"Music is far, far older than our species. It is tens of millions of years old, and the fact that animals as wildly divergent as whales, humans and birds come out with similar laws for what they compose suggests to me that there are a finite number of musical sounds that will entertain the vertebrate brain."

Roger Payne

On the Origins of Music


"More than anything else, rhythm and melody find their way to the inmost soul and take the strongest hold upon it."



"There operates within the body vehicle a musical scale, and when it is allowed to 'sing' forth in total freedom, then are we attuned to the 'music of the spheres.""

-Elyse Betz Coulson


"Without music life would be a mistake."



"And the night shall be filled with music,

   And the cares that infest the day

Shall fold their tents like the Arabs,

   And as silently steal away."

-Henry Wadsworth Longfellow


"Music is medicine. It can bring life or death. Both players and listener's must always be careful!"

Xuan Ke

(Master of Naxi music...and ancient Tibetan music)


"Man therefore loves music more than anything else. Music is his nature; it has come from vibrations and he himself is vibration....What makes us feel drawn to music is that our whole being is music; our mind and our body, the nature in which we live, the nature which has made us, all that is beneath and around us, it is all music; and we are close to all this music, and live and move and have our being in music....Everyone shows harmony or disharmony according to how open he is to the music of the universe."

Inyat Khan



Musical sound acts directly on the soul and finds an echo there, since music is innate in (humans).

Wassily Kandinsky

Concerning the Spiritual in Art (1947)


"Every sickness is a musical problem; every cure a musical solution."




"When we observe a small child's first joyous entry into the musical community we would do well to recognize him as a citizen of the cosmos, and therefore fitted to be a citizen in a united world community."

F.L, Kunz

(from Commentaries on H.P. Blavatsky & The Secret Doctrine)

edited by Virginia Hanson "

Quest Books


"WE are surrounded by music. The radio brings us light music, background music, Beat music, opera, operetta, dance music, light Classical music, serious music, chamber music, orchestral music, Romantic music, Classical music, Baroque music, early music, ancient music, modern music, virtuoso music, refined music, avant-garde music, electronic music, traditional music, Pop music, Rock music, march music and son on. We re inundated with music. Music for driving, shopping, eating, celebrating, conversing, getting up, going to bed, having breakfast making love…..

But do we listen to music? Hardly ever. Yet it plays-on television, in the cinema, at the shops ,at the office, at work, at the football stadium. On and on the music plays, and we are no longer aware of it. It has become part of the décor, an unconscious conditioning, a mechanical background to everyday life. Carl Maria von Weber’s complaint of 1802(!) is more justified today than ever: ‘Times are getting harder for the composer. There is so much music-making nowadays: from its youth up the public is over-accustomed to music, so that its sensitivity to it constantly declines. That very piece of music which leaves people unmoved today because their ear is sated with music, would affect them greatly if they had heard no music for a whole year."

Peter Michael Hamel

Through Music to the Self


   "Thank God for wine. Without we would have almost no singing at all. Practically the only place where people now sing when they are cold sober is in church; and, to tell the truth, it sounds like it. As a professional religionist, I wish I could make a more glowing report; but, by and large, the singing is wretched. It is a triumph of use, not play. And for every person in church who sings, there are five who stand aloof from the whole business as if it were fairly disreputable.

   Why? Because they are embarrassed by the sound of their own voices: they are ashamed of their priesthood. The city of music, which fairly cries out for lifting into their history, is firmly and permanently locked out. I think that secretly, in their heart of hearts, perhaps they envy people who play. But they do not show it often. If only they would. It isn't a matter of working themselves into miniature Isaac Sterns; the harmonica will do if it comes to that-or even tenth-rate four-part harmony. They underestimate the power of the arts. A child can practice for weeks on the strength of a single chord progression. Even the smallest oblation will lift the priest as she makes it; even a little attention to what is really there will be a historical triumph."

Robert Farrar Capon

The Romance of the Word


"The overwhelming majority of the civilized population of the West (America and Europe), then, is no longer consciously aware of music. It is an interesting fact that the majority of cinema-goers simply fail to register the film-music at all. Neither in the supermarket nor in the restaurant is there any awareness of the acoustic background, not even-and perhaps especially not-If it is particularly loud. Our ear is impaired; the noise of our environment renders our hearing dull and insensitive."

Peter Michael Hamel

Through Music to the Self


"He who knows the secret of the sounds knows the mystery of the whole universe."

Hazrat Inayat Khan



Make a song, song maker

sing of love, sweet love

do not make it a shaker

make it move from above

sing it strong and gentle

sing it sweet and low

so that all may know

the dignity of man.




"We recall that in the legendary China of the Old Kings, music

was accorded a dominant place in state and court. It was held

that if music throve, all was well with culture and morality

and with the kingdom itself. The music masters were required

to be the strictest guardians of the original purity of the

'venerable keys' . If music decayed, that was taken as a sure

sign of the downfall of the regime and the state. The poets

told horrific fables about the forbidden diabolic, heaven of-

fending keys, such as the Tsing Shang key and Tsing Tse, the

'music of decline', no sooner were these wicked notes struck

in the Royal Palace than the sky darkened, the walls trembled

and collapsed, and kingdoms and. sovereign went to their doom. "

Magister Ludi

Hermann Hesse



"The prevalence of dissonances in modern music, being the expression of the discord, conflicts, and crises that afflict modern man, tend with their suggestive influence to accentuate and exaggerate the evil."

Roberto Assagioli M.D.

Psycho synthesis


"One evening in Moscow, when Lenin was listening to Beethoven sonatas. . .he said: I know nothing greater than the Appassionata, I'd like to listen to it everyday. It's beautiful, super-human music. I always think proudly-it may be naive-what marvelous things people can do. . .But I can' t listen to music too often, it affects the nerves, makes you want to say kind, silly things, to stroke the heads of the people living in a terrible hell, who can create such beauty Nowadays ---you mustn't  stroke anyone ' s head. You 'd get your hand bitten off, you've got to hit them over their heads, without mercy, although, ideally, we 're against the use of force. H'm, H'm, our duty is infernally hard!"

attributed to Lenin

by Gorky



"Music begins where words fail"



"Beethoven is Lucifer's good son, the demon guide to the last things."

-Ernst Bloch


"Whenever he came to our house he used first to put his head round the door to make sure there was no one there he did not like. He was short and plain, with an ugly red face covered in pockmarks. His hair was very dark and hung shaggily about his face, his suit was ordinary, a far cry from the elegant fashion which prevailed at the time, and particularly in our circle. Furthermore he spoke in dialect, and had a rather vulgar way of putting things. Altogether he showed little evidence of breeding, his expression and behaviour being quite unrefined. He was very proud: I once saw Count Lichnovsky's mother, the elderly Countess Thun, kneeling before him as he sat back in the sofa, imploring him to play, but Beethoven would not do it."

(a description of Beethoven)


"It flashed up lightning-wise during a performance of Beethoven's Seventh Symphony at the Queen's Hall, in that triumphant fast movement. The swiftly flowing continuity of the music was not interrupted, so that what T.S. Eliot calls 'the intersection of the timeless moment' must have slipped in between two demi-semi-quavers......Rapt in Beethoven's music, I closed my eyes and watched a silver glow which shaped itself into a circle with a central focus brighter than the rest. The circle became a tunnel of light proceeding from some distant sun in the heart of the Self. Swiftly and smoothly I was borne through the tunnel and as I went the light turned from silver to gold. There was an impression of drawing strength from a limitless sea of power and deepening peace. The light grew brighter but was never dazzling or alarming. I came to a point where time and motion ceased. In my recollection it took the shape of a flat-topped rock, surrounded by a summer sea with a sandy pool at its foot."

H. Warner Allen

The Timeless Moment


"All around me became transformed into golden glory, into light untellable. The golden light of which the violet haze seemed now to have been as the veil of outer fringe, welled forth from a central immense globe of brilliancy. But the most wonderful thing was that these shafts and waves of light and even the central globe itself, were crowded to solidarity with the forms of living creatures, like a single coherent organism filling all place and space, yet composed of an infinitude of individuated existences. Those beings were, moreover present in teaming myriads in the church I stood in: and they were intermingling with, and passing unobstructedly through both myself and my fellow worshippers. The Heavenly host drifted through the human congregation as wind passes through a grove of trees; of radiant beauty and clothes in shimmering raiment.."

-Wilmhurst Contmeplations


"Immortal Mozart. I owe you everything; it is thanks to you that I lost my reason, that my soul was awestruck in the very depths of my being. Thanks to you I did not go through life without having encountered something that could shatter me. I have you to thank for the fact that I did not die without having loved. . . "




"Mozart eliminates the idea of haste from life. His airs could not lag as they make their journey through the listener's attention; they are not the right shape for loitering. But it as true that they never rush, they are never headlong or helter-skelter, they splash no mud, they raise no dust. It is, indeed, inadequate to call the means of creating such an effect a mere technical device. For it changes the content of the work in which it is used, it presents a vision of a world where man is no longer the harassed victim of time but accepts its discipline and establishes a harmony with it. This is not a little thing, for our struggle with time is one of the most distressing of our fundamental conflicts, it holds us back from the achievement and comprehension that should be the justification of our life."

Rebecca West


"Sibelius, the First (symphony)-the lean prelude and then the lightning's flash, the thunder's roll, the strike and strike again! Then later, quiet interludes, tho always present the sense of tension, of something coming, something straining to be free, the distant music plays upon, pulls at, turns over and echoes thru the listening heart-the incredible wistful dim dreaming distant impossible promise-how sure and certain that here, for once, the music speaks of something more than itself, of something beyond itself, not a place, not an idea, not a story, but something , some kind of deep aesthetic intuition-a memory? An anticipation? A vision? A symbol of emotion?"

-Edward Abbey


"Music is founded on the harmony between heaven and earth,

on the concord of obscurity and brightness."


Lu Bu We

Spring and Autumn



"Music is a woman-passionate and uncompromising. "



"You had to account for every move, arrival or exit. In the world there was a conspiracy against improvisation. It was only permitted in jazz." ""

Anais Nin


"Why is it that notwithstanding my profound admiration for Beethoven , and the delight he frequently gives me, I yet feel so disquieted by that master and so restively hostile to his prevailing temper? I always seem to have a vague feeling that he is a Satan among musicians, a fallen angel in the darkness who is perpetually seeking to fight his way back to happiness, and to enter on the impossible task of taking the Kingdom of Heaven by violence. "

Havelock Ellis



"In the middle of the (sperl) garden on the orchestra platform there stands the modern hero of Austria, 'le Napoleon aulrichien' , the musical director Johann Strauss. The Strauss waltzes are to the Viennese what the Napoleonic victories were to the French...I was very curious to see the Austrian Napoleon and it pleased me to find him in the center of the battlefield. He was just fighting his Austerlitz as we arrived, With his bow he was pointing to the heavens and the violins were acclaiming the rising of the sun. There he stood before me , the third of the triumvirate of which Napoleon is the first and Paganini the second....All eyes were turned to him; it was a moment of worship. .,what does he look like, this Johann Strauss? If Napoleon's appearance was classically Roman and calmly antique, if Paganini's was romantic and arresting as moonlight, so that of Maestro Strauss is African and hot-blooded, crazy from the sun, modern 'bold, fidgety, restless, unbeautiful, passionate...typically African too is the way he conducts his dances; his own limbs no longer belong to him when the desert-storm of his waltz is let loose; his fiddle-bow dances with his arms; the tempo animates his feet the melody waves champagne glasses in his face. . .The devil is abroad. . .The power wielded by the black haired musician is potentially very dangerous it is his especial good fortune that no censorship can be exercised over waltz music and the thoughts or emotions it arouses...He is a man who could do a great deal of harm if he were to play Rousseau's ideas on his violin."

Heinrich Laube l8??

(Waltz starts in Vienna 1833)


"I am so happy, so joyful, so glad that I want to kiss the heavens with their starts; so recklessly , deliriously happy that I want to embrace the whole world and press it to my heart! And why? Because I have heard him! Because I have heard Johann Straus!"

Oettinger (Berlin Critic Nov 12,1834)


"It has a mysterious power, this waltz. As soon as the first measures ring out, a smile steals upon the faces, the eyes light up, and all feel some inward expectation. The graceful pairs form and begin to move, interweaving their paths. One must observe the beauty of the women as they are carried along by this irresistible music, leaning on the arms of their partners, with the glossy silk and delicate gauze of their dresses sharing their every move in caressing waves….."

Comte de la Garde


Rounding out the 30 most popular tunes of the 20th century are:

1. Yesterday

2. Star Dust

3. Bridge Over Troubled Water

4. White Christmas

5. Unchained Melody

6. Imagine

7. My Way

8. Summertime

9. Over the Rainbow

10. As Time goes by

11. ,Smoke gets in your Eyes

12. You’ll never walk alone

13. Candle in the Wind

14. Rudolph the Red-nosed Reindeer

15. Hey Jude

16. In the Mood

17. Alexander’s Ragtime Band

18. Bohemia Rhapsody

19. Rock Around the Clock

20. Ol’ Man River

21. Ev’re Time We say Goodbye

22. Blowin in the Wind

23. We’ll meet again

24. I heard it through the grapevine

25. When I fall in love

26. Heartbreak Hotel

27. You’ve lost that lovin feeling

28. A whiter shade of pale

29. My heart will go on

30. St. Louis Blues

(survey of songwriters, sales charts and fans by a British radio station, Radio 2)


"All of the secrets of the universe are contained in my music, if people could only hear them.."




"The couples waltz straight through any accidental hindrances in their joyful frenzy; no god holds them back, not even the intense heat which is carried backwards and forwards in penetrating waves, as if driven by African desert winds., ,These orgies last till the early morning...the waltzes stir the blood like the bite of a tarantula,"




MUSIC. . .The Great Composers


"It was his mission to revolutionize the state of mass moral laxity. The character of his music was one of formal grandeur and awe-inspiring sublimity: and through his glorification of repetition and imitativeness he was indirectly responsible for the strict conventionalism of the following Victorian era, for if these qualities are translated from. the world of music to that of human conduct, a love of outward ceremony and adherence to convention is inculcated."

Roland Hunt



"Bach' s supreme contribution was his adept us of polyphony and dissonance, the latter having a great effect on the mental organism, training it to be more pliant and supple, thus making the thinker less stereotyped in outlook. It has been noted that the dissonances of Bach disintegrates the severe outlines of the mental bodies of insular, self-centered people, inducing greater responsiveness to new ideas, and thus reducing that rigidity of prejudice and bias which is the greatest hindrance to spiritual advancement."

Roland Hunt



"His music is soporific and softening, consequently after listening to his compositions, people are more tolerant towards their immediate environment and social circle. The weary-in-heart are not only comforted but cheered by his light-hearted, glowing gaiety, which radiates a buoyant serenity. "

Roland Hunt

Fragrant and Radiant Healing Symphony



"The 'musical psychologist'--his art being destined to arouse pity, charity, compassion, by picturing the unfortunate and despairing in all their wretchedness. It promoted sympathy in a measure previously unknown, and it made possible the introduction later of the science of Psycho-Analysis, for he expressed a vast array of strange emotions and feeling, about which men were too ashamed to speak. "

Cyril Scott

Music: Its Influence Throughout the Ages




"had the mission of refining, anesthetizing; of lifting and transmuting a great emotional force from the slip-way of vulgarity and blatancy. He pointed to the practicability of musical alchemy; instead of 'repression' , he advocated the transmuting or refining of the baser elements and took them to a higher key of registration and service."



"The music for teaching and developing the young. His music affects the subconscious in puberty. It acts like sunshine on the Chrysalis or bud, encouraging the enfoldment of the Soul's possibilities."



"a bridge between the devas and the human. The healing balm of that Seraphic love which harmonizes all the subtler bodies. "




"a step over the bridge between the Nature Spirits and the lesser deities."


"his work 'Mysterium' has a great spiritualizing effect

on the listener."


"the man that hath no music in himself, nor is not mov'd with concord of sweet sounds, is fit for treasons, stratagems, and spoils; the motions of his spirit are dull as night, and his affections dark as Erebus: Let no such man be trusted. Mark the music."


The Merchant of Venice Act V Sc I


"This world of music, whose borders even now I have scarcely entered, is a reality, is immortal."



"This gypsy music is in fact more intoxicating, more dangerous than opium, or women, or drink, and, although champagne is a necessary adjunct to the enjoyment there is a plaintive ness in its appeal which to the Slav and Celtic races is almost irresistible, For better than words it expresses the pent-up and stifled desires of mankind, It induces a delicious melancholy which is half lyrical, half sensuous.. . .It breaks down all reserves of restraint."

Robert Bruce Lockhart

Memoirs of a Secret Agent

(former British Consul in Moscow before WWI)


"All things in the universe, including you and me, are nothing more than a mass of vibrating waves, All we ever see is the outward shadows of the reality-the wave form. That is why it seems to me that the true values in the universe are spiritual values. The more we try to pin down reality in electrons, the more it vanishes under our fingertips. The universe apparently is compiled entirely of music. The human spirit is the ultimate reality of life on earth, and, the spirit of the universe is the Supreme reality,"

Professor Donald hatch Andrews

Johns Hopkins Univ


"Music expresses the divine, yet music may be most important because, as John Blacking pointed out in How Musical is Man?, it prepares us for the task of learning how to love. But there is a curious and tragic paradox. The importance of music (as well as the other arts) in education has been questioned. The concept of ‘back to basics’ does not include music and art as ‘basic.’ Music is not recognized in our society, as it was in classical antiquity and in numerous other societies, as the center of education from which all else flows, the basic among basics. Music programs are being removed from many schools throughout the United States. They are seen as frills and are considered expendable. Obviously the profound psychological and spiritual importance of music is not generally understood…"

Lorin Hollander

Music & Miracles


*Students who sing of play an instrument score up to 51 points higher on SATS than the National average


"What is this magical medium that moves, enchants, energizes, and heals us?

In an instant, music can ;uplift our soul. It awakens within us the spirit of prayer, compassion, and love. It clears our minds and has been known to make us smarter.

Music can dance and sing our blues away. It conjures up memories of lost lovers or deceased friends. It lets the child in us play, the monk in us pray, the cowgirl in us line dance, the hero in us surmount all obstacles. It helps the stroke patient find language and expression.

Music is a holy place, a cathedral so majestic that we can sense the magnificence of the universe, and also a hovel so simple and private that none of us can plumb its deepest secrets."

Don Campbell

The Mozart Effect


"How powerful is your magic sound."

Mozart, The Magic Flute


"The Moazartian legacy, in brief, is as good an excuse for mankind’s existence as we shall ever encounter and is perhaps, after al, a still small hope for our ultimate survival."

H.C. Robbins Landon

Mozart’s Last Year


"Silence is the greatest effect in music."



"Music is painted upon a canvas of silence."

Josef Lhevinne


"There is something marvelous in music. I almost say it is, in itself a marvel. Its position is somewhere between the region of thought and that of phenomena; a shimmering medium between mind and matter, related to both and yet different from either. Spiritual, and yet requiring rhythm; material, and yet independent of space."

H. Heine


"I tell the story of love, the story of sorrow, the story that saves and the story that destroys…I am the smoke which palls over the field of battle where men die with me on their lips.I am close to the marriage altar, and when the grave opens I stand nearby. I call the wanderer home, I rescue the soul from the depths; I open the lips of lovers and through me the dead whisper to the living. One I serve as I serve all, and the leaders I make my slaves as easily as I subject their slaves. I speak through the birds of the air, the insects of the field, the crash of waters on the rock ribbed shores, the sighing of the winds in the trees and I am even heard by the soul that knows me in the clatter of the wheels on city streets."



"I always loved music; who so has skill in this art is of a good temperament, fitted for all things. We must teach music in schools; a schoolmaster ought to have skill in music, or I would not regard him; neither should we ordain young men as preachers unless they have been well exercised in music."

Martin Luther (1483-1546)


"Music is the voice of humanity, of whatever time or place. In its presence we are one."

Charlotte Gray


"Music expresses that which cannot be said and on which it is impossible to be silent."

Victor Hugo (1807-1885)


"Music is the universal language of mankind."

Henry Wadsworth Longfellow (1807-1882)


"What is music? This question occupied my mind for hours last night before I fell asleep. The very existence of music is wonderful, I might even say miraculous. Its domain is between thought and phenomena. Like a twilight mediator, it hovers between spirit and matter, related to both, yet differing from each. It is spirit, but it is spirit subject to the measurement of time. It is matter but it is matter that can dispense with space."

Heinrich Heine (1797-1856)


"Through music we may wander where we will in time, and find friends in every century."

Helen Thomson


"Why speak of time travel? We have a tried and proven method with us. Music moves us across centuries and continents without ever leaving our chairs."

Pam Brown


"Part of what this music is about is not to be delineated exactly. It’s about magic, and capturing spirits."

Ceal Taylor


"Most people don’t have any idea what improvisation is…it means the magical lifting of one’s spirits to a state of trance…It means experiencing oneself as another kind of living organism, much in the way of a plant, a tree-the growth, you see, that’s what it is…it’s not to do with ‘energy.’ It has to do with religious forces."

Ceal Taylor


"Marx’s celebrated remark that nineteenth-century religion was the opiate of the European masses is equally applicable to the jazz of the Negro slaves. In Jazz they created a true art form. But with it they shut every door to freedom. Jazz imprisoned the Negroes more and more in their slavery; from then on, they drew a morose relish from it. It is highly significant that this slave music has become the music of the modern world."

Jacques Ellul


"We have noted that jazz has become universal. The reason is now clear; it is the music of men who are satisfied with the illusion of freedom provoked by its sounds, while the chains or iron wound round them ever tighter."

Jacques Ellul


"They were very serious about their art, and I think that was the big difference between that generation of jazz musicians and the previous ones. The previous ones didn't think of themselves as artists; they thought of themselves as entertainers. But the people coming in in the mid-forties, in the whole bebop revolution, they began to think of themselves as artists as good as any of those folk on the other side of the road-the classical musicians."

-Gunther Schuller


"Rock’ n’ roll is the most brutal, ugly, degenerate, vicious form of expression it has been my displeasure to hear…It fosters almost totally negative and destructive reactions in young people…It is sung, played, and written for the most part by cretinous goons, and by means of it’s almost imbecilic reiterations and sly, lewd-in plain fact-filthy lyrics, it manages to be the martial music of every side-burned delinquent on the face of the earth."

Frank Sinatra


"People keep writing songs about how rock 'n' roll will never die. Well, rock 'n'roll died a long time ago. It never even made it into the '60s. A certain joy went out of rock 'n' roll, and what was left was militancy-which I guess makes sense because of the times."

-Jony Mitchell


"I think it (Jazz) is shit music, even more stupid than rock and roll......Jazz never gets anywhere, never does anything, it's always the same and all they do is drink pints of beer"

John Lennon


"We don't like their sound. Groups of guitars are on the way out."

-(Decca Recording Company executive, turning down the Beatles)


"We don't think they'll do anything in this market."

-Alan Livingston (President of Capitol Records, the Beatles' American record distributior), on the eve of the group's first U.S. tour)


   "What correctness of beauty can the music which is now in vogue possess? It has scarcely any real and stable foundation in word or thought. If it should have for its subject a maxim or proverb, it would obscure and hamper the sense and meaning by abruptly cutting and jerking the sounds in the throat-as though music were designed not to soothe and control the spirit, but merely to afford a base pleasure to the ears, mimicking the cries of birds and beasts, which we should be sorry to resemble. This is to turn soul into body, and weaken self-control. From this Plato most properly shrank in horror, and refused a place in his ideal state for such music as this. For when flaccid, feeble, sensual ideas are rendered in similar music, in kindred modulation of the voice, weakly yielding to lust, languishing in grief, or rushing in frenzied agitation toward the sudden passions of a disordered mind, what ruin to virtue, what wreckage of character, do you suppose, must ensue?"

From Jacopo Sadoleto, On the Education of Boys  (born in 1477)



"They had (the music) so loud that when I came out, I literally scared myself to death because I couldn’t hear. I thought I was losing my hearing….I’m already blind. I can’t be no Helen Keller."

Ray Charles( on attending a Rolling Stones Concert)


IN the best of all possible worlds, art would be unnecessary. Its offer of restorative, placative therapy would go begging a patient. The professional specialization involved in its making would be presumption. The audience would be the artist and their life would be art."

Glenn Gould

High Fidelity Mag April 66 issue


"I believe that music has become too music of a professional specialization over the past century. For most people, it is now a background activity rather than a participatory one. The goal of my work is to try and lift the general level of public participation in music as well as the level of sensitivity and intelligence in listening, performing, and composing."


MIT Media Lab


"No one knows what music is. It is performed, listened to, composed, and talked about; but its essential reality is little understood as that of its first cousin, electricity. We know that it detaches the understanding, enabling thoughts to turn inward upon themselves and clarify; we know that it releases the human spirit into some solitude of meditation where the creative process can freely act; we know that it can soothe pain, relieve anxiety, comfort disasters, exhilarate health, confirm courage, inspire clear and clod thinking, ennoble the will, refine taste, uplift the heart, stimulate intellect, and do many another interesting and beautiful thing. And yet, when all is said and done, no one knows what music is. Perhaps the explanation is that music is the very stuff of creation itself."


Lucien Price


"There is something very wonderful in music. Words are wonderful enough, but music is even more wonderful. It speaks not to our thoughts as words do; it speaks straight to our hearts and spirits, to the very core and root of our souls. Music soothers us, stirs us up; it puts noble feeling in us; it melts us to tears, we know not how-it is a language by itself, just as perfect, in its way, as speech, as words; just as divine, just as blessed…"

Charles Kingsley (1819-1875)


"Music expresses that which cannot be said and on which it is impossible to be silent."

Victor Hugo


"Men profess to be lovers of music, but for the most part they give no evidence in their opinions and lives that they have heard it."

Henry David Thoreau


"Music alone has the power to make us penetrate into ourselves; the other arts offer us only eccentric pleasures."

Honore De Balzac


"The more we cultivate great music in our lives, the greater will be our attainment to unlimited sources of the Creator’s power and direction."

Hal A Lingerman


"The man that hath no music in himself

Nor is moved with concord of sweet sounds

Is fit for treasons, stratagems, and spoils

The motions of his spirit are

Dull as night

And his affections dark as


Let no such man be trusted."

William Shakespeare


"Music is the answer to the; mystery of life; it is the most profound of all the arts; it expresses the deepest thoughts of life and being; a simple language which nonetheless Cannot be translated."

Arthur Schopenhaur


"Music has the capacity to touch the innermost reaches of the soul and music gives flight to the imagination."


"I believe that music, sound, and auditory vibration make up such a critical factor in the graceful path to the next stage of revolution."

Barbara Marx Hubbard


"Great music is a psychical storm, agitating to unimaginable depth the mystery of the past within us. Or we might say that it is a prodigious incantation-every different instrument and voice making separate appeal to different billions of prenatal memories. There are tones that call up all ghosts of youth and joy and tenderness; there are tones that evoke all phantom pain of perished passion; there are tones that resurrect all dead sensation of majesty and might and glory-all expired exultations, all forgotten magnanimities. Well may the influence of music seem inexplicable to the man who idly dreams that his life began less than a hundred years ago! But the mystery lightens for whomsoever learns that the substance of Self is older than the sun…To every ripple of melody, to every billow of harmony, there answers within him, out of the Sea of Death and Birth, some eddying immeasurable of ancient pleasure and pain."

Lafcadio Hearn (1850-1904)

In Ghostly Japan


"There has always been something about music and the lives of virtuoso musicians that carries with it the whiff of brimstone-There’s an aura of sadness, of melancholy; that pervades their world; all great performers know it and have their own methods of dealing with it."

Stephen Davis

Hammer of the Gods


"Music is a mysterious form of mathematics, whose elements partake of the infinite."



"Nothing is more singular about this generation than its addiction to music."

Allan Bloom

The Closing of the American Mind


"Music quickens time, she quickens us to the first enjoyment of time."

Thomas Mann

The Magic Mountain


"Whatever you play, the next thing you do is an experiment. Everything is an experiment, and if it's a success, then it's a masterpiece."

-Gil Evans


"Take a music-bath once or twice a week for a few seasons, and you will find that it is to the soul what the water-bath is to the body."

Oliver Wendall Holmes


"Music is a part of us, and either ennobles or degrades our behaviour."

Boethius (6th Century A.D.)


"Why, after all must everyone like music? That they are missing something is just the lover’s opinion"

Ned Rorem

Music from the Inside Out


"The magic of music is in its effect on volition. A sudden clearing of the mind of rubbish and the re-establishment of a sense of proportion."

Ezra Pound


"The author’s conviction on this day of the New year is that music begins to atrophy when it departs too far from the dance; that poetry begins to atrophy when it gets too far from music; but this must not be taken as implying that all good music is dance music or poetry lyric. Bach and Mozart are never far from physical movement."

Ezra Pound


"Music is perhaps the bridge between consciousness and the unthinking sentient or even insentient universe."

Ezra Pound


"Singing is near miraculous because it is the mastering of what is otherwise a pure instrument of egotism; the human voice."



"Most orchestras in America survive as museums of antiquated culture, with as much relevance to modern life and most of the populace as the municipal mausoleum. Conductors have somehow escaped blame for a mess that is mostly of their making. Their collective responsibility becomes painfully apparent when the present malaise of mighty orchestras is compared, without nostalgia, with the not-so-distant time when a music director lived on the premises and ruled his institution with an omniscient eye."

Norman Lebrecht

The Maestro Myth



"In these songs of love that we hear, so passionately and sensual, we perceive without realizing it, the plaint of these oppressed races who do not remember precisely the reason for their cry, but do remember their sadness and their lamentations. What race memory, what secular affront, what secret sorrows are deafened under the allegory of these erotic yet religious songs? What drama of an entire people is expressed in this song of wounded love, what drama of a whole people who managed to save only a guitar from a disaster where they lost their psalms, their altars and their gods?"

Rafael Camsinos Assens


"We should always recognize that the beauty of Spain is not serene, is not soft, not restful-it is ardent, burning, excessive, sometimes unpredictable, a beauty which, blinded in its own splendor ‘knocks’ its head against the wall."

Federico Garcia Lorca

"To be Flamenco is to have another skin, other passions, other desires. It is a different way of seeing the world, with music in one’s nerves, a fierce pride, happiness mingled with tears; it is a loathing of routine and sameness; it is to be intoxicated in song, wine and kisses; it is the translation of life into an art of caprices and of freedom."

Tomas Barrias




" The Duende or Hidden Spirit of saddened Spain."

Federico Garcia Lorca



"These black sounds are the mystery, the roots which enforce themselves in the mind which we all know, which we all ignore, from which comes to us all that is the substance of art. "The black noises’ says the man of the Spanish people, associating it with Goethe, who referring to Paganini defined the ‘Duende’ as ‘ a mysterious power which we all feel and which no philosophy can explain.

So the Duende is the power and not the work, the battle and not the thought. I have heard it said to a very old guitarist: ‘The duende is not in the throat, the duende grows inside you, from the soles of the feet.’ In other words: it is not a question of a faculty but of a lifestyle, of one’s blood, that is to say of a culture of antiquity from creation to act.

The arrival of the ‘duende’ always presupposes a radical overturning of all the traditional forms, procures a sensation of freshness altogether unheard of, which has the quality of a newly created rose, of the miracle, which creates a quasi-religious enthusiasm.

All the arts, and even all countries are susceptible to duende; to angst and to the muse. Germany possesses without exception the muse, Italy has the angst in permanence ; but Spain is constantly animated by the ‘duende’ , as much as a land of music and dances, where the Duende squeezes the lemons of the eve, as much as a land of death, a land open to death.

In return the duende refuses to show itself if it does not see the possibility of death, if it does not know that it must roam around its own demur, if it does not have the assurance of its ability to move itself within us, who are and who stay inconsolable. By the idea, the voice or the movement, the ‘duende’ amuses itself in ruffling the edge of the pit; in open battle with the creator. The muse and the angst run away with their violin or their compass, but the ‘duende’ is wounded, and it is in the healing of this wound which is never closed that the insoluble originality of the work resides.

In Spain as in the orient where dance is a religious expression the ‘duende’ exercises unlimited power on the bodies of the dancers, on the chests of the singers, as on the liturgy of the corrida, an authentic religious drama, where as in the Mass, we adore and we immortalize a God.

It has been said that all the demonicness of the classical world is assembled in this fete where the culture and the great wisdom of a race is manifested and discovers in a man its most beautiful temper, its most beautiful rages and its most beautiful tears, for neither the Spanish dance, nor the corrida are divertissments. The duende charge’s itself with making suffering to be born through the media of drama, through live forms and prepares the ladder by which one escapes the surrounding reality.

The duende works on the danc4er’s body as wind on sand, with magical power it changes a girl into a lunar paralytic, of fills with adolescent blushes the broken old man begging in the wineshop, or makes a woman’s hair smell like a nocturnal port, and it works continuously on the arms with expressions that are the mothers of the dances of every age.

It is impossible for it to be repeated, it is important to emphasize this; the duende is never repeated, any more than the patters which the sea makes on the sand."


"The rulers of this world mostly hold pearls and jewels, spears and swords, to be their most precious possessions, but the more they have of them the more the people grumble, the more the land is endangered, and the more they themselves are dragged into decline. In fact these conditions lead to the loss of those very treasures. The music of a perverse generation has the same effects.

If drums both big and small boom out like thunder, if cymbals and singing-stones strike like lightning, if flutes and violins, tumultuous dancing and singing sound forth, it is enough to shatter the nerves. To madden the senses and to cause life to bubble over. But a music that uses these means does not make on cheerful. Therefore the louder the music, the more melancholy the people become, the more the land is endangered, the lower the prince sinks. In this way the true nature of music is lost."


(edited and translated by Richard Wilhelm, Dusseldorf-Cologne 1971)


"It is a great pity that in the present-day musical field people are moving further and further away from the natural voice. Commercialization is to blame. To start with , a hall would be built for a hundred people; then for five hundred; then for five thousand. A person has to shout in order that five thousand people may hear him and in order to be a success (a box-office success, that is). But the magic spell lies in the natural voice. Everyone has this gift. God has given him a particular pitch, a natural tone, and if he develops this tone, magic results. He can work wonders. But today he must think of the hall where he is to sing, and of how loudly he will have to shout.

It is the nature, the basic principle of sound, that the more it is in tune with nature the more powerful and magical it becomes. Every man and woman has a given vocal pitch, but the voice expert says: ‘No, that is contralto’, or ‘soprano’, ‘tenor’ ‘baritone’ or ‘bass’. He confines what cannot be confined. Are there, then, really so many voices? There are as many voices as souls. They cannot be classified. As soon as a singer is classified, he has to sing at this vocal pitch. If his natural vocal pitch is different, he will not know it."


Pir Hazrat Inayat Khan

The Sufi Message of Hazrat Inayat Khan Vol II


   "Music alone among the arts is not representational, and therefore can not represent Platonic forms. It is, according to Schopenhauer, the self-expression of something that cannot be represented at all, namely the noumenon. It is the voice of the metaphysical will. That is why it seems to speak to us from the most ultimate depths, deeper by far than those accessible to other arts, while remaining itself something wholly unamenable to language, or to understanding by the intellect. The metaphysical will does of course manifest itself as the phenomenal world, but it also manifests itself as music, which can therefore be seen as an alternative mode of existence to the world itself, an alternative world with a reach as deep as the world's being. it stands aside from all the other arts as something radically different from them, immeasurably superior, a super-art. The great composers are the great metaphysicians, penetrating to the centre of things and giving expression to truths about existence in a language that our intellects are unable even to comprehend, let alone translate into concepts or words. 'The composer reveals the innermost nature of the world, and expresses the profoundest wisdom, in a language that his reasoning faculty does not understand' (Shopenhauer, The World as Will and Representation, vol. i, p. 260). 'Music expresses, in an exceedingly universal language, in a homogeneous material, that is to say, in nothing but tones, and with the greatest distinctness and truth, the inner being, the in-itself, of the world' (The World as Will and Representation, vol. ii, p. 264"

Bryan Magee

The Tristan Chord


See article: "Move Over, Middle C: The Speculative Case for the Cosmic B Flat" by John Rockwell. The New York Times Friday Jan 30,2004

Book: "Music of the Spheres: Music, Science and the Natural Order of the Universe" by Jamie James's

Book: "Sounding the Inner Landscape" by Kay Gardner

"Through Music to the Self" by Peter Michael Hamel

Book: "Beethoven's Anvil: Music in Mind and Culture" by William Benzon

Book: "Temperament: The Idea that Solved Music's Greatest Riddle" by Stuart Isacoff

Book: "A History of Key Characteristics in the 18th and Early 19th Centuries" by Dr. Rita Steblin

Book: "The Ambient Century: from Mahler to trance-the evolution of sound in the electronic age" by Mark Prendergast

Book: "A Cure for gravity" by Joe Jackson

Book: "Castles Made of Sound: The Story of Gil Evans" Larry Hickock

Book: "Wondrous Strange: The Life and Art of Glenn Gould" by Kevin Bazzana

Book: "That Moaning Saxophone: The Six Brown Brothers and the Dawning of a Musical Craze" by Bruce Vermazen

Book: "The Tristan Chord" by Bryan Magee

Book: "Tropical Truth: A Story of Music and Revolution in Brazil" by Caetano Veloso

Book: "88 Keys: The Making of a Steinway Piano" by Miles Chapin

Book: "Jazz On Film: The Complete Story of the Musicians & Music Onscreen" by Scott Yanow


"The Secret Museum of Mankind…ethnic Music Classics 1925-1948

(Yazoo Blues Mailorder)

Book: "The Science of Music" by Robin Maconie

Book: "The Concept of Music" by Robin Maconie

Book: "The Origins of Music" Ed. by Nilis L. Wallin et al.

Book: "Origins in Acoustics: The Science of Sound from Antiquity to the Age of Newton" by Frederick Vinton Hunt

Book: "The Interpretation of Music: Philosophical Essays" ed. Michael Krausz

Book: "A Love Supreme: The Story of John Coltrane's Signature Album" by Ashley Kahn

Book: "Schumann" by Eric Frederick Jensen

Book: "Stan Getz: Nobody Else but Me" by Dave Gelly

Book: "The Uncrowned King of Swing: Fletcher Henderson and Big Band Jazz" by Jeffrey Magee

Book: "Django: The Life and Music of a Gypsy Legend" by Michael Dregni

Book: "The Oxford Companion to Music" Ed. by Alison Latham

Book: "Piano Forte: A Social History of the Piano" by Dieter Hilderbrandt

(sheet music site)

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