Everyone knows that Gita Sarabhai gave to John Cage the definition of the purpose of music that her teacher had given her: “to quiet the mind and render it susceptible to divine influences.” And everyone knows that Cage found confirmation for this definition in the fact that his friend Lou Harrison found the same words in a 1676 publication by the lutenist Thomas Mace. But I’ve been through just about all of Mace’s Musick’s Monument, his only treatise on music and his only book published that year, and I can’t find any such words. I haven’t yet plowed through all the practical sections on playing the lute, admittedly, but Mace is so verbose, so rarely concise, that no such pointed phrase seems possible in his style. The closest I’ve found is his statement that, listening to an organ,
I was so transported and wrapt up into High Contemplations that there was no room left in my whole Man, viz., Body, Soul and Spirit for anything below Divine and Heavenly Raptures.