"The musical emotion springs precisely from the fact that at each moment the composer withholds or adds more or less than the listener anticipates on the basis of a pattern that he thinks he can guess, but that he is incapable of wholly divining.... If the composer withholds more than we anticipate, we experience a delicious falling sensation; we feel we have been torn from a stable point on the musical ladder and thrust into the void.... When the composer withholds less, the opposite occurs: he forces us to perform gymnastic exercises more skillful than our own."
"Since music is a language with some meaning at least for the immense majority of mankind, although only a tiny minority of peopleare capable of formulating a meaning in it, and since it is the only language with the contradictory attributes of being at once intelligible and untranslatable, the musical creator is a being comparable to the gods, and music itself the supreme mystery of the science of man, a mystery that all the various disciplines come up against and which holds the key to their progress."
"The Germans are always too late. They are late, like music, which is always the last of the arts to express a world condition,--when that world condition is already in its final stages. They are abstract and mystical."
"Sculpture and painting are very justly called liberal arts; a lively and strong imagination, together with a just observation, being absolutely necessary to excel in either; which, in my opinion, is by no means the case of music, though called a liberal art, and now in Italy placed even above the other two--a proof of the decline of that country."
"The Americans ... are almost ignorant of the art of music, one of the most elevating, innocent and refining of human tastes, whoseinfluence on the habits and morals of a people is of the most beneficial tendency."
"Whatever else it may be--stimulus, tranquilizer, aural nipple, too of executives, Muzak is basically trivializing. It is not simply that it relegates music to the province of wallpaper. Background music never need be banal. When it is used in support of drama, it can greatly enhance without harming itself. Mozart was entirely amenable to such films as Elvira Madigan and The French Lieutenant's Woman; Ralph Vaughan Williams wrote aptly for The Invaders, Arnold Bax for Oliver Twist, Sergei Prokofiev for Lieutenant Kije and Alexander Nevsky, Dmitri Shostakovich for others. In such uses, music collaborates with artists, it becomes an art among arts. But Muzak collaborates chiefly with management: it is used as an aural smoke-screen, a form of jamming, a hormone in the henhouse, an emollient in cemeteries."
"Nothing separates the generations more than music. By the time a child is eight or nine, he has developed a passion for his own music that is even stronger than his passions for procrastination and weird clothes."