Trying to make sense of the music of Charles Ives without a substantial degree of preparation is more likely than not to end with the listener's rejection. Ives was, of course, used to such reactions, but that was over a hundred years ago. Regardless, his music still is likely to confound, although it is less likely to create outrage. Times have changed, but Ives's music sounds as current as ever. How did the phenomenon of an American composer emerging from what might seem to be less than ideal musical circumstances actually happen? Precisely, how, and when, as well as who and what, influences contributed to Ives's musical choices, his unusual originality, methodology, and musical personality? Up until this time, insufficient comparative analysis has been undertaken to determine, as closely as possible, In the process, in recent scholarship, the substantial musical exposure Ives received throughout his upbringing in Danbury often has been underestimated, and his formal studies at Yale over-credited—without the proper balance being understood or fully considered. Charles Ives: The Making of the Composer sets out on the ambitious trail of uncovering what really happened in the evolution of America's first great composer, during the years just before and after the turn of the twentieth century.