|News Guides Performances What Is Music?
EDGAR ALLAN POE
Sense & Imitation
|Democratic Review, December, 1844 (excerpt)
I know that indefinitiveness is an element of the true music- I mean of the true musical expression. Give to it any undue decision- imbue it with any very determinate tone- and you deprive it at once of its ethereal, its ideal, its intrinsic and essential character. You dispel its luxury of dream. You dissolve the atmosphere of the mystic upon which it floats. You exhaust it of its breath of fiery. It now becomes a tangible and easily appreciable idea- a thing of the earth, earthy. It has not, indeed, lost its power to please, but all which I consider the distinctiveness of that power. And to the uncultivated talent, or to the unimaginative apprehension, this deprivation of its most delicate air will be, not unfrequently, a recommendation.
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