Music

guitar and sheet musicWhen the music changes, so does the dance. —African proverb

Music is harmony, harmony is perfection, perfection is our dream, and our dream is heaven. —Henri Frederic Amiel

Writing about music is like dancing about architecture. —Laurie Anderson

Music was my refuge. I could crawl into the space between the notes and curl my back to loneliness. —Maya Angelou, Gather Together in My Name

I never tried to prove nothing, just wanted to give a good show. My life has always been my music, it’s always come first; but the music ain’t worth nothing if you can’t lay it on the public. The main thing is to live for that audience, ’cause what you’re there for is to please the people. —Louis Armstrong

Most people live and die with their music still unplayed. They never dare to try. —Mary Kay Ash

No good opera plot can be sensible, for people do not sing when they are feeling sensible. —W. H. Auden

Music is the best means we have of digesting time. —W. H. Auden

No good opera plot can be sensible . . . people do not sing when they are feeling sensible. —W. H. Auden, Time (December 29, 1961)

Music washes away from the soul the dust of everyday life. —Berthold Auerbach

The aim and final end of all music should be none other than the glory of God and the refreshment of the soul. —Johann Sebastian Bach

The discovery of song and the creation of musical instruments both owed their origin to a human impulse which lies much deeper than conscious intention: the need for rhythm in life . . . the need is a deep one, transcending thought, and disregarded at our peril. —Richard Baker

Any good music must be an innovation. —Les Baxter

Music cleanses the understanding; inspires it, and lifts it into a realm which it would not reach if it were left to itself. —Henry Ward Beecher

Music is a higher revelation than all wisdom and philosophy. Music is the electrical soil in which the spirit lives, thinks, and invents. —Ludwig van Beethoven

Music is the mediator between the spiritual and the sensual life. —Ludwig von Beethoven

Music is the wine which inspires one to new generative processes, and I am Bacchus who presses out this glorious wine for mankind and makes them spiritually drunken. —Ludwig van Beethoven

Opera is where a guy gets stabbed in the back, and instead of dying, he sings. —Robert Benchley

Its language is a language which the soul alone understands, but which the soul can never translate. —Arnold Bennett

Love cannot express the idea of music, while music may give an idea of love. —Louis-Hector Berlioz

The joy of music should never be interrupted by a commercial. —Leonard Bernstein

Music can change the world because it can change people. —Bono

Music is one of the best ways to enjoy the present. It’s not much fun to look forward to hearing music or to remember what a song sounded like last week, but music right now absorbs you and places you in the present moment. —Sonnett Branche

It is cruel, you know, that music should be so beautiful. It has the beauty of loneliness of pain: of strength and freedom. The beauty of disappointment and never-satisfied love. The cruel beauty of nature and everlasting beauty of monotony. —Benjamin Britten

Rock music in its lyrics often talks ahead of the time about what’s going on in the country. —Edmund G. Brown

There is no truer truth obtainable by man than comes of music. —Robert Browning

He who hears music, feels his solitude peopled at once. —Robert Browning

Life can’t be all bad when, for ten dollars, you can buy all the Beethoven sonatas and listen to them for ten years. —William F. Buckley, Jr.

Music, once admitted to the soul, becomes a sort of spirit, and never dies. —Edward George Bulwer-Lytton

If this word “music” is sacred and reserved for eighteenth and nineteenth century instruments, we can substitute a more meaningful term: organization of sound. —John Cage

All deep things are song. It seems somehow it’s the very central essence of us. —Thomas Carlyle

Music is well said to be the speech of angels. —Thomas Carlyle, Essays, The Opera

If you look deep enough you will see music; the heart of nature being everywhere music. —Thomas Carlyle

He who sings scares away his woes. —Cervantes

[An intellectual] is someone who can listen to the “William Tell Overture” without thinking of the Lone Ranger. —John Chesson

An artist, in giving a concert, should not demand an entrance fee, but should ask the public to pay just before leaving as much as they like. From the sum he would be able to judge what the world thinks of him—and we would have fewer mediocre concerts. —Kit Coleman, Kit Coleman: Queen of Hearts

Music is the art of thinking with sounds. —Jules Combarieu

Music produces a kind of pleasure which human nature cannot do without. —Confucius

Music hath charms to soothe a savage beast, to soften rocks, or bend a knotted oak. —William Congreve

Without music, life is a journey through a desert. —Pat Conroy

Most people use music as a couch; they want to be pillowed on it, relaxed and consoled for the stress of daily living. But serious music was never meant to be soporific. —Aaron Copland

To stop the flow of music would be like the stopping of time itself, incredible and inconceivable. —Aaron Copland

What we provide is an atmosphere . . . of orchestrated pulse which works on people in a subliminal way. Under its influence I’ve seen shy debs and severe dowagers kick off their shoes and raise some wholesome hell. —Meyer Davis, about his orchestra

Music is an outburst of the soul. —Frederick Delius

Composers shouldn’t think too much—it interferes with their plagiarism. —Howard Dietz

Were it not for music, we might in these days say, the beautiful is dead. —Benjamin Disraeli

What passion cannot music raise and quell! —John Dryden

Silence is the fabric upon which the notes are woven. —Lawrence Duncan

Music is only love looking for words. —Lawrence Durrell

If I were not a physicist, I would probably be a musician. I often think in music. I live my daydreams in music. I see my life in terms of music. —Albert Einstein

My idea is that there is music in the air, music all around us; the world is full of it, and you simply take as much as you require. —Edward Elgar

You are the music while the music lasts. —T. S. Eliot

I think sometimes could I only have music on my own terms, could I live in a great city, and know where I could go whenever I wished the ablution and inundation of musical waves, that were a bath and a medicine. —Ralph Waldo Emerson

Music takes us out of the actual and whispers to us dim secrets that startle our wonder as to who we are, and for what, whence, and whereto. —Ralph Waldo Emerson

If in the after life there is not music, we will have to import it. —Doménico Cieri Estrada

The pause is as important as the note. —Truman Fisher

Music is the wine that fills the cup of silence. —Robert Fripp

Music is nothing else but wild sounds civilized into time and tune. —Thomas Fuller

Music is love in search of a word. —Sidonie Gabrielle

I don’t care much about music. What I like is sounds. —Dizzy Gillespie

A jazz musician is a juggler who uses harmonies instead of oranges. —Benny Green

Music is a friend of labor for it lightens the task by refreshing the nerves and spirit of the worker. —William Green

Music happens to be an art form that transcends language. —Herbie Hancock

Words make you think a thought. Music makes you feel a feeling. A song makes you feel a thought. —E. Y. Harburg

Music is the soul of language. —Max Heindel

When words leave off, music begins. —Heinrich Heine

Music is my religion. —Jimi Hendrix

Music doesn’t lie. If there is something to be changed in this world, then it can only happen through music. —Jimi Hendrix

The Irish gave the bagpipes to the Scots as a joke, but the Scots haven’t got the joke yet. —Oliver Herford

Take a music bath once or twice a week for a few seasons. You will find it is to the soul what a water bath is to the body. —Oliver Wendell Holmes

Alas for those that never sing, but die with all their music in them! —Oliver Wendell Holmes

Country music is three chords and the truth. —Harlan Howard

When people hear good music, it makes them homesick for something they never had, and never will have. —Edgar Watson Howe

Classical music is the kind we keep thinking will turn into a tune. —Frank McKinney “Kin” Hubbard, Comments of Abe Martin and His Neighbors, 1923

Classical music is the kind we keep thinking will turn into a tune. —Ken Hubbard

Music expresses that which cannot be said and on which it is impossible to be silent. —Victor Hugo

Music is the medicine of the breaking heart. —Leigh Hunt

After silence, that which comes nearest to expressing the inexpressible is music. —Aldous Huxley, Music at Night and Other Essays

Music expresses feeling and thought, without language; it was below and before speech, and it is above and beyond all words. —Robert G. Ingersoll

A song has a few rights the same as ordinary citizens . . . if it happens to feel like flying where humans cannot fly . . . to scale mountains that are not there, who shall stop it? —Charles Ives

I think music in itself is healing. It’s an explosive expression of humanity. It’s something we are all touched by. No matter what culture we’re from, everyone loves music. —Billy Joel

Music is the literature of the heart; it commences where speech ends. —Alphonse de Lamartine

Music is God’s gift to man, the only art of Heaven given to earth, the only art of earth we take to Heaven. —Walter Savage Landor

If you want to be found stand where the seeker seeks. —Sidney Lanier

Virtues are acquired through endeavor, which rests wholly upon yourself. —Sidney Lanier

Music is love in search of a word. —Sydney Lanier

It is incontestable that music induces in us a sense of the infinite and the contemplation of the invisible. —Victor de LaPrade

Music is the vernacular of the human soul. —Geoffrey Latham

The pleasure we obtain from music comes from counting, but counting unconsciously. Music is nothing but unconscious arithmetic. —Gottfried Wilhelm Leibniz

Music is everyone’s possession. It’s only publishers who think people own it. —John Lennon

You can’t possibly hear the last movement of Beethoven’s Seventh and go slow. —Oscar Levant, explaining his way out of a speeding ticket

My whole trick is to keep the tune well out in front. If I play Tchaikovsky, I play his melodies and skip his spiritual struggle. —Liberace

Music’s the medicine of the mind. —John A. Logan

Music is the universal language of mankind. —Henry Wadsworth Longfellow, Outre-Mer

If a composer could say what he had to say in words he would not bother trying to say it in music. —Gustav Mahler

Music and silence combine strongly because music is done with silence, and silence is full of music. —Marcel Marceau

One good thing about music, when it hits you, you feel no pain. —Bob Marley

Music is the harmonious voice of creation; an echo of the invisible world. —Giuseppe Mazzini

If the King loves music, it is well with the land. —Mencius

There is nothing in the world so much like prayer as music is. —William P. Merrill

Those who danced were thought to be quite insane by those who could not hear the music. —Angela Monet

You can’t stay the same. If you’re a musician and a singer, you have to change, that’s the way it works. —Van Morrison

Without music, life would be an error. —Friedrich Nietzsche

In music the passions enjoy themselves. —Friedrich Wilhelm Nietzsche, Beyond Good and Evil, 1886

If you want to make beautiful music, you must play the black and the white notes together. —Richard M. Nixon

Music is what life sounds like. —Eric Olson

I have my own particular sorrows, loves, delights; and you have yours. But sorrow, gladness, yearning, hope, love, belong to all of us, in all times and in all places. Music is the only means whereby we feel these emotions in their universality. —H. A. Overstreet

Music is your own experience, your own thoughts, your wisdom. If you don’t live it, it won’t come out of your horn. They teach you there’s a boundary line to music. But, man, there’s no boundary line to art. —Charlie Parker

Music is moonlight in the gloomy night of life. —Jean Paul

Music is the movement of sound to reach the soul for the education of its virtue. —Plato

Music is a moral law. It gives soul to the universe, wings to the mind, flight to the imagination, and charm and gaiety to life and to everything. —Plato

Music and rhythm find their way into the secret places of the soul. —Plato

Music rots when it gets too far from the dance. Poetry atrophies when it gets too far from music. —Ezra Pound

I don’t know anything about music. In my line you don’t have to. —Elvis Presley

Musical compositions, it should be remembered, do not inhabit certain countries, certain museums, like paintings and statues. The Mozart Quintet is not shut up in Salzburg: I have it in my pocket. —Henri Rabaud

Music is enough for a lifetime, but a lifetime is not enough for music —Sergei Rachmaninov

If anyone has conducted a Beethoven performance, and then doesn’t have to go to an osteopath, then there’s something wrong. —Simon Rattle

Life is one grand, sweet song, so start the music. —Ronald Reagan

Music is the poetry of the air. —Jean Paul Richter

Music is moonlight in the gloomy night of life. —Jean Paul Richter

Truly to sing, that is a different breath. —Rainer Maria Rilke

The scratches in Yoko Ono records are moments of relief. —S. A. Sachs

Music has been my playmate, my lover, and my crying towel. —Buffy Sainte-Marie

When I don’t like a piece of music, I make a point of listening to it more closely. —Florent Schmitt

The notes I handle no better than many pianists. But the pauses between the notes—ah, that is where the art resides! —Artur Schnabel

Wes Montgomery played impossible things on the guitar because it was never pointed out to him that they were impossible. —Ronnie Scott

The advice I am giving always to all my students is above all to study the music profoundly . . . music is like the ocean, and the instruments are little or bigger islands, very beautiful for the flowers and trees. —Andres Segovia

If music be the food of love, play on; give me excess of it. —William Shakespeare

Hell is full of musical amateurs. —George Bernard Shaw

Music is forever; music should grow and mature with you, following you right on up until you die. —Paul Simon

Sometimes even music can’t substitute for tears. —Paul Simon

If I were to begin life again, I would devote it to music. It is the only cheap and unpunished rapture upon earth. —Sydney Smith

Everywhere in the world, music enhances a hall, with one exception: Carnegie Hall enhances the music. —Isaac Stern

A painter paints pictures on canvas. But musicians paint their pictures on silence. —Leopold Stokowski

Music fills the infinite between two souls. —Rabindranath Tagore

All music is beautiful. —Billy Strayhorn

The city is built
To music, therefore never built at all,
And therefore built forever.
—Alfred, Lord Tennyson

I’ve never known a musician who regretted being one. Whatever deceptions life may have in store for you, music itself is not going to let you down. —Virgil Thomson

Music is perpetual, and only the hearing is intermittent. —Henry David Thoreau

If a man does not keep pace with his companions, perhaps it is because he hears a different drummer.
Let him step to the music which he hears, however measured or far away. —Henry David Thoreau

Men profess to be lovers of music, but for the most part they give no evidence in their opinions and lives that they have heard it. —Henry David Thoreau

When I hear music, I fear no danger. I am invulnerable. I see no foe. I am related to the earliest times, and to the latest. —Henry David Thoreau

Music is a performance and needs the audience. —Michael Tippett

Music is the shorthand of emotion. —Leo Tolstoy

I worry that the person who thought up Muzak may be thinking up something else. —Lily Tomlin

Why waste money on psychotherapy when you can listen to the B Minor Mass? —Michael Torke

Music in the soul can be heard by the universe. —Lao Tzu

Bach opens a vista to the universe. After experiencing him, people feel there is meaning to life after all. —Helmut Walcha

No one imagines that a symphony is supposed to improve in quality as it goes along, or that the whole object of playing it is to reach the finale. The point of music is discovered in every moment of playing and listening to it. It is the same, I feel, with the greater part of our lives; and if we are unduly absorbed in improving them, we may forget altogether to live them. —Alan Watts

Music is the art which is most nigh to tears and memory. —Oscar Wilde

In memory, everything seems to happen to music. —Tennessee Williams

There are more love songs than anything else. If songs could make you do something, we’d all love one another. —Frank Zappa

Music, in performance, is a type of sculpture. The air in the performance is sculpted into something. —Frank Zappa

If you can walk, you can dance. If you can talk, you can sing. —Zimbabwe Proverb

Most of us go to our graves with our music still inside of us. —Author Unknown

Play the music, not the instrument. —Author Unknown

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