From a speech by George Steiner. Music by Heather Turney Schmidt.
“Music, the mystery of music, what Nietzsche called, so rightly, the “Mysterium Tremendum” the “Mysterioum Tremendum” of the last act of Tristan and many other cases, many other cases. It can be an etude of Chopin, it can be a phrase almost in Mozart, speaks to us that there is something else, which paradoxically belongs to us profoundly but somehow touches on a universal meaning and possibility, that we are not only an electrochemical and neurophysiological assemblage. That there is more in consciousness than electronic wiring.
Music seems to me more than literature, the great force, the hope of a transcendent possibility. If they take that away from us, we are indeed, in very big trouble. But I don’t think they will be able to. During the worst periods of despotism and tyranny, people could learn musical scores by heart. Even where music was forbidden they could still commit it to memory. Music is very difficult to sensor. Yes, it can be stopped, it can be suppressed, musicians can be hunted and hounded and tortured, but still it is there, and always it’s strange mystery remains.” – George Steiner