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…

  • “Music is the divine way to tell beautiful, poetic things to the heart..” ― Pablo Casals

  • "It isn't false modesty when I say this, but although I am supposed to be a famous person it doesn't mean anything to me. I just sit at home and work." — Gyorgy Ligeti

  • "The point is that even if music can arouse in us associations with the rich world of human feelings, in different people these associations will be different. Hence a simple conclusion: it is unimportant whether the composer writes his work under the influence of extra-musical impulses, whether it is related in his consciousness or subconsciousness to some cycle of events, or whether he himself plans to express something which could be said in words. All this belongs to the field of sources of musical inspiration, but for me it never becomes the ultimate goal. And that is why, just like so many other composers, I could not answer enquiry about the concrete meaning of my music. Just as I could not say what is the meaning of Debussy’s preludes or Bach’s partitas. But isn’t it part of the great attraction of music that what is says cannot be expressed in any other way?" — W. Lutoslawski

  • “This machine kills fascists.” ― Woody Guthrie

  • “The music is not in the notes, but in the silence between.” ― Wolfgang Amadeus Mozart "Music is the silence between the notes." — Claude Debussy

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

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

  • "Now there is no taboo; everything is allowed. But one cannot simply go back to tonality, it’s not the way. We must find a way of neither going back nor continuing the avant-garde. I am in a prison: one wall is the avant-garde, the other wall is the past, and I want to escape." — Gyorgy Ligeti

  • “Without music, life would be a mistake.” ― Friedrich Nietzsche, Twilight of the Idols

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

  • “Without music to decorate it, time is just a bunch of boring production deadlines or dates by which bills must be paid.” ― Frank Zappa, Real Frank Zappa Book

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