I have learned throughout my life as a composer chiefly through my mistakes and pursuits of false assumptions, not by my exposure to founts of wisdom and knowledge.— Igor Stravinsky
The most memorable Igor Stravinsky quotes you will be delighted to read
I haven't understood a bar of music in my life, but I have felt it.
One has a nose. The nose scents and it chooses. An artist is simply a kind of pig snouting truffles.
My God, so much I like to drink Scotch that sometimes I think my name is Igor Stra-whiskey.
My freedom will be so much the greater and more meaningful the more narrowly I limit my field of action and the more I surround myself with obstacles. Whatever diminishes constraint diminishes strength. The more constraints one imposes, the more one frees one's self of the chains that shackle the spirit.
A good composer does not imitate; he steals.
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• Quotes about Music
Why is it that whenever I hear a piece of music I don't like, it's always by Villa Lobos?
Art is the opposite of chaos. Art is organized chaos.
Film music should have the same relationship to the film drama that somebody's piano playing in my living room has on the book I am reading.
Sins cannot be undone, only forgiven.
I take no pride in my artistic talents;
they are God-given and I see absolutely no reason to become puffed up over something that one has received.
Harpists spend 90 percent of their lives tuning their harps and 10 percent playing out of tune.
What force is more potent than love?
Music is given to us with the sole purpose of establishing an order in things, including, and particularly, the coordination between man and time.
Music is...the coordination between man and time.
To listen is an effort, and just to hear is no merit. A duck hears also.
Lesser artists borrow, great artists steal.
Too many pieces of music finish too long after the end.
Art postulates communion, and the artist has an imperative need to make others share the joy which he experiences himself.
Is it not by love alone that we succeed in penetrating to the very essence of being?
The Church knew what the psalmist knew: Music praises God.
Music is well or better able to praise him than the building of the church and all its decoration; it is the Church's greatest ornament.
I know that the twelve notes in each octave and the variety of rhythm offer me opportunities that all of human genius will never exhaust.
My music is best understood by children and animals.
It is the transcendent (or 'abstract' or 'self-contained') nature of music that the new so called concretism--Pop Art, eighteen-hour slices-of-reality films, musique concrete--opposes. But instead of bringing art and reality closer together, the new movement merely thins out the distinction.
The trouble with music appreciation in general is that people are taught to have too much respect for music; they should be taught to love it instead.
A plague on eminence! I hardly dare cross the street anymore without a convoy, and I am stared at wherever I go like an idiot member of a royal family or an animal in a zoo; and zoo animals have been known to die from stares.
Doomed to total failure in a deaf world of ignorance and indifference, he inexorably kept on cutting out his diamonds, his dazzling diamonds, of whose mines he had a perfect knowledge.
The more constraints one imposes, the more one frees one's self.
And the arbitrariness of the constraint serves only to obtain precision of execution.
There is music wherever there is rhythm, as there is life wherever there beats a pulse.
What gives the artist real prestige is his imitators.
Composition is selective improvisation.
I cannot now evaluate the events that, at the end of those thirty years, made me discover the necessity of religious belief. I was not reasoned into my disposition. Though I admire the structured thought of theology, it is to religion no more than counterpoint exercises are to music.
The trouble with music appreciation in general is that people are taught to have too much respect for music they should be taught to love it instead.
The faculty of creating is never given to us all by itself.
It always goes hand in hand with the gift of observation.
A cultural snob is someone who claims to be familiar with the incomprehensible.
The real composer thinks about his work the whole time;
he is not always conscious of this, but he is aware of it later when he suddenly knows what he will do.
My childhood was a period of waiting for the moment when I could send everyone and everything connected with it to hell.
Just as appetite comes by eating, so work brings inspiration, if inspiration is not discernible at the beginning.
The profound meaning of music's essential aim.
.. is to produce a communion, a union of man with his fellow man with the Supreme Being
Old age is a time of humiliations, the most disagreeable of which, for me, is that I cannot work long at sustained high pressure with no leaks in concentration.
Conductors' careers are made for the most part with 'Romantic' music.
'Classic' music eliminates the conductor; we do not remember him in it.
The true creator may be recognized by his ability always to find about him, in the commonest and humblest thing, items worthy of note.
To be deprived of art and left alone with philosophy is to be close to Hell.
An audience is an abstraction; it has no taste. It must depend on the only person who has (pardon, should have), the conductor.
The more constraints one imposes, the more one frees one
Silence will save me from being wrong (and foolish), but it will also deprive me of the possibility of being right.
The principle of the endless melody is the perpetual becoming of a music that never had any reason for starting, any more than it has any reason for ending.
It's one of nature's way that we often feel closer to distant generations than to the generation immediately preceding us.
Music is given to us specifically to make order of things, to move from an anarchic, individualistic state to a regulated, perfectly concious one, which alone insures vitality and durability.
I had another dream the other day about music critics.
They were small and rodent-like with padlocked ears, as if they had stepped out of a painting by Goya.