One of young Charlie's earliest memories is of his father standing in the back garden at Danbury, without hat or coat in a heavy thunderstorm, and listening in exasperation to the ringing of the church bell next door. Try as he might he couldn't find the exact combination on the piano to reproduce it, and he ran out into the storm to listen and then back to the keyboard, over and over again. It may be that he finally concluded, rightly, that the tones in the bell were not in the piano, for not long afterward he began to build a machine that would play the tones "in the cracks between the piano keys."

Henry & Sidney Cowell, Charles Ives and His Music, Oxford University Press, New York, 1969, p18

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March 29, 2017