A plaque remaining from the Big Apple Night Club at West 135th Street and Seventh Avenue in Harlem.

Above, a 1934 plaque from the Big Apple Night Club at West 135th Street and Seventh Avenue in Harlem. Discarded as trash in 2006.

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Entry from December 14, 2010
“There are only two kinds of music—good music and bad music”

"There are only two kinds of music—good (music) and bad (music)” is a saying associated with Duke Ellington (1899-1974) and Louis Armstrong (1901-1971)—two composers who died in New York City. Armstrong added that he played the “good” kind of music.

Italian compose Gioachino Rossini (1792-1868) was credited in 1863 with saying: “My dear sir, there is no such distinction as you suppose between Italian, German, French music; there are only two kinds of music, good and bad.” Rossini has long received credit for the saying, although it’s not certain when he said it.

An English journal in 1846 did not credit Rossini: “William, you see then there are two kinds of music, as there are of everything else, good and bad.”


Wikipedia: Gioachino Rossini
Gioachino Antonio Rossini (February 29, 1792 – November 13, 1868) was an Italian composer who wrote 39 operas as well as sacred music, chamber music, songs, and some instrumental and piano pieces. His best-known operas include the Italian comedies Il barbiere di Siviglia (The Barber of Seville) and La cenerentola and the French-language epics Moïse et Pharaon and Guillaume Tell (William Tell). A tendency for inspired, song-like melodies is evident throughout his scores, which led to the nickname “The Italian Mozart.” Until his retirement in 1829, Rossini had been the most popular opera composer in history.

Google Books
January 1846, The English Journal of Education, pg. 362:
“William, you see then there are two kinds of music, as there are of everything else, good and bad; but I want you to observe that there are two kinds of music in another way—music made by voices and music made by instruments.

Google Books
Social Life in Munich
By Edward Wilberforce
London: W. H. Allen & Co.
1863
Pg. 174:
Rossini is supposed to have said to some learned gentleman who was entertaining him with a discourse on nationalities in music; “My dear sir, there is no such distinction as you suppose between Italian, German, French music; there are only two kinds of music, good and bad.”

Google Books
The Life of Rossini
By Henry Sutherland Edwards
London: Hurst & Blacxett
1869
Pg. 81:
But he cared little for fine distinctions, and he is reported to have said that he knew nothing of French music, German music, or Italian music ; that he only knew of two kinds of music — good and bad.

Google Books
25 February 1883, The Musical World, pg. 146, cols. 1-2:
Rossini once said to me: “I know but two kinds of music—good and bad.”

Google Books
Doctor Tucker, priest-musician:
A sketch which concerns the doings and thinkings of the Rev. John Ireland Tucker ... including a brief converse about the rise and progress of church music in America,

By Christopher Wilkinson Knauff
New York, NY: A.D.F. Randolph Co.
1897
Pg. 260:
Doctor Tucker used to say that there were two kinds of music — good music and bad — and that he believed in the use of the good, at any rate for the service of God.

Google Books
December 1959, Ebony, “Sayings of Satchmo” (Louis Armstonrg), pg. 86, col. 2:
On modern music vs. old-time jazz: “There’s just two kinds of music, good and bad. And: “Bop is slop.”

Google Books
October 1974, Ebony, “Second Annual Ebony Black Music Poll,” pg. 59:
The late Duke Ellington contended, “there are only two kinds of music: good music and bad music.”

Austin (TX) American-Statesman
Surprise! You had a son - 40 years ago
John Kelso, Commentary
Published: 7:11 p.m. Monday, Dec. 13, 2010
(...)
“We talked just about everything,” Tommy said. “It was kinda like feeling each other out. We talked about politics, he was telling me about his roots, and we talked a lot about music that we liked and who we didn’t like. It’s like Jimmie Vaughan once said: there’s only two kinds of music — good music and bad music. “

Posted by Barry Popik
New York CityMusic/Dance/Theatre/Film • (0) Comments • Tuesday, December 14, 2010 • Permalink