HumanitiesWeb.org - Béla Bartók - Early Ethnomusicologist [Quotations]
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Béla Bartók
Quotations



"I cannot conceive of music that expresses absolutely nothing."
 
"What is the best way for a composer to reap the full benefits of his studies in peasant music? It is to assimilate the idiom of peasant music so completely that he is able to forget all about it and use it as his musical mother tongue. "
 
"The sacredness of church music, the joyfulness and soulfulness of folksongs are the two pivots around which revolve true music."
 
"A nation creates music--the composer only arranges it."
 
"Risk is a crucial element of communication through music. Just as truly creative musicians must be willing to be open, to examine their inner life, to throw aside familiar comforts and plunge into the unknown, so they must take risks during performance."
 
"If there is to be communication with the listener, the musician's doors leading inward must stay open. Through this opening, the listener is invited into the reality of the musician. This involves risk for the performer. The inner world of the musician, the creative fount, is personal and sacred."
 
"In a performance setting, there can be no monologues. Every note, every breath, each moment sends messages between musician and listener. To ignore this two-way flow of feeling and meaning is to relinquish artistry for ego-gratification. "
 
"Competition is for horses, not artists."
 
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