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Charles Ives Quotes (17 Quotes)


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  • You cannot set art off in a corner and hope for it to have vitality, reality, and substance.
    (Charles Ives)

  • Vagueness is at times an indication of nearness to a perfect truth.
    (Charles Ives)

  • There can be nothing exclusive about substantial art. It comes directly out of the heart of the experience of life and thinking about life and living life.
    (Charles Ives)

  • Every great inspiration is but an experiment.
    (Charles Ives)

  • One thing I am certain of is that, if I have done anything good in music, it was, first, because of my father, and second, because of my wife.
    (Charles Ives)


  • If a composer has a nice wife and some nice children, how can he let the children starve on his dissonances?
    (Charles Ives)

  • It is conceivable that what is unified form to the author or composer may of necessity be formless to his audience.
    (Charles Ives)

  • The fabric of existence weaves itself whole.
    (Charles Ives)

  • The word 'beauty' is as easy to use as the word 'degenerate.' Both come in handy when one does or does not agree with you.
    (Charles Ives)

  • A rare experience of a moment at daybreak, when something in nature seems to reveal all consciousness, cannot be explained at noon. Yet it is part of the day's unity.
    (Charles Ives)

  • Memories (A) Very Pleasant (B) Rather Sad.
    (Charles Ives)

  • In 'thinking up' music I usually have some kind of a brass band with wings on it in back of my mind.
    (Charles Ives)

  • But maybe music was not intended to satisfy the curious definiteness of man. Maybe it is better to hope that music may always be transcendental language in the most extravagant sense.
    (Charles Ives)

  • Now if you look out of that window and enjoy the mountains, how can you possibly look out of this window and enjoy the ocean
    (Charles Ives)

  • Expression, to a great extent, is a matter of terms, and terms are anyone's. The meaning of 'God' may have a billion interpretations if there be that many souls in the world.
    (Charles Ives)


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