I have been studying, listening and playing music most of my life. Throughout that time I have read a tonne of definitions and quotes trying to summarize what music really is. The one I identify the most with I read in the book The Third Ear from one of the Europe’s great music journalists, writers and jazz producers Joachim-Ernst Berendt. In the book he quotes another German poet and novelist Hermann Hesse:
“Music is Time Made Aesthetically Perceptible”.
Isn’t it simple and beautiful? And Hesse continues:
“As the present. And the identity of the present moment and Eternity once again becomes apparent.”
All mindful, clear and poetic at the same time.
And here is another quote from Joachim-Ernst Berendt himself. He goes way above music itself when defining his understanding of the universe: