Soprano & Voice Teacher, North York, Toronto, (Don Mills & Sheppard)


I'd like to share on this blog things that inspired me (relating to music, singing & vocal pedagogy) - hopefully they will inspire you too! Frequency - about once a month. You are welcome to leave your comments and suggestions or e-mail me.

I will also publish in this blog events and performances and you are also welcome to visit my official website or voice studio website. Happy reading and singing!

~ Miriam

Saturday, March 13, 2010

Expanding the Definition of Music

Going another step further... Listen, if you can, to this song: Who Are Parents by The Shaggs. OK, this is not an example of good vocal technique, but... Is this art? Just because it is original and creative? Is this music or is it not? What IS music? You can vote in this online poll.

If you can't view the video, click here.

Some quotes - may help you shape your opinion:

  • "Music, even in situations of the greatest horror, should never be painful to the ear but should flatter and charm it, and thereby always remain music." ~Wolfgang Amadeus Mozart
  • "When music fails to agree to the ear, to soothe the ear and the heart and the senses, then it has missed the point." ~Maria Callas
  • "The first question I ask myself when something doesn't seem to be beautiful is why do I think it's not beautiful. And very shortly you discover that there is no reason." ~John Cage (then again, many people consider him more an inventor than composer/musician)
  • "If something is boring after two minutes, try it for four. If still boring, then eight. Then sixteen. Then thirty-two. Eventually one discovers that it is not boring at all." ~John Cage
  • "At Bloomington, Indiana, I was invited to listen to music written in quarter tones for four harps and voices. I had to go out to be sick." ~Elisabeth Schwarzkopf
  • Shostakovich: "What do you think of Puccini?"
    Britten: "I think his operas are dreadful."
    Shostakovich: "No, Ben, you are wrong. He wrote marvellous operas, but dreadful music."
  • "Wagner has lovely moments but awful quarters of an hour." ~Gioacchino Rossini
  • "I have been told that Wagner's music is better than it sounds." ~Mark Twain
  • "Not until the turn of the century did the outlines of the new world discovered in Tristan begin to take shape. Music reacted to it as a human body to an injected serum, which it at first strives to exclude as a poison, and only afterwards learns to accept as necessary and even wholesome." ~Paul Hindemith
  • "The aim and final end of all music should be none other than the glory of God and the refreshment of the soul." ~Johann Sebastian Bach
  • (About Bach) "Too much counterpoint; what is worse, Protestant counterpoint." ~Thomas Beecham
  • Composers should write tunes that chauffeurs and errand boys can whistle. ~Thomas Beecham
  • Movie music is noise... even more painful than my sciatica. ~Thomas Beecham
  • Great music is that which penetrates the ear with facility and leaves the memory with difficulty. Magical music never leaves the memory. ~Thomas Beecham
  • "My idea is that there is music in the air, music all around us; the world is full of it, and you simply take as much as you require." ~Edward Elgar
  • "Music rots when it gets too far from the dance. Poetry atrophies when it gets too far from music." ~Ezra Pound
  • "The Irish gave the bagpipes to the Scots as a joke, but the Scots haven't got the joke yet." ~Oliver Herford
  • "Most people use music as a couch; they want to be pillowed on it, relaxed and consoled for the stress of daily living. But serious music was never meant to be soporific." ~Aaron Copland

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