"The square dance fiddler's first concern is to carry a tune, but he must carry it loud enough to be heard over the noise of stamping feet, the cries of the "caller," and the shouts of the dancers. When he fiddles, he "fiddles all over"; feet, hands, knees, head, and eyes are all busy."
"Look at your lake, Christine. You'll love it here, when you get used to the dark. And you'll love the dark, too. It's friendly. And peaceful. It brings rest and relief from pain. It's right under the Opera. The music comes down and the darkness distills it, cleanses it of the suffering that made it, then it's all beauty and life here is like a resurrection."
"The hounding of a dog pursuing a fox or other animal in the horizon may have first suggested the notes of the hunting-horn to alternate with and relieve the lungs of the dog. This natural bugle long resounded in the woods of the ancient world before the horn was invented."
"Music is the sound of the universal laws promulgated. It is the only assured tone. There are in it such strains as far surpass anyman's faith in the loftiness of his destiny. Things are to be learned which it will be worth the while to learn."
"When my hoe tinkled against the stones, that music echoed to the woods and the sky, and was an accompaniment to my labor which yielded an instant and immeasurable crop. It was no longer beans that I hoed, nor I that hoed beans; and I remembered with as much pity as pride, if I remembered at all, my acquaintances who had gone to the city to attend the oratorios."
"I cannot say what poetry is; I know that our sufferings and our concentrated joy, our states of plunging far and dark and turningto come back to the world--so that the moment of intense turning seems still and universal--all are here, in a music like the music of our time, like the hero and like the anonymous forgotten; and there is an exchange here in which our lives are met, and created."
"Take any noble musical air, and you find, on examining it, that not one even of the faintest or shortest notes can be removed without destruction to the whole passage in which it occurs; and that every note in the passage is twenty times more beautiful so introduced, than it would have been if played singly on the instrument. Precisely this degree of arrangement and relation must exist between every touch and line in a great picture. You may consider the whole as a prolonged musical composition: its parts, as separate airs connected in the story; its little bits and fragments of colour and line, as separate passages or bars in melodies; and down to the minutest note of the whole--down to the minutest touch,--if there is one that can be spared--that one is doing mischief."
"For the moment, the jazz is playing; there is no melody, just notes, a myriad tiny tremors. The notes know no rest, an inflexibleorder gives birth to them then destroys them, without ever leaving them the chance to recuperate and exist for themselves.... I would like to hole them back, but I know that, if I succeeded in stooping one, there would only remain in may hand a corrupt and languishing sound. I must accept their death; I must even want that death: I know of few more bitter or intense impressions."