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Composer quotes

I believe that the use of noise to make music will continue and increase until we reach a music produced through the use of electrical instruments which will make available for musical purposes any and all sounds that can be heard. Photoelectric, film and mechanical mediums for the synthetic production of music will be explored.
John Cage
As a musician I tell you that if you were to suppress adultery, fanaticism, crime, evil, the supernatural, there would no longer be the means for writing one note.
Georges Bizet writing
For me, the most important thing is the element of chance that is built into a live . The very great drawback of recorded sound is the fact that it is always the same. No matter how wonderful ais, I know that I couldn't live with it--even of my own --with the same nuances forever.
Aaron Copland men
Everyone is born with genius, but most people only keep it a few minutes.
Edgard Varese people
", and, above all, , has a fundamental function, which is to catalyze the sublimation that it can bring about through all means of expression. It must aim through fixations which are landmarks, to draw [one] towards a total exaltation in which the individual mingles, losing his consciousness in a truth immediate, rare, enormous, and perfect. If a work of art succeeds in this undertaking even for a single moment, it attains its goal."
Iannis Xenakis truth
What I don't want to do is to go and buy a bunch of exotic-looking drums and set up an Afrikanische Musik in New York City.
Steve Reich want
A composer's awareness of the plurality of functions of his own tools forms the basis for his responsibility just as, in everyday life, every man's responsibility begins with the recognition of the multiplicity of human races, conditions, needs, and ideals. I would go as far as to say (as my anger comes back) that any attempt to codify musical reality into a kind of imitation grammar (I refer mainly to the efforts associated with the ) is a brand of fetishism which shares withand racism the tendency to reduce live processes to immobile, labeled objects, the tendency to deal with formalities rather than substance.describes (though to illustrate a different point) a captain at sea, his ship reduced to a frail raft without sails, who, by enforcing a meticulous protocol on his crew, is able to distract them from nostalgia for a safe harbor and from the desire for a destination.
Luciano Berio life
"The phenomenon of music is given to us with the sole purpose of establishing an order in things, including, and particularly, the co-ordination between man [sic] and time."
Igor Stravinsky time
According to my principles, every master has his true and certain value. Praise and criticism cannot change any of that. Only the work itself praises and criticizes the master, and therefore I leave to everyone his own value.
Carl Philipp Emanuel Bach change
I was obliged to be industrious. Whoever is equally industrious will succeed equally well.
Johann Sebastian Bach will
I was meant to be a composer and will be I'm sure. Don't ask me to try to forget this unpleasant thing and go play football - please.
Samuel Barber will
I never wanted to work for anybody else; I always wanted to be my own boss.
John Barry work
Competitions are for horses, not artists.
Bela Bartok art
Music is a higher revelation than all wisdom and philosophy.
Ludwig van Beethoven philosophy
I can tell you, dearest friend, that if it became known how much friendship, love and a world of human and spiritual references I have smuggled into these three movements, the adherents of programme music - should there be any left - would go mad with joy.
Alban Berg love
Life is 10 percent what you make it, and 90 percent how you take it.
Irving Berlin you
Love cannot express the idea of music, while music may give an idea of love.
Hector Berlioz love
I thought in terms of the enthusiasm of doing it. I didn't think about whether I was ready.
Elmer Bernstein thought
To achieve great things, two things are needed; a plan, and not quite enough time.
Leonard Bernstein time
Those who enjoy their own emotionally bad health and who habitually fill their own minds with the rank poisons of suspicion, jealousy and hatred, as a rule take umbrage at those who refuse to do likewise, and they find a perverted relief in trying to denigrate them.
Johannes Brahms joy
It is cruel, you know, that music should be so beautiful. It has the beauty of loneliness of pain: of strength and freedom. The beauty of disappointment and never-satisfied love. The cruel beauty of nature and everlasting beauty of monotony.
Benjamin Britten love
Simplicity is the final achievement. After one has played a vast quantity of notes and more notes, it is simplicity that emerges as the crowning reward of art.
Frederic Chopin war
A beautiful sunset that was mistaken for a dawn.
Claude Debussy beautiful
Mozart is sweet sunshine.
Antonin Dvorak art
Music can affect for good or ill the body as well as the mind.
Tomas Luis de Victoria mind
It sounds really stupid, I hate making cosmic comments like this but, I just let it do what it wants to do.
Danny Elfman men
English music is white - it evades everything.
Edward Elgar music
Life is a lot like jazz... it's best when you improvise.
George Gershwin you
Traditions are imploding and exploding everywhere - everything is coming together, for better or worse, and we can no longer pretend we're all living in different worlds because we're on different continents.
Philip Glass world
If our music survives, which I have no doubt it will, then it will because it is good.
Jerry Goldsmith music
Artists like Bach and Beethoven erected churches and temples on the heights. I only wanted... to build dwellings for men in which they might feel happy and at home.
Edvard Grieg men
I was cut off from the world. There was no one to confuse or torment me, and I was forced to become original.
Joseph Haydn men
There are only two things worth aiming for, good music and a clean conscience.
Paul Hindemith science
There is no doubt that the first requirement for a composer is to be dead.
Arthur Honegger men
When I was 15, I did not know nothing about what concerned the world of music.
Maurice Jarre music
When Im dead twenty-five years, people are going to begin to recognize me.
Scott Joplin people
Let us take our children seriously! Everything else follows from this... only the best is good enough for a child.
Zoltan Kodaly children
When I need the idea, I can find it immediately. I have a horror of rewriting or deleting; the parts of my composition are carried in my head till I can write them down, even to the last note. Then I do not alter a jot.
Ruggero Leoncavallo writing
If you come from Paris to Budapest you think you are in Moscow.
Gyorgy Ligeti you
Spring wont let me stay in this house any longer! I must get out and breathe the air deeply again.
Gustav Mahler
I was little impressed with this rough and ready way of persuading people to renew their contracts and decided that I was now quite free of any obligations.
Pietro Mascagni people
I have departed from this planet and I have left behind my poor earthly ones with their occupations which are as many as they are useless; at last I am living in the scintillating splendor of the stars, each of which used to seem to me as large as millions of suns.
Jules Massenet art
Melody is a form of remembrance. It must have a quality of inevitability in our ears.
Gian Carlo Menotti
The human being is flesh and consciousness, body and soul; his heart is an abyss which can only be filled by that which is godly.
Olivier Messiaen god
May God be with me! May Heaven bless this New Year. May it be a year of fruitfulness, of peace and prosperity; may it be a year of peace and unity for all mankind; may the world be freed of cholera.
Giacomo Meyerbeer peace
The end of all good music is to affect the soul.
Claudio Monteverdi music
I come from a background of experimental music which mingled real sounds together with musical sounds.
Ennio Morricone music
I pay no attention whatever to anybodys praise or blame. I simply follow my own feelings.
Wolfgang Amadeus Mozart hate
Tell me, I forget, show me, I remember, involve me, I understand.
Carl Orff
I could compare my music to white light which contains all colours. Only a prism can divide the colours and make them appear; this prism could be the spirit of the listener.
Arvo Part music
Its delightful, its delicious, its de-lovely.
Cole Porter love
Inspiration is an awakening, a quickening of all mans faculties, and it is manifested in all high artistic achievements.
Giacomo Puccini art
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.
Maurice Ravel war
Pianists call me a composer, composers call me a pianist. The classicists think me a futurist, and the futurists call me a reactionary.
Anton Rubinstein action
The musician is perhaps the most modest of animals, but he is also the proudest. It is he who invented the sublime art of ruining poetry.
Erik Satie poetry
For almost thirty years I repeatedly saw one and the same dream: I would arrive in Vienna at long last. I would feel really happy, for I was returning to my serene childhood.
Alfred Schnittke dream
I never was very capable of expressing my feelings or emotions in words. I dont know whether this is the cause why I did it in music and also why I did it in painting. Or vice versa: That I had this way as an outlet. I could renounce expressing something in words.
Arnold Schoenberg music
Happy is the man who finds a true friend, and far happier is he who finds that true friend in his wife.
Franz Schubert man
In loves godlike breathing, theres the innermost aspect of the universe.
Alexander Scriabin love
Music is essentially an emotional language, so you want to feel something from the relationships and build music based on those feelings.
Howard Shore relationships
And when they encounter works of art which show that using new media can lead to new experiences and to new consciousness, and expand our senses, our perception, our intelligence, our sensibility, then they will become interested in this music.
Karlheinz Stockhausen intelligence
The human voice is the most beautiful instrument of all, but it is the most difficult to play.
Richard Strauss men
You may have the universe if I may have Italy.
Giuseppe Verdi universe
Joy is not in things; it is in us.
Richard Wagner joy
Youre the luckiest person in the entire world if you know what you really want to do, which I was lucky enough to know when I was very young. And youre the luckiest person in the world if you can then make a living out of it.
Andrew Lloyd Webber world
An artists sphere of influence is the world.
Carl Maria Von Weber art
The Olympics are a wonderful metaphor for world cooperation, the kind of international competition thats wholesome and healthy, an interplay between countries that represents the best in all of us.
John Williams world
But in the next world I shant be doing music, with all the striving and disappointments. I shall be being it.
Ralph Vaughan Williams music
Never compose anything unless the not composing of it becomes a positive nuisance.
Gustav Holst sin