Gurdjieff International Review

The Music Has To Like You…

Quotations of Mitchell Rudzinski as recollected by his students

Copyright © 2002 Institut Gurdjieff, Paris

     Music consists of vibrations that are not from the earth. It is an expression of energy—increasing tension and decreasing, relaxing, “coming home.” When the “return home” is delayed too much, the music becomes sentimental.

     Music is patterns, like wallpaper. Some wallpaper makes people tense, some is more relaxing. Pattern in music is a movement away from balance, collecting energy—which can also be seen as an increase of tension—and the movement toward balance, releasing or expressing energy. Balancing can be seen as a relaxation which follows the accumulation of force.

     Meaning is found in the relationship of tension to relaxation and can be experienced through arrangements of rhythm, harmony, and melody. We need to be aware of the gathering and discharge of energy when we listen to music.…

[The complete text is available in the printed copy of this issue.]
Copyright © 2002 The Estate of Mitchell Rudzinski
This webpage © 2002 Gurdjieff Electronic Publishing
Featured: Spring 2002 Issue, Vol. V (1)
Revision: May 1, 2002


Mitchell Rudzinski (1922–2001) received a Master’s degree from Chicago Musical College, attended the American University of Biarritz, France, and studied composition with Max Wald and Paul Held. He joined the Gurdjieff Foundation in New York in the early 1950s where he learned to play for the Movements from Annette Herter. In 1970 he moved to San Francisco, where he taught students of the Movements music for the next 30 years. The legacy of some of his teaching can be found in a private publication entitled A Study of Piano Improvisation. These examples of Mitchell Rudzinski’s advice and comments to his students have been provided from their journals and notebooks.