Perhaps within the next hundred years, science will perfect a process of thought transference from composer to listener. The composer will sit alone on the concert stage and merely 'think' his idealized conception of his music. Instead of recordings of actual music sound, recordings will carry the brainwaves of the composer directly to the mind of the listener.
When I'm writing a play I hear it like music. I use the same indications that a composer does for duration. There's a difference, I tell my students, between a semi-colon and a period. A difference in duration. And we have all these wonderful things, we use commas and underlining and all the wonderful punctuation things we can use in the same way a composer uses them in music. And we can indicate, as specifically as a composer, the way we want our piece to sound.
The musical emotion springs precisely from the fact that at each moment the composer withholds or adds more or less than the listener anticipates on the basis of a pattern that he thinks he can guess, but that he is incapable of wholly divining. If the composer withholds more than we anticipate, we experience a delicious falling sensation; we feel we have been torn from a stable point on the musical ladder and thrust into the void. When the composer withholds less, the opposite occurs: he forces us to perform gymnastic exercises more skillful than our own.
If I do a play, it's my vision, and everybody else is working on the production to support that. If I do an opera, I feel like part of my job is to support that composer, to try and create something that allows the composer to do his or her best work. In movies, it's usually the director.
David Henry Hwang
I don't ascribe to the idea of the ivory tower composer who sits alone in a room composing his masterpieces and then comes down from Mount Sinai with the tablets. It doesn't work like that. The job of a composer is putting something down on a piece of paper that will inspire the person who's playing.
A person taking stock in middle age is like an artist or composer looking at an unfinished work; but whereas the composer and the painter can erase some of their past efforts, we cannot. We are stuck with what we have lived through. The trick is to finish it with a sense of design and a flourish rather than to patch up the holes or merely to add new patches to it.
Harry S. Broudy
The composer reveals the innermost nature of the world, and expresses the profoundest wisdom in a language that his reasoning faculty does not understand, just as a magnetic somnambulist gives information about things of which she has no conception when she is awake. Therefore in the composer, more than in any other artist, the man is entirely separate and distinct from the artist.
When I finally got together with Rostropovich as a student, he was very focused, almost entirely focused on the music itself, on what the composer had in mind and what he knew about the composer. Many of the works that I played for him had in fact been composed and written for him; he was often the first performer of these works, having known the composers personally.
Perhaps the chief requirement of [the conductor] is that he be humble before the composer; that he never interpose himself between the music and the audience; that all his efforts, however strenuous or glamorous, be made in the service of the composer's meaning - the music itself, which, after all, is the whole reason for the conductor's existence.
I think that if I were required to spend the rest of my life on a desert island, and to listen to or play the music of any one composer during all that time, that composer would almost certainly be Bach. I really can't think of any other music which is so all-encompassing, which moves me so deeply and so consistently, and which, to use a rather imprecise word, is valuable beyond all of its skill and brilliance for something more meaningful than that "" its humanity.
Be persistent. Establishing yourself in this field could easily take years. Rarely will any composer get that one "big break." More often, success is built on hundreds - or thousands - of very small breaks. When I decided that I was definitely going to pursue a career as a film composer, I decided I was going to beat my head against that particular wall until something broke.
Composer" is a word which here means "a person who sits in a room, muttering and humming and figuring out what notes the orchestra is going to play." This is called composing. But last night, the Composer was not muttering. He was not humming. He was not moving, or even breathing. This is called decomposing.
When we play music we describe the echo the tableau of natural forms, their shapes and arrangements, as uncovered by the composer's imagination, which yet must be filtered through our own. There is no other way. And in acknowledging this tableau, this revelation, we must "hesitate", we must doubt, as the composer doubted, for no valid creation can issue unscarred by doubt, by that vast flux of wonder which precedes the construction of being.
I went to a concert upstairs in Town Hall. The composer whose works were being performed had provided program notes. One of these notes was to the effect that there is too much pain in the world. After the concert I was walking along with the composer and he was telling me how the performances had not been quite up to snuff. So I said, "Well, I enjoyed the music, but I didn't agree with that program note about there being too much pain in the world." He said, "What? Don't you think there's enough?" I said, "I think there's just the right amount.
...stories about [the German composer Johannes] Brahms's rudeness and wit amused me in particular. For instance, I loved the one about how a great wine connoisseur invited the composer to dinner. 'This is the Brahms of my cellar,' he said to his guests, producing a dust-covered bottle and pouring some into the master's glass. Brahms looked first at the color of the wine, then sniffed its bouquet, finally took a sip, and put the glass down without saying a word. 'Don't you like it?' asked the host. 'Hmm,' Brahms muttered. 'Better bring your Beethoven!'
Music can be appreciated from several points of view: the listener, the performer, the composer. In mathematics there is nothing analogous to the listener; and even if there were, it would be the composer, rather than the performer, that would interest him. It is the creation of new mathematics, rather than its mundane practice, that is interesting. Mathematics is not about symbols and calculations. These are just tools of the tradequavers and crotchets and five-finger exercises. Mathematics is about ideas. In particular it is about the way that different ideas relate to each other. If certain information is known, what else must necessarily follow? The aim of mathematics is to understand such questions by stripping away the inessentials and penetrating to the core of the problem. It is not just a question of getting the right answer; more a matter of understanding why an answer is possible at all, and why it takes the form that it does. Good mathematics has an air of economy and an element of surprise. But, above all, it has significance.