Robert Fripp

English guitarist, composer and record producer

Robert Fripp (born 16 May 1946) is an English guitarist and guitar tutor, best known as leader of the band King Crimson and for his collaborations with Brian Eno.

Robert Fripp in 2007



Guitar Craft Monograph III: Aphorisms, Oct. 27 1988

  • Creative work is serious play.
  • The musician is as rich as the music they give away.
  • Act with courtesy - Otherwise, be polite, but always be kind.
  • If we don’t know where we’re going, we’ll probably get there; if where we are going is how we get there, we are already where we are going.
  • It is difficult to exaggerate the power of habit.
  • A mistake is always forgivable, rarely excusable, and never acceptable.

Robert Fripp: From King Crimson to Guitar Craft (Eric Tamm)

  • Me and a book is a party. Me and a book and a cup of coffee is an orgy.
  • You see, the thing is, I’ve been in jams like this. The feeling is totally there among the musicians (and whoever else happens to be sitting around, whether they’ve paid for it or not, probably, and preferably, not). You are close to silence, Silence with a capital S. You are in tune with silence, the deepest sound of them all. Every sound, therefore, that you make, make with intention, sensitivity, and awareness, has a meaning, an ineffability, a significance. You are listening, Listening with a capital L. You hear what everyone else is doing; you do whatever is necessary, which is usually as little as possible. It has nothing to do with self-expression: it has to do with a group mind.
  • There is no such thing as making a mistake. Only one thing is compulsory, only one mistake: and that is not realizing your mistakes.

The Six Principles of the Performance Event

  • A principle is universal, a rule is inflexible, a law is invariable.
  • Music so wishes to be heard that sometimes it calls on unlikely characters to give it voice, and ears. This wishing-to-be heard calls into existence the Performance Event; where music, musician and audience may come together as one, in communion. This communion has six different forms of being and experiencing itself (plus an invisible seventh); and these forms, or principles, are simultaneously present within the Performance.
I - When people get together with music, something happens.
II - In a performance, things come together, mysteriously; and go better than we might anticipate; and better than we deserve.
III - A performance can take on a life and character of its own.
IV - Any one performance is a multiplicity of performances.
V - The possible is possible.
VI - The impossible is possible.
The Seventh Principle resides within Silence.
Trust the event.
  • We are able to be with others only to the degree that we are able to be ourselves. This being so, we can only be in the performance to the degree that we can be ourselves: to be who we are.
  • We begin with the possible, and move gradually towards the impossible.
  • Normality is what we might achieve, given who we are, what we are, the conditions and limitations of the world we work within.
    • Quoted in Robert Fripp's Online Diary, Thursday, 4 June 2009[1]


  • Music is the cup which holds the wine of silence. Sound is that cup, but empty. Noise is that cup, but broken.
    • “The Vinyl Solution.” in Musician, Player, and Listener 24 (April-May 1980): 34.
  • I woke at 9:57 having got to bed at 6:30 subsequent to spraying burning guitar over David Bowie's new album and not leaving the studio until 5:00.
    • In the road diary which accompanies the CD release of the 1980 League Of Gentlemen album "Thrang, Thrang, Gozimbulx", about Bowie's album Scary Monsters (and Super Creeps)
  • With a note of music, one strikes the fundamental, and, in addition to the root note, other notes are generated: these are called the harmonic series...As one fundamental note contains within it other notes in the octave, two fundamentals produce a remarkable array of harmonics, and the number of possible combinations between all the notes increases phenomenally. With a triad, affairs stand a good chance of getting severely out of hand...


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  • Tamm, Eric. Robert Fripp: From King Crimson To Guitar Craft, at Progressive Ears website [2]