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The Extraordinary Music of Mr. Ives

The True Story of a Famous American Composer

This book can be downloaded and read in iBooks on your Mac or iOS device.


When the Lusitania was attacked in 1915, the American composer and New Yorker Charles Ives transformed the experience of this heartbreaking news into a musical piece. It begins with a jumble of traffic noises, then the hurdy-gurdy swells into the lovely old hymn “In the Sweet Bye-and-Bye.” In lyrical text and watercolors—sometimes in dramatic wordless spreads—this thoughtful picture ebook reveals not only a wartime tragedy, but a composer’s conviction that everyday music can convey profound emotion—and help heal a city. Young readers will understand that if they listen, music can be heard in the unlikeliest of places, from the busy chatter of a market to the wail of a fire engine.

From Publishers Weekly

Dec 24, 2012 – This startling biography of Charles Ives centers on a historical tragedy and its impact on the composer, whose work was unappreciated during his lifetime. "People don't listen to his music," writes Stanbridge (My Four Lions). "They want familiar tunes and beautiful harmonies not songs that are as bold as a city or as noisy as a traffic jam." In 1915, when Ives hears news of the Lusitania sinking, the music that "lives inside him like a friend" goes silent. Five successive, wordless spreads depict the foundering vessel and panicked passengers evacuating. Stanbridge's doll-like figures contrast uncomfortably with the silent scenes of disaster, as terrified individuals in a small boat look back at those clinging for life. Ives begins to hear music again when mournful New Yorkers join in song together: "In the sweet bye and bye,/ we shall meet on that beautiful shore." Stanbridge's work is its own curious, yet quietly inspired composition, a meditative ode to an artist whose work lives on "in everyday sounds in the rumble of a motorcycle, the wail of a fire engine, or the busy chatter of a market." Ages 4 8.


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The Extraordinary Music of Mr. Ives
View in iTunes
  • $12.99
  • Level: Grades P-3
  • Available on iPhone, iPad, iPod touch, and Mac.
  • Category: Biography
  • Published: Oct 09, 2012
  • Publisher: Houghton Mifflin Harcourt
  • Seller: Houghton Mifflin Harcourt Publishing Company
  • Print Length: 32 Pages
  • Language: English
  • Requirements: To view this book, you must have an iOS device with iBooks 1.2 or later and iOS 4.2 or later, or a Mac with iBooks 1.0 or later and OS X 10.9 or later.

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