Peter Reavy

Sorting potatoes means a better crop next year

Posted in music by Peter Reavy on November 23, 2012

Came across this quote from Charles Ives in a book last night. Full text can be found here.

Again, if a man finds that the cadences of an Apache war-dance come nearest to his soul, provided he has taken pains to know enough other cadences—for eclecticism is part of his duty—sorting potatoes means a better crop next year—let him assimilate whatever he finds highest of the Indian ideal, so that he can use it with the cadences, fervently, transcendentally, inevitably, furiously, in his symphonies, in his operas, in his whistlings on the way to work, so that he can paint his house with them—make them a part of his prayer-book—this is all possible and necessary, if he is confident that they have a part in his spiritual consciousness. With this assurance his music will have everything it should of sincerity, nobility, strength, and beauty, no matter how it sounds; and if, with this, he is true to none but the highest of American ideals (that is, the ideals only that coincide with his spiritual consciousness) his music will be true to itself and incidentally American, and it will be so even after it is proved that all our Indians came from Asia.

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  1. nina deutsch said, on December 13, 2012 at 9:39 pm

    Thank you for posting this quote by Charles Ives whose ideals continue to inspire me.

    nina deutsch.
    leonia, new jersey


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