Charles Ives grew up in the nineteenth century and composed chiefly in the twentieth. His nostalgia for a simpler life in the New England country town of his youth is revealed in his frequent musical quotation of songs of that earlier time: parlor and patriot songs, hymns and gospel music. He had learned these songs early in his life through his father, a village bandmaster, who remained the most important influence in his life and music. Ives absorbed these influences within an innovative and modern musical style of composition. Stuart Feder's account of Ives's life clarifies the complexities of the man and his music, while his straightforward discussion of this uniquely autobiographical music in turn illuminates the narrative.