Sound Quotes

Quotes regarding sound.

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  • “A sound does not view itself as thought, as ought, as needing another sound for its elucidation, as etc.; it has not time for any consideration–it is occupied with the performance of its characteristics: before it has died away it must have made perfectly exact its frequency, its loudness, its length, its overtone structure, the precise morphology of these and of itself.”
    o John Cage (1955), quoted in Classic Essays on Twentieth-Century Music, ISBN 0028645812

  • “Music has no subject beyond the combinations of notes we hear, for music speaks not only by means of sounds, it speaks nothing but sound.”
    o Eduard Hanslick, quoted by Wolfgang Sandberger (1996) in the liner notes to the Juilliard String Quartet’s Intimate Letters. Sony Classical SK 66840.

  • You know the sound of two hands clapping; tell me, what is the sound of one hand?
    o Hakuin Ekaku (1686-1769). The phrase is a Kōan, an irrational comment used in Zen Buddhism in order to assist practitioners in reaching enlightenment.

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