Ives, Charles (Edward) (b Danbury, 20 October, 1874 - d New York, 19 May, 1954)
Charles Ives was influenced firstly by his father, a bandmaster who had libertarian ideas about what music might be. Aged around 19 (the dating of Ives's music is notably problematic), he produced psalm settings that exploit polytonality and other unusual procedures. He then studies with Parker at Yale from 1894 to 1898, and he demonstrated signs of becoming a relatively conventional composer in his first symphony (1898), and songs of the period. However, he did not work in the music, but the insurance business and composition became a weekend activity, but one he practised assiduously. During the twenty years following his graduation he wrote three more symphonies, and numerous other orchestral and instrumental works.

The only consistent characteristic of music from this period is liberation from rule. He composed little after 1922 when he published a volume of 114 songs. Most of his music had been written without prospect of performance, and it was only towards the end of his life that it began to be played frequently and appreciated.