I've been a woman for a little over 50 years and have gotten over my initial astonishment. As for conducting an orchestra, that's a job where I don't think sex plays much part.

— Nadia Boulanger

The most almighty Nadia Boulanger quotes that will activate your desire to change

To study music, we must learn the rules. To create music, we must break them.


The essential conditions of everything you do must be choice, love, passion.


Life is denied by lack of attention, whether it be to cleaning windows or trying to write a masterpiece.


The art of music is so deep and profound that to approach it very seriously only is not enough. One must approach music with a serious rigor and, at the same time, with a great, affectionate joy.


I adore tradition. I cannot stand habit. Simply to repeat is nothing, also to destroy is nothing. Tradition is never interrupted, we are always evolving but never interrupted.


As far as the execution is concerned .

.. the most frequent and most serious mistake is to follow the music instead of preceding it.


The Constitution of the United States is not a mere lawyers' document;

it is a vehicle of life, and its spirit is always the spirit of the age.


Great art likes chains. The greatest artists have created art within bounds. Or else they have created their own chains.


[On being asked how it felt to be the first female conductor of the Boston Symphony:] I've been a woman for a little more than fifty years, and I've gotten over my original astonishment.


The great conductor is always a despot by temperament and intractable in his ways. ... The artist is obliged to keep his laughter and tears to himself. If they want to emerge, in spite of himself, then he must hide them or unleash them in someone else.


In music everything is prolonged, everything is edified, and when the enchantment has ceased, we are still bathed in its clarity; solitude is accompanied by a new hope between pity for ourselves - which makes us more indulgent and more understanding - and the certitude of finding something again, that which lives for ever in music.


A great work is made out of a combination of obedience and liberty.


About Nadia Boulanger

Quotes 35 sayings
Nationality French
Profession Musician
Birthday October 16

The history of harmony is the history of the development of the human ear, which has gradually assimilated, in their natural order, the successive intervals of the harmonic series.


Everything we know by heart enriches us and helps us find ourselves.

If it should get in the way of finding ourselves, it is because we have no personality.


Words created divergencies between beings, because their precise meanings put an opinion around the idea. Music only retains the highest and purest substance of the idea, since it has the privilege of expressing all, whilst excluding nothing.


Loving a child doesn't mean giving in to all his whims;

to love him is to bring out the best in him, to teach him to love what is difficult.


It is one thing to be gifted and quite another thing to be worthy of one's own gift.


Music was not invented by the composer, but found.


Do nothing for effect. Do it for truth.


Never forget that your days are blessed.

You may know how to profit by them, or you may not, but they are blesses.


Art is not emotion. Art is the medium in which emotion is expressed.


There is nothing boring in life except ourselves.


Without discipline, there can be no freedom.


It is easier to analyze a work in its form, in its evolution, than simply to love it with all the living forces of our heart. It is easier to define its peculiarities and its details than to draw out of it its emotion, its thought.


Without a strong cup to carry the emotion, it is only a curiosity.

Great art can come to us only in strong cups. Without emotion, there is nothing to carry.


Do not take up music unless you would rather die than not do so.


It is so much easier to rest contented with what we have already acquired than to change ever so slightly those routine but profound habits of thought and feeling which govern our life, and by which we live so blissfully. This mental inertia is, perhaps, our greatest enemy. Insidiously it leads us to assume that we can renew our lives without renewing our habits.


Without order there can be no inner satisfaction.

Without inner satisfaction there can be no freedom. Without freedom there is no joy.


False notes can be forgiven, false music cannot.


You should never listen to someone practice. That is their work and theirs alone.


[On the music of Richard Strauss:] Too many notes!


It is nothing to succeed if one has not taken great trouble, and it is nothing to fail if one has done the best one could.


Nothing is better than music; when it takes us out of time, it has done more for us than we have the right to hope for: it has broadened the limits of our sorrowful life, it has lit up the sweetness of our hours of happiness by effacing the pettinesses that diminish us, bringing us back pure and new to what was, what will be, what music has created for us.


Nothing is better than music; when it takes us out of time, it has done more for us than we have the right to hope for.

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