Berlioz on Music
“Music…embraces at once the real and the ideal… By suspending the rhythm that gives it movement and life, it can assume the aspect of death. With the play of harmonic means at its disposal, it might confine itself…to being a pleasant diversion for the mind; or, in its melodic sport, limit itself to tickling the ear. But when it concentrates at one and the same time all its powers on the sense of hearing which it skillfully charms or offends, on the nervous system which it excites, the circulation of the blood which it accelerates, the brain which it sets on fire, the heart which it fills and quickens, the mind which it enlarges beyond measure and launches into the infinite, then it is acting in its proper realm…; then [music’s] power is enormous, and I hardly know what other power it could seriously be compared with."
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