„Music would take over at the point at which words become powerless, with the one and only object of expressing that which nothing but music could express.“
— Claude Debussy French composer 1862 - 1918
Context: Music would take over at the point at which words become powerless, with the one and only object of expressing that which nothing but music could express. For this, I need a text by a poet who, resorting to discreet suggestion rather than full statement, will enable me to graft my dream upon his dream — who will give me plain human beings in a setting belonging to no particular period or country. … Then I do not wish my music to drown the words, nor to delay the course of the action. I want no purely musical developments which are not called for inevitably by the text. In opera there is always too much singing. Music should be as swift and mobile as the words themselves. As quoted in Debussy (1989) by Paul Holmes, p. 36
— Ralph Waldo Emerson American philosopher, essayist, and poet 1803 - 1882
Merlin's Song II
„People often complain that music is too ambiguous, that what they should think when they hear it is so unclear, whereas everyone understands words. With me, it is exactly the opposite, and not only with regard to an entire speech but also with individual words. These, too, seem to me so ambiguous, so vague, so easily misunderstood in comparison to genuine music, which fills the soul with a thousand things better than words. The thoughts which are expressed to me by music that I love are not too indefinite to be put into words, but on the contrary, too definite.“
— Felix Mendelssohn German composer, pianist and conductor 1809 - 1847
Letter to Marc-André Souchay, October 15, 1842, cited from Briefe aus den Jahren 1830 bis 1847 (Leipzig: Hermann Mendelssohn, 1878) p. 221; translation from Felix Mendelssohn (ed. Gisella Selden-Goth) Letters (New York: Pantheon, 1945) pp. 313-14.
— Kurt Cobain American musician and artist 1967 - 1994
As quoted in M.E.A.T (1991-09).
„Sometimes we like a book, sometimes we prefer music. Sometimes we want to sing out with hundreds, sometimes only whisper with a few. Sometimes we want to say it with words, sometimes with a deep silence.“
— Henri Nouwen Dutch priest and writer 1932 - 1996
Context: Only within this kind of life does a spoken prayer make sense. A prayer in church, at table or in school is only a witness to what we want to make of our entire lives. Such a prayer reminds us that praying is living and it invites us to make this an ever-greater reality. Thus, there are as many ways to pray as there are moments in life. Sometimes we seek out a quiet spot and want to be alone, sometimes we look for a friend and want to be together. Sometimes we like a book, sometimes we prefer music. Sometimes we want to sing out with hundreds, sometimes only whisper with a few. Sometimes we want to say it with words, sometimes with a deep silence.
— George MacDonald Scottish journalist, novelist 1824 - 1905
The Hands of the Father
„A literary work can only be received through symbols, through concepts — for that is what words are; but cinema, like music, allows for utterly direct, emotional, sensuous perception of the work.“
— Andrei Tarkovsky Soviet and Russian film-maker, writer, film editor, film theorist, theatre and opera director 1932 - 1986
„Speech is civilization itself. The word, even the most contradictory word, preserves contact — it is silence which isolates.“
— Thomas Mann German novelist, and 1929 Nobel Prize laureate 1875 - 1955
— Elie Wiesel writer, professor, political activist, Nobel Laureate, and Holocaust survivor 1928 - 2016
„I can only think of music as something inherent in every human being - a birthright. Music coordinates mind, body and spirit.“
— Yehudi Menuhin American violinist and conductor 1916 - 1999
Quoted in: Dream It. List It. Do It!: How to Live a Bigger & Bolder Life, from the Life List Experts at 43Things.com http://books.google.co.in/books?id=_PBV0WJr9vsC&pg=PA98, Workman Publishing, 25 December 2008, p. 98