Out of his wallet, he pulled an exercise-book in a peeling oil-cloth binding, inscribed Music...
"What is it?" she asked.
"My impressions of music. At one time I tried to reduce everything I heard to a system, to understand the logic of music before I understood the music itself. I took a fancy to a certain old man, a movie pianist, a former colonel of the Guards. What do instruments sound like? 'That's courage,' said the old man. 'Why courage?' I asked. He shrugged his shoulders. 'C major, B flat major, F flat major are firm, resolute, noble tones,' he explained. I made a habit of seeing him before the film began and treated him to my ration cigarettes–since I didn't smoke–and asked how music was to be understood....
"I continued visiting him at the theatre, and on candy-wrappers he wrote down the names of the works he played and their emotional effect. Open the note-book and we'll laugh together."...
"'Song of Maidens' from Rubinstein's Demon : Sadness.
"Schumann's Fantasiestuecke, No. 2 : inspiration.
"Barcarolle from Offenbach's *Tales of Hoffman : love.
"Overture to Chaikovsky's Pique Dame : sickness."
She closed the book.
"I can't read any more," she said. "I'm ashamed of you."
He flushed, but did not yield.
"And, you know, I wrote and wrote, I listened and made notes, compared, collated. One day the old man was playing something great, inspired, joyous, encouraging, and I guessed at once what it connoted: it meant rapture. He finished the piece and threw me a note. It appeared that he had been playing Saint-Saens' Danse Macabre, a theme of terror and horror. And I realized three things: first, that my Colonel didn't understand a thing about music, second that he was as stupid as a cork, and third that only by smithing does one become a smith."
-excerpt from Red Planes Fly East by Pavlenko as quoted in Eisenstein's The Film Sense