An Encyclopedia of Quotations About Music by Nat Shapiro (auth.), Nat Shapiro (eds.)

By Nat Shapiro (auth.), Nat Shapiro (eds.)

Writing approximately music-about what it's and what it means-is resembling describing the act of affection. in some way, the relief of the adventure to an unblushingly distinct exposition of the way, the place, while, and why who does what to whom, from prelude to resolu­ tion, loses every little thing within the translation. the opposite severe, the single in which the author, in desperation, inns to metaphor (with or with no good thing about meter and rhyme), typically ends up in im­ agery that's banal, vulgar, inane, vague, pretentious, and normally insufferably romantic. to accomplish stable and actual writing approximately track is as infrequent an accomplishment as professional wine-tasting, lion-taming, diamond-cut­ ting, truffie-finding and (if one simply occurs to be an unconverted Mohican courageous) deer-tracking. basically the intuitive, the natural, the sensual, and the intrepid want follow. expert musicians frequently facts a set tendency both to rudely forget about in any other case to actively despise these folks who bravely attempt to comprehend, outline, and describe their artwork. To many composers and instrumentalists, these outsiders (nonmusicians) who've the temerity to debate whatever extra summary than the electronic dexterity of a fiddler, the actual vainness of a conductor, or the salary scales for extra time recording classes are judged important in simple terms of contempt or-at the most-patronizing tolerance. "Music capability itself," insists one of many participants to the gathering that follows, and plenty of practitioners of the paintings of organ­ ized sound would like to go away it at that.

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For it wiII bee thought a great absurditie to talke of heaven and point downward to the earth: so it wiII be counted great incongruity if a musician upon the words "he ascended to heaven" should cause his musick to descend. 1603) A Plaine and Easie Introduction to Practicall Musick, 1597 20 Music Is ... Music Does ... • Like everything else in nature, music is a becoming, and it becomes its full self when its sounds and laws are used by intelligent man for the production of harmony, and so made the vehicle of emotion and thought.

Alexander Pope (1688-1744) An Essay on Man, 1732 Delight must be the basis and aim of this art. Simple melodyclear rhythm! Gioacchino Rossini (1792-1868) Letter, June 21, 1868 What distinguishes dissonances from consonances is not a greater or lesser degree of beauty, but a greater or lesser degree of comprehensibility . Arnold Schoenberg (1874-1951) Style and Idea, 19S1 Creators and Components We have learned to express the more delicate nuances of feeling by penetrating more deeply into the mysteries of harmony.

Is the greatest of divine gifts, not to be compared with any other. Richard Strauss (1864-1949) Melodic Inspiration, 1940 Melody, Harmony, and Rhythm 39 What survives every change of system is melody. Igor Stravinsky (1882-1971) Poetics of Music, 1947 I am beginning to think together with the general public that melody should keep its place at the summit of the hierarchy of all elements which constitute music. Igor Stravinsky Poetics of Music, 1947 Rhythm and motion, not the element of feeling, are the foundations of musical art.

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