When I wrote 21 of the Best Quotes about Music last month, you responded with some of your own wonderful quotes about music.
Thanks for your input.
There’s such diversity in your responses, too.
This one, for example, came from a fortune cookie:
Music is the Divine’s way to tell beautiful things to the soul.
Thanks to Cynthia H. for that bon mot. And ain’t it the truth? There are some experiences that can’t be put into words and only music (or art) will suffice.
Voices of Musicians
Mike R. shared quotes from Jerry Garcia and David Byrne:
You need music, I don’t know why. It’s probably one of those Joe Campbell questions, why we need ritual. We need magic, and bliss, and power, myth, and celebration and religion in our lives, and music is a good
way to encapsulate a lot of it. ~ Jerry Garcia
Oh, Mike, thanks for this wise tidbit. That’s been my experience, too. Music is a great way to encapsulate all the magic and bliss and myth of our lives.
Presuming that there is such a thing as “progress” when it comes to music, and that music is “better” now than it used to be, is typical of the high self-regard of those who live in the present. It is a myth. Creativity doesn’t “improve.” ~ David Byrne
What an intriguing thought. I learned that it is from Bryne’s book, How Music Works, published in 2012. A book that just got added to my reading list.
How Music Works* is, as Byrne puts it, “how music might be molded before it gets to us, what determines if it gets to us at all, and what factors external to the music itself can make it resonate for us. Is there a bar near the stage? Can you put it in your pocket? Do girls like it? Is it affordable?”
My bandmate, Michael H shares three quotes from bass player and educator, Charlie Haden.
I don’t believe in categories. I believe in beautiful music coming from the heart. And if it’s coming from the heart and it’s meaningful music to make the world a better place, then that’s wonderful. So, it really doesn’t matter what you call it. It matters that it’s really beautiful and that it touches somebody’s life in a positive way.
Simple. To the point.
I say if they want to play music at the level of freedom, of beauty, you have to play as if you’re willing to risk your life for every note you’re playing.
What an intense way to look at playing music. Just think about how your own experience would change when played like that! And what that would sound like, too.
One of the first things I teach at CalArts in discovering your sound is you have to be able to hear the sound of your reed, the sound of your embouchure, the sound of your skin on the strings, on the piano keys. You cannot communicate that to your instrument from your soul unless the volume is low and natural. In my classes, I want everyone to play soft so they can discover a sense of dynamics. Because once you start out at a very high volume level and stay there, you never get a sense of dynamics. The phenomenon of sound from the human being to the instrument is unbelievable.
He must have been a wonderful educator. I would have loved to have some classes with him.
Playing soft challenges our ears to listen in a big way. This would make a great jazz band exercise. To train ourselves to listen with big ears. I’m talking to you, Craig! Let’s do this.
Thanks to my readers for contributing quotes to my collection.
And remember, if you have something to share, whether that’s another quote or a comment about what you’re reading, you are invited to add your comments on my blog. Just click on the Leave a Comment link at the top of each post.
If you are not the first to comment, the link will read, x Comments, where x is the number of comments.
Until next time,
Be a Music Maker!