Words

about music, concerts, the arts in Canada, and more. A collection of essays and blogs (which I’ve embedded here all in one place).

Famous composer quotes

…composers whose words inspire…

  • "The principle of the endless melody is the perpetual becoming of a music that never had any reason for starting, any more than it has any reason for ending." — Igor Stravinsky

  • "I cannot conceive of music that expresses absolutely nothing." — Bela Bartok

  • “Music is...a higher revelation than all wisdom & philosophy” ― Ludwig van Beethoven

  • "Too many pieces of music finish too long after the end." — Igor Stravinsky

  • "When you look at the scores of young composers, very often you don’t have time to look at the scores completely. But the most important moment is the first change. The composer comes and establishes an idea that everybody understands. Everybody can have an idea. Everybody. The problem is to have a second one. This is a greater problem. And the major problem is to know where and when to bring in this second idea. And very often, you realize after a few pages that he is not a musician. He does the wrong thing." — Gerard Grisey

  • “Where words leave off, music begins.” ― Heinrich Heine

  • “My freedom thus consists in my moving about within the narrow frame that I have assigned to myself for each one of my undertakings. I shall go even further: my freedom will be so much the greater and more meaningful the more narrowly I limit my field of action and the more I surround myself with obstacles. Whatever diminishes constraint diminishes strength. The more constraints one imposes, the more one frees oneself of the claims that shackle the spirit.” — Igor Stravinsky, Poetics of Music

  • “This machine kills fascists.” ― Woody Guthrie

  • “For me there is something primitively soothing about this music, and it went straight to my nervous system, making me feel ten feet tall.” ― Eric Clapton

  • "The listener must be gripped and whether he likes it or not, drawn into the flight path of the sounds without special training being necessary. The sensual shock must be just as forceful as when one hears a clap of thunder or looks into a bottomless abyss." — Iannis Xenakis

  • “Too bad people can't always be playing music, maybe then there wouldn't be any more wars.” ― Margot Benary-Isbert, Rowan Farm

  • “Music produces a kind of pleasure which human nature cannot do without.” ― Confucius, The Book of Rites