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…

  • “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

  • "Art, and, above all, music, has a fundamental function, which is to catalyze the sublimation that it can bring about through all means of expression. It must aim through fixations which are landmarks, to draw [one] towards a total exaltation in which the individual mingles, losing his consciousness in a truth immediate, rare, enormous, and perfect. If a work of art succeeds in this undertaking even for a single moment, it attains its goal." — Iannis Xenakis

  • "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

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

  • "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

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

  • “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

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

  • "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

  • “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

  • "Works of art make rules; rules do not make works of art." — Claude Debussy