Arvo Pärt

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Arvo Pärt in Christchurch Cathedral, Dublin, 2008

Arvo Pärt (born 11 September 1935) is an Estonian composer. Pärt writes compositions that reflect his study of medieval musical forms. His work also reveals his deep Christian faith. He developed what he named tintinnabuli, or the tintinnabulation method of composition, derived from the Latin for "little bells", which can attribute why Pärt's music typically revolves around the notes of a single triad, or "three bells" as he states.


  • I have discovered that it is enough when a single note is beautifully played.
  • Tintinnabulation is an area I sometimes wander into when I am searching for answers--in my life, my music, my work. In my dark hours, I have the certain feeling that everything outside this one thing has no meaning. The complex and many-faceted only confuses me, and I must search for unity. What is it, this one thing, and how do I find my way to it? Traces of this perfect thing appear in many guises--and everything that is unimportant falls away.
  • The most sensitive musical instrument is the human soul. The next is the human voice. One must purify the soul until it begins to sound. A composer is a musical instrument and at the same time, a performer on that instrument. The instrument has to be in order to produce sound. One must start with that, not with the music. Through the music the composer can check whether his instrument is tuned and to what key it is tuned.

About Arvo Pärt[edit]

  • Pärt's cryptic remarks on his compositions orbit around the words 'silent' and 'beautiful'--minimal, by now almost imperiled associative notions, but ones which reverberate his musical creations.
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