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Charles Ives: "My Father`s Song": A Psychoanalytic Biography

Feder, Stuart

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ISBN 10: 0300054815 / ISBN 13: 9780300054811
Published by Yale University Press
Used Condition: Fine Hardcover
From Paisleyhaze Books (New Hartford, CT, U.S.A.)

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0300054815 Yale University Press hardcover w/dustjacket, 1992, 1st edition, clean/tight, No marks/tears or New/Fine, with Yale promo sheet and review slip laid in.New mylar cover, bubble-wrapped and mailed in a Box w/delivery confirmation. Bookseller Inventory # 46347

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Bibliographic Details

Title: Charles Ives: "My Father`s Song": A ...

Publisher: Yale University Press

Binding: Hardcover

Book Condition:Fine

About this title


"A sound of a distant horn

O'er shadowed lake is borne

my father's song." Charles Ives


Charles Ives, perhaps the quintessential American composer of the twentieth century, drew on his childhood experiences in a small New England town in his music. Through his close relationship with his father, George, a Civil War bandmaster, Ives developed a powerful feeling for nineteenth-century rural America. This book the first full-scale psychoanalytic biography of a major composer examines the lives of the two men and shows how a knowledge of their relationship as father and son, teacher and pupil, is central to an understanding of Ives’s work.


Stuart Feder, a psychoanalyst with training in musicology, demonstrates that George exerted so pervasive an influence on Charles’s creative life that Ives’s music may be seen as the result of an unconscious fantasy of posthumous collaboration between father and son. The music bears George’s mark, not only in its incorporation of hymn tunes, parlor ballads, Civil War marches, and other homely sources that derived from his youth, but also in its use of technical musical devices attributed to George. Moreover, the span of Ives’s creative life reveals another connection to his father: Charles’s musical productivity began to wane in his forties, as he approached the age at which his father died. Dr. Feder examines the influence of George’s teaching and storytelling on Charles’s years as a composer. Ives’s later decline is traced psychologically and medically. Using Ives’s music as an essential part of his data, Dr. Feder demonstrates how music can illuminate and be expressive of the inner life of its creator.

From the Back Cover:

'Feder has written a handsome and insightful biography of Ives. Using his fine psychoanalytic technique he delves with authority into the often confused questions of Ives's modes and motivations of composing. Most importantly he reveals the autobiographical significance of Ives's output of songs. This biography is unique and will be indispensable.'--James Sinclair, Executive Editor, Critical Edition Project, Charles Ives Society, and Music Director, Orchestra New England

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