»Writing a piece of music is one thing. Making it sound like music another.«

»Music […] can name the unnameable and communicate the unknowable.«

»Music makes life more enjoyable, more exalted – more bearable.«

»When we touch one another through music, we are touching the heart, the mind, and the spirit, all at once.«

»The only way one can really say anything about music is to write music.«

»But there’s one very important thing we have to know about humor in music: it’s got to be funny for musical reasons. You see, music can’t make jokes about anything except itself; it can make fun of itself, or of other pieces of music; […]. And when music is funny, it’s funny in the same way that a joke is funny: it does something shocking, surprising, unexpected, absurd; it puts two things together that don’t belong together, which are, to use a very hard word, incongruous.«

»Humor, in or out of music, can be strong and important … It can make you even have deep emotions, but it’s still humor; because it makes you feel good inside. And that’s what music is for.«

»The key to the mystery of a great artist is that for reasons unknown, he will give away his energies and his life […] and leaves us with the feeling that something is right in the world.«

»We must never forget that music is movement, always going somewhere, shifting and changing, and flowing, from one note to another; and that movement can tell us more about the way we feel than a million words can.«

»If you love music, you are a believer, however dialectically you try to wiggle out of it…«

»The truth is that all great composers free music – not from the bondage of other composers, but from routine, from mediocrity, from second-rate, dusty tradition; in other words, a great composer frees music from the predictable.«

»Why do so many of us try to explain the beauty of music, thus depriving it of its mystery?«

»I am a fanatic music lover. I can’t live one day without hearing music, playing it, studying it, or thinking about it. And all this is quite apart from my professional role as a musician; I am a fan, a committed member of the music public.«

»I propose that the reading and understanding of music be taught to our children from the very beginning of their school life; and they learn to participate with enthusiasm in the study of music from kindergarten through high school.«

»In music, we are trapped in time. Each note is gone as soon as it is sounded and it never can be recontemplated or heard again in that particular instance of rightness. It is always too late for a second look.«

»Music is an act of love, that is why it is so rewarding.«

»The first and simplest way that music can be amusing is by simply imitating nature. It’s one of the oldest ways of making you laugh – by imitating things or people.«

»There’s no limit to the different kinds of feelings music can make you have… we have feelings so deep and so special that we have no words for them and that’s where music is so marvelous; music names them for us, only in notes instead of in words.«

»Meaning in music is an elusive thing … a meaningful series of tones is one which moves us in one way or another, one which has artistic truth. If Keats was right in saying ›Truth is beauty‹, and vice versa, any melody that strikes us as artistically true must be beautiful.«

»The composer comes first. In the beginning was the Note, and the Note was with God; and whosoever can reach for that Note, reach high, and bring it back to us on earth, to our earthly ears – he is a composer, and to the extent of his reach, partakes of the divine.«

»A great composer’s music will always last and last, perhaps forever, because people keep on feeling emotion whenever they hear it.«

»All music … depends for its hypnotic effect not just on its rhythmic repetitiveness but on the far more sophisticated fact that the melody, in all its languor and slinkiness, contrasts so sharply with the repetitive drumbeat.«

»Seit jeher haben sich die großen Denker gern in ein mystisches Dunkel gehüllt, wenn sie von der Musik sprachen. Sie wußten, daß ihre Schönheit und Vollkommenheit aus der Verschmelzung von Mathematik und Magie geboren wird.«

»Nichts kann zum Verständnis von Musik mehr beitragen, als sich hinzusetzen und selbst Musik zu machen.«

»Die Liebe zur Musik ist ein Glaube, wie immer man sich drehen und wenden mag.«

»Es gibt keine leichte oder ernste Musik, es gibt nur gute oder schlechte Musik.«

»Das ist die wichtigste Komponente des Musikschaffens – die Persönlichkeit des Komponisten, der mit Kopf und Herz ›etwas zu sagen‹ hat.«

»Tatsache ist, daß alle Musik ihrem Ursprung nach primitiv ist, denn sie ging aus der Volksmusik hervor, die ja notwendig einfach und naturhaft ist.«

»Wir bekommen Musik von allen Seiten, Musik, der wir nicht lauschen können, sondern die wir bloß hören. Wir gelangen zu einer Übersättigung, unsere Konzentrationsfähigkeit wird vermindert, unsere Ohren sind zu müde, um wirklich zuzuhören.«