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Leos Janacek

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The melodic curves of speech are an expression of the complete organism and of all phases of its spiritual activities. They demonstrate whether a man is stupid or intelligent, sleepy or awake, tired or alert. They tell us whether he is a child or an old man, whether it is morning or evening, light or darkness, heat or frost, and disclose whether a person is alone or in company. The art of dramatic writing is to compose a melodic curve that will, as if by magic, reveal immediately a human being in one definite phase of his existence.
Leoš Janáček: Letters and Reminiscences (Stedron, Bohumir, ed. Translated by Geraldine Thomsen. Prague: Artia, 1995).

Leos Janacek

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Ideally, a song should contain both elements of high melodic tension, and low melodic tension. No listener wants to sit through a totally high-energy 180 BPM non-stop 6-minute ride through synth mania unless they are already busy grooving madly on some dance floor in a smoky club somewhere. Also, unless your listener is on heavy sedation, he or she will not enjoy your sparse 18-minute ambient tune which consists of the same languid piano riff repeated over and over again.

Andrew Sega

The human mind in all countries having gone to the uttermost limit of its own capacity, flushed with its conquests, haughty after its self-assertion upon emerging from the prior dark age, is now nearing a new phase, a phase inherent in the nature and destiny of things.
The human mind, like the silk-worm oppressed with the fullness of its own accumulation, has spun about itself gradually and slowly a cocoon that at last has shut out the light of the world from which it drew the substance of its thread. But this darkness has produced the chrysalis, and we within the darkness feel the beginning of our throes. The inevitable change, after centuries upon centuries of preparation, is about to begin.

Louis Sullivan

Nothing was said. And on crawled the little procession in the direction of Summerhouses, men and animals, men-animals, five souls. The pale red sun grazed the surface of the moorland bluffs on this northern winter's morning which was really only an evening. And yet it was midday. The light gilded the clouds of snow flying over the moors so that they seemed one unbroken ocean of fire, one radiant fire of gold with streaming flames and glimmering smoke from east to west over the whole frozen expanse. Through this golden fire of frost, comparable in its magic to nothing but the most powerful and elaborate witchcraft of the Ballads, lay their homeward way.

Halldor Laxness

My solos are speech-influenced rhythmically; and harmonically, they're either pentatonic, or poly-scale oriented. And there's the mixolydian mode that I also use a lot...But I'm more interested in melodic things I think the biggest challenge when you go to play a solo is trying to invent a melody on the spot.

Frank Zappa

imagine a child sitting and drawing with a pencil, drawing whatever occurs to a child, whatever a child recklessly and disconnectedly dashes off; but behind the child stands an invisible artist who guides his hand so that the drawing that is about to become disordered submits to the law of beauty, so that the line that is about to go astray is called back within the boundary of beauty-imagine the child’s amazement! Or imagine that child puts his drawing aside in the evening, but while he sleeps a friendly hand finishes the jumbled and poorly begun sketch-imagine a child’s wonder when he sees his drawing again in the morning! So also with a person; let us never forget that even the more mature person always retains some of the child’s lack of judgment, especially if the prayer is to assist the explanation, not as the essential but as the means.

Soren Aabye Kierkegaard
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