"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."
"'T is wonderful how soon a piano gets into a log hut on the frontier. You would think they found it under a pine stump. With it comes a Latin grammar,--and one of those tow-head boys has written a hymn on Sunday. Now let colleges, now let senates take heed!"
"I think sometimes, could I only have music on my own terms; could I live in a great city and know where I could go whenever I wished the ablution and inundation of musical waves,--that were a bath and a medicine."
"A 'spasm band' is a miscellaneous collection of a soap box, tin cans, pan tops, nails, drumsticks, and little Negro boys. When mixed in the proper proportions this results in the wildest shuffle dancing, accompanied by a bumping rhythm."