On Practice: Find Inspiration, Part 2
By Daniel Roest Musical Quotations


Inspiration  infuses your playing: it's the reason you play. You are already inspired, but it's like a fire that needs tending - more wood! When you hear other musicians speak about what music means to them, it resonates. SO let's get more wood on the fire and listen to music heavyweights say what music means to them and to all of us...

"There is nothing which tends to develop a higher degree of coordination between mind and body, nothing which demands more accurate thinking, nothing that develops the memory to a larger capacity and a higher degree of responsiveness, nothing that accelerates the mental processes to a greater speed; nothing that imparts a finer sense of form and balance than does Music." -Anon.

"Our Father, who art a cross between Miles Davis, John Coltrane and Jimi Hendrix, hallowed be thy name, here in New York as it is in New Orleans. Give us this day our daily chord changes, and forgive us for playing the wrong changes behind our soloists, as we forgive them for playing the wrong changes behind our solos. And lead us not into Disco, but deliver us from Commercialism." -Larry Corryell

"The roots of all brilliant playing lies in one thing - accuracy. Without accuracy any attempt at brilliance must result in mussiness." -Teresa Carreno

"You must gradually become acquanted with the more important works if celebrated masters." -Robert Schumann

"Strive to play easy pieces well and beautifully; it is no better than to render harder pieces only indifferently well." -Robert Schumann

"The history of Music, supported by the actual hearing of the master compositions of the different epochs, is the shortest way to cure you of self-esteem and vanity." -Robert Schumann

"New pieces serve but little if on their account the preceeding ones are forgotten." Czerny, 1781-1857

"The best music, like the best painting, is entirely popular; it at once commends itself to everyone, and does so through all ages. The worst music, like the worst painting, commends itself at first, in like manner, to ninety-nine people out of  hundred, but after doing them its appointed quantity of mischief, it is forgotten, and new modes of mischief are composed." -Rushkin

"Seek for your associates among those who know more than you. -Robert Schumann

"It is not enough for us to be musicians only. We must be men and women of general information, of liberal education - in short, men and women of culture." -Gates

"Music is the expression of a refined nature." -Robert Schumann

"He who setds limits to himself will always be expected to remain within them." -Robert Schumann

"Think more of your own progress than of the opinion of others." -Felix Mendelsohn, 1809-1847

"It is only when our feelings, our mind, and our taste derive full satisfaction from music that our pleasure in art really begins. Those who delight in the mere concord of sounds are incapable of deeper appreciation." -F. Hiller, 1811-1885

"Making mistakes in practice is in most cases an entirely avoidable habit, often resulting from not checking the matter at the very start." -Olga Samaroff

"One hour of concentrated practice with the mind fresh and the body rested is better than four hours of dissipated practice with the mind stale and the body tired." -Emil Sauer

"The greatest respect an artist can pay to music is to give it life." -Pablo Casals, 1956

"We shall never become musicinas unless we understand the ideals of temperence, fortitude, liberality and magnificence." -Friederich Nietzsche, The Twilight of the Idols, 1888

"Music is an agreeable harmony or the honor of God and the permissable delights of the soul. I cannot cincieve of music that expresses absolutely nothing." -Bela Bartok, 1881-1941

"Omit no opportunity to play with others - in duos, trios, etc., It makes your playing fluent, spirited and easy." -Robert Schumann

"Without enthusiasm, nothing real comes of Art." -Robert Schumann

"Give me the best instrument in the world, and listeners who understand nothing and do notsympathize with me in what I am doing - I no longer feel any pleasure." -Wolfgang Amadeus Mozart

"All one's life is a music, if one touches teh notes rightly and in tune. There's no music in a 'rest' that I know of, but there's the making of music in it, and people are always missing that part of the life melody, and scrambling on without counting." -Rushkin

"The road to perfection, to mastership, lies in the direction of constant application." -Werz

"The abundance of musical literature is the delight of its ripened scholars, the despair of th ehalf ripe, and the bedazzlement of the beginner. One begins by resolving to knwo everything to know everything,, soon he despairs of knowing anything, at last is glad to know something." -J.S. Van Cleve

"Nothing is more odious than music without hidden meaning." -Frederick Chopin, 1810-1849

"Look out! Be on your guard, because alone of all of the arts, music moves all around you. If the musici doesn't say it, how can words say it for the music?" -John Coltrane, 1926-1967

"Music is meaningless noise, until it touches a receiving mind." -Paul Hindemith, A Composer's World, 1961

"Music is an outburst of the soul." -Frederick Delius, 1862-1934

"No man is complete without a feeling for music and an understanding  of what it  can do for him." -Zoltan Kodlay, August, 1966

"Yea, music is the Prophet's art. Among the gifts that God has, one of the most magnificent, and what is best in music is not found in the notes." -Gustav Mahler, 1860-1911

"Music is a special kind of harmonious language." -Giocomo Rossini, 1792-1868

"Music is a sort of dream architecture, which passes in filmy clouds and then disappears into nothingness." -Percy A. Scholes, A Listener's Guitde to Music, 1919

"Music is not an acquired culture... it is an active part of natural life." -Isaac Sterns, 1973

"Try in a composition to bring out the impression which the composer had in his mind." -Robert Schumann, 1810-1856

"In the pure state, music is free speculation." -Igor Stravinsky, The Poetics of Music, 1947

"Music is not illusion, but relevation, rather. Its triumphant power resides in the fact that it reveals to us beauties we find nowhere else, and that thre apprehension of them is not transitory, but a perpetual reconcilement of life." -Peter Illich Tschaikovsky, 1840-1897

"Oh, how difficult it is to make anyone see and feel in music what we see and feel ourselves." -Peter Illich Tschaikovsky, 1878

"Music is the inarticulate speech of the heart, which cannot be compressed into words, because it is infinite." -1813-1880

"Hidden music counts for nothing." -Nero, 58AD
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