — and carried out by the relationship of the parts slipping in and out of phase with each other. Ives' idiom, like Mahler's
Gustav Mahler
Gustav Mahler was a late-Romantic Austrian composer and one of the leading conductors of his generation. He was born in the village of Kalischt, Bohemia, in what was then Austria-Hungary, now Kaliště in the Czech Republic...

, employed highly independent melodic lines. It is regarded as difficult to play because many of the typical signposts for performers are not present. This work had a clear influence on Elliott Carter
Elliott Carter
Elliott Cook Carter, Jr. is a two-time Pulitzer Prize-winning American composer born and living in New York City. He studied with Nadia Boulanger in Paris in the 1930s, and then returned to the United States. After a neoclassical phase, he went on to write atonal, rhythmically complex music...

's Second String Quartet
String Quartet No. 2 (Carter)
The Second String Quartet by American composer Elliott Carter was completed in 1959. It was commissioned by the Stanley String Quartet, and received its first performance in 1960 by the Juilliard String Quartet....

, which is similarly a four-way theatrical conversation.

Reception

Ives' music was largely ignored during his lifetime as an active composer, but since then his reputation has greatly increased. Juilliard
Juilliard School
The Juilliard School, located at the Lincoln Center for the Performing Arts in New York City, United States, is a performing arts conservatory which was established in 1905...

 commemorated the 50th anniversary of Ives' death by performing his music over six days in 2004. Many of his works went unperformed for many years. His tendency to experiment and his increasing use of dissonance were not well taken by the musical establishment of the time. The difficulties in performing the rhythmic complexities in his major orchestral works made them daunting challenges even decades after they were composed.

One of the more damning words one could use to describe music in Ives' view was "nice", and his famous remark "use your ears like men!" seemed to indicate that he did not care about his reception. On the contrary, Ives was interested in popular reception, but on his own terms.

Early supporters of his music included Henry Cowell
Henry Cowell
Henry Cowell was an American composer, music theorist, pianist, teacher, publisher, and impresario. His contribution to the world of music was summed up by Virgil Thomson, writing in the early 1950s:...

, Elliott Carter
Elliott Carter
Elliott Cook Carter, Jr. is a two-time Pulitzer Prize-winning American composer born and living in New York City. He studied with Nadia Boulanger in Paris in the 1930s, and then returned to the United States. After a neoclassical phase, he went on to write atonal, rhythmically complex music...

 and Aaron Copland
Aaron Copland
Aaron Copland was an American composer, composition teacher, writer, and later in his career a conductor of his own and other American music. He was instrumental in forging a distinctly American style of composition, and is often referred to as "the Dean of American Composers"...

. Cowell's periodical New Music published a substantial number of Ives' scores (with the composer's approval), but for almost 40 years Ives had few performances that he did not arrange or back, generally with Nicolas Slonimsky
Nicolas Slonimsky
Nicolas Slonimsky was a Russian born American composer, conductor, musician, music critic, lexicographer and author. He described himself as a "diaskeuast" ; "a reviser or interpolator."- Life :...

 as the conductor. After seeing a copy of Ives' self-published 114 Songs during the 1930s, Copland published a newspaper article praising the collection.

Ives began to acquire more public recognition during the 1930s, with performances of a chamber orchestra version of his Three Places in New England
Three Places in New England
The Three Places in New England is a composition for orchestra by Charles Ives. It was composed across a long span of time , however the bulk was written between 1911 and 1914. The piece is famous for its use of musical quotation and paraphrasing, as explained later in this article...

 both in the U.S. and on tour in Europe by conductor Nicolas Slonimsky and the New York Town Hall premiere of his Piano Sonata No. 2 (the Concord Sonata)
Piano Sonata No. 2 (Ives)
The Piano Sonata No. 2, Concord, Mass., 1840–60 by Charles Ives, commonly known as the Concord Sonata, is one of the composer's best-known and most highly regarded pieces....

 by John Kirkpatrick in 1939, which led to favorable commentary in the major New York newspapers. Later, around the time of the composer's death in 1954, Kirkpatrick teamed with soprano Helen Boatwright for the first extended recorded recital of Ives' songs for the obscure Overtone label (Overtone Records catalog number 7). Boatwright and Kirkpatrick recorded a new selection of songs for the Ives Centennial Collection that Columbia Records published in 1974.

His obscurity lifted a little in the 1940s, when he met Lou Harrison
Lou Harrison
Lou Silver Harrison was an American composer. He was a student of Henry Cowell, Arnold Schoenberg, and K. P. H. Notoprojo Lou Silver Harrison (May 14, 1917 – February 2, 2003) was an American composer. He was a student of Henry Cowell, Arnold Schoenberg, and K. P. H. Notoprojo Lou Silver Harrison...

, a fan of his music who began to edit and promote it. Most notably Harrison conducted the premiere of the Symphony No. 3, The Camp Meeting
Symphony No. 3 (Ives)
The Symphony No. 3, S. 3 , The Camp Meeting by Charles Ives was written between the years of 1908 and 1910. In 1947, Ives was awarded the Pulitzer Prize for Music for his Symphony No. 3. Later, his works were performed by conductors like Leonard Bernstein...

 (1904) in 1946. The next year, this piece won Ives the Pulitzer Prize for Music
Pulitzer Prize for Music
The Pulitzer Prize for Music was first awarded in 1943. Joseph Pulitzer did not call for such a prize in his will, but had arranged for a music scholarship to be awarded each year...

. Ives gave the prize money away (half of it to Harrison), saying "prizes are for boys, and I'm all grown up".

At this time, Ives was also promoted by Bernard Herrmann
Bernard Herrmann
Bernard Herrmann was an American composer noted for his work in motion pictures.An Academy Award-winner , Herrmann is particularly known for his collaborations with director Alfred Hitchcock, most famously Psycho, North by Northwest, The Man Who Knew Too Much, and Vertigo...

, who worked as a conductor at CBS and in 1940 became principal conductor of the CBS Symphony Orchestra. While there he was a champion of Charles Ives' music. When meeting Ives, Hermann confessed that he had tried his hand at performing the Concord Sonata.

Remarkably, Ives, who actually avoided the radio and the phonograph, agreed to make a series of piano recordings from 1933 to 1943 that were later issued by Columbia Records
Columbia Records
Columbia Records is an American record label, owned by Japan's Sony Music Entertainment, operating under the Columbia Music Group with Aware Records. It was founded in 1888, evolving from an earlier enterprise, the American Graphophone Company — successor to the Volta Graphophone Company...

 on a special LP set issued for Ives' centenary in 1974. New World Records
New World Records
New World Records is a record label based in New York City specialising in American music. The label was established in 1975 through a Rockefeller Foundation grant to produce a 100 disc anthology covering 200 years of American music....

 issued 42 tracks of Ives' recordings on CD on April 1, 2006.

Recognition of Ives' music has improved. He received praise from Arnold Schoenberg
Arnold Schoenberg
Arnold Schoenberg was an Austrian composer, associated with the expressionist movement in German poetry and art, and leader of the Second Viennese School...

, who regarded him as a monument to artistic integrity, and from the New York School of William Schuman
William Schuman
William Howard Schuman was an American composer and music administrator.-Life:Born in Manhattan in New York City to Samuel and Rachel Schuman, Schuman was named after the twenty-seventh U.S. president, William Howard Taft, although his family preferred to call him Bill...

. He won the admiration of Gustav Mahler
Gustav Mahler
Gustav Mahler was a late-Romantic Austrian composer and one of the leading conductors of his generation. He was born in the village of Kalischt, Bohemia, in what was then Austria-Hungary, now Kaliště in the Czech Republic...

, who said that Ives was a true musical revolutionary. Mahler talked of premiering Ives' Third Symphony with the New York Philharmonic
New York Philharmonic
The New York Philharmonic is a symphony orchestra based in New York City in the United States. It is one of the American orchestras commonly referred to as the "Big Five"...

; but, soon after, Mahler's death prevented the premiere.

In 1951, Leonard Bernstein
Leonard Bernstein
Leonard Bernstein August 25, 1918 – October 14, 1990) was an American conductor, composer, author, music lecturer and pianist. He was among the first conductors born and educated in the United States of America to receive worldwide acclaim...

 conducted the world premiere of Ives' Second Symphony in a broadcast concert by the New York Philharmonic
New York Philharmonic
The New York Philharmonic is a symphony orchestra based in New York City in the United States. It is one of the American orchestras commonly referred to as the "Big Five"...

. The Iveses heard the performance on their cook's radio and were amazed at the audience's warm reception to the music. Bernstein continued to conduct Ives' music and made a number of recordings with the Philharmonic for Columbia Records
Columbia Records
Columbia Records is an American record label, owned by Japan's Sony Music Entertainment, operating under the Columbia Music Group with Aware Records. It was founded in 1888, evolving from an earlier enterprise, the American Graphophone Company — successor to the Volta Graphophone Company...

. He even honored Ives on one of his televised youth concerts and in a special disc included with the reissue of the 1960 recording of the second symphony and the Fourth of July movement from Ives' Holiday Symphony
A Symphony: New England Holidays
A Symphony: New England Holidays, also known as A New England Holiday Symphony or simply a Holiday Symphony, is a composition for orchestra written by Charles Ives. It took Ives from 1897 to 1913 to complete all four movements. The four movements in order are:*I. Washington’s Birthday*II....

.

Another pioneering Ives recording, undertaken during the 1950s, was the first complete set of the four violin sonatas, performed by Cleveland Orchestra
Cleveland Orchestra
The Cleveland Orchestra is an American orchestra based in Cleveland, Ohio. It is one of the five American orchestras informally referred to as the "Big Five". Founded in 1918, the orchestra plays most of its concerts at Severance Hall...

 concertmaster Rafael Druian and John Simms.

Leopold Stokowski
Leopold Stokowski
Leopold Anthony Stokowski was a British-born, naturalised American orchestral conductor, well known for his free-hand performing style that spurned the traditional baton and for obtaining a characteristically sumptuous sound from many of the great orchestras he conducted.In America, Stokowski...

 took on the Symphony No. 4
Symphony No. 4 (Ives)
The Symphony No. 4, S. 4 by Charles Ives was written between the years of 1910 and 1916. The symphony is notable for its multi-layered complexity - usually necessitating two conductors in performance - and for its over-sized orchestra...

 in 1965, regarding the work as "the heart of the Ives problem". The Carnegie Hall world premiere by the American Symphony Orchestra
American Symphony Orchestra
The American Symphony Orchestra is a New York-based American orchestra founded in 1962 by Leopold Stokowski, then aged 80. Following Maestro Stokowski's departure, Kazuyoshi Akiyama was appointed Music Director of the American Symphony Orchestra from 1973-1978. Music Directors during the early...

 led to the first recording of the music.

Another promotor of Ives was choral conductor Gregg Smith, who made a series of recordings of the composer's shorter works during the 1960s, including first stereo recordings of the psalm settings and arrangements of many short pieces for theater orchestra. The Juilliard String Quartet
Juilliard String Quartet
The Juilliard String Quartet is a classical music string quartet founded in 1946 at the Juilliard School in New York. The original members were violinists Robert Mann and Robert Koff, violist Raphael Hillyer, and cellist Arthur Winograd; Current members are Joseph Lin and Ronald Copes violinists,...

 recorded the two string quartets during the 1960s.

In the present, Michael Tilson Thomas
Michael Tilson Thomas
Michael Tilson Thomas is an American conductor, pianist and composer. He is currently music director of the San Francisco Symphony, and artistic director of the New World Symphony Orchestra.-Early years:...

 is an enthusiastic exponent of Ives' symphonies, as is composer and biographer Jan Swafford
Jan Swafford
Jan Swafford is an American composer and author who teaches composition, theory, and musicology at the Boston Conservatory and writing at Tufts University. He earned his B.A. from Harvard College and his M.M.A. and D.M.A. from the Yale School of Music...

. Ives' work is regularly programmed in Europe. Ives has also inspired pictorial artists, most notably Eduardo Paolozzi
Eduardo Paolozzi
Sir Eduardo Luigi Paolozzi, KBE, RA , was a Scottish sculptor and artist. He was a major figure in the international art sphere, while, working on his own interpretation and vision of the world. Paolozzi investigated how we can fit into the modern world to resemble our fragmented civilization...

, who entitled one of his 1970s sets of prints Calcium Light Night, each print being named for an Ives piece (including Central Park in the Dark). In 1991, Connecticut
Connecticut
Connecticut is a state in the New England region of the northeastern United States. It is bordered by Rhode Island to the east, Massachusetts to the north, and the state of New York to the west and the south .Connecticut is named for the Connecticut River, the major U.S. river that approximately...

's legislature designated Ives as that state's official composer.

The Scottish baritone Henry Herford
Henry Herford
Henry Herford is a Scottish baritone singer.He read Classics and English at Cambridge University, and studied singing at the Royal Northern College of Music in Manchester where he was awarded the Curtis Gold Medal. He is currently the RNCM's Tutor in French Song...

 began a survey of Ives' songs in 1990, but this remains incomplete, owing to the collapse of the record company involved (Unicorn-Kanchana
Unicorn-Kanchana
Unicorn-Kanchana was a British independent record label. Originally known as Unicorn Records, the name Kanchana was added later to distinguish the company from Unicorn Records of Montréal, Canada...

).

Pianist-composer and Wesleyan University
Wesleyan University
Wesleyan University is a private liberal arts college founded in 1831 and located in Middletown, Connecticut. According to the Carnegie Foundation for the Advancement of Teaching, Wesleyan is the only Baccalaureate College in the nation that emphasizes undergraduate instruction in the arts and...

 professor Neely Bruce
Neely Bruce
Neely Bruce , Professor of Music and American Studies at Wesleyan University, is a composer, conductor, pianist and scholar of American music....

 has made a life's study of Ives. To date, he has staged seven parts of a concert series devoted to the complete songs of Ives.

Musicologist David Gray Porter reconstructed a piano concerto, the "Emerson" Concerto
Emerson Concerto
The "Emerson" Piano Concerto was the first draft of Charles Ives's "Emerson" movement of the Second Piano Sonata The "Emerson" Piano Concerto (also entitled the "Emerson" Overture for Piano and Orchestra) was the first draft of Charles Ives's "Emerson" movement of the Second Piano Sonata The...

, from Ives' sketches. A recording of the work was released by Naxos Records
Naxos Records
Naxos Records is a record label specializing in classical music. Through a number of imprints, Naxos also releases genres including Chinese music, jazz, world music, and early rock & roll. The company was founded in 1987 by Klaus Heymann, a German-born resident of Hong Kong.Naxos is the largest...

.

Influence on twentieth-century music

A bold testament to Ives comes from the composer Arnold Schoenberg
Arnold Schoenberg
Arnold Schoenberg was an Austrian composer, associated with the expressionist movement in German poetry and art, and leader of the Second Viennese School...

. Schoenberg's widow eventually found a note of his in the form of a brief poem shortly after his death (just three years before Ives himself died). The note was originally written in 1944 when Schoenberg was living in Los Angeles and teaching at UCLA stating:
Ives was also a great financial supporter of twentieth century music, often supporting works that were written by other composers. This he did in secret, telling his beneficiaries it was really his wife who wanted him to do so. Nicolas Slonimsky
Nicolas Slonimsky
Nicolas Slonimsky was a Russian born American composer, conductor, musician, music critic, lexicographer and author. He described himself as a "diaskeuast" ; "a reviser or interpolator."- Life :...

 said in 1971, "He financed my entire career."

Compositions

Note: Because Ives often made several different versions of the same piece, and because his work was generally ignored during his lifetime, it is often difficult to put exact dates on his compositions. The dates given here are sometimes best guesses. There have also been controversial speculations that Ives purposely misdated his own pieces earlier or later than actually written.
  • Variations on America for organ (1892)
  • The Circus Band (a march describing the Circus coming to town)
  • Psalm settings (14, 42, 54, 67, 90, 135, 150) (1890s)
  • String Quartet No. 1
    String Quartet No. 1 (Ives)
    String Quartet No. 1 is one of the most studied works by composer Charles Ives. The piece is composed for the standard string quartet of two violins, a viola, and a cello. There are four movements:*I. Andante con moto*II. Allegro*III. Adagio cantabile...

    , From the Salvation Army (1897–1900)
  • Symphony No. 1 in D minor (1898–1901)
  • Symphony No. 2
    Symphony No. 2 (Ives)
    The Second Symphony was written by Charles Ives between 1897 and 1901. It consists of five movements and lasts approximately 40 minutes.-Scoring:...

     (Ives gave dates of 1899-1902; analysis of handwriting and manuscript paper suggests 1907-1909)
  • Symphony No. 3
    Symphony No. 3 (Ives)
    The Symphony No. 3, S. 3 , The Camp Meeting by Charles Ives was written between the years of 1908 and 1910. In 1947, Ives was awarded the Pulitzer Prize for Music for his Symphony No. 3. Later, his works were performed by conductors like Leonard Bernstein...

    , The Camp Meeting (1908–10)
  • Central Park in the Dark
    Central Park in the Dark
    Central Park in the Dark is a music composition by Charles Ives for chamber orchestra. It was composed in 1906 and has been paired with The Unanswered Question as part of “Two Contemplations” and Hallowe’en and The Pond in “Three Outdoor Scenes.”...

     for chamber orchestra (1906, 1909)
  • The Unanswered Question
    The Unanswered Question
    The Unanswered Question is a work by American composer Charles Ives. It was originally the first of "Two Contemplations" composed in 1906, paired with another piece called Central Park in the Dark. As with many of Ives' works, it was largely unknown until much later in his life, being first...

     for chamber group (1906; rev. 1934)
  • Piano Sonata No. 1 (1909–16)
  • Piano Trio
    Piano Trio (Ives)
    The Trio for Violin, Cello, and Piano is a work by the American composer Charles Ives. According to Charles Ives’ wife, the three movements of the piano trio are a reflection of Ives’ college days at Yale. He started writing the piece in 1904,...

     (c1909–10, rev. c1914–15)
  • Violin Sonata No. 1 (1910–14; rev. ca. 1924)
  • Violin Sonata No. 4, Children's Day at the Camp Meeting (1911–16)
  • A Symphony: New England Holidays
    A Symphony: New England Holidays
    A Symphony: New England Holidays, also known as A New England Holiday Symphony or simply a Holiday Symphony, is a composition for orchestra written by Charles Ives. It took Ives from 1897 to 1913 to complete all four movements. The four movements in order are:*I. Washington’s Birthday*II....

     (1904–1913)
  • "Robert Browning" Overture (1911–14)
  • Symphony No. 4
    Symphony No. 4 (Ives)
    The Symphony No. 4, S. 4 by Charles Ives was written between the years of 1910 and 1916. The symphony is notable for its multi-layered complexity - usually necessitating two conductors in performance - and for its over-sized orchestra...

     (1912–18; rev. 1924–26)
  • String Quartet No. 2 (1913–15)
  • Pieces for chamber ensemble grouped as "Sets," some called Cartoons or Take-Offs or Songs Without Voices (1906–18); includes Calcium Light Night
    Calcium Light Night
    Calcium Light Night is a piece of music by American composer Charles Ives. It is one of his Cartoons or Take-Offs and is scored for piccolo, clarinet, cornet, trombone, bass drum, and two pianos...

  • Three Places in New England
    Three Places in New England
    The Three Places in New England is a composition for orchestra by Charles Ives. It was composed across a long span of time , however the bulk was written between 1911 and 1914. The piece is famous for its use of musical quotation and paraphrasing, as explained later in this article...

     (Orchestral Set No. 1) (1910–14; rev. 1929)
  • Violin Sonata No. 2 (1914–17)
  • Violin Sonata No. 3 (1914–17)
  • Orchestral Set No. 2 (1915–19)
  • Piano Sonata No. 2
    Piano Sonata No. 2 (Ives)
    The Piano Sonata No. 2, Concord, Mass., 1840–60 by Charles Ives, commonly known as the Concord Sonata, is one of the composer's best-known and most highly regarded pieces....

    , Concord, Mass., 1840–60 (1916–19) (revised many times by Ives)
  • Universe symphony (incomplete, 1915–28, worked on symphony until his death in 1954)
  • 114 Songs (composed various years 1887–1921, published 1922.)
  • Three Quarter Tone Piano Pieces (1923–24)
  • Orchestral Set No. 3 (incomplete, 1919–26, notes added after 1934)

External links

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