There is a well written biographical sketch online at http://www.charlesives.org/02bio.htm
And the words he wrote for one of his songs gives a clue to how he thought of music.
I think there must be a place in the soul
all made of tunes, of tunes long ago;
I hear the organ on Main Street corner,
Aunt Sarah humming Gospels; Summer evenings,
The village cornet band, playing in the square.
The town's Red, White and Blue,
all Red, white and Blue; Now! Hear the words
But they sing in my soul of the things our Fathers loved.
Thanks to Will Johnson for the quote and the link!