Works in Progress

Debra Lynn's Compositional Journey


Composer Quotes


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 →


Rehearsal and voice lesson quotes compiled by students - things my student assistants have found penciled in the margins of music returned at the end of the semester. Rational thinking? Not so much. Creative thinking? We've got this! Perspective changes... Continue Reading →


Benjamin Britten (1913-1976) It is cruel, you know, that music should be so beautiful. It has the beauty of loneliness of pain: of strength and freedom. The beauty of disappointment and never-satisfied love. The cruel beauty of nature and everlasting... Continue Reading →

S. Copeland

Stewart Copeland (b. 1952) A collaborative artistic experience is a minefield. Making music has gotten easier; selling it has gotten harder. Making music has been democratized, but the market is in the hands of fascists. The great opera composers were... Continue Reading →

C. Schumann

Clara Schumann (1819-1896) There is nothing greater than the joy of composing something oneself and then listening to it. My health may be better preserved if I exert myself less, but in the end doesn't each person give his life... Continue Reading →


Igor Stravinsky (1882-1971) I haven't understood a bar of music in my life, but I have felt it. To listen is an effort, and just to hear is no merit. A duck hears also. Too many pieces of music finish... Continue Reading →

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