Aaron Copland (1900-1990)
- To stop the flow of music would be like the stopping of time itself, incredible and inconceivable.
- Most people use music as a couch; they want to be pillowed on it, relaxed and consoled for the stress of daily living. But serious music was never meant to be soporific.
- The greatest moments of the human spirit may be deduced from the greatest moments in music.
- You compose because you want to somehow summarize in some permanent form your most basic feelings about being alive, to set down some sort of permanent statement about the way it feels to live now, today.
- Music that is born complex is not inherently better or worse than music that is born simple.
- The main thing is to be satisfied with your work yourself. It’s useless to have an audience happy if you are not happy.
- If you want to know about the Sixties, play the music of The Beatles.
- For me, the most important thing is the element of chance that is built into a live performance. The very great drawback of recorded sound is the fact that it is always the same. No matter how wonderful a recording is, I know that I couldn’t live with it — even of my own music — with the same nuances forever.
- Composers tend to assume that everyone loves music. Surprisingly enough, everyone doesn’t.
- I don’t compose. I assemble materials.
- When I speak of the gifted listener, I am thinking of the nonmusician primarily, of the listener who intends to retain his amateur status. It is the thought of just such a listener that excites the composer in me.
- There is something about music that keeps its distance even at the moment that it engulfs us. It is at the same time outside and away from us and inside and part of us. In one sense it dwarfs us, and in another we master it. We are led on and on, and yet in some strange way we never lose control.
- I adore extravagance, but I abhor waste.
- Mozart tapped the source from which all music flows, expressing himself with a spontaeity and refinement and breathtaking rightness.
- So long as the human spirit thrives on this planet, music in some living form will accompany and sustain it and give it expressive meaning.
- Listening to the Fifth Symphony of Ralph Vaughan Williams is like staring at a cow for 45 minutes.
November 24, 2020 at 8:44 am
Bob Urbani my favorite is God gave us music so we may pray without words.
November 24, 2020 at 12:47 pm
Ah! I like that one, too and had forgotten about it! Thanks so much for the addition, Bob.