Great Throughts Treasury

A database of quotes

Paul Hindemith

German Composer, Violinist, Violin Teacher, Music Theorist and Conductor

"We all know the impression of a heavy flash of lightning in the night. Within a second's time we see a broad landscape, not only in its general outlines but with every detail. Although we could never describe each single component of the picture [Sign-mind task], we feel that not even the smallest leaf of grass escapes our attention. We experience a view, immensely comprehensive and at the same time immensely detailed, that we could never have under normal daylight conditions, if our senses and nerves were not strained by the extraordinary suddenness of the event. Compositions must be conceived in the same way."

"People who make music together cannot be enemies, at least while the music lasts."

"There are only two things worth aiming for: good music and a clean conscience."

"There are only twelve tones and they need to be treated carefully."

"This music, transmitted by loud-speakers, made a masterpiece appear like an amateurish attempt at composition by nimcompoop."

"My God, how can anyone ever be a master of music?"