Quotes About Music


234 Quotes About Music: in this page you will find quotes primarily from composers. I have not included all of them, but rather a selection of the ones who are particularly important to me. These quotes are both inspirational and life-revealing.

Lastly, for Jani Christou (as he still remains little known to the general public), I have inserted two videos to watch/listen to his music as well. Some precious links concerning the beliefs and compositional systems of my favourite composers are also included within this page.



Quotes About Music: Johann Sebastian Bach

"I was made to work. If you are equally industrious, you will be equally successful."

"Ceaseless work, analysis, reflection, writing much, endless self-correction, that is my secret."

"I worked hard. Anyone who works as hard as I did can achieve the same results. The final aim and reason of all music is nothing other than the glorification of God and the refreshment of the spirit."

"Harmony is next to Godliness."

"You have to press the right keys and the right pedals at the right time and the music plays itself."

"It is the special province of music to move the heart."


Quotes About Music: Ludwig van Beethoven

"Music from my fourth year began to be the first of my youthful occupations. Thus early acquainted with the gracious muse who turned my soul to pure harmonies, I became fond of her, and, as it often seemed to me, she of me."

"I only live in my music, and I have scarcely begun one thing when I start on another. As I am now working, I am often engaged on three or four things at the same time."

"There ought to be an artistic depot where the artist need only hand in his artwork in order to receive what he asks for. As things are, one must be half a business man, and how can one understand-good heavens!-that's what I really call troublesome."

"Music is a higher revelation than all wisdom and philosophy. Music is the electrical soil in which the spirit lives, thinks and invents."

"Tones sound, and roar and storm about me until I have set them down in notes."

"Music is the mediator between the spiritual and the sensual life."

"Music is the wine which inspires one to new generative processes, and I am Bacchus who presses out this glorious wine for mankind and makes them spiritually drunken."

"Music comes to me more readily than words."

"Don't only practice your art, but force your way into its secrets, for it and knowledge can raise men to the divine."

"Music is the one incorporeal entrance into the higher world of knowledge which comprehends mankind but which mankind cannot comprehend."

"To play a wrong note is insignificant; to play without passion is inexcusable."

"I would rather write 10,000 notes than a single letter of the alphabet."

"Music should strike fire from the heart of man, and bring tears from the eyes of woman."

"Music is like a dream. One that I cannot hear."

"Art! Who comprehends her? With whom can one consult concerning this great goddess?"

"I must confess that I lead a miserable life. For almost two years, I have ceased to attend any social functions, just because I find it impossible to say to people, 'I am deaf.' If I had any other profession, I might be able to cope with my infirmity; but in my profession, it is a terrible handicap."

"Beethoven can write music, thank God, but he can do nothing else on earth."

"O, you men who think or say that I am malevolent, stubborn or misanthropic, how greatly do you wrong me. You do not know the secret cause which makes me seem that way to you, and I would have ended my life-it was only my art that held me back. Ah, it seemed impossible to leave the world until I had brought forth all that I felt was within me."

"I joyfully hasten to meet death. If it come before I have had opportunity to develop all my artistic faculties, it will come, my hard fate notwithstanding, too soon, and I should probably wish it later-yet even then I shall be happy, for will it not deliver mw from a state of endless suffering?"



Quotes About Music: Franz Schubert

"I never force myself to be devout except when I feel so inspired, and never compose hymns of prayers unless I feel within me real and true devotion."

"I try to decorate my imagination as much as I can."

"The moment is supreme."

"I am composing like a god, as if it simply had to be done as it has been done."

"There are two contrary impulses which cover this man's brain-the one sane, and the other eccentric. They alternate at regular intervals."

"Every night that I go to bed, I hope that I may never wake again, and every morning renews my grief."

"Why should the composer be more guilty than the poet who warms to fantasy by a strange flame, making an idea that inspires him the subject of his own very different treatment?"

"When I wished to sing of love, it turned to sorrow. And when I wished to sing of sorrow, it was transformed for me into love."


Quotes About Music: Johannes Brahms

"Straightaway the ideas flow upon me, directly from God, and not only do I see distinct themes in my mind's eyes, but they are clothed in the right forms, harmonies, and orchestration."

"Those are miracles that no merely human brain can work. The artist is merely the sound conduct of a Force that dictates to him what he should do."

"The fact that most people do not understand and respect the very best things, such as Mozart's concertos, is what permits men like us to become famous."

"How lucky is the man who, like Mozart and others, goes to the tavern of an evening and writes some fresh music. For he lives while he is creating."

"If we cannot write with the beauty of Mozart, let us at least try to write with his purity."

"To follow in Beethoven's footsteps transcends one's strength."

"Study Bach. There you will find everything."

"The idea comes to me from outside of me-and is like a gift. I then take the idea and make it my own-that is where the skill lies."

"One should never forget that by actually perfecting one piece one gains and learns more than by starting or half-finishing a dozen."

"We cling nervously to the melody, but we don't really make anything new out of it, we merely overload it."

"A symphony is no joke."

"Composers in the old days used to keep strictly to the base of the theme, as their real subject. Beethoven varies the melody, harmony and rhythms so beautifully."

"It is not hard to compose, but what is fabulously hard is to leave the superfluous notes under the table."

"Without craftsmanship, inspiration is a mere reed shaken in the wind."

"If there is anyone here whom I have not insulted, I beg his pardon."



Quotes About Music: Robert Schumann

"When you play, do not trouble yourself as to who is listening. Yet always play as though a master listened to you."

"Endeavour to play easy pieces well and with elegance; that is better than to play difficult pieces badly."

"If we were all determined to play the fist violin we should never have an ensemble. Therefore, respect every musician in his proper place."

"You will be most readily cured of vanity or presumption by studying the history of music, and by hearing the master pieces which have been produced at different periods."

"To send light into the darkness of men's hearts-such is the duty of the artist."

"Think it a vile habit to alter works of good composers, to omit parts of them, or to insert new-fashioned ornaments. This is the greatest insult you can offer to Art."

"You should neither play bad compositions, nor, unless compelled, listen to them."

"By means of industry and perseverance you will rise higher and higher."

"From a pound of iron, that costs little, a thousand watch-springs can be made, whose value becomes prodigious. The pound you have received from the Lord,--use it faithfully."

"Talent works, genius creates."

"Perhaps only a Genius can truly understand Genius."

"The principal mark of genius is not perfection but originality."

"It is the curse of talent that, although it labours with greater steadiness and perseverance than genius, it does not reach its goal, while genius already on the summit of the ideal, gazes laughingly about."

"We may be sure that a genius like Mozart, were he born today, would write concertos like Chopin and not like Mozart."

"My whole life has been a struggle between Poetry and Prose, or call it Music and Law."

"Music induces nightingales to sing, pug dogs to yelp."

"A fiery, good beginner always stands higher than a master in mediocrity."

"The aesthetic principle is the same in every art, only the material differs."

"Music owes as much to Bach as religion to its founder."

"For me Wagner is impossible...he talks without ever stopping. One can't just talk all the time."

"Only when the form grows clear to you, will the spirit become so too."

"To compose is to remember music that has never been written."

"People composer for many reasons, to become immortal; because the piano happens to be open; because they want to become a millionaire; because of the praise of friends; because they have looked into a pair of beautiful eyes; or for no reason at all."

"Art was not created as a way to riches. Strive to become a true artist; all else will take care of itself."

"If, while at the piano, you attempt to form little melodies, that is very well; but if they come into your mind of themselves, when you are not practising, you may be still more pleased; for the internal organ of music is then aroused in you. The fingers must do what the head desires; not the contrary."

"For me, music is always the language which permits one to converse with the Beyond."

"Remember, there are more people in the world than yourself. Be modest! You have not invented nor thought anything which others have not thought or invented before. And should you really have done so, consider it a gift of heaven which you are to share with others."



Quotes About Music: Gustav Mahler

"In its beginnings, music was merely chamber music, meant to be listened to in a small space by a small audience."

"The real art of conducting consists in transitions."

"If a composer could say what he has to say in words he would not bother trying to say it in music."

"A symphony must be like the world. It must contain everything."

"To write a symphony is, for me, to construct the world."

"What is best in music is not to be found in the notes."

"What I wanted and what I visualised while composing has not always been realized."

"To judge a composer's work, one must consider it as a whole."

"Melodic invention is one of the surest signs of a divine gift."

"The further the music develops, the more complex the apparatus used by the composer to express his thoughts becomes."

"Beauty and fullness of tone can be achieved by having the whole orchestra play with high clarinets and a carefully selected number of piccolos."

"Discipline, work. Work, discipline."

"I also had a brother who was like me a musician and a composer. A man of great talent, far more gifted than I. He died very young...he killed himself in the prime of his life."

"If you think you are boring your audience, go slower not faster."

"The spirit can assert itself only through the medium of clear form."

"There is a world of difference between a Mahler eighth note and a normal eighth note."

"Tradition is not the worship of ashes, but a preservation of fire."

"All that is not perfect down to the smallest detail is doomed to perish."

"The point is not to take the world's opinion as a guiding star but to go one's way in life and working unerringly, neither depressed by failure nor seduced by applause."

"Never let oneself be guided by the opinion of one's contemporaries. Continue steadfastly on one's way."

"You must renounce all superficiality, all convention, all vanity and delusion."

"I am thrice homeless, as a native of Bohemia in Austria, as an Austrian among Germans, and as a Jew throughout the world. Everywhere an intruder, never welcomed."


Quotes About Music: Claude Debussy

"Music is the space between the notes."

"Music is the arithmetic of sounds as optics is the geometry of light."

"Art is the most beautiful deception of all! And although people try to incorporate the everyday events of life in it, we must hope that it will remain a deception lest it become a utilitarian thing, sad as a factory."

"What I am trying to do is something different - an effect of reality, but what some fools call Impressionism, a term that is usually misapplied, especially by the critics who don't hesitate to apply it to Turner, the greatest creator of mysterious effects in the whole world of art." 

"Anyone who calls my music 'impressionist' is an imbecile."

"I love music passionately. And because I love it I try to free it from barren traditions that stifle it."

When Claude Debussy studied at the Paris Conservatory from age ten to age twenty-two, many considered him a rebel because of his treatment of dissonance and his disdain for the established forms. He reputedly turned to a fellow student during a performance of Beethoven with the words, "Let's go. He's starting to develop." 

"Music begins where words are powerless to express. Music is made for the inexpressible. I want music to seem to rise from the shadows and indeed sometimes to return to them."

"But music, don't you know, is a dream from which the veils have been lifted. It's not even the expression of a feeling, it's the feeling itself."

"The sound of the sea, the curve of a horizon, wind in leaves, the cry of a bird leave manifold impression in us. And suddenly, without our wishing it at all, one of these memories spills from us and finds expression in musical language...I want to sing my interior landscape with the simple artlessness of a child."

"There is no theory. You have only to listen. Pleasure is the law. I love music passionately. And because l love it, I try to free it from barren traditions that stifle it. It is a free art gushing forth, an open-air art boundless as the elements, the wind, the sky, the sea. It must never be shut in and become an academic art."

"Works of art make rules but rules do not make works of art." 

"There is nothing more musical than a sunset. He who feels what he sees will find no more beautiful example of development in all that book which, alas, musicians read but too little - the book of Nature." 

"Listen to no one's advice except that of the wind in the trees. That can recount the whole history of mankind." 

"Music is the expression of the movement of the waters, the play of curves described by changing breezes." 

"I am more and more convinced that music is not, in essence, a thing which can be cast into a traditional and fixed form. It is made up of colors and rhythms." 

"It is necessary to abandon yourself completely, and let the music do as it will with you. All people come to music to seek oblivion." 

"Beauty must appeal to the senses, must provide us with immediate enjoyment, must impress us or insinuate itself into us without any effort on our part." 

"[on Richard Wagner] A beautiful sunset that was mistaken for a dawn." 

"To complete a work is just like being present at the death of someone you love." 

"Composers aren't daring enough. They're afraid of that sacred idol called 'common sense', which is the most dreadful thing I know - after all, it's no more than a religion founded to excuse the ubiquity of imbeciles!" 

"Is it not our duty to find the symphonic formula which fits our time, one which progress, daring and modern victory demand? The century of airplanes has a right to its own music." 

"I have a horror of sentimentality, and I cannot forget that its name is Saint-Saëns." 

"The trouble with the opera is there's always too much singing." 

"First of all, ladies and gentlemen, you must forget that you are singers." 

"If we look at the works of JS Bach ... on each page we discover things which we thought were born only yesterday, from delightful arabesques to an overflowing of religious feeling greater than anything we have since discovered." 

"The music I desire must be supple enough to adapt itself to the lyrical effusions of the soul and the fantasy of dreams." 

"Extreme complication is contrary to art." 

"I wish to sing of my interior visions with the naive candour of a child." 

"Collect impressions. Don't be in a hurry to write them down. Because that's something music can do better than painting: it can centralise variations of colour and light within a single picture a truth generally ignored, obvious as it is."

"The worship of Adonis is united with that of Christ."


Quotes About Music: Bela Bartok
 

"It may well be that some composers do not believe in God. All of them, however, believe in Bach."

"Folk melodies are the embodiment of an artistic perfection of the highest order; in fact, they are models of the way in which a musical idea can be expressed with outmost perfection in terms of brevity of form and simplicity of means."

"Competitions are for horses, not artists."

"With maturity comes the wish to economise-to be more simple. Maturity is the period when one finds the just measure."

"In art there are only fast or slow developments. Essentially it is a matter of evolution, not revolution."

"Our peasant music, naturally, is invariably tonal, if not always in the sense that the inflexible major and minor system is tonal. (An "atonal" folk-music, in my opinion, is unthinkable.) Since we depend upon a tonal basis of this kind in our creative work, it is quite self-evident that our works are quite pronouncedly tonal in type. I must admit, however, that there was a time when I thought I was approaching a species of twelve-tone music. Yet even in works of that period the absolute tonal foundation is unmistakable."

“The outcome of these studies (folk music) was of decisive influence upon my work, because it freed me from the tyrannical rule of the major and minor keys. The greater part of the collected treasure, and the more valuable part, was in old ecclesiastical or old Greek modes, or based on more primitive (pentatonic) scales, and the melodies were full of most free and varied rhythmic phrases and changes of tempi, played both rubato and giusto.”

"Debussy's great service to music was to reawaken among all musicians an awareness of harmony and its possibilities. In that, he was just as important as Beethoven, who revealed to us the possibilities of progressive form, or as Bach, who showed us the transcendent significance of counterpoint. Now what I am always asking myself is this: it it possible to make a synthesis of these great masters, a living synthesis that will be valid for our time?"



Quotes About Music: Igor Stravinsky

"Art is the opposite of chaos. Art is organized chaos." 

"Composition is selective improvisation." 

"A composer is not only an architect but also an inventor, and he should not build houses in which he cannot live."

"All music is nothing more than a succession of impulses that converge towards a definite point of repose." 

"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 one's self. And the arbitrariness of the constraint serves only to obtain precision of execution." 

"There is music wherever there is rhythm, as there is life wherever there beats a pulse." 

"In order to create there must be a dynamic force, and what force is more potent than love?"

"I haven't understood a bar of music in my life, but I have felt it."

"Music must be listened to; it is not enough to hear it. A duck hears also." 

"Vivaldi didn't write 400 concertos; he wrote one concerto 400 times." 

"Music praises God. Music is well or better able to praise him than the building of the church and all its decoration; it is the Church's greatest ornament."

"I cannot now evaluate the events that, at the end of those thirty years, made me discover the necessity of religious belief. I was not reasoned into my disposition. Though I admire the structured thought of theology, it is to religion no more than counterpoint exercises are to music." 

"The further one separates himself from the precepts of the Christian Church, the further one distances himself from the truth. Only God can create. I make music from music." 

"I take no pride in my artistic talents; they are God-given and I see absolutely no reason to become puffed up over something that one has received." 

"I was born out of due time in the sense that by temperament and talent I should have been more suited for the life of a small Bach, living in anonymity and composing regularly for an established service and for God."

"Too many pieces of music finish too long after the end."

"Georgian folk music has more new musical ideas than all the contemporary music." 

"I have learned throughout my life as a composer chiefly through my mistakes and pursuits of false assumptions, not by my exposure to founts of wisdom and knowledge."

"We have a duty towards music, namely, to invent it." 

"I am an inventor of music."

"The trick is to compose what one want to compose and to get it commissioned afterward."

"Why is it that whenever I hear a piece of music I don't like, it's always by Villa-Lobos?"

"Harpists spend 90 percent of their lives tuning their harps and 10 percent playing out of tune."

"What gives the artist real prestige is his imitators."

"Music is given to us with the sole purpose of establishing an order in things, including and particularly, the coordination between man and time."

"My God, so much I like to drink Scotch that sometimes I think my name is Igor Stra-whiskey." 

"One has a nose. The nose scents and it chooses. An artist is simply a kind of pig snouting truffles." 

"Hurry? I have no time to hurry." 

"A good composer does not imitate; he steals." 

"Music is, by its very nature, essentially powerless to express anything at all. Music expresses itself." 

"Music's exclusive function is to structure the flow of time and keep order in it." 

"Consonance, says the dictionary, is the combination of several tones into a harmonic unit. Dissonance results from the deranging of this harmony by the addition of tones foreign to it. One must admit that all this is not clear. Ever since it appeared in our vocabulary, the word 'dissonance' has carried with it a certain odor of sinfulness. Let us light our lantern: in textbook language, dissonance is an element of transition, a complex or interval of tones that is not complete in itself and that must be resolved to the ear's satisfaction into a perfect consonance." 

"I was...attacked for being a pasticheur, chided for composing "simple" music, blamed for deserting "modernism," accused of renouncing my "true Russian heritage." People who had never heard of, or cared about, the originals cried "sacrilege": "The classics are ours. Leave the classics alone." To them all my answer was and is the same: You "respect," but I love." 

"I know that the twelve notes in each octave and the variety of rhythm offer me opportunities that all of human genius will never exhaust." 

"The profound meaning of music's essential aim... is to produce a communion, a union of man with his fellow man with the Supreme Being" 

"My music is best understood by children and animals." 

"I remember being handed a score composed by Mozart at the age of eleven. What could I say? I felt like de Kooning, who was asked to comment on a certain abstract painting, and answered in the negative. He was then told it was the work of a celebrated monkey. 'That's different. For a monkey, it's terrific'."

"A cultural snob is someone who claims to be familiar with the incomprehensible." 

"Composers combine notes, that's all." 

"We cannot describe sound, but we cannot forget it either."  

"To be deprived of art and left alone with philosophy is to be close to Hell." 

"Composition is frozen improvisation." 

"The more controlled, limited and tormented art is, the freer it is." 

"I never understood the need for a "live" audience. My music, because of its extreme quietude, would be happiest with a dead one."



Quotes About Music: Sergei Prokofiev

"At home we didn't talk about religion. So gradually the question faded away by itself and disappeared from the agenda. When I was nineteen my father died; my response to his death was atheistic." 

"In my view, the composer, just as the poet, the sculptor or the painter, is in duty bound to serve Man, the people. He must beautify life and defend it. He must be a citizen first and foremost, so that his art might consciously extol human life and lead man to a radiant future." 

"There are still so many beautiful things to be said in C major." 

"My chief virtue (or if you like, defect) has been a tireless lifelong search for an original, individual musical idiom. I detest imitation, I detest hackneyed devices." 

"I have never doubted the importance of melody. I like melody very much, and I consider it the most important element in music, and I labour many years on the improvement of its quality in my compositions." 

"Formalism is music that people don't understand at first hearing." 

"I want nothing better, more flexible or more complete than the sonata form, which contains everything necessary for my structural purposes."

"Of course I have used dissonance in my time, but there has been too much dissonance. Bach used dissonance as good salt for his music. Others applied pepper, seasoned the dishes more and more highly, till all healthy appetites were sick and until the music was nothing but pepper." 

"When the Second World War broke out, I felt that everyone must do his share, and I began composing songs and marches for the front. But soon events assumed such gigantic and far-reaching scope as to demand larger canvasses." 

"I strenuously object to the very word 'grotesque' which has become hackneyed to the point of nausea...I would prefer my music to be described as "Scherzo-ish" in quality, or else by three words describing the various degrees of the Scherzo - whimsicality, laughter, mockery." 


Quotes About Music: Sergei Rachmaninoff

"What is Music? How do you define it? Music is a calm moonlit night, the rustle of leaves in Summer. Music is the far off peal of bells at dusk! Music comes straight from the heart and talks only to the heart: it is Love! Music is the Sister of Poetry and her Mother is sorrow!" 

"Music is enough for a lifetime - but a lifetime is not enough for music." 

"I feel like a ghost wandering in a world grown alien. I cannot cast out the old way of writing and I cannot acquire the new. I have made an intense effort to feel the musical manner of today, but it will not come to me." 

"The new kind of music seems to create not from the heart but from the head. Its composers think rather than feel. They have not the capacity to make their works exalt - they meditate, protest, analyze, reason, calculate and brood, but they do not exalt." 

"The virtuosos look to the students of the world to do their share in the education of the great musical public. Do not waste your time with music that is trite or ignoble. Life is too short to spend it wandering in the barren Saharas of musical trash."

"A good conductor ought to be a good chauffeur; the qualities that make the one also make the other. They are concentration, an incessant control of attention, and presence of mind; the conductor only has to add a little sense of music."



Quotes About Music: Maurice Ravel

"The only love affair I have ever had was with music."

"I did my work slowly, drop by drop. I tore it out of me by pieces." 

"Music, I feel, must be emotional first and intellectual second." 

"We should always remember that sensitiveness and emotion constitute the real content of a work of art" 

"I do not ask for my music to be interpreted, but only for it to be played." 

"Remember that I wrote a pavane for a dead princess, and not a dead pavane for a princess!" 

"For Debussy the musician and the man I have had profound admiration, but by nature I'm different from him. I think I have always personally followed a direction opposed to that of the symbolism of Debussy." 

"To George Gershwin, on refusing him as a pupil: You would only lose the spontaneous quality of your melody, and end by writing bad Ravel." 

"My intention here is to make it clear that not a single cell of my composition, here in regard to The Raven, is found by chance or intuition, that the composition moved towards perfection with the precision and inevitability of a mathematical equation." 

"I am not one of the great composers. All the great have produced enormously. There is everything in their work - the best and the worst, but there is always quantity. But I have written relatively little." 

"Does it not occur to people that I might be artificial by nature?" 


Quotes About Music: Edgar Varese

"Our musical alphabet is poor and illogical."

"Music, which should pulsate with life, need new means of expression, and science alone can infuse it with youthful vigor."

"Why Italian Futurists, have you slavishly reproduced only what is commonplace and boring in the bustle of our daily lives."

"I dream of instruments obedient to my thought and which with their contribution of a whole new world of unsuspected sounds, will lend themselves to the exigencies of my inner rhythm."

I am sure that the time will come when the composer, after he hasgraphically realized his score, will see this score automatically put on a machine which will faithfully transmit the musical content to the listener.

Form is a result-the result of a process. Each of my works discovers its own form. could never have fitted them into any of the historical containers.

There is an idea, the basis of an internal structure, expanded and split into different shapes or groups of sound constantly changing in shape, direction, and speed, attracted and repulsed by various forces. The form of the work is the conse-quence of this interaction. 


Quotes About Music: Jannis Xenakis

"The solutions in macro composition on the Families level (Programmed stochastic mechanisms) can engender simpler and more powerful new perspectives in the shaping of micro sounds than the usual trigonometric (periodic) functions can. Therefore, in considering clouds of points and their distribution over the pressure-time plane, we can bypass the heavy harmonic analyses and syntheses and create sounds that have never before existed."

"...the qualification 'beautiful' or 'ugly' makes no sense for sound, nor for the music that derives from it; the quantity of intelligence carried by the sounds must be the true criterion of the validity of a particular music."

"Efficacy" is in itself is a sign of intelligence." 

"Everything is everywhere"...Herakleitos would say that the ways up and down are one."

"It is absolutely necessary to free oneself, as much as possible, from any and all contingencies."

"...the Being's constant dislocations, be they continuous or not, deterministic or chaotic (or both simultaneously) are manifestations of the vital and incessant drive towards change, towards freedom without return."

"An artist cannot remain isolated in the universal ocean of forms and their changes."

"Art, and above all music, has a fundamental function, which is to catalyse the sublimation that it can bring about through all means of expression."

"It (art/music) must aim through fixations which are landmarks to draw towards a total exaltation in which the individual mingles, losing his consciousness in a truth immediate, rare, enormous, and perfect."

"...this transmutation of every-day artistic material which transforms trivial products into meta-art is a secret. The 'possessed' reach it without knowing its 'mechanisms.' The others struggle in the ideological and technical mainstream of their epoch which constitutes the perishable 'climate' and the stylistic fashion."

"Linear polyphony destroys itself by its very complexity; what one hears is in reality nothing but a mass of notes in various registers."



Quotes About Music: Jani Christou

"The function of music is to create soul, by creating conditions for myth, the root of all soul. Where there is no soul, music creates it. Where there is soul, music sustains it."

"I am concerned with a music that confronts; with a music that wants to stare at the suffocating effect, even terror, of much of our everyday experience of living; with a music that does not seek to escape the relentlessness of the patterns in which this experience keeps unfolding. With a music that not only does not attempt to escape this experience, but that seeks out its forms - and eats them up, and throws them up again, just as dreams do."

"I am not advocating a music of violence, although some of it may often appear to be just that. On the contrary, what seems to me to be important is a subtlety of operation: a quiet picking at the threads of reality; a loosening of the fabric; a soft collapse into pictures of distortion; a slow disintegration; maybe a glimpse into the void beyond - or at nothing." 

Any living art keeps generating an overall logic fed by a collectivity of characteristic actions. Whenever an action is purposefully performed to conform with the current overall logic characteristic of the art, that action is a ‘praxis’, or a purposeful and characteristic action. But whenever an action is purposefully performed so as to go beyond the current overall logic characteristic of the art, that action is a ‘metapraxis’, or a purposeful non-characteristic action: a ‘meta-action.’

"The entire world shook in 1968. Across cultures, people of all generations recognized the significance of the moment. A global wave of urban protests produces a crisis of authority in nearly every society. Many of the demonstrators who took to the streets in 1968 were young citizens, angered by what they perceived as a stagnant political status quo."

"Since there has been such an abdication, I must accept all the negative aspects of this action, i.e. loose form, no form, repetition, non-sense, lack of synthesis, abolition of the sense of ‘climax’, neutralization of musical ‘impact’ and so on and so forth." (About his composition Epicycle)

"As never before perhaps, we are all in the grips of the lunar experience, and there simply does not seem to be much we can do about it, except perhaps to take refuge in fantasy (myth’s poor relation, or substitute). Fantasies about ideal societies and technological paradises. Fantasies about controlling the course of our political evolution, and fantasies about controlling our environment through science."

"If patterns are understood as recurring forms dictating inevitable types of actions, then Heraclitus' concept of the play of opposites - ENANTIODROMIA - is perhaps the most ruthless pattern of all. For here he speaks of a constant inter-trans-formation of opposites in an eternal flux - in the sense that any condition and its opposite are the same, only at different stages of oscillation: 'The way up and the way down are the same."