Throughout his extensive musical output, Edwin Carr demonstrated a consummate craftsmanship and refinement. Regarded as the most cosmopolitan of the elder generation of New Zealand composers, he was particularly noted for his strident opposition to what he felt were attitudes of insular nationalism and intellectual pretension. In his autobiography, A Life Set to Music
, he wrote ?I myself have a double attitude to how accessible my own music must be. However ? I am always aware that the music must never be too abstruse or so unpleasant that the audience almost groans with pain.? [I] have faith that composers will begin to use to their advantage the wonderful musical discoveries of the twentieth century which are friendly to an audience?.