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Ives, Charles (1874–1954)


The American composer Charles Ives learned a great deal from his bandmaster father, not least a love of the music of Bach. At the same time he was exposed to a variety of very American musical influences, later reflected in his own idiosyncratic compositions. Ives was educated at Yale and made a career in insurance, reserving his activities as a composer for his leisure hours. Ironically, by the time that his music had begun to arouse interest, his own inspiration and energy as a composer had waned, so that for the last thirty years of his life he wrote little, while his reputation grew.

Orchestral Music

The symphonies of Ives include music essentially American in inspiration and adventurous in structure and texture, collages of Americana, expressed in a musical idiom that makes use of complex polytonality (the use of more than one key or tonality at the same time) and rhythm. The Third Symphony, for small orchestra, reflects much of Ives’s own background, carrying the explanatory title ‘The Camp Meeting’ and movement titles ‘Old Folks Gatherin’’, ‘Children’s Day’ and ‘Communion’. The Fourth Symphony includes a number of hymns and gospel songs, and his so-called First Orchestral Set, otherwise known as ‘A New England Symphony’, depicts three places in New England.

Chamber Music

The first of the two string quartets of Ives has the characteristic title ‘From the Salvation Army’ and is based on earlier organ compositions, while the fourth of his four violin sonatas is titled ‘Children’s Day at the Camp Meeting’.

Keyboard Music

Much of the earlier organ music written by Ives during his student years, when he served as organist in a number of churches, found its way into later compositions. The second of his two piano sonatas, ‘Concord, Mass. 1840–60’, has the characteristic movement titles ‘Emerson’, ‘Hawthorne’, ‘The Alcotts’ and ‘Thoreau’, a very American literary celebration.

Vocal and Choral Music

Ives wrote a number of psalm settings, part-songs and verse settings for unison voices and orchestra. In his many solo songs he set verses ranging from Shakespeare, Goethe and Heine to Whitman and Kipling, with a number of texts of his own creation. Relatively well-known songs by Ives include ‘Shall We Gather at the River’, ‘The Cage’ and ‘The Side Show’.


335 works by Ives, Charles

  • 1, 2, 3
  • 10 Songs
  • 114 Songs
  • 12 Songs
  • 13 Songs
  • 14 Songs
  • 2 Slants (Christian and Pagan)
  • 3 Harvest Home Chorales
  • 3 Improvisations
  • [+] 3 Quarter-Tone Pieces
    • 3 Quarter-Tone Pieces (arr. A. Stout for orchestra)
    • 3 Quarter-Tone Pieces (version for orchestra)
  • 3-Page Sonata
  • 4 Songs (arr. K. Singleton for chamber ensemble)
  • 4 Transcriptions from Emerson
  • 40 Earlier Songs
  • 9 Songs
  • [+] A Christmas Carol
    • A Christmas Carol
    • A Christmas Carol
  • A Farewell to Land
  • A Night Song
  • A Night Thought
  • A Perfect Day
  • A Scotch Lullaby
  • [+] A Set of 3 Short Pieces
    • A Set of 3 Short Pieces (version for string orchestra)
    • A Set of 3 Short Pieces (version for string quartet)
  • A Set of Pieces
  • [+] A Son of a Gambolier
    • A Son of a Gambolier
    • A Son of a Gambolier (arr. A. Dashnaw for choir and piano 4 hands)
    • A Son of a Gambolier (arr. J. Elkus for wind ensemble)
    • A Son of a Gambolier (arr. K. Singleton for orchestra)
  • A Song - For Anything
  • A Song of Mory's
  • [+] A Symphony: New England Holidays
    • A Symphony: New England Holidays
    • A Symphony: New England Holidays (arr. J. Elkus for wind ensemble)
    • A Symphony: New England Holidays (arr. J. Sinclair for orchestra)
  • Abide with Me
  • Aeschylus and Sophocles
  • Afterglow
  • Allegretto Sombreoso, "Incantation"
  • Allegro
  • Amphion
  • An Old Flame
  • [+] An Old Song Deranged
    • An Old Song Deranged
    • An Old Song Deranged (arr. K. Singleton for chamber ensemble)
  • Ann Street
  • At Parting
  • At Sea
  • At the River
  • August
  • Autumn
  • Because of You
  • Because Thou Art
  • Benedictus
  • [+] Berceuse
    • Berceuse
    • Berceuse (arr. H. Haufrecht for choir and piano)
  • Bread of the World
  • Calcium Light Night
  • Canon I
  • Canon II
  • Canzonetta in F Major
  • Celestial Country
  • Central Park in the Dark
  • Chanson de Florian
  • Charlie Rutlage
  • Chromâtimelôdtune
  • Communion Service
  • [+] Country Band March
    • Country Band March
    • Country Band March (arr. J. Sinclair for wind ensemble)
  • Country Celestial
  • Cradle Song
  • Crossing the Bar
  • December
  • Decoration Day
  • Die Lotosblume
  • Disclosure
  • Down East
  • Dreams
  • Du alte Mutter
  • Du bist wie eine Blume
  • Easter Anthem
  • Easter Carol
  • Ein Ton
  • Elegie
  • Emerson Overture for Piano and Orchestra
  • Evening
  • Evidence
  • Far from my heav'nly home
  • Far in the wood
  • Feldeinsamkeit
  • Flag Song
  • For You and Me!
  • Forward into Light
  • Friendship
  • [+] From the Steeples and the Mountains
    • From the Steeples and the Mountains
    • From the Steeples and the Mountains
  • Fruhlingslied
  • [+] Fugue
    • Fugue in C Minor
    • Fugue in C Minor (arr J. Sinclair for wind ensemble)
    • Fugue in E-Flat Major
  • Fugue in Four Keys on The Shining Shore
  • [+] General William Booth Enters into Heaven
    • General William Booth Enters into Heaven
    • General William Booth Enters into Heaven
    • General William Booth Enters into Heaven (arr. J.J. Becker for voice, choir and orchestra)
  • Gloria in Excelsis
  • God Bless and Keep Thee
  • Grace
  • Grantchester
  • Gruss
  • Gyp the Blood or Hearst!? Which is Worst?!
  • Hallowe'en
  • Harpalus
  • He Is There!
  • Her Eyes
  • Her gown was of vermilion silk
  • His Exaltation
  • Hymn
  • Hymn of Trust
  • I Come to Thee
  • I knew and loved a maid
  • I Think of Thee, My God
  • Ich grolle nicht
  • Ilmenau
  • Immortality
  • In April-tide
  • In Autumn
  • [+] In Flanders Fields
    • In Flanders Fields
    • In Flanders Fields (arr. D. Del Tredici for voice and orchestra)
  • In My Beloved's Eyes
  • In Re Con Moto et al
  • In the Alley
  • Interludes for Hymns
  • Johnny Poe
  • Kären
  • La Fede
  • [+] Largo for Violin, Clarinet and Piano
    • Largo for Violin, Clarinet and Piano
    • Largo for Violin, Clarinet and Piano (arr. P. Zukofsky for violin and piano)
  • Largo risoluto No. 1
  • Largo risoluto No. 2
  • Like a Sick Eagle
  • Lincoln, the Great Commoner
  • Lord God, Thy Sea Is Mighty
  • Luck and Work
  • Majority
  • Maple Leaves
  • March in F Major and C Major with Omega Lambda Chi (arr. K. Brion)
  • March in G Major - C Major, "See the Conquering Hero Comes" (version for piano)
  • March Intercollegiate with Annie Lisle (arr. K. Brion)
  • [+] March No. 2 with Son of a Gambolier
    • March No. 2 with Son of a Gambolier
    • March No. 2 with Son of a Gambolier (version for piano)
  • March No. 3 with My Old Kentucky Home
  • March No. 3 with Omega Lambda Chi (version for piano)
  • March No. 6 with Here's to Good Old Yale (arr. J. Elkus fir wind ensemble)
  • Marie
  • Memories
  • Minnelied
  • Minuetto, Op. 4
  • Mirage
  • Mists I
  • Mists II
  • My Lou Jennine
  • My Native Land I
  • My Native Land II
  • My Sweet Jeanette
  • [+] Nature's Way
    • Nature's Way
    • Nature's Way (arr. H. Haufrecht for choir and piano)
  • New Year's Dance
  • Night of Frost in May
  • No More
  • Nov. 2, 1920, "An Election"
  • O Maiden Fair
  • [+] Old Home Day
    • Old Home Day
    • Old Home Day (arr. G. Smith for choir and piano)
  • Old Home Days Suite (arr. J. Elkus for wind ensemble)
  • Omens and Oracles
  • On Judges' Walk
  • On the Antipodes
  • On the Counter
  • [+] Orchestral Set No. 1
    • Orchestral Set No. 1, "3 Places in New England"
    • Orchestral Set No. 1, "3 Places in New England" (version 1, ed. J.B. Sinclair)
  • [+] Orchestral Set No. 2
    • Orchestral Set No. 2
    • Orchestral Set No. 2 (arr. J. Sinclair for orchestra)
  • Orchestral Set No. 3
  • [+] Overture and March 1776
    • Overture and March 1776
    • Overture and March 1776 (arr. J. Sinclair)
  • Overture in G Minor (realization by D.G. Porter)
  • Paracelsus
  • Peaks
  • Piano Invention in D Major
  • Piano Sonata No. 1
  • [+] Piano Sonata No. 2
    • Piano Sonata No. 2, "Concord, Mass., 1840-60" (arr. H. Brant as A Concord Symphony)
    • Piano Sonata No. 2, "Concord, Mass., 1840-60", "Concord Sonata"
  • [+] Piano Trio
    • Piano Trio
    • Piano Trio (arr. J. Kirkpatrick)
  • Pictures
  • Polonaise
  • Postlude in F Major (ed. K. Singleton)
  • Practice for String Quartet in Holding Your Own!
  • Prelude on Eventide
  • Premonitions
  • Processional, "Let There Be Light"
  • Psalm 100, "Make a joyful noise unto the Lord"
  • Psalm 135, "Praise ye the Lord"
  • Psalm 150, "Praise ye the Lord, Praise God"
  • Psalm 24, "The earth is the Lord's"
  • Psalm 25, "Unto thee, O Lord, do I lift up my soul"
  • Psalm 42, "As pants the Hart"
  • Psalm 54, "Save me, O God by thy name"
  • Psalm 67, "God be merciful unto us"
  • Psalm 90, "Lord, thou has been our dwelling place"
  • Qu'il m'irait bien
  • Ragtime Dance No. 1 (arr. J. Sinclair for orchestra)
  • Ragtime Dance No. 2 (arr. J. Sinclair for orchestra)
  • Ragtime Dance No. 3 (arr. J. Sinclair for orchestra)
  • Ragtime Dance No. 4 (arr. J. Sinclair for orchestra)
  • Religion
  • [+] Remembrance
    • Remembrance
    • Remembrance (arr. K. Singleton for chamber ensemble)
  • Requiem
  • Resolution
  • Robert Browning Overture
  • Rock of Ages
  • Romanzo di Central Park
  • Rosamunde (1st version)
  • Rosamunde (2nd version)
  • Rosenzweige
  • Rough Wind
  • Sacred Songs
  • Scherzo for String Quartet
  • Scherzo: All the Way Around and Back
  • [+] Scherzo: Over the Pavements
    • Scherzo: Over the Pavements
    • Scherzo: Over the Pavements (arr. M. Bon for 6 pianos)
  • Sehnsucht
  • September
  • Serenade
  • Serenity
  • Set for Theatre Orchestra
  • Set No. 1
  • Set No. 10, "of 3 Pieces"
  • Set No. 2
  • Set No. 3
  • Set No. 4, "3 Poets and Human Nature"
  • Set No. 5, "The Other Side of Pioneering"
  • Set No. 6, "From the Side Hill"
  • Set No. 7, "Water Colors"
  • Set No. 8 , "Songs without Voices"
  • Set No. 9, "of 3 Pieces"
  • Set of 5 Take-offs
  • Skit for Danbury Fair
  • Slow March
  • Slugging a Vampire
  • Sneak Thief
  • Soliloquy
  • Song
  • Song for Harvest Season
  • Songs my mother taught me
  • Spring Song
  • [+] String Quartet No. 1
    • String Quartet No. 1, "From the Salvation Army"
    • String Quartet No. 1, "From the Salvation Army" (arr. M. Sintchak saxophone quartet)
  • String Quartet No. 2
  • Study No. 1
  • Study No. 10
  • Study No. 11
  • Study No. 12
  • Study No. 13
  • Study No. 14
  • Study No. 15
  • Study No. 16
  • Study No. 17
  • Study No. 18
  • Study No. 19
  • Study No. 2
  • Study No. 20
  • Study No. 21
  • Study No. 22
  • Study No. 23
  • Study No. 24
  • Study No. 25
  • Study No. 26
  • Study No. 27, "Chromâtimelôdtune"
  • Study No. 3
  • Study No. 4
  • Study No. 5
  • Study No. 6
  • Study No. 7
  • Study No. 8
  • Study No. 9
  • Sunrise
  • Swimmers
  • Symphony No. 1
  • [+] Symphony No. 2
    • Symphony No. 2
    • Symphony No. 2 (arr. J. Elkus for wind ensemble)
  • Symphony No. 3, "The Camp Meeting"
  • Symphony No. 4
  • Tarrant Moss
  • The All-Enduring
  • The Boys in Blue
  • The Cage
  • The Camp Meeting
  • The Children's Hour
  • [+] The Circus Band
    • The Circus Band
    • The Circus Band
    • The Circus Band (arr. A. Dashnaw for choir and piano 4 hands)
    • The Circus Band (arr. G.F. Roberts for choir and orchestra)
    • The Circus Band (arr. J. Elkus for wind ensemble)
    • The Circus Band (version for piano)
  • The Collection
  • The Ending Year
  • The General Slocum (realization by D.G. Porter)
  • [+] The Gong on the Hook and Ladder
    • The Gong on the Hook and Ladder, "Firemen's Parade on Main Street"
    • The Gong on the Hook and Ladder, "Firemen's Parade on Main Street" (version for chamber ensemble)
  • The Greatest Man
  • The Housatonic at Stockbridge
  • The Incantation
  • The Indians
  • The Innate
  • The Last Reader
  • The Light that is Felt
  • The Love Song of Har Dyal
  • [+] The New River
    • The New River
    • The New River
  • The Old Mother (Du alte Mutter) (1st setting)
  • The One Way
  • The Only Son
  • The Pond
  • [+] The Rainbow
    • The Rainbow, "So May It Be!"
    • The Rainbow, "So May it Be!"
  • The Sea of Sleep
  • The See'r
  • [+] The Side Show
    • The Side Show
    • The Side Show (arr. H. Haufrecht for choir and piano)
  • The Song of the Dead
  • The South Wind
  • The Things Our Fathers Loved
  • [+] The Unanswered Question
    • The Unanswered Question
    • The Unanswered Question (arr. P. Echols and N. Zahler for chamber ensemble)
  • The Waiting Soul
  • The White Gulls
  • The World's Highway
  • The World's Wanderers
  • The Year's at the Spring
  • There is a certain garden
  • [+] There is a Lane
    • There is a Lane
    • There is a Lane (arr. H. Haufrecht for choir and piano)
  • [+] They Are There!
    • They Are There!
    • They Are There!
    • They Are There! (arr. A. Dashnaw for choir and piano 4 hands)
    • They Are There! (arr. J. Sinclair for choir and orchestra)
  • Thoreau
  • Those Evening Bells
  • Through Night and Day
  • To Edith
  • Tolerance
  • Tom Sails Away
  • Tone Roads et al
  • Turn Ye, Turn Ye
  • Two Little Flowers (And Dedicated To Them)
  • [+] Universe Symphony
    • Universe Symphony (arr. D. Porter for orchestra)
    • Universe Symphony (completed by L. Austin)
  • Variations on America (arr. W. Schuman for orchestra)
  • Variations on Jerusalem the Golden, "Fantasia on Jerusalem the Golden" (arr. K. Brion)
  • Varied Air and Variations
  • Violin Sonata No. 1
  • Violin Sonata No. 2
  • Violin Sonata No. 3
  • Violin Sonata No. 4, "Children's Day at the Camp Meeting"
  • Vote for Names! Names! Names!
  • Walking
  • Walt Whitman
  • [+] Waltz
    • Waltz
    • Waltz (arr. G. Smith for choir and piano)
  • Waltz-Rondo
  • Washington's Birthday
  • Watchman!
  • Weil' auf mir (Eyes so dark)
  • West London
  • When stars are in the quiet skies
  • Widmung
  • Wie Melodien zieht es mir
  • Wiegenlied
  • William Will
  • Yale-Princeton Football Game (realization by J.B. Sinclair)