Symphony Quotes (5 quotes)
An evolution is a series of events that in itself as series is purely physical, a set of necessary occurrences in the world of space and time. An egg develops into a chick; a planet condenses from the fluid state, and develops the life that for millions of years makes it so wondrous a place. Look upon all these things descriptively, and you shall see nothing but matter moving instant after instant, each instant containing in its full description the necessity of passing over into the next. But look at the whole appreciatively, historically, synthetically, as a musician listens to a symphony, as a spectator watches a drama. Now you shall seem to have seen, in phenomenal form, a story.
It would be possible to describe absolutely everything scientifically, but it would make no sense. It would be without meaning, as if you described a Beethoven symphony as a variation of wave pressure.
My first view - a panorama of brilliant deep blue ocean, shot with shades of green and gray and white - was of atolls and clouds. Close to the window I could see that this Pacific scene in motion was rimmed by the great curved limb of the Earth. It had a thin halo of blue held close, and beyond, black space. I held my breath, but something was missing - I felt strangely unfulfilled. Here was a tremendous visual spectacle, but viewed in silence. There was no grand musical accompaniment; no triumphant, inspired sonata or symphony. Each one of us must write the music of this sphere for ourselves.
The harmony of the universe knows only one musical form - the legato; while the symphony of number knows only its opposite - the staccato. All attempts to reconcile this discrepancy are based on the hope that an accelerated staccato may appear to our senses as a legato.
[On why are numbers beautiful?] Its like asking why is Beethovens Ninth Symphony beautiful. If you dont see why, someone cant tell you. I know numbers are beautiful. If they arent beautiful, nothing is.