I used to put a monthly quotation on this website, but I stopped when I ran out of ideas. So here is the archive of those. This page is being completely re-organised. Please bear with me till it’s finished.
Quotes about Bassoons
April ’10: ‘I can’t wait for the contras to march into the town and liberate it’. (David Horowitz, American right wing activist, 19 Jan 2009).
‘There once was a brainy baboon
who always breathed down a bassoon
for he said, “It appears
that in billions of years
I shall certainly hit on a tune” ‘
Ezra Pound (1885-1972).
Jan ’11: ‘Poot-pooooot! went a blown nose, like a bassoon in a tunnel’. (Diana Wynne Jones).
Feb ’11: ‘The bassoon is one of my favourite instruments. It has the medieval aroma, like the days of old when everything used to sound like that’. (Frank Zappa).
March ’11: ‘Some people crave baseball – I find this unfathomable but I can easily understand why a person could get excited about playing a bassoon’. (Frank Zappa (1940-1993)).
May ’12: ‘I might even find a husband – a nice bassoonist or something.’ Josie Lawrence, British television comedian.
July/Aug ’13: ‘Very few bassoonists seem to phrase rhythmically enough to blend in with clarinets.’ Nelson Riddle (American composer, arranger and … trombonist!!!) (1921 – 1985).
Feb ’14: ‘As for the four bassoons, they are almost the rule in all French scores, and I need them like my daily bread.’ Richard Strauss in a letter to Ludwig Thuille, 13 Feb 1893.
March ’14: ‘I’m inclined to think that the bassoons are a little overburdened.’ Richard Strauss.
Aug/Sept ’14: ‘The Wedding-Guest here beat his breast, For he heard the loud bassoon’. The Rime of the Ancient Marriner, Samuel Taylor Coleridge.
Quotes about Reeds
September 09: ‘I believe he has received eleven different kinds of canes in the last three weeks’. (Mark Twain referring to US President Andrew Johnson).
October 09: ‘I beseech your Lordships to be merciful to a broken reed’. (Francis Bacon (1621)).
March ’10: One who has been bitten by a snake startles at a reed’. (Sahili proverb).
May ’10: ‘The little reed, bending to the force of the wind, soon stood upright again when the storm had passed over’. (Aesop).
Sept ’10: ‘There is spirit in a reed.’ (Steve Lacey. Soprano sax player. 1934-2004).
Oct ’10: ‘A very slim reed to hang your whole life on.’ (Woody Allen).
April ’11: ‘The wild emotions that agitate a reed’ (Mary Wollstonecraft 1792 (A vindication of the Rights of Woman)).
May ’11: ‘A reed over which every passing breeze has power’ (Mary Wollstonecraft 1792 (A vindication of the Rights of Woman)).
June ’11: ‘A reed, dumb and silent, when all else sings together in unison’ (Khalil Gibran (1883-1931) (Lebanese Poet))
August ’11: ‘No matter how desperate the predicament is, I am always very much in earnest about clutching my cane.’ (Charlie Chaplin).
Feb ’13: ‘I’d like to thank all parents who have supported and encouraged their children to respect and observe the Reed Dance and for believing in me as their King’ : Zulu King, King Zwelithini kaBhekizuluin .
May/June ’13: ‘For drink, there was beer which was very strong when not mingled with water, but was agreeable to those who were used to it. They drank this with a reed, out of the vessel that held the beer.’ Xenophon (c. 430 – 354 BC).
April / May ’14: ‘The passages are stopped, and the reeds they have burned with fire’ Jeremiah 51:32.
Quotes about Music
April 09: ‘Western music is fast because it’s not in tune’, (Terry Riley (1935-), the seminal minimalist composer).
Nov ’10: ‘Music is too important not to give it my full attention.’ (David Attenborough).
Dec ’10: ‘Music with dinner is an insult both to the cook and the violinist.’ (G.K. Chesterton).
Sept ’11: ‘Music is the shorthand of emotion.’ Leo Tolstoy (1828 – 1910).
Oct ’11: ‘What hath God wrought?’ Samuel Morse (1791-1872).
Nov ’11: ‘Sharper than a serpent’s tooth’. Shakespeare (King Lear)
Dec ’11: ‘Men’s evil manners live in brass.’ Shakespeare (Henry VIII)
Jan ’12: ‘Blow, wind, and crack your cheeks.’ Shakespeare (King Lear)
April ’12: ”Winter with its bitin’, whinin’ wind.’ Roy Bean (1825-1903) (eccentric US judge).
June – July ’12: ‘We don’t stop playing because we grow old; we grow old because we stop playing.’ Geoge Bernard Shaw (1856 – 1950).
Sept ’12: ‘The sound of silence is music to the heart.’ Dr P.D.Larson and Dr D.C.Galletly.
Nov/Dec ’12: ‘What is it about this business of scaring yourself half to death that seems to be fun?’ Bill Mason (1929 – 1988) (Canoeist, author and film-maker).
Jan ’13: ‘Music is not a privilege, it is an everyday necessity.’ Sir Antonio Pappano (Music Director Royal Opera House) .
March / April ’13: ‘What profit hath he that hath laboured for the wind?’ Ecclesiastes V:xvi.
Sept/Oct ’13: ‘The art of acting consists in keeping people from coughing.’ Benjamin Franklin (1706-1790).
June/July ’14: ‘I don’t care what you play as long as it’s loud’. Georg Solti in a rehearsal of Frau ohne Schatten at the Royal Opera House’.
Jan ’14: ‘There is a thing, Harry,
which thou hast often heard of and it is known to
many in our land by the name of pitch: this pitch,
as ancient writers do report, doth defile.’ Shakespeare, Henry the Fourth Part One.
Harry S Truman, the 33rd US President once said: ‘It is amazing what you can accomplish if you do not care who gets the credit’. A useful motto for sub-principal wind players, I thought.
Quotes about Practice
March 09: ”Le hasard ne favorise que les esprits prepares’. (‘Chance favours the prepared mind’).(Louis Pasteur (1822-1895)).
May 09: When Abraham Lincoln was asked how long a man’s legs must be, he replied: ‘Long enough to reach the ground’. So when a student asks how much practice they should do …!
June 09: ‘Keep calm and carry on’. (British Government’s Ministry of Information 1939).
July 09: ‘Patience is bitter but its fruit is sweet’. (Variously attributed to Aristotle, Jean-Jacques Rousseau or an Afghan proverb).
August 09: ‘It’s only when the tide goes out that you learn who’s been swimming naked’. (Warren Buffett).
November 09: ‘When you practise slowly, you learn fast’. (Alexander Dumas).
January ’10: ‘Insanity: doing the same thing over and over again and expecting different results’. (Albert Einstein).
February ’10: ‘Never mistake activity for achievement’. (John Wooden the renowned basketball coach).
March ’12: ‘When eating an elephant take one bite at a time.’ Creighton Abrams (1914 – 1974), US Army General.
August ’12: ‘Practice makes permanent.’ Bobby Robson (Football Manager) (1933 – 2009).
Oct ’12: ‘We are what we repeatedly do; excellence then is not an act, but a habit.’ Aristotle.
Nov/Dec ’13: ‘My most influential teacher was my bassoon teacher, Herbert Tauscher, who taught me that the only way to do something right is to practice and listen and practice and listen, hours, and hours, and hours.’ Tom Südhof, Nobel Prize-winner for Medicine.
Quotes about Teaching
December 09: ‘If you can’t explain it simply, you don’t understand it well enough’. (Albert Einstein).
August ’10: ‘Learn to listen; Listen to learn.’ (Balan Gothandaraman).
Feb ’12: ‘We should never confuse enthusiasm with capability.’ General Peter Schoomaker US Army Chief of Staff (b. 1946).