"I have seen a videotape of the program The Mind of Music.
It is a sensitive, penetrating and thought-provoking essay
on the magic of music. I recommend this film highly."
The Mind of Music Trailer
Yehudi Menuhin comments on the universality of the
musical experience and the challenges of performance.
Gunther Schuller shares his ideas about the mysteries
of the creative process, while Dr. Lewis Thomas
speculates that music may describe the actual
operation of consciousness. George Rochberg reveals
his innermost thoughts about the nature
of music and the art of composition.
Performances of Bach, Byrd, Victoria, Telemann,
Parchelbel, Mozart, Brahms, Faure and Stravinsky.
This celebration of the musical experience
was filmed at The Peabody Conservatory of Music
and funded by the Ford Foundation and
the National Endowment for the Humanities.
A multi-award winning film, The Mind of Music
is a stimulating introduction for a general audience
to the joys of classical music.
CINE Golden Eagle
Kenyon Film Festival
Nevada City Film Festival
Hemisfilm: Gold Medallion
Cleveland Instructional Film Festival
Houston International Film Festival: Bronze Award
National Educational Film Festival: Jack London Award
"There are two things that impressed me about this film.
It is not filled with production gimmicks that serve to distract
rather than enhance. And the audio is the best I have heard on film."
MPT, The Critic's Place
"The film opens with a cellist playing Bach, the camera drawing in tight until the frame is consumed by an immense close-up of his eye. The next shot, an animation of planets courtesy of NASA, is reminiscent of 2001, accompanied by vocal chanting, a passage the filmmaker describes as the classical notion of the music of the spheres. It falls into place with the words of George Rochberg: 'There is in man a deep felt instinctive knowledge that music connects him to the cosmos." J. Wynn Rousuck, The Baltimore Sun
"Sound waves can more deeply penetrate our subconscious, can more profoundly affect our emotions than any other impression.
"Music is essential to life. In fact, it is life. It keeps us in contact with the totality of the universe as part of the vibrating cosmos."
Dr. Lewis Thomas
"The need to make music, and to listen to it, is universally expressed by human beings. Music is found everywhere man is found. It is like speech, a dominant aspect of human biology."
"I think the thing that music is describing for us is not a secondary aspect of living. When it's done right, I think music is describing the actual operation of consciousness."
"Music is the sound of the human heart, shaped and guided by the mind. It is the sounding of the human consciousness in all its possible states of being."
"The greatest mystery of all, of course, is the creative process itself. We know next to nothing about that, and we don't know how we musicians create what we create. We know a little about the more superficial manifestations; but really what goes on inside of us and what impulses motivate us and what makes us hear certain things in our inner ear, we really don't know anything about that."
"So, it's a combination of technique, of craft, of skill--but also these mysterious, intuitive, instinctive impulses which we just collectively call talent."
Dr. Lewis Thomas
"We listen to Bach transfixed because this is listening to a human mind. Music may well turn out to be the most profound of all our means of communication."
"It was no coincidence that Einstein played the violin, for time as a fourth dimension is no mere abstraction to a musician but rather an infinite, living, pulsating continuum."
"When we find our notes, we practice a form of blind archery. There are no measured distances on the violin that are equal to each other; in other words, the relationship of the hands and the arms are different whether you play on one string or another, whether you are at the lower part of the bow or the tip of the bow, whether you are playing loudly or softly, whether the left hand is moving up or down the fingerboard. You are constantly in flux."
"There are those wonderful moments, those times when you really, literally feel as though something is being given to you. And, those are perhaps the happiest moments. At that time, it's as though you don't have to think; you just simply have to listen to what is happening inside your head and get it down on paper just as fast as you know how. Perhaps all music is written by one mind."