Quotes

QUICK LINKS:

See also: ANECDOTES


AUDIENCE RECEPTION

Adequate musicians

How do you rate your music? We're not good musicians.  Just adequate. Then why are you so popular? Maybe people like adequate music.- ...
Read More

Reactions to classical music

The only way to take classical music out of the museum is to stop playing it in a museum.  The ...
Read More

Sondheim on audiences

"I do think audiences become more sophisticated. You try something out on them and they say, “Ugh”. You try it ...
Read More

Stokowski and his audience

The conductor Leopold Stokowski had a love hate relationship with his audience:He wooed them and cajoled them, flattered them and ...
Read More

The demise of the music critic

"...Moon, a 20-year veteran of the Philadelphia Inquirer before he left to write his new book, “1,000 Recordings to Hear ...
Read More

The English and music

"The English may not like music, but they absolutely love the noise it makes." - Sir Thomas Beecham Cited in: ...
Read More

Quick links


COMPOSERS

(no title)

Leonard Bernstein's children have donated the contents of his main composing studio to Indiana University.   The contents include "Bernstein’s ...
Read More

A hundred violins may play softer than one

John Holmes "reiterates that only with a large group can you get a truly soft sound. Sure, a solo fiddle ...
Read More

A specialized skill set

"You know I'm a useless kind of man apart from my music." - Tchaikovsky Cited in: Hanson, Lawrence and ...
Read More

A tribute to Beethoven

"The Last Master of resounding song, the tuneful heir of Bach and Handel, Mozart & Haydn's immortal fame is now ...
Read More

Adding quality music to the world

"My music is melodic.  After all, why add to the world's problem's with bad music." Alexander Prior, composer. Source: Classic ...
Read More

Bach’s reputation

"The difference between the reputation that Bach enjoyed in his lifetime and that which accumulated posthumously is one of the ...
Read More

Bernstein’s response to violence

This will be our response to violence To make music more intensely, more beautifully, more devotedly than ever before.  - Leonard Bernstein ...
Read More

Bruckner’s dog

Some of Anton Bruckner’s students decided to play a trick on him. While he was out to  lunch, they played ...
Read More

Copland on film music

American composer Aaron Copland on the role of film music:I was very fascinated by the medium because a composer can ...
Read More

Delius on the role of music

"The chief reason for the degeneration of present-day music lies in the fact that people want to get physical sensations ...
Read More

Fightened of ideas

"I can't understand why people are frightened of new ideas. I'm frightened of the old ones." - John Cage Cited in: Richard ...
Read More

Finding the voice of Piazzolla

I was writing symphonies, chamber music, string quartets. But when Nadia Boulanger analyzed my music, she complained that she couldn't ...
Read More

Gillparzer’s tribute to Beethoven

...He who lies here was possessed. Seeking one goal, caring only for one result, suffering and sacrificing for one purpose, ...
Read More

Glinka’s compositional priorities

"My earnest desire is to compose music which would make all my beloved fellow countrymen feel quite at home, and ...
Read More

Hogarth on Chopin

"He accomplishes enormous difficulties, but so quietly, so smoothly and with such constant delicacy and refinement that the listener is ...
Read More

I do not choose my listeners

"I do not choose my listeners. What I mean is, I never write for my listeners. I think about my ...
Read More

Inner-most feelings can be expressed in music

Taneyev was critical of Tchaikovsky's Fourth Symphony. Tchaikovsky's response ended with: "I can see you laughing as you read all ...
Read More

Liberation from formalism

"The present time has to a great extent liberated itself from symphonic form – from formalism. This started when the ...
Read More

Life is green

"All theory is grey, but the precious tree of life is green." Maurice Ravel to Hélène Jourdan-Morhange, describing Schoenberg's intellectualism.  Hélène Jourdan-Morhange, ...
Read More

Liszt on Beethoven

Liszt on Beethoven's music, in a letter to Wilhelm von Lenz in 1852:To us musicians the work of Beethoven parallels ...
Read More

Mozart and Beethoven

"Mozart has the classic purity of light and the blue ocean; Beethoven the romantic grandeur which belongs to the storms ...
Read More

Mozart on Clementi

"Now I need to say a word to my sister about the Clementi sonatas.  - Anyone who plays them can ...
Read More

Mozart’s masterpieces

"Mozart makes you believe in God - much more than going to church - because it cannot be by chance ...
Read More

Music is for me to play

"You claim that I write monstrosities which only the composer can play. What if they were meant only for the ...
Read More

Music is richer than words

"If I could express the same thing with words as with music, I would, of course, use a verbal expression ...
Read More

Music of the people

True music must repeat the thought and inspirations of the people and the time. My people are Americans and my ...
Read More

Paul Simon on music today

Paul Simon (of Simon and Garfunkel) on the future of the "album" concept:I don't think the album is going to ...
Read More

Proportion

"The traditional sense of proportion is a hang-up. The usual Mozartean concept of how long an idea lasts becomes too ...
Read More

Ravel’s fine attributes as a composer

On his tour to America in 1928, Ravel was highly praised by music critics.  In the New York Times, Olin ...
Read More

Reich on modernism and tonality

American composer Steve Reich on Schoenberg and his compositional style:Schönberg is the beginning of the death of German Romanticism. It's ...
Read More

Reich on the accessibility of his music

American composer Steve Reich on his compositional process: When I compose, I notice I'm the only one in the room. (laughs) ...
Read More

Reincken on Bach’s playing

The famous organist Reincken heard Bach play. Bach improvised for half an hour on the hymn "By the Waters of ...
Read More

Sondheim on expression

Mike Brown interviewers musical theatre composer Stephen Sondhiem:When I venture that his songs might suggest that he has a somewhat ...
Read More

Sondheim on the language of music

American composer and lyricist Stephen Sondheim has released a book Finishing the Hat: The Collected Lyrics of Stephen Sondheim, with ...
Read More

Szymanowski on Ravel

The Polish composer Karol Szymanowski wrote of the French composer Maurice Ravel in 1925:Whether he writes a "Rapsodie espagnole", "Mélodies ...
Read More

Tchaikovsky’s output

"The secret of the vital power of Tchaikovsky's music lies in the fact that there is virtually not a single ...
Read More

The construction of music

It appears to me that the subject of music, from Machaut to Boulez, has always been its construction. Melodies of ...
Read More

The effect of Tchaikovsky’s music on his patroness

Nadyezhda Filaretovna von Meck was Tchaikovsky's patroness.  In March 1877 she wrote of the effect of Tchaikovsky's music on her.  ...
Read More

The effects of Brahms’ music

James Huneker, a critic with the New York Courier, wrote about the impact of Brahms' music on him:Brahms dreams of ...
Read More

The forgotten aspect of music

"One of things that's been forgotten in music for a long time is the ability to be nakedly emotional". David Lang, ...
Read More

The importance of good texts

Mozart described the importance of good operatic texts in a letter regarding The Abduction from the Seraglio (Die Entführung aus ...
Read More

The tragedy of music

"The tragedy of music is that it begins with perfection." - Morton Feldman, American composer. Cited in a May 1976 interview, Studio ...
Read More

Underrated and overrated composers

"Polls of various musical personalities (but not me) in the Times about who's underrated and who's overrated.  Naturally Vivaldi is ...
Read More

Understanding the world

"If we understood the world, we would realize that there is a logic of harmony underlying its manifold apparent dissonances." Jean ...
Read More

Vaughan Williams’ preparation of Hymns Ancient and Modern

Vaughan Williams was commissioned to revise the hymn book of the Anglican Church: Hymns Ancient and Modern. This was amounted ...
Read More

Waste no note

"Never write an unnecessary note. Every note must live." Jean Sibelius, in a radio interview with Kalevi Kilpi, 1948) Cited at: ...
Read More

Why Israel still shuts Wagner out

Since its establishment in 1948, Wagner's music has customarily not been played in Israel's opera houses and concerts halls due ...
Read More

Writing music is easier than words

"I would rather write 10,000 notes than one letter of the alphabet."' Beethoven.  Letter, 28 November 1820.  Cited in: Kelly, Henry ...
Read More

You cannot hope for substance

"You cannot set art off in a corner and hope for it to have vitality, reality, and substance." - Charles Ives, ...
Read More

Quick links


GENERAL

(no title)

"One should either be a work of art, or wear a work of art." Oscar Wilde Cited at QuotationsBook ...
Read More

A result of education

"The highest result of education is tolerance." - Helen Keller - American author Cited at QuotationsBook   ...
Read More

A successful day

"If I have been of service, if I have glimpsed more of the nature and essence of ultimate good, if ...
Read More

Bugs Bunny can save classical music

(142, 199, 'Bugs Bunny can save classical music', 'bugs-bunny-can-save-classical-music', ' "The future of classical music lies with the younger generation, which ...
Read More

Determination not to be hurried

"Nothing can be more useful to a man than the determination not to be hurried." - Henry David Thoreau ...
Read More

Growth by dreams

"We grow great by dreams. All big men are dreamers." - Woodrow Wilson, President of USA 1913-1921 Source: QuotationsBook ...
Read More

Happiness

(261, 319, 'Happiness', 'happiness', '"Very little is needed to make a happy life; it is all within yourself, in your ...
Read More

Harmony

"You don't get harmony when everybody sings the same note." Doug Floyd, editorial editor of The Spokesman Review Cited at QuotationsBook ...
Read More

Hope

"Hope is the dream of a soul awake." French proverb. Source: Quotations Book ...
Read More

Individuality

"I may not be better than other people, but at least I'm different." Jean-Jacques Rousseau - Franco-Swiss philosopher and writer ...
Read More

It is who you are

"Face the facts of being who you are, for that is what changes what you are." Søren Kierkegaard, Danish writer. Cited at ...
Read More

Knowledge of truth

"The knowledge of truth, combined with the proper regard for it and its' faithful observance, constitutes true education." - Joseph F ...
Read More

LA no longer the center for film scoring

"...a panel of experts warn that film, TV and videogame scoring continues to leave L.A. because producers are unwilling to ...
Read More

Learning

"Learning makes a man fit company for himself as well as for others." - English Proverb Cited at: Quotations Book  ...
Read More

Loneliness versus solitude

"Language has created the word loneliness to express the pain of being alone, and the word solitude to express the ...
Read More

Mastery

"Mastery passes often for egotism." - Johanne Goethe, German author Cited at QuotationsBook ...
Read More

Men of genius

"Men of genius are often dull and inert in society; as the blazing meteor, when it descends to earth, is ...
Read More

Music and identity

"The more anonymous music is, the less likely people will be to feel attached it and to feel the need ...
Read More

NAXOS and the recording industry

"There was a time, not so long ago, that Klaus Heymann was accused of trying to destroy the classical music ...
Read More

Opportunities

"Small opportunities are often the beginning of great enterprises." - Demosthenes.  Ancient Greek statesman Cited at QuotationsBook ...
Read More

Patience

An ounce of patience is worth a pound of brains. - Dutch proverb Cited at QuotationsBook ...
Read More

Personality

"Personality is to a man what perfume is to a flower." - Charles M. Schwab, American businessman Cited at QuotationsBook ...
Read More

Philosophy

"Philosophy is doubt." - Michel Eyquem de Montaigne, French writer Cited at QuotationsBook ...
Read More

Quiet minds

"Quiet minds cannot be perplexed or frightened, but go on in fortune or misfortune at their own private pace, like ...
Read More

Skepticism

"Great intellects are skeptical." - Friedrich Nietzsche Cited at QuotationsBook.   ...
Read More

The best of every man

"I have believed the best of every man. And find that to believe is enough to make a bad man ...
Read More

The current state of the recording industry

Founder Klaus Heymann, founder of the successful NAXOS label, on the current state of the classical music recording industry:“We can’t ...
Read More

The decentralization (or de-hallification) of classical music

For generations, the main places to hear contemporary classical music have been the big institutions, primarily at downtown and university ...
Read More

The greatest applause

"The silence that accepts merit as the most natural thing in the world is the highest applause." - Ralph Waldo Emerson Cited ...
Read More

The health benefits of tuning a piano

"Tuning a piano also tunes the brain, say researchers who have seen structural changes within the brains of professional piano ...
Read More

The here and now

"It is a mark of soulfulness to be present in the here and now. When we are present, we are ...
Read More

The illiterate of the future

"The illiterate of the future are not those that cannot read or write. They are those that can not learn, ...
Read More

The making of heroes and cowards

"Great occasions do not make heroes or cowards; they simply unveil them to the eyes of men." - Brooke Westcott, Bishop ...
Read More

The prerequisites of a genius

"Of the three prerequisites of genius; the first is soul; the second is soul; and the third is soul." - Edwin ...
Read More

The significance of the individual

"You are an extremely valuable, worthwhile, significant person even though your present circumstances may have you feeling otherwise." - James Newmann, ...
Read More

The value of education

"If you think education is expensive, try ignorance." Derek Bok, American lawyer and educator Cited at: QuotationsBook ...
Read More

The work of the individual

"The work of the individual still remains the spark that moves mankind forward." - Igor Sikorsky, Russian aviator Cited at QuotationsBook   ...
Read More

Walters on success

"Success is not a doorway, it's a staircase." Dottie Walters. Cited at Quotations Book ...
Read More

Quick links


PERFORMANCE PRACTICE

A democratic orchestra

In 1920s Soviet Russia, musicians experimented mirroring the political state: "Just as the government didn't need a tsar, so the ...
Read More

An artist’s job is not for small talk

Nora Guthrie, Woody's daughter, once told me a story about a reception she was at where Bob Dylan was in ...
Read More

Berlioz on editorial license

"You musicians, you poets, prose-writers, actors, pianists, conductors, whether of third or second or even first rank, you do not ...
Read More

Context and beauty

"When you're young, you can be taken with the impulse of the moment and the beauty of a phrase, but ...
Read More

It’s two-four … It’s three-four

Chopin had a free sense of rhythm.  In 1842, Chopin was giving a lessen to Wilhem von Lenz when Meyerbeer ...
Read More

Leif Ove Andsnes on Beethoven

"I feel a real need for Beethoven now.  It's such important and spiritual music: it gives you strength, it gives ...
Read More

Mattheson on the courante

"The passion or affection which should be performed in a courante is sweet hopefullness." - Johann Mattheson. Siblin, Eric (2009) ...
Read More

Mozart on rubato in adagios

In 1777, Mozart visited Heir Stein in Ausburg (1). According to Mozart, Stein had stated that no-onehas ever played his ...
Read More

The development of keyboard technique

Before the time of Bach, keyboardists would often only use the middle three fingers of each hand and tended to ...
Read More

The logic of opera in English

"Opera in English, is about as sensible as baseball in Italian." - H. L. Mencken, twentieth century American journalist, critic, and ...
Read More

The musical memory

"Of course, almost anybody can memorize things, especially music. It’s like the ABCs and, for most, fun to do. I’ve ...
Read More

The piano, as distinct from the harp

Beethoven on the development of the piano as an instrument in its own right:There is no doubt that so far ...
Read More

Vaughan Williams on an authentic performance of Bach

Vaughan Williams gave a broadcast talk on Bach entitled "Bach the Great Bourgeois." It was later published in The Listener ...
Read More

We can’t all play first violin

"If we were all determined to play the first violin we should never have an ensemble. Therefore, respect every musician ...
Read More

When precision isn’t enough

Debussy was well known for wanting precision in performance. However, it was not always quite enough:Some time in 1917 Debussy ...
Read More

Quick links


PERFORMERS

A conductor’s hair style

In Halina Rodzinski's book Our Two Lives she describes how on the very first day Artur Rodzinski came to assist ...
Read More

Any room for me?

"Arthur Rubinstein was standing in the lobby of a concert hall proudly watching the audience filing in to hear one ...
Read More

Applause

"Applause is a receipt, not a bill." - Artur Schnabel, pianist Cited at Aphorism.ru. Cited 30 March 2013.  ...
Read More

Arthur Schnabel

"Artur Schnabel is a pianist unlike any other. One is conscious in listening to him of a powerful and original ...
Read More

Ashkenazy on Richter

Pianist and conductor Vladimir Ashkenazy on his colleague Sviatoslav Richter:Richter magnetized me, like he did so many others, and I ...
Read More

Bringing classical music to the people

"Most performers pretty much ignore the audience - they play and go off ... Don't get me wrong. I worship ...
Read More

Chopin’s pianistic style

While in London, Chopin frequently gave performances at soirées and matinées where he performed Nocturnes, Waltzes, Mazurkas and the Berceuse ...
Read More

Dee-da-dee-da-dee-da-splat

"I also like to play the famous tunes because there's nothing like inspiring a whole bunch of kids who are ...
Read More

Everything affects music making

'"...turning 40 and new fatherhood have other effects: 'It opens things up emotionally', he says.  'I find that my whole ...
Read More

Give music to those who love it

"Music must be given to those who love it. I want to give free concerts; that's the answer." -Sviatoslav Richter, pianist Bruno ...
Read More

Glenn Gould on recording

Pianist Glenn Gould discussed the recording process with Yehudi Menuhin completing the playback of a Bach gigue:Now, Yehudi, you've got ...
Read More

Golden rules for an orchestra

'"There are two golden rules for an orchestra: start together and finish together. The public doesn't give a damn what ...
Read More

Half a sonata

Sergei Prokofiev was once asked to give a piano recital. He declined, offering this explanation: "It would cost me half ...
Read More

Hilary Hahn on technique, practise mentality, and performance

Violinist Hilary Hahn on practice and technique:I've always worked hard at my technique ... But I've worked hard at my ...
Read More

Hilary Hahn on the “story” behind the music

I think the back stories [behind the creation of a work] are interesting ... But for me the first aim ...
Read More

Hoffman on technique

Technic  represents the material side of art, as money represents the material side of life.  By all means achieve a ...
Read More

Hogarth on Chopin

"He accomplishes enormous difficulties, but so quietly, so smoothly and with such constant delicacy and refinement that the listener is ...
Read More

Liszt’s account of a performance by Chopin

Franz Liszt described one of Chopin's concerts in the Gazette musicale, May 2 1841.Last Monday, at eight o'clock in the ...
Read More

Love your music

When I was 19 years old I joined Columbia Artists in New York.  It was my first management and a ...
Read More

Many an Orpheus and Arions make up a Bach

Johann Matthias Gesner was a colleague of Johann Sebastian Bach at St. Thomas' School, Leipzig. He later worked on a commentary ...
Read More

Music and time

"There is also in this [nineteenth-century romantic] music an extraordinary sense of control over the passage of time; a moment ...
Read More

Nikolaj Zainder performs Elgar’s Violin Concerto on the original violin

In 2010, Violinist Nikolaj Znaider performed Elgar's Violin Concerto on the same 1741 violin in which Kriesler premiered the work ...
Read More

Part of the bigger picture

Leopold Stokowski conducted the American premier of Berg's opera Wozzeck in 1930 (a joint effort of The Philadelphia Orchestra, the ...
Read More

Pavarotti

"Pavarotti is like someone who has swalled a Stradivarious." - Peter Ustinov Cited in: Jarski, Rosemarie (2005) Great ...
Read More

Perahia on Beethoven

Murray Perahia initially found Beethoven hard to understand: "I was always working on Beethoven, but I couldn't feel close to ...
Read More

Piotr Anderszewski on interpretation

To me it's all about how you read and translate the music you play: the most important thing is to ...
Read More

Popular classical music is great too

"A lot of what you call the great repertoire is popular, but that doesn't mean it's not a great work ...
Read More

Remembering J. S. Bach

Carl Philip Emanuel Bach recalled his father's (Johann Sebastian) talents as a musician: The exact tuning of his own instruments, and ...
Read More

Review of Pablo Casals

A Review written in El Alcance of the cellist Pablo Cassals: His bow, sometimes sweet as a voice from heaven, at ...
Read More

Richter on small concerts

"Put a small piano in a truck and drive out on country roads; take time to discover new scenery; stop ...
Read More

Ringo Starr

Is Ringo Starr the best drummer in the world? He's not even the best drummer in the Beatles.Reporter and John Lennon. Source: ...
Read More

Stokowski as a sound engineer

The conductor Stokowski (who was the conductor of Disney's Fantasia) was a pioneer of orchestral recording.  This was not without ...
Read More

Stokowski rebukes

The conductor Stowkoski was always in complete control of his orchestra: He never lost his tempoer with the orchestra, never raised ...
Read More

Stokowski’s first rehearsal with the Philadelphia Orchestra

On Stokowski's first rehearsal with the Philadelphia Orchestra: From Oscar Schwar, a fellow faculty member at Curtis who became my friend, ...
Read More

Stokowski’s rehearsal process

Abraham Chasin performed the premier of his Second Piano Concerto with the Philharmonic Orchestra in March 1933.  It was conducted ...
Read More

The delicate nature of Chopin’s pianism

Chopin gave a recital in the Gentlemen''s Concert Hall, Manchester, on 28 August 1848. The audience of 1,200 people was ...
Read More

The importance of reading

"Whoever wishes to play well must not only practice a great deal, but must also read a great many books." - ...
Read More

The juggling jazz musician

"A jazz musician is a juggler who uses harmonies instead of oranges." -Benny Green, British saxophonist Cited at QuotationsBook ...
Read More

The life of a pianist

My life involves endless hours of repetitive and frustrating practising, lonely hotel rooms, dodgy pianos, aggressively bitchy reviews, isolation, confusing ...
Read More

The musician’s quest

The violinist Ivan Galamian describes the musician's quest for a goal greater than mere technical accomplishment:A complete technique .. implies ...
Read More

The orchestra as a symbol of unity

"You see behind me a symphony orchestra.  Every single one of the instruments has an entirely different background and history; ...
Read More

The soloist will get his way

Pianist Freddy Kempf on the recording process:Solo recording is the most indulgent type ... it's 90 per cent down to ...
Read More

The technique of conducting

"Technique is communication: the two words are synonymous in conductors." - Leonard Bernstein, conductor, composer and pianist. Cited at QuotationsBook.   ...
Read More

Up close and personal with Glenn Gould

A film has been made of the personal side of Canadian pianist Glenn Gould:During his lifetime Gould was often portrayed ...
Read More

Quick links


STYLE

Adding quality music to the world

"My music is melodic.  After all, why add to the world's problem's with bad music." Alexander Prior, composer. Source: Classic ...
Read More

Against Gregorian

In Anglican England in the nineteenth and early twentieth centuries, there was considerable opposition to the Roman Catholic Gregorian chant ...
Read More

American Western Film Soundtracks

"Morricone brought the electric guitar to the western. The great thing, though, about the electric guitar in the western is ...
Read More

Beethoven our artistic brother

It is the function of art to bring to us emotions, thoughts, states of mind and heart which are larger ...
Read More

Copland on the integration of jazz into art music

American composer Aaron Copland discusses the influence of Jazz on his musical style:was a very important influence at one time ...
Read More

Eighteenth century aesthetics

Mozart was not at all a purely instinctive, intuitive artist. His remarks to the effect that he "loved to plan ...
Read More

George Gershwin on American music

George Gershwin, a pioneer of the fusion of jazz, musical theater and classical idioms, wrote two essays on the significance ...
Read More

I write for all ears

When Mozart was writing his opera Idomeno, his father warned him to make sure it was accessible to all the ...
Read More

In critique, then in praise of Bach

The dilemma of "old" versus "new" style is evident in the comments of the Johann Adolf Scheibe in reference to ...
Read More

It must be worth the effort

Martinu on creating beautiful music: "It must be beautiful, or it wouldn't be worth the effort." Cited in: Calum MacDonald, "Bohuslav ...
Read More

Mattheson on the allemande

An allemande is a stately processional couple dance. The dances formed lines of couples, extended their hands, and moved forward ...
Read More

Mozart on aesthetics

Mozart's musical aesthetics are revealed in a letter to his father about Osmin's first aria in The Abduction of the ...
Read More

Mozart on melody

"Melody is the essence of music", continued he; "I compare a good melodist to a fine racer, and counterpointists to ...
Read More

Mozart’s musical aesthetics

Mozart's comments on the musical style of his piano concertos (K. 413-415) portray his underlying aesthetic principle that music should ...
Read More

Murray Perahia

"It's a very reactionary viewpoint and I'm slightly ashamed, but I find it very difficult to access contemporary music. I ...
Read More

Parry on choral music

Hubert Parry, who taught Vaughan Williams composition, instructed the composer to "write choral music as befits and Englishman and a ...
Read More

Ravel’s influence on Vaughan Williams

In 1908, after a period of intense period of immersion in English music due to his role as editor of ...
Read More

Smooth jazz finds new way to reach audiences

With shifts in the commercial music industry away from smooth jazz, musicians are finding new niches for smooth jazz such ...
Read More

The evolution of the jazz tradition

American jazz music is, in many ways, rooted in its "traditional" repertoire - the American "Songbook" of "standards". There are, ...
Read More

The framework of a symphony

The framework of a symphony must be so strong that it forces you to follow it regardless of the environment ...
Read More

The shelf life of popular art

"The fact is popular art dates. It grows quaint. How many people feel strongly about Gilbert and Sullivan today compared ...
Read More

Vaughan Williams on sense of musical citizenship

Vaughan Williams wrote a series of articles for the Royal College of Music magazine entitled "Who Wants the English Composer?" ...
Read More

Quick links


SYMBOLISM

Music as a metaphor … or not

"Most music is metaphor, but Wolff is not. I am not metaphor either. Parable, maybe. Cage is sermon." - Morton Feldman, ...
Read More

Schumann on music

As to what concerns the knotty question in general of how far instrumental music may go in the representation of ...
Read More

The key of E-flat

"[The key of E-flat] was reserved mostly for moments of sublime seriousness, appropriate for dying thoughts, or of love unto ...
Read More

Quick links


TEACHING METHODS

A great teacher

"The mediocre teacher tells. The good teacher explains. The superior teacher demonstrates. The great teacher inspires." - William Ward, author Cited at ...
Read More

Bach’s method of keyboard teaching

The teaching methods of Johann Sebastion Bach are recounted by his son, Philip Emanuel Bach: The first thing he did was ...
Read More

Can you teach resourcefulness

Young musicians will need resourcefulness to make their way in the world. Music “jobs” in the future are likely to ...
Read More

Chopin and touch

If a student played with excessive tone, Chopin would say "What was that? A dog barking?" Source: Carter, Gerard (2008) The ...
Read More

Encouraging talent

"What greater pleasure is there is life than giving young and beautiful talent a little lift in the direction of ...
Read More

Entertaining to educate

"I would rather entertain and hope that people learned something than educate people and hope they were entertained." Walt Disney, film ...
Read More

Jazz apprenticeships

"Why are jazz apprenticeships so vital in the first place? For one thing the music essentially models a community, with ...
Read More

Knowledge and Wisdom

"Knowledge is a process of piling up facts; wisdom lies in their simplification." Martin H. Fischer, German born American ...
Read More

Schoenberg’s composition class

An account of Arnold Schoenberg teaching a composition class:Well, first of all there was composition class, in which he analyzed ...
Read More

Study music profoundly

"The advice I am giving always to my students is above all to study the music profoundly.  Because the music ...
Read More

Teaching in Kabul

Emma Ayres, a violist and former ABC Classic FM radio presenter, discusses her experience in teaching in Kabul at the ...
Read More

The fire of knowledge

"When teaching, light a fire, don't fill a bucket." - Dan Snow, television presenter. Cited at QuotationsBook   ...
Read More

The purpose of education

"The purpose of education is to keep a culture from being drowned in senseless repetitions, each of which claims to ...
Read More

The role of schooling

You go to a great school not so much for knowledge as for arts and habits, for the habit of ...
Read More

The status of classical music in Australia

"I would like to see the emphasis in teaching shift from the performer to the three elements necessary for satisfying ...
Read More

Vaughan Williams on Hubert Parry

Vaughan Williams studied composition with Dr. Hubert Parry at the Royal College of Music, London. Vaughan Williams recalled:Many ... entirely ...
Read More

Quick links


THE CREATIVE PROCESS

A man’s money

"Every man's work, whether it be literature or music or pictures or architecture or anything is always a portrait of ...
Read More

A musician’s canvas

"A painter paints pictures on canvas. But musicians paint their pictures on silence." -Leopold Stokowski, conductor Cited at: Quotegarden ...
Read More

A task no longer

"Set me a task in which I can put something of my very self, and it is a task no ...
Read More

Accomplishing great things

"To accomplish great things we must first dream, then visualize, then plan... believe... act!" - Alfred Montapert, Author Cited at: QuotationsBook ...
Read More

An artist can change his past

An artist groping his way forward can open a secret door and never understand that this door hid an entire ...
Read More

An author’s perogative to be critical

"A writer is unfair to himself when he is unable to be hard on himself." - Marianne Moore, American poet Cited at ...
Read More

Anxiety

"Anxiety is the hand maiden of creativity". Chuck Jones, animator Cited at QuotationsBook   ...
Read More

Application of talent

“…all talent, all application will not suffice if one’s whole life is not directed towards being a mediator of great ...
Read More

Bacall on imagination

"Imagination is the highest kite one can fly." - Lauren Bacall, American actress Cited at: QuotationsBook ...
Read More

Bargaining with the artist

"No one should drive a hard bargain with an artist." - Beethoven Cited at QuotationsBook ...
Read More

Beauty

The academic teaching on beauty is false. We have been misled, but so completely misled that we can no longer ...
Read More

Beethoven’s compositional process

Beethoven was revising Fidelio when he wrote to Georg Freiedrich Treitschke (who was helping to revise the libretto) (1):Now, of ...
Read More

Bernstein’s television appearances

Bernstein is intent on demonstrating that the inevitable doesn’t just happen. It comes from intense work.To show this, he restores ...
Read More

Brahms on inspiration

Johannes Brahms wrote to Clara Schumann. whom he greatly admired:It is from you that I am constantly learning that one ...
Read More

Britten on composing

"Composing is like driving down a foggy road toward a house.  Slowly you see more details of the house - ...
Read More

Content of art

How can you expect a beholder to experience my picture as I experienced it? A picture comes to me a ...
Read More

Creativity

"Creativity is inventing, experimenting, growing, taking risks, breaking rules, making mistakes, and having fun." - Mary Lou Cook, American community activist ...
Read More

Creativity between now and Tuesday

"Creativity is a highfalutin word for the work I have to do between now and Tuesday." - Ray Kroc, founder of ...
Read More

Discovery

"Discovery is seeing what everybody else has seen, and thinking what nobody else has thought." Albert Szent-Györgyi , American bio-chemist ...
Read More

Doing what I can’t do

"I am always doing what I can't do yet in order to learn how to do it". - Van Gogh, painter, ...
Read More

Einstein on creativity

"Creativity is intelligence having fun." - Albert Einstein ...
Read More

Empty pockets

"Empty pockets never held anyone back. Only empty heads and empty hearts can do that." - Norman Vincent Peale, American author ...
Read More

Escaping the every day world

"Those around me refuse to accept that I could never live in the everyday world of things and people.  Hence ...
Read More

Evolving recordings

Gwilym Gold has released an album that never plays the same way twice. Developed in collaboration with Lexxx and scientists ...
Read More

Feeling a bond with your instrument

"Research in Finland has uncovered the benefits of feeling a bond with your instrument. 51 per cent of musicians surveyed ...
Read More

Following the crowd

"The man who follows the crowd will usually get no further than the crowd. The man who walks alone is ...
Read More

Freedom for music

"In order for music to free itself, it will have to pass over to the other side - there where ...
Read More

George Sand on Chopin’s compositional process

"His creation was spontaneous and miraculous. He found it without seeking it, without forseeing it. It came on his piano ...
Read More

Goldsmith on film scoring

"Working to timings and synchronising your musical thoughts with the film can be stimulating rather than restrictive. Scoring is a ...
Read More

Guiding concepts of artistic creation

"...few of us talk and write about the bigger picture of how our musical and tactical efforts are guided by ...
Read More

Harmann on orchestration

"To orchestrate is like a thumbprint. I can't understand having someone else do it. It would be like someone putting ...
Read More

How caffeine can cramp creativity

(250, 308, 'How Caffeine Can Cramp Creativity', 'how-caffeine-can-cramp-creativity', ' Caffeine can boost energy, reduce fatigue, and increase short term concentration and ...
Read More

I dream …

"I dream, therefore I exist." - J. August Stringberg, Swedish writer, playwright, and painter. Cited at: QuotationsBook   ...
Read More

Imagination

"Imagination decides everything." - Pascal Blaise, French mathematician, physicist, and philosopher. Cited at: QuotationsBook ...
Read More

Imagination plus innovation

"You have all the reason in the world to achieve your grandest dreams. Imagination plus innovation equals realization." Denis Waitley, American ...
Read More

Is it worth writing?

"Never compose anything unless the not composing of it becomes a positive nuisance to you." Gustav Holst Cited in: Classic ...
Read More

Learn the rules like a pro

"Learn the rules like a pro so you can break them like an artist." Pablo Picasso, painter Cited at WikiQuote ...
Read More

Misprints remain

"Some misprints remain on my scores, because for some reason I have always been in a rush to get the ...
Read More

Mood lighting to boost creativity

A study published in the Journal of Environmental Psychology has concluded that the level of lighting in a room can ...
Read More

Motion and art

"The statue is concentrated in one moment of perfection. The image stained upon the canvas posses no spiritual element of ...
Read More

Nino Rota on happiness and music

"When I’m creating at the piano, I tend to feel happy; but - the eternal dilemma - how can we ...
Read More

Old into new

An old thing becomes new if you detach it from what usually surrounds it. - Robert Bresson, French film maker Cited at ...
Read More

Playing with fantasy

"Without this playing with fantasy no creative work has ever yet come to birth. The debt we owe to the ...
Read More

Problem solving with creativity

"Creativity can solve almost any problem. The creative act, the defeat of habit by originality, overcomes everything." - George Lois, American ...
Read More

Ravel’s compositional process

Robert de Fragny recalled a conversation with Ravel about his compositional process:The G major Concerto took two years of work, ...
Read More

Salvation by imagination

"An idea is salvation by imagination." - Frank Lloyd Wright, American architect ...
Read More

Self expression

"My interest lies in my self-expression -- what's inside of me -- not what I'm in." - John Turturro, American actor Cited ...
Read More

Simon on improvisation

"Improvisation is too good to leave to chance." -Paul Simon, singer & composer Cited at Aphorism.ru. Accessed 31 March 2013.  ...
Read More

Spontaneity and art

Alexander Gow, musician in the band Oh Mercy on spontaneity of artistic creation: [Spontaneity is] when art is expression, and that's ...
Read More

Start with one note

Ravel in conversation with Mme André Bloch:"I don't have ideas.  To begin with, nothing forces itself on me." "But if ...
Read More

Stravinsky on composition

"For me, as a creative musician, composition is a daily function that I am compelled to discharge. I compose because ...
Read More

Technology and the future of music

The future direction of music demands that musicians today lose themselves in technology and learn from their mistakes. In the ...
Read More

The addictive nature of song writing

"You know it's sort of addictive because there is all this gold just floating in the ether around you. The ...
Read More

The art within

"Only art experienced within, in which the personality plays a creative role can be of interest …To achieve this, those ...
Read More

The creative person

"The thing that makes a creative person is to be creative and that is all there is to it." - Edward ...
Read More

The cycle of masterpieces

"Only mediocrities progress. An artist revolves in a cycle of masterpieces, the first of which is no less perfect than ...
Read More

The effect of audience reception on Stravinsky’s compositional process

Stravinksy on the public not particularly liking his music: Their attitude certainly cannot make me deviate from my path. I shall ...
Read More

The effort is better than rest

"Writing music is seventy-five per cent an intellectual activity.  This effort is often more pleasant for me than having a ...
Read More

The essential part of creativity

"The essential part of creativity is not being afraid to fail." Edwin Land, American scientist and inventor. Cited a QuotationsBook ...
Read More

The excitement of all possibilities

"Without leaps of imagination, or dreaming, we lose the excitement of all possibilities. Dreaming, after all, is a form of ...
Read More

The experience of composition

"I am not suited to 'writing music'. All has to be experienced." -Jean Sibelius Cited in:Goss, Glenda (2009) "Sibelius". Chicago: The University ...
Read More

The importance of music in pantomime

"In pantomime every single episode, each movement in each episode (its plastic modulations)—as well as the gestures of every character ...
Read More

The inner drama of man

It is not what the artist does that counts. But what he is. Cézanne would never have interested me if ...
Read More

The limits of imagination

"Imagination... its limits are only those of the mind itself." - Rod Serling, screenwriter Cited at QuotationsBook ...
Read More

The musical mosaic

"Music is for me like a beautiful mosaic which God has put together. He takes all the pieces in his ...
Read More

The nature of music

"A verbal art like poetry is reflective; it stops to think. Music is immediate, it goes on to become." - W ...
Read More

The path of an artist

"A good traveler has no fixed plans and is not intent upon arriving. A good artist lets his intuition lead ...
Read More

The possibilities of creativity

"The possibilities of creative effort connected with the subconscious mind are stupendous and imponderable. They inspire one with awe." - Napoleon ...
Read More

The potential of an artist

"How important is it to catch up with yourself? There are enormous forces lurking in each person, but many people ...
Read More

The progress of an artist

("The progress of an artist is a continual self-sacrifice, a continual extinction of personality." - T. S. Elliot, author ...
Read More

The pros and cons of imagination

"My imagination makes me human and makes me a fool; it gives me all the world and exiles me from ...
Read More

The subject of art

Abstract art is only painting. And what's so dramatic about that? There is no abstract art. One must always begin ...
Read More

The true success of the journey

"To travel hopefully is a better thing than to arrive, and the true success is to labor." Robert Louis Stevenson, Scottish ...
Read More

Tips for composers

Rob Deemer highlights several aspects needed for a composer to survive in the artistic community: - ability to accept "failure" ...
Read More

Transformation of art

"Art does not progress - it transforms itself." - François-Joseph Fétes Siblin, Eric (2009) The Cello Suites.  Crows Nest: Allen and ...
Read More

Work joyfully and peacefully

"Work joyfully and peacefully, knowing that right thoughts and right efforts will inevitably bring about right results." - James Allen, British ...
Read More

World order

"The world is not to be put in order; the world is order, incarnate. It is for us to harmonize ...
Read More

Quick links


THE EXPERIENCE OF ART

A musical solution

"Every disease is a music problem, its cure a musical solution." Novalis, 18th century German author, mystic and philosopher. Cited in: Inge ...
Read More

Bad effects of music

"By and large, though, there are few, if any, bad side effects of music, and music can often work where ...
Read More

Beyond the comfort zone

I believe one shouldn't be too comfortable when listening to really great music.  To appreciate good music, one must be ...
Read More

Communicating one’s dreams

"Whoever communicates to his brothers in suffering the secret splendour of his dreams acts upon the surrounding society in the ...
Read More

Form and content

"I think that one way toward a more intelligent and involved appraisal is through a connection with the pieces, and ...
Read More

It is cruel that music should be so beautiful

"It is cruel, you know, that music should be so beautiful.  It has the beauty of loneliness and of pain: ...
Read More

Music and health

"Musical instruments are aids to the maintenance of health, and to the restoration of health once lost, according to the ...
Read More

Music as a means of common meditation

"There is also in this music an extraordinary sense of control over the passage of time; a moment will be ...
Read More

Music stirred him

"Music had stirred him like that.  Music had troubled him many times.  But music was not articulate.  It was not ...
Read More

The best music

"The best music is the music that persuades us that there is no other music in the world." - Alex Ross, ...
Read More

The cleansing power of music

"Take a music bath once or twice a week for a few seasons, and you will find that it is ...
Read More

The effect of art

"There's a phrase I've often heard from audience members at popular musicals (but, oddly, never anywhere else): the show, they'll ...
Read More

The experience of beauty

"The experience of beauty ... consists of finding a spiritual value (truth, happiness, moral ideals) at home in a material ...
Read More

The obscurity of the author

An author is often obscure to the reader because they proceed from the thought to expression than like the reader ...
Read More

Quick links


THE PURPOSE OF THE ARTS

Abstract art

"The more horrifying this world becomes, the more art becomes abstract." Paul Klee, Swiss painter Cited at QuotationsBook ...
Read More

Arnold on culture

"Culture, the acquainting ourselves with the best that has been known and said in the world, and thus with the ...
Read More

Art

"We have art in order not to die of the truth." Friedrich Nietzsche Cited at: QuotationsBook ...
Read More

Art and humanity

"Writing and performing an opera, creating any work of art in a world of violence and ease, hunger and obesity, ...
Read More

Art and the strength of the former times

In 1824, Schubert wrote a letter to his friend Schober concerning a general complacency about the role of art at ...
Read More

Art cannot change events. But it can change people.

"The point is, art never stopped a war and never got anybody a job. That was never its function. Art ...
Read More

Art is meant to be uplifting

"Art," announces Pat Buchanan to Charlie Rose, "is meant to be uplifting." What a relief!  After all these years I'd never ...
Read More

Art to be virtuous

"All art is a struggle to be, in a particular sort of way, virtuous." Iris Murdoch (1919-1999), Anglo-Irish writer and ...
Read More

Beethoven on music

"Music is the mediator between the spiritual and the sensual life." - Beethoven Cited at: Quotations Book ...
Read More

Beethoven our artistic brother

It is the function of art to bring to us emotions, thoughts, states of mind and heart which are larger ...
Read More

Communication with the audience

Igor Stravinsky contemplates the ultimate goal of an artist versus reality: "Art postulates communion [between the artist and the audience], and ...
Read More

Culture is our fuel

"'Culture is our petrol,' says Toumani Diabaté, the Malian kora player who has collaborated with Damon Albarn and Björk, to ...
Read More

Emerging from suffering

"Out of suffering have emerged the strongest souls; the most massive characters are seared with scars." - Kahlil Gibran, Lebanese poet ...
Read More

Entertaining to educate

"I would rather entertain and hope that people learned something than educate people and hope they were entertained." Walt Disney, film ...
Read More

Environmental soundscapes

In the 1960s, the Canadian composer R. Murray Schafer founded the World Soundscape Project at Simon Fraser University.  The research ...
Read More

First we make music

"...the nature of music is inherently social. Blackburn argues, " … we need to remind ourselves that music in itself ...
Read More

From the heart

"What comes from the heart, goes to the heart." Samuel Coleridge Taylor, English poet, critic and philosopher. Cited at: QuotationsBook   ...
Read More

Heard but not seen

In 1926, conductor Leopold Stokowski inserted the following into the Philadelphia Orchestra programs:The great conviction has been growing in me ...
Read More

Imagination disposes and creates

"Imagination disposes of everything; it creates beauty, justice, and happiness, which is everything in this world." - Blaise Pascal, French mathematician, ...
Read More

Inspiration

"Our happiness in this world depends on the affections we are able to inspire." - Duchess Prazlin Cited at QuotationsBook ...
Read More

It is imperative to learn music

The philosopher Nietzsche noted:"Our emotional life is least clear to ourselves." For this reason, it is imperative to listen to ...
Read More

Joyous art

Art that feels like a duty is probably bad art. But most of the art industry is geared towards foisting ...
Read More

Life experience

"Knowledge about life is one thing; effective occupation of a place in life, with its dynamic currents passing through your ...
Read More

Luther on music

"I am not satisfied with any man who despises music. For music is a gift of God. It will drive ...
Read More

Menken on the the strength of music

"It's like, why move to Florida if you don't like the sun?" says Menken when I visit his home in ...
Read More

Music education helps to encourage empathy

"In an age when many children experience music alone on iPods and computers, especially students at the upper elementary level, ...
Read More

Music is a moral law

Music is a moral law. It gives soul to the universe, wings to the mind, flight to the imagination, and ...
Read More

Music is the real life

In modern life electricity plays a great part.  Sometimes it is used destructively - sometimes creatively - but there is ...
Read More

No art is equal to music

"I firmly believe, nor am I ashamed to assert, that next to theology no art is equal to music; for ...
Read More

On thinking

"If you make people think they're thinking they'll love you: but if you really make them think, they'll hate you." Don ...
Read More

Our modernized world needs music

"Our modernized minds need to be musicalized. We have defied the intellect ... and developed only half of man's possibilities ...
Read More

Pablo Casals’ obligation

"I am a very simple man. I am a man first, an artist second. My first obligation is to the ...
Read More

Rachmaninoff on music

"What is music? How can one define it?  Music is a calm moonlit night, a rustling of summer foliage.  Music ...
Read More

Real genius

"Real genius is nothing else but the supernatural virtue of humility in the domain of thought." Simone Wells, French philosopher and ...
Read More

Shostakovich on music

"There can be no music without idealogy ... We, as revolutionaries, have a different conception of  music from the composers ...
Read More

Structure and disharmony

"I need to start from the assumption that the world of spirit is ordered, structured by its very nature, that ...
Read More

Teaching in Kabul

Emma Ayres, a violist and former ABC Classic FM radio presenter, discusses her experience in teaching in Kabul at the ...
Read More

Tears in art

"In art there are tears that lie too deep for thought." - Louis Kronenberger, American author Cited at QuotationsBook ...
Read More

The art of listening

"It's a challenge, for me at least, to do nothing but listen.  You need to set aside time for it.  ...
Read More

The cleansing power of art

"Art washes away from the soul the dust of everyday life." Pablo Picasso, Spanish painter Cited at: QuotationsBook ...
Read More

The code of honor in great art

"In higher art, only that is worth being presented which has never before been presented.  There is no great work ...
Read More

The influence of music

Conductor Leopold writes:There are millions who find solace in music - it opens for them the sun-bathed gates of inspiration ...
Read More

The most powerful drugs

"Words are the most powerful drugs used by mankind." - Rudyard Kipling, British author and poet. Cited at QuotationsBook.  ...
Read More

The musician’s contribution to the world

"As musicians, we are already doing something for the world ... We make it more flowing? ... Through music". Pianist ...
Read More

The musician’s role: maintain our trust in the world

"I feel that tolerance, love and social harmony can and should be the by-products of an artist's way of life ...
Read More

The nature of music

"A verbal art like poetry is reflective; it stops to think. Music is immediate, it goes on to become." - W ...
Read More

The political function of music

"There can be no music without an idealogy. The old composers, whether they knew it or not, were upholding a ...
Read More

The power of music

"Music is a readily available, highly effective tool that you use to improve both your cognitive and physical abilities." Arthur Winter, ...
Read More

The purpose of the theater

"Do you know why I abandoned all my personal affairs and took up the theater? Because the theater is the ...
Read More

The role of the arts in society

The Eighteenth Weimar Classicists' (e.g., Goethe, Shiller) conception of art expanded past the arts themselves, but also embraced all elements ...
Read More

The sole purpose of art is infinite

E. T. A. Hoffmann wrote in 1813 that instrumental musicis the most romantic of all the arts  - one might ...
Read More

The soul and speech

"There is no real teacher who in practice does not believe in the existence of the soul, or in a ...
Read More

The spice of music

"Without music to decorate it, time is just a bunch of boring production deadlines or dates by which bills must ...
Read More

The two faces of art

"Every great work of art has two faces, one toward its own time and one toward the future, toward eternity." - ...
Read More

The voice of life

"Is there not an art, a music, and a stream of words that shalt be life, the acknowledged voice of ...
Read More

The weird people

"Blessed are the weird people--poets, misfits, writers, mystics...painters & troubadours--for they teach us to see the world through different eyes." Jacob ...
Read More

Two paths for the future of classical music

Greg Sanders ponders the position of classical music and describes the need for it to catch up with culture, without ...
Read More

Valley of shadows

"When walking through the valley of shadows, remember, a shadow is cast by a Light." - H. K. Barclay Cited at: QuotationsBook ...
Read More

Vassily Primakov on the role of the arts

"[Art] certainly takes us some place unobtainable. We can go on to say that it enriches our lives – as ...
Read More

What is an artist?

"What is an artist? An artist is a tortured being who, when he opens his mouth to scream, only beautiful ...
Read More

What we play

"What we play is life." Louis Armstrong, Jazz musician Cited at: Quotations Book ...
Read More

Quick links


WORK ETHIC

A man is not a failure until …

"A man can get discouraged many times but he is not a failure until he begins to blame somebody else ...
Read More

A practice regime

After a year's sabbatical in 1953, the pianist Horowitz found a routine and rebuilt his technique:I realized I had to ...
Read More

Achieving your aims

"Those who have achieved all their aims probably set them too low."- Herbert von Karajan, conductorHerbert von Karajan - Official Homepage ...
Read More

Aim above the mark

"If you would hit the mark, you must aim a little above it; Every arrow that flies feels the attraction ...
Read More

Art and patience

"Good art is nothing more than infinite patience." William Wallace Kimball, founder of Kimball Piano Company Cited in: Cited in: Kimball, K., ...
Read More

Attaining great heights

"The heights by great men reached and kept were not attained by sudden flight, but they, while their companions slept, ...
Read More

Baudelaire on inspiration

"Inspiration is merely the reward for working every day!" - Charles Baudelaire (French poet).  According to Roland-Manuel, Ravel would often recite this ...
Read More

Be a dreamer

"Be a dreamer. If you don't know how to dream, you're dead." - Jim Valvano, American basketball coach Cited at ...
Read More

Do everything promptly

"During a very busy life I have often been asked, How did you manage to do it all? The answer ...
Read More

Encouraging progress

"I have yet to find the man, however exalted his station, who did not do better work and put forth ...
Read More

Energy from work

"The more work that you make, the more energy you have to make work." - Garry Stewart, artistic director of the ...
Read More

Focus on solutions

Focus 90% of your time on solutions and only 10% of your time on problems. Anthony J. D'Angelo, author Cited at QuotationsBook ...
Read More

Go for long walks

Rachmaninoff once urged Horowitz to go for long walks.  "If you don't walk, your fingers will not run." Abram Chasins, "The ...
Read More

Hilary Hahn on technique, practise mentality, and performance

Violinist Hilary Hahn on practice and technique:I've always worked hard at my technique ... But I've worked hard at my ...
Read More

Inspiration exists

"Inspiration exists, but it has to find you working." -Pablo Picasso Cited at WikiQuote ...
Read More

It is best to do it well

"It takes less time to do a thing right than to explain why you did it wrong." - Henry Wadsworth Longfellow, ...
Read More

It’s not hard work

"Talent labors, genius creates." Florestan (one of Schumann's characters) Robert Schumann,Gesammelte Schriften über Musik und Muisker  (Leipzig, 1854), IV.  Cited in Weiss, ...
Read More

Knowing is not enough

"Knowing is not enough; we must apply. Willing is not enough; we must do." Johann Wolfgang von Goethe, German poet and ...
Read More

Luck

"I am a great believer in luck and the harder I work the more of it I have." - Stephen Leacock, ...
Read More

Man’s capacity

"There is no man living who isn't capable of doing more than he thinks he can do." Henry Ford, American industralist Cited ...
Read More

Moving mountains

"The man who removes a mountain begins by carrying away small stones." - William Faulkner, American writer Cited at: QuotationsBook ...
Read More

Mozart on Craft

"People are mistaken, if they think that my art has come easily to me. I assure you, dear friend, no ...
Read More

Perseverance

"Edison failed 10, 000 times before he made the electric light. Do not be discouraged if you fail a few ...
Read More

Preparation

"Failure to prepare is preparing to fail." - John Wooden, American basketball player. Cited at QuotationsBook ...
Read More

Recipe for success

"A man can succeed at almost anything for which he has unlimited enthusiasm." -Charles M. Schwab, American businessman Cited at Qotd ...
Read More

Richard Bach on perseverance

"A professional writer is an amateur who didn't quit." - Richard Bach, American writer Cited at: QuotationsBook ...
Read More

Rising after we fall

"Our greatest glory is not in never falling, but in rising every time we fall." - Confucius, Chinese philosopher Cited at QuotationsBook   ...
Read More

Silence, slowness, clarity, reinvigorate

"No matter if you're an artist, a desk jockey, or anything in between - give yourself permission to include regular ...
Read More

Steps

"There is no one giant step that does it. It's a lot of little steps." Peter Cohen Cited at: QuotationBook ...
Read More

Stravinsky on composition

"For me, as a creative musician, composition is a daily function that I am compelled to discharge. I compose because ...
Read More

Success

"Success is not the place one arrives, but rather the spirit with which one undertakes and continues the journey." Alex Noble Cited ...
Read More

Talent is best used

"The person born with a talent they are meant to use will find their greatest happiness in using it. - Johann ...
Read More

That which precedes success

"I find my greatest pleasure, and so my reward, in the work that precedes what the world calls success." Thomas Edison, ...
Read More

The beginning and the end

"Genius begins great works; labor alone finishes them." Joseph Joubert, French writer Cited at: QuotationsBook ...
Read More

The length of a rehearsal

Rachmaninoff completed his Third Piano Concerto at his summer estate at Ivanovka in September-October 1909.  He then toured America, learning ...
Read More

The potential of man

"It is surprising what a man can do when he has to, and how little most men will do when ...
Read More

The power of enthusiasm

"Enthusiasm is the greatest asset in the world. It beats money, power and influence." Henry Chester Cited at: Quotations Book ...
Read More

The true success of the journey

"To travel hopefully is a better thing than to arrive, and the true success is to labor." Robert Louis Stevenson, Scottish ...
Read More

The value of preparation

"Be ready when opportunity comes. Luck is the time when preparation and opportunity meet." Roy D. Chapin Jnr., Chariman American motors ...
Read More

There is no failure

"There is no failure except in no longer trying." - Elbert Hubbard, American author, artist, and philosopher ...
Read More

True greatness

"True greatness consists in being great in little things." - Charles Simmons, British gymnast. Cited at Quotations Book ...
Read More

True greatness

"True greatness consists in being great in little things." - Charles Simmons, British gymnast. Cited at Quotations Book ...
Read More

Try, try, try

"Try, try, try, and keep on trying is the rule that must be followed to become an expert in anything." - ...
Read More

What drives the wise

"There is hardly any treatise which could be too learned for me. I have not the slightest pretension to what ...
Read More

Work joyfully and peacefully

"Work joyfully and peacefully, knowing that right thoughts and right efforts will inevitably bring about right results." - James Allen, British ...
Read More

Work so that you don’t have to work

Herr Richter, the pianist, is going on a tour that will take him back to Holland, his native country - ...
Read More

Working hard for music

"Now we know that you are gifted, very gifted, but you must work very hard, because someone who is gifted ...
Read More

Quick links


WORKS

(no title)

Wagner attended a performance of Messiah at Exeter Hall in London with a chorus of 700 voices. He recorded in ...
Read More

(no title)

We arrived here safely yesterday morning at 9 o'clock. - We spent the first night at Vögelbruck; - on the ...
Read More

(no title)

At the core of Beethoven’s “Diabelli” Variations, an esoteric and astonishing piano piece lasting some 50 minutes, is one of ...
Read More

A “small” concerto

"I don't mind telling you that I have written a tiny, tiny pianoforte concerto with a tiny, tiny wisp of ...
Read More

Accessibility for kids

Benjamin Britten wrote the score to Instruments of the Orchestra, which would become the concert work, Young Persons Guide to ...
Read More

An insight into the “Happy Birthday” tune

“Happy Birthday to You” is not an accidental success. It is not a traditional song nor did it appear ex ...
Read More

Boyd Neel on Vaughan William’s Fantasia on a Theme of Thomas Tallis

Boyd Neel was the first conductor to record Vaughan William's Fantasia on a Theme of Thomas Tallis in 1935. He ...
Read More

Britten on The Rake’s Progress

"I liked everything about the opera but the music." - Benjamin Britten on Stravinsky's The Rake's Progress Cited ...
Read More

Composing for elephants

Igor Stravinsky's Circus Polka: For a Young Elephant to be performed by young elephants (a collaboration with American choreographer George ...
Read More

Elgar on his Violin Concerto

"It's good! Awfully emotional! Too emotional, but I love it..."Edward Elgar on his own Violin ConcertoJeremy Pound, "First Violin", BBC ...
Read More

I need a better razor

Haydn reached London in the opening days of 1791. He passed his first night at the house of Bland, the ...
Read More

It’s Oh So Quiet

(345, 405, 'It's Oh So Quiet', 'it-s-oh-so-quiet', ' In 1995, Bjork released a big band jazz cover of Betty Hutton's 1948 ...
Read More

It’s two-four … It’s three-four

Chopin had a free sense of rhythm.  In 1842, Chopin was giving a lessen to Wilhem von Lenz when Meyerbeer ...
Read More

James Levine on Tchaikovsky’s Eugene Onegin

Conductor James Levine on Tchaikovsky's opera Eugene Onegin:Eugene Onegin is very special, an incredibly successful piece; there is nothing quite ...
Read More

Kreutzer’s Wanderlieder and Schubert

Schubert was familiar with Kreutzer's Wanderlieder song cycle (written in 1817). Spaun twice told the following anecdote of his friend's ...
Read More

Mack the Knife

Bobby Darin's 1959 recording of "Mack the Knife" from The Threepenny Opera (Lyrics: Bertolt Brecht; Music: Kurt Weill) not only ...
Read More

Malcolm Sargent on Vaughan Williams’ Sixth Symphony

Conductor Malcolm Sargent on Vaughan Williams' Sixth Symphony:A frightening symphony. For a symphony to be frightening is perhaps a good ...
Read More

Memory

Andrew Lloyd Webber originally composed the melody that is now known as "Memory" from Cats for a miniature opera about ...
Read More

My tempo must be followed

Ravel was very particular about how his works were performed.  Ravel always insisted that the tempo for Boléro should be ...
Read More

O Danny Boy

Long before the tune Danny Boy even had words the tune existed as an Irish folk melody.  A study in ...
Read More

Older version of Molly Malone discovered

A tiny 18th-century book has turned up in Hay-on-Wye containing the earliest known version of Sweet Molly Malone, almost a ...
Read More

Part of Your World

"Any Broadway musical would be lucky to include a single number this good." -- Janet Maslin, in The New York Times on ...
Read More

Pierrot Lunairre

A performance of Schönberg's Pierrot Lunaire was given by Artur Schnabel (piano), Boris Kroyt (violin), Gregor Piatigorsky (cello), Paul Bose ...
Read More

Playing by the mood of the audience

Rachmaninoff sent fellow composer/pianist Medtner his Corelli Variations.  He wrote: I played them here about fifteen times, but of these ...
Read More

Puccini’s hangout

Puccini was a very sociable man, quote often putting this before his composing.  Even when he was working hard, he ...
Read More

Ravel’s compositional process

Robert de Fragny recalled a conversation with Ravel about his compositional process:The G major Concerto took two years of work, ...
Read More

Somewhere Over the Rainbow

"Somewhere Over the Rainbow", from The Wizard of Oz, is now a classic, inspiring song, but its had to believe ...
Read More

Teddy Bear’s Picnic

American composer John Bratton wrote the music for "Teddy Bear's Picnic" in 1907. It was first published by M. Witmark ...
Read More

The background to Bolero

Ravel's infamous Boléro was somewhat created by chance:Shortly before Ravel left for America, the Russian dancer Ida Rubinstein had asked him for ...
Read More

The James Bond theme

John Barry did not get the chance to see any footage and he had not read any of Ian Fleming's ...
Read More

Transforming Bach’s Cantatas into an opera

Theatre director Herbert Wernicke has taken six of Bach's Cantatas dealing with the frailty of the human condition and presented ...
Read More

White Christmas

Accounts vary on where Irving Berlin wrote "White Christmas". Berlin himself even recall differing circumstances on when it was penned ...
Read More

Quick links