Thursday, December 2, 2010

QotD - Hesse on recorded music

And in fact, to my indescribable astonishment and horror, the devilish tin trumpet spat out, without more ado, a mixture of bronchial slime and chewed rubber; that noise that owners of gramophones and radios have agreed to call music. And behind the slime and the croaking there was, sure enough, like an old master beneath a layer of dirt, the noble outline of that divine music. [...] Observe how this crazy funnel apparently does the most stupid, the most useless and the most damnable thing in the world. It takes hold of some music played where you please, without distinction, stupid and coarse, lamentably distorted, to boot, and chucks it into space to land where it has no business to be; and yet after all this it cannot destroy the original spirit of the music; it can only demonstrate its own senseless mechanism, its inane meddling and marring. - Herman Hesse, Steppenwolf

Is that poetic or what? "Bronchial slime and chewed rubber," that's a great name for a music blog.


  1. Thanks for a great blog, you have given me a lot of inspiration and made music more interesting lately.

    "bronchial slime and chewed rubber" would make a great name for a blog, it`s a pity I called mine "the drum diary".
    check it out at ""

    keep up the good work!

  2. bronchial slime and chewed rubber? I'll take that, if you don't mind... :D Thanks!

  3. Hey, its funny you quote this book by Herman Hesse, I just did it a few years ago, also about music but a different part.

  4. Hey Boebis, thanks for the note! Yes, Hesse is very quotable - he writes well and he has strong opinions. BTW, I did not realize that you are also behind the "Pirate's Choice" blog - great stuff there!
    Allow me to put that quote here in english, for my own sake and for whoever is not fluent enough in french.

    Hesse on reggaeton:
    From a dance hall, as I passed by, the sounds of furious jazz music met me, hot and raw like the steam of raw flesh. I stopped for a moment; this kind of music, much as I detested it, had always had a secret charm for me. Jazz was odious to me, but I liked it ten times more than any contemporary academic music; with its gay, raw savagery it struck deeply, even into my animal instincts, and breathed a naive, honest sensuality.

  5. Thanks for the compliment :-)

    Good you find the translation in english of "my" quote.

    By the way, i just answered you on pirates choice.