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Charles Ives quotes

You cannot set art off in a corner and hope for it to have vitality, reality, and substance.

Every great inspiration is but an experiment - though every experiment we know, is not a great inspiration.

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

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.

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.

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

The fabric of existence weaves itself whole.

If a poet knows more about a horse than he does about heaven, he might better stick to the horse, and some day the horse may carry him into heaven.

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

Vagueness is at times an indication of nearness to a perfect truth.

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.

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.

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.