Works in Progress

Debra Lynn's Compositional Journey


Composer Quotes


Kaija Saariaho (1952-2023) My relationship with nature isn't about admiring the aesthetics of a sunset; it's something much more physical that I carry inside me. I'm very sensitive to light and I'm inspired by it. Sometimes I genuinely think about the... Continue Reading →


Hildegard von Bingen (1098-1179) Dare to declare who you are. It is not far from the shores of silence to the boundaries of speech. the path is not long, but the way is deep. You must not only walk there,... Continue Reading →


William Grant Still (1895-1978) I don't think that it is good for the world of music to have everything come out of the same mold. God didn't place only roses on earth, or only lilies or only violets. He put... Continue Reading →


Maurice Ravel (1875-1937) The only love affair I have ever had was with music. You might lose your spontaneity and, instead of composing first-rate Gershwin, end up with second-rate Ravel. (to George Gershwin when declining to instruct him in composition)... Continue Reading →


Quincy Jones (b. 1933) Ego is just over-dressed insecurity. Greatness occurs when your children love you, when your critics respect you, and when you have peace of mind. You have to know that your real home is within. Young people... Continue Reading →


Meredith Monk (b. 1942) That inner voice has both gentleness and clarity. So to get to authenticity, you really keep going down to the bone, to the honesty, and the inevitability of something. I think about that 'empty" space a... Continue Reading →


Enheduanna (c. 2285-2250 BCE) I, who am I among living creatures? With your strength, my lady, teeth can crush flint. What I have done here, no one has done before. You, who in accordance with the life-giving me, Great Queen... Continue Reading →


Sergei Prokofiev (1891-1953) In my view, the composer, just as the poet, the sculptor or the painter, is duty bound to serve Man, the people. He must beautify life and defend it. He must be a citizen first and foremost,... Continue Reading →


Leonard Bernstein (1918-1990) This will be our reply to violence: to make music more intensely, more beautifully, more devotedly than ever before. A liberal is a man or a woman or a child who looks forward to a better day, a... Continue Reading →

J. S. Bach

Johann Sebastian Bach (1685-1750) Music is an agreeable harmony for the honor of God and the permissible delights of the soul. I play the notes as they are written, but it is God who makes the music. There is nothing... Continue Reading →


Johannes Brahms (1833-1897) If there is anyone here whom I have not insulted, I beg his pardon. Without craftsmanship, inspiration is a mere reed shaken in the wind. The idea comes to me from outside of me -- and is... Continue Reading →


John Lennon (1940-1980) There are two basic motivating forces: fear and love. When we are afraid, we pull back from life. When we are in love, we open to all that life has to offer with passion, excitement, and acceptance.... Continue Reading →


Wolfgang Amadeus Mozart (1756-1791) The music is not in the notes, but in the silence between. When I am completely myself, entirely alone or during the night when I cannot sleep, it is on such occasions that my ideas flow... Continue Reading →

A. Copland

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... Continue Reading →


George Gershwin (1898-1937) True music must repeat the thought and inspirations of the people and the time. Upper berth, lower berth, that's the difference between talent and genius. Irving Berlin is the greatest songwriter that has ever lived... His songs... Continue Reading →


Krzysztof Penderecki (1933-2020) It was, of course, a shock to people at the time; but, the tonality was always there, waiting to be revealed. Traveling, talking to people, and rehearsing, I’m always finding new ideas. If I stay in one... Continue Reading →


Joan Tower (b. 1938) We have a requirement in the conservatory at Bard that you have to take composition for at least one semester. And it’s a fantastic idea... because it opens up the players to being on the other... Continue Reading →


Ludwig van Beethoven (1770-1827) Music is the one incorporeal entrance into the higher world of knowledge which comprehends mankind but which mankind cannot comprehend. Music is a higher revelation than all wisdom and philosophy. Music is the electrical soil in... Continue Reading →

N. Boulanger

Nadia Boulanger (1887-1979) The essential conditions of everything you do must be choice, love, passion. A great work is made out of a combination of obedience and liberty. Loving a child doesn't mean giving in to all his whims; to... Continue Reading →

C. Ives

Charles Ives (1874-1954) Every great inspiration is but an experiment - though every experiment we know, is not a great inspiration. There can be nothing exclusive about substantial art. It comes directly out of the heart of the experience of... Continue Reading →

Powered by

Up ↑