What Does Music Mean?  13237

  • Unidentified Boogie-Woogie, c. 00:05:00


  • 00:05:57: “A sound that can seem very different if I play, or if I sing it, or if an oboe plays it, or if a xylophone plays it, or if a trombone plays it. It’s all the same note, only with a different sound.”
  • 00:42:30 (after Tchaikovsky 5): “Now we can really understand what the meaning of music is. It’s the way it makes you feel when you hear it … And we don’t have to know a lot of stuff about sharps and flats and chords and all that business in order to understand music, if it tells us something. Not a story, or a picture, but a feeling. If it makes us change inside, and have all those different good feelings that music can make you have, then you’re understanding it, and that’s all there is to it. Because those feelings aren’t like the stories and the pictures we talked about before. They’re not extra, they’re not outside the music. They belong to the music. They’re what music is about. And the most wonderful thing of all is that there’s no limit to the different kinds of feelings that music can make you have. And some of those feelings are so special and so deep, that they can’t even be described in words … And that’s where music is so special; it names them for us … You must never forget that music is movement, always going somewhere … And that movement can tell us more about the way we feel than a million words can.”


Full transcript available on Leonard Bernstein website.


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