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Wyschnegradsky saw microtonality as a mystical impulse, a metaphysical method of transcendence; not so for the pragmatic Ives, whose father invented instruments and playfully experimented with twisted tonalities and microtonal singing. For Ives, microtonality was another technique (along with his fistful-of-notes clusters, collisions of keys, out-of-tune quotations, and multiple marching band allusions) toward the ultimate acceptance of all conceivable dissonances. Today, Ives’ and Wyschnegradsky’s time has finally come. For 21 years there has been a Festival of Microtonal Music in New York, attracting ever younger generations of composers; for over a decade now electronic musicians engaged in ambient, trance, dance, and improvisational idioms are using the kind of free frequency sonorities that Wyschnegradsky idealized. In his rare essay «Some ‹Quarter-Tone› Impressions,» Ives wondered «How much of a fight will the ears have to put up?» For more listeners than ever before, the fight is nearly over. — Art Lange