Arnold Schoenberg

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The ideas of economists and political philosophers, both when they are right and when they are wrong, are more powerful than is commonly understood. Indeed the world is ruled by little else. Practical men, who believe themselves to be quite exempt from any intellectual influence, are usually the slaves of some defunct economist.
John Maynard Keynes
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Arnold Franz Walter Schoenberg (the anglicized form of Schönberg — Schoenberg changed the spelling officially when he left Germany and re-converted to Judaism in 1933), (September 13, 1874 – July 13, 1951) was an Austrian and later American composer. Many of Schoenberg's works are associated with the expressionist movements in early 20th-century German poetry and art, and he was among the first composers to embrace atonal motivic development.


  • I find above all that the expression, 'atonal music,' is most unfortunate--it is on a par with calling flying 'the art of not falling,' or swimming 'the art of not drowning.'
    • Arnold Schoenberg, Style and Idea, p.210.
  • I am the slave of an internal power more powerful than my education.
  • If music is frozen architecture, then the potpourri is frozen coffee-table gossip... Potpourri is the art of adding apples to pears…
    • Arnold Schoenberg: "Glosses on the Theories of Others" (1929), See "Style and Idea", Faber and Faber 1985, p.313-314
  • My music is not difficult, my music is played badly.

See also


  • I have never seen faces, but because I have looked people in the eye, only their gazes.
  • There is still much good music that can be written in C major.

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