In modern life electricity plays a great part. Sometimes it is used destructively – sometimes creatively – but there is another power which is like electricity, only far more subtle and penetrating. This power is all-pervading. It is omnipresent. If we understood this power we would know the secret of the magical influence of music. We would understand why the greatest music has such a sway over our hearts and minds and souls – why this invisible, intangible power can so magnetically influence our inner life. For some of us this inner life – the life of dreams, of imagination, of visions – is the real life – the life we touch intimately. The outer life seems definite – hard – concrete – but is really remote – the less real life. This outer life sometimes delights and thrills us – but too often it disappoints us. It is fleeting – superficial. But the inner life never disappoints us – it is eternal.
Through music we see a vision, and something in us responds with intense longing – the never-ending thirst of the human soul for beauty – for the Ideal. In our hearts we know we are in touch with some of life’s highest potentialities – we understand only dimly, but our inner voice tells us that in the greatest music we are vibrating in tune with beauty that is eternal. When we reach its ultimate essence, music is the voice of the All – the divine melody – the cosmic rhythm – the universal harmony.
Leopold Stokowski, American conductor of Polish origin.
Cited in: Stokowski, Leopold (1943) Music For All Of Us. New York City: Simon and Schuster, p. 321-322.