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…

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

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

  • "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

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

  • “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

  • "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

  • "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

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

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

  • "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

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