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 really is and what it means-is equivalent to describing the act of affection. one way or the other, the relief of the event to an unblushingly specified 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 only in which the author, in desperation, lodges to metaphor (with or with no good thing about meter and rhyme), traditionally leads to im­ agery that's banal, vulgar, inane, imprecise, pretentious, and mainly insufferably romantic. to accomplish solid and exact writing approximately song 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. simply the intuitive, the natural, the sensual, and the intrepid want practice. specialist musicians usually proof 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 paintings. To many composers and instrumentalists, these outsiders (nonmusicians) who've the temerity to debate something extra summary than the electronic dexterity of a fiddler, the actual self-importance of a conductor, or the salary scales for time beyond regulation recording classes are judged worthwhile in basic terms of contempt or-at the most-patronizing tolerance. "Music capability itself," insists one of many members to the gathering that follows, and lots of practitioners of the artwork of organ­ ized sound would favor to go away it at that.

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Notation, the writing out of compositions, is primarily an ingenious expedient for catching an inspiration, with the purpose of exploiting it later. But notation is to improvisation as the portrait to the living model. It is for the interpreter to resolve the rigidity of the signs into the primitive emotion. . ~erruccio Busoni (1866-1924) Sketch of a New Aesthetic of Music, tr. 1911 Where is the apparatus that man could invent and set in motion which would allow harmony's million tongues to sound?

Laws The affairs of music ought, somehow, to terminate in the love of the beautiful. Plato Republic It is in music, perhaps, that the soul most nearly attains the great end for which, when inspired by the poetic sentiment, it struggles-the creation of supernal beauty. Edgar Allan Poe (18ocr-49) The Poetic Principle, 1845 Music is the perfection of the sou], or idea, of Poetry. The vagueness of exultation aroused by a sweet air (which should strictly be indefinite and never too strongly suggestive) is precisely what we should aim at in poetry.

Music Does . . Music Means . . 21 Music paints the sentiments and speech defines them. Georges Nouffiard Hector Berlioz et le movement de l'art contemporain, quoted by Sir Ernest Newman in A Study of Wagner, 1899 The Darian moode is the bestower of wisedome, the causer of chastity. The Phrygian causeth wars, and enflameth fury. The Eolian doth appease the tempests of the minds, and when it hath appeased them, luIs them asleepe. The Lydian doth sharpen the wit of the dull and doth make them that are burdened with earthly desires, to desire heavenly things.

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