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Strictly speaking, there are no such things as good and bad impulses. Think...of a piano. It has not got two kinds of notes on it, the 'right' notes and the 'wrong' ones. Every single note is right at one time and wrong at another. The Moral Law is not any one instinct or set of instincts: it is something which makes a kind of tune (the tune we call goodness or right conduct) by directing the instincts.
It is a recognised fact that the greatest composers were likewise the greatest virtuosos; but did they play like the pianists of the present day, who run up and down the keyboard with passages studied beforehand? Pooh! pooh! pooh! Don't tell me! A real virtuoso, when extemporising, plays pieces which hold together and possess a form. Were the ideas in them fixed instantly on paper, they would be taken for pieces written at leisure. That is what I call playing the piano; everything else is a bad joke.
One's own free unfettered choice, one's own caprice-however wild it may be, one's own fancy worked up at times to frenzy-is that very "most advantageous advantage" which we have overlooked, which comes under no classification and against which all systems and theories are continually being shattered to atoms... [an]will attain his object-that is, convince himself he is a man and not a piano-key!
A thrumming of piano-strings beyond the gardens and through the elms. At length the melody steals into my being. I know not when it began to occupy me. By some fortunate coincidence of thought or circumstance I am attuned to the universe, I am fitted to hear, my being moves in a sphere of melody, my fancy and imagination are excited to an inconceivable degree. This is no longer the dull earth on which I stood.
A man of intellect is like an artist who gives a concert without any help from anyone else, playing on a single instrument — a piano, say, which is a little orchestra in itself. Such a man is a little world in himself; and the effect produced by various instruments together, he produces single-handed, in the unity of his own consciousness. Like the piano, he has no place in a symphony; he is a soloist and performs by himself — in solitude, it may be; or if in the company with other instruments, only as principal; or for setting the tone, as in singing.
For my whole life I can't remember not doing what I'm doing now, and I'm seventy. I was picking out four-part harmony at eight and nine years of age on the piano. Why? I don't know. I don't care. All I know is it's there and harmony is something that really stimulates the hell out of me. I just saw each thing as a logical exposure to something which I developed further.
Most of the time I sit down with my guitar or at the piano, and I play for awhile until I get a new riff or groove that I like a lot. Then I'll concentrate on building around that line of thought by adding words and textures. At first I'm only trying to please myself, and hopefully what I like will appeal to others.