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He fumbles at your spirit As players at the keys Before they drop full music on; He stuns you by degrees. Prepares your brittle substance For the ethereal blow by fainter hammers, further heard, Then nearer, then so slow Your breath has time to straighten Your brain to bubble cool,- Deals one imperial thunderbolt That scalps your naked soul.
Nobody is made anything by hearing of rules, or laying them up in his memory; practice must settle the habit of doing, without reflecting on the rule; and you may as well hope to make a good painter, or musician, extempore, by a lecture and instruction in the arts of music and painting, as a coherent thinker, or a strict reasoner, by a set of rules, showing him wherein right reasoning consists.
Bourgeois sport [wants] to differentiate itself strictly from play. Its bestial seriousness consists in the fact that instead of reamaining faithful to the dream of freedom by getting away from purposiveness, the treatment of play as a duty puts it among useful purposes and thereby wipes out the trace of freedom in it. This is particularly valid for contemporary mass music. It is only play as a repetition of prescribed models, and the playful release from responsibility which is thereby achieved does not reduce at all the time devoted to duty except by transferring the responsibility to the models, the following of which one makes into a duty for himself.
Music is the purest form of art, and therefore the most direct expression of beauty, with a form and spirit which is one and simple, and least encumbered with anything extraneous. We seem to feel that the manifestation of the infinite in the finite forms of creation is music itself, silent and visible.