Evan Zelermyer wrote:
>"People often complain that music is too ambiguous; that what they
>should think when they hear it is so unclear, whereas everyone
>understands words. With me it is exactly the reverse. . . . The
>thoughts which are expressed to me by music that I love are not too
>indefinite to be put into words but, on the contrary, too definite."
And then from Stravinsky:
"The over-publicized bit about expression (or non-expression)
was simply a way of saying that music is supra-personal and
super-real and as such beyond verbal meanings and verbal
descriptions. It was aimed against the notion that a piece of
music is in reality a transcendental idea "expressed in terms
of" music, with the reductio ad absurdum implication that exact
sets of correlatives must exist between a composer's feelings
and his notation. It was offhand and annoyingly incomplete, but
even the stupider critics could have seen that it did not deny
musical expressivity, but only the validity of a type of verbal
statement about musical expressivity. I stand by the remark,
incidentally, though today I would put it the other way around:
music expresses itself."
Are both composers suggesting the specificity of music on its own terms?