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Quotes about Music


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271 art quotes about Music found | Share this page of quotes about Music on Facebook

I can look at a fine art photograph and sometimes I can hear music. (Ansel Adams)

I only write music for myself. I don't try and appeal to anyone else. (Bryan Adams)

Music, the greatest good that mortals know, / And all of heaven we have below. (Joseph Addison)

I play a musical instrument a little, but only for my own amazement. (Fred Allen)

I can't listen to that much Wagner. I start getting the urge to conquer Poland. (Woody Allen)

I just try to do as good job with the material as I can and play some jazz as well, some improvised music, and do that every night. Just see where it goes. (Mose Allison)

As far as I'm concerned, the essentials of jazz are: melodic improvisation, melodic invention, swing, and instrumental personality. (Mose Allison)

There are as many ways to write songs as there are songs. (Gregg Allman)

Musically, I always allow myself to jump off cliffs. At least that's what it feels like to me. Whether that's what it actually sounds like might depend on what the listener brings to the songs. (Tori Amos)

-planning music for his funeral...
Most of the people who will walk after me will be children, so make the beat keep time with short steps. (Hans Christian Andersen)

Talking about music is like dancing about architecture. (Laurie Anderson)

-singer/songwriter...
I like to capture moments. It's like a photograph. Ten years from now you look at the photograph and you don't remember it but rather the whole week or month around the photo. (Keren Ann)

It's always a mixture of fiction and your own story. It's more I recreate atmospheres and moods through songs. (Keren Ann)

Man, all music is folk music. You ain't never heard no horse sing a song, have you? (Louis Armstrong)

If it hadn't been for Jazz, there wouldn't be no rock and roll. (Louis Armstrong)

What I like about music is its ability to be convincing, to carry an argument through successfully to the finish, though the terms of the argument remain unknown quantities. (John Ashbery)

People can relate to the musicality of shapes... Painting is 'silent music'... Soft and hard edges are similar to loud and soft notes... Harmony, chords, pitch, rhythm, syncopation and timber can all be translated to the visual arts. (Clyde Aspevig)

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

A verbal art like poetry is reflective; it stops to think. Music is immediate; it goes on to become. (W. H. Auden)

Music can be made anywhere, is invisible and does not smell. (W. H. Auden)

You must pass your days in song. Let your whole life be a song. (Sri Sathya Sai Baba)

Generally, you are held to a sound and that becomes your sound... and all the copycats start with it because the labels are looking for that sound. (Randy Bachman)

It may be that when the angels go about their task praising God, they play only Bach. I am sure, however, that when they are together en famille, they play Mozart. (Karl Barth)

-b.1881 d.1945...
I cannot conceive of music that expresses absolutely nothing. (Bela Bartok)

I love Wagner, but the music I prefer is that of a cat hung up by its tail outside a window and trying to stick to the panes of glass with its claws. (Charles Baudelaire)

Music fathoms the sky. (Charles Baudelaire)

I've never believed in cheapening music by going according to what some people think is public taste. (Les Baxter)

A musicologist is a man who can read music but can't hear it. (Thomas Beecham)

Beethoven can write music, thank God, but he can do nothing else on earth. (Ludwig van Beethoven)

Music is the electrical soil in which the spirit lives, thinks, and invents. (Ludwig van Beethoven)

Music is mediator between spiritual and sensual life. (Ludwig van Beethoven)

If we can dance to music, certainly we can paint to it. In fact, I'd rather paint to music than dance to it. How 'bout we all start a show called Painting with the Stars? (Brenda Behr)

Intimate singing had a wonderful style in the '30s and '40s. It came out of Broadway and the jazz of Louis Armstrong and Billie Holliday. But Sinatra created the best romantic era that we've ever had. (Tony Bennett)

The first condition for making music is not to make a noise. (Jose Bergamin)

There is no art form that has so much in common with film as music. Both affect our emotions directly, not via the intellect. (Ingmar Bergman)

Listen kid, take my advice: never hate a song that has sold half a million copies. (Irving Berlin)

The trombone is the true head of the family of wind instruments... it has all the serious and powerful tones of sublime musical poetry, from religious, calm and imposing accents to savage, orgiastic outburst. (Hector Berlioz)

I'm not interested in having an orchestra sound like itself. I want it to sound like the composer. (Leonard Bernstein)

piano, n. A parlor utensil for subduing the impenitent visitor. It is operated by pressing the keys of the machine and the spirits of the audience. (Ambrose Bierce)

violin, n. An instrument to tickle human ears by friction of a horse's tail on the entrails of a cat. (Ambrose Bierce)

-b.AD 480 d.ca.AD 525...
Music is part of us, and either ennobles or degrades our behavior. (Boethius)

Music can change the world because it can change people. (Bono)

Music was an alarm bell for me, it woke me up to the world. (Bono)

The entry point choice to a piece of music is specific because it is a gamble... we don't know what any given individual will end up attending to during the music. (Eric Booth)

I'll be very honest with you... I know two numbers; one is 'Clair de Lune' and the other one isn't. Do you have any preferences? (Victor Borge)

Many people have asked me why there are three pedals in these grand pianos. Well the pedal in the middle is there to separate the two other pedals. (Victor Borge)

Music is the fourth great material want, first food, then clothes, then shelter, then music. (Christian Nestell Bovee)

On the other hand, what I like my music to do to me is awaken the ghosts inside of me. Not the demons, you understand, but the ghosts. (David Bowie)

There is perhaps nothing that is not musical. Perhaps there's no moment in life that's not musical... All instruments, musical or not, become instruments. (George Brecht)

It is cruel, you know, that music should be so beautiful. It has the beauty of loneliness and 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)

Listening to Mozart when painting can make you believe in God; Listening to Beethoven makes you believe in yourself. (J. M. Brodrick)

A lot of music is mathematics. It's balance. (Mel Brooks)

I've outdone anyone you can name - Mozart, Beethoven, Bach, Strauss. Irving Berlin, he wrote 1,001 tunes. I wrote 5,500. (James Brown)

Who hears music feels his solitude peopled at once. (Robert Browning)

Music, once admitted to the soul, becomes a sort of spirit, and never dies. It wanders perturbedly through the halls and galleries of the memory, and is often heard again, distinct and living as when it first displaced the wavelets of the air. (Edward G. Bulwer-Lytton)

It is a wise tune that knows its own father, and I like my music to be the legitimate offspring of respectable parents. (Samuel Butler, novelist)

Singing is a trick to get people to listen to music for longer than they would ordinarily. (David Byrne)

It is better to make a piece of music than to perform one, better to perform one than to listen to one, better to listen to one than to misuse it as a means of distraction, entertainment, or acquisition of 'culture.' (John Cage)

Music is a means of Rapid Transportation. (John Cage)

Music is edifying, for from time to time it sets the soul in operation. (John Cage)

The only good thing ever to come out of religion was the music. (George Carlin)

Music is well said to be the speech of angels. In fact, nothing among the utterances allowed to man is felt to be so divine. It brings us near to the infinite. (Thomas Carlyle)

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

When I think of the artists I admire and seek out musically. It's because I'm curious about where they're going to go the next time they have a chance to put a record out. It's not about where I find them on the radio dial, or how many records they're selling. (Mary Chapin Carpenter)

Music is the divine way to tell beautiful, poetic things to the heart. (Pablo Casals)

The heart of the melody can never be put down on paper. (Pablo Casals)

Alas! all music jars when the soul's out of tune. (Miguel de Cervantes)

Mozart never composed anything, ever! He copied what was written on his soul. (Marc Chagall)

My music had roots which I'd dug up from my own childhood, musical roots buried in the darkest soil. (Ray Charles)

Musicke doth withdraw our mindes from earthly cogitations, lifteth up our spirits into heaven, maketh them light and celestial. (Saint John Chrysostom)

The music industry is in crisis. The intrinsic value of music has been reduced to zero. By offering it as a commissioned commodity... we hope to inspire and intensify urgent debates about the future of music. (Wu-Tang Clan)

We're about to put out a piece of art like nobody else has done in the history of [modern] music. This is like somebody having the sceptre of an Egyptian king. (Wu-Tang Clan, RZA)

I've always held the song in high regard because songs have got me through so many sinks of dishes and so many humiliating courting events. (Leonard Cohen)

Jazz is the only music in which the same note can be played night after night but differently each time. (Ornette Coleman)

Music is love in search of a word. (Sidonie Gabrielle Colette)

Music is the art of thinking with sounds. (Jules Combarieu)

-rejecting the Beatles, 1962...
We don't like their sound, and guitar music is on the way out. (Decca Recording Company)

Music has charms to soothe a savage breast, to soften rocks, or bend a knotted oak. (William Congreve)

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

The whole problem can be stated quite simply by asking, 'Is there a meaning to music?' My answer would be, 'Yes.' And 'Can you state in so many words what the meaning is?' My answer to that would be, 'No.' (Aaron Copland)

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

A melody is not merely something you can hum. (Aaron Copland)

There is something about music that keeps its distance even at the moment that it engulfs us. It is at the same time outside and away from us and inside and part of us. In one sense it dwarfs us, and in another we master it. We are led on and on, and yet in some strange way we never lose control. (Aaron Copland)

And I don't feel any form of music is beyond me in the sense of that I don't understand it or I don't have some love for some part of it. (Elvis Costello)

I believe that music is connected by human passions and curiosities rather than by marketing strategies. (Elvis Costello)

That's the thing about jazz: it's free flowing, it comes from your soul. (Billy Crystal)

It's always been a gift with me, hearing music the way I do. I don't know where it comes from, it's just there and I don't question it. (Miles Davis)

Music is the arithmetic of sounds as optics is the geometry of light. (Claude Debussy)

Music is an outburst of the soul. (Frederick Delius)

How good are the best musical imaginations? Can a trained musician, swiftly reading a score, tell just how that voicing of dissonant oboes and flutes over the massed strings will sound? (Daniel Dennett)

Music is inarticulate poesy. (John Dryden)

What passion cannot Music raise and quell? (John Dryden)

I hate music, especially when it's played. (Jimmy Durante)

-to his orchestra...
Stop da music, stop da music! You're supposed to follow da music, not chase it all over da place. (Jimmy Durante)

Music was invented to confirm human loneliness. (Lawrence Durrell)

Music is only love looking for words. (Lawrence Durrell)

Music heard so deeply / That it is not heard at all, but you are the music / While the music lasts. (T. S. Eliot)

At concerts, for me, the orchestra was like a painter. It flooded me with all the colours of the rainbow. If the violin came in by itself, I was suddenly filled with gold and fire, and with red so bright I could not remember having seen it on any object. (James Elkins)

The blues is an art of ambiguity, an assertion of the irrepressibly human over all circumstances, whether created by others or by one's own human failing. (Ralph Ellison)

Music causes us to think eloquently. (Ralph Waldo Emerson)

Avant-garde music is sort of research music. You're glad someone's done it but you don't necessarily want to listen to it. (Brian Eno)

You can't really imagine music without technology. (Brian Eno)

People do dismiss ambient music, don't they? They call it 'easy listening,' as if to suggest that it should be hard to listen to. (Brian Eno)

I hate talking about music, to tell you the truth. (Brian Eno)

The equivalent of a musician hitting a bum note in front of a roomful of people, in painterly terms, is having a great painting and working on it too long to the point that it 'loses something'... Just as the musician can't go back and hit the right note, the painter can't go back to the 'right note' either. (Michael Epp)

-The Plague of Doves...
The music was more than music - at least what we are used to hearing. The music was feeling itself. The sound connected instantly with something deep and joyous. (Louise Erdrich)

Technology, publicity and sexuality have their place in music, but they are all subordinate to the pleasures and power of true vocal talent. (Christopher John Farley)

Beethoven makes me weep. (Peter Fiore)

Though the Jazz Age continued, it became less and less an affair of youth. The sequel was like a children's party taken over by the elders. (F. Scott Fitzgerald)

Beethoven's Fifth Symphony is the most sublime noise that has ever penetrated the ear of man. (E. M. Forster)

Bach almost persuades me to become a Christian. (Roger Fry)

A guitar is a piece of wood, and if this piece is resonating in a period of 40 or 60 years, it kind of gets to know what it is after awhile... the reason violinists play violins that are hundreds of years old. The wood learns to sing. (Dave Genn)

Drumming is like film directing. You build a framework for everyone to create something together. (James Genn)

Music is the most abstract of the arts and it expresses the sound of the universe itself. These are the real rhythms that stimulate the artist's mind and guide his hand. (Robert Genn)

Certain music is terrifically inspirational and it is possible, months or even years afterwards, to look at a painting and remember the music that was playing during its execution. (Robert Genn)

Carl Orff's Carmina Burana has the ability to take you from placidity to power in one sonic breath. It is music of dignity and strength, with primitive, energetic passages, evoking absolute beauty from the simplest of phrases. It brings up something that has everything to do with significance - squeezing joy and motif that you just can't drop - it stays with you. (Robert Genn)

When we work we are like a flute, through whose heart, the whispering of the hours turns to music. (Kahlil Gibran)

Older folksongs were written often with no commercial purpose in mind. They were passed down by word of mouth, from generation to generation... in most cases... we don't know their composers or authors. (Tom Glazer)

When I listen to music today, it is about 99 percent classical.I rarely even listen to folk music, the music of my own specialty, because folk music is to me more limited than classical music. (Tom Glazer)

Please write music like Wagner, only louder. (Samuel Goldwyn)

The mental imagery involved with pianistic tactilia is not related to the striking of individual keys but rather to the rites of passage between notes. (Glenn Gould)

I know only two tunes: One of them is 'Yankee Doodle' and the other isn't. (Ulysses S. Grant)

As long as there are musicians who have a passion for spontaneity, for creating something that's never been before, the art form of jazz will flourish. (Charlie Haden)

People who don't like classical music just don't listen to it loud enough. (Mark Hahn)

A song is like a saddle: you ride it for a while, and if it's the right kind of song you can sing it for the rest of your life. (Glen Hansard)

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

-Under the Greenwood Tree...
There's a friendly tie of some sort between music and eating. (Thomas Hardy)

If you want to know whether you have written anything worth preserving, sing it to yourself without any accompaniment. (Joseph Haydn)

I occasionally play works by contemporary composers, and for two reasons. First, to discourage the composer from writing any more, and second to remind myself how much I appreciate Beethoven. (Jascha Heifetz)

When words leave off, music begins. (Heinrich Heine)

I try to use my music to move these people to act... (Jimi Hendrix)

If you look at scores by Mozart and Beethoven, if you want to connect the dots, you will get a beautiful mountainscape. (Ted Hesketh)

I liked The Beatles a lot when I was growing up. (Damien Hirst)

For people who live their lives in classical music the Three Tenors is a kind of benign tumor: unsightly but not life threatening. (Bernard Holland)

Take a music bath once or twice a week for a few seasons, and you will find that it is to the soul what the water bath is to the body. (Oliver Wendell Holmes)

Do you remember what Darwin says about music? He claims that the power of producing and appreciating it existed among the human race long before the power of speech was arrived at. Perhaps that is why we are so subtly influenced by it. (Sherlock Holmes)

-in a letter to W. G. Whittaker...
Never compose anything, unless the not composing of it becomes a positive nuisance to you. (Gustav Holst)

The public doesn't want new music; the main thing it demands of a composer is that he be dead. (Arthur Honegger)

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 Hubbard)

Music expresses that which can not be said and on which it is impossible to be silent. (Victor Hugo)

Music is the vapor of art. It is to poetry what reverie is to thought, what fluid is to solid, what the ocean of clouds is to the ocean of waves. (Victor Hugo)

Since Mozart's day composers have learned the art of making music throatily and palpitatingly sexual. (Aldous Huxley)

The notion of representing a sound by a graphic symbol is itself so stupefying a leap of the imagination that what is remarkable is not so much that it happened relatively late in human history, but that it happened at all. (Jack Goody and Ian Watt)

Music, to me, is the most beautiful form, and I love film because film is very related to music. It moves by you in its own rhythm... Imagine the world without music. Man, just hand me a gun, will you? (Jim Jarmusch)

Listen to music while painting. Think less, dance more. There's another side to the music that you can only hear if you're feeling it, instead of listening to it. (Melissa Jean)

For whatever reason, not all people are born with the particular gift of being able to express ourselves through music. And, believe me, it is a gift. (Billy Joel)

More than art, more than literature, music is universally accessible. (Billy Joel)

Of all noises, music is the least disagreeable. (Samuel Johnson)

-referring to music...
The only sensual pleasure without vice. (Samuel Johnson)

-on hearing a famous violinist...
Difficult do you call it, Sir? I wish it were impossible. (Samuel Johnson)

Heard melodies are sweet, but those unheard / Are sweeter; therefore, ye soft pipes, play on. (John Keats)

The majority of people who keel over dead at concerts are killed by a long trumpet passage. (Garrison Keillor)

That's why people listen to music or look at paintings. To get in touch with that wholeness. (Corita Kent)

The visual artist... can transform an animal's limited eyes into totally new ways of seeing. But the musician - that man has forsaken folly and revels in God - deals in a fluid medium unseen and unfelt but ecstatically experienced. (Randy Kentfield)

It is the complexity of melody which makes music beautiful, just as negative spaces make a painting work. When next at the easel, remember we are making music for the eyes. (Mary Kilbreath)

The greatest thing about music is putting it out there for people to figure out. You want the listener to find the song on their own. If you give too much away, it takes away from the imagination. (Diana Krall)

You would never hear any song played twice in the same way. The words were retained, but within a certain frame there was great latitude, and the musician could improvise to his heart's content; and the more the variations and combinations, the greater the musician. (Jiddu Krishnamurti)

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)

-to fellow musician...
Oh, well, you play Bach your way. I'll play him his. (Wanda Landowska)

It had never occurred to me before that music and thinking are so much alike. In fact you could say music is another way of thinking, or maybe thinking is another kind of music. (Ursula K. LeGuin)

Music is the pleasure the human soul experiences from counting without being aware that it is counting. (Gottfried Wilhelm Leibniz)

Listening to music as preparation or background for your work brings you into a creative mood... choose one type of music to calm down, another to reach a higher energy level, depending on the artwork you are doing. (Nita Leland)

The musical emotion springs precisely from the fact that at each moment the composer withholds or adds more or less than the listener anticipates on the basis of a pattern that he thinks he can guess, but that he is incapable of wholly divining. If the composer withholds more than we anticipate, we experience a delicious falling sensation; we feel we have been torn from a stable point on the musical ladder and thrust into the void. When the composer withholds less, the opposite occurs: he forces us to perform gymnastic exercises more skillful than our own. (Claude Levi-Strauss)

Music may be the activity that prepared our pre-human ancestors for speech communication and for the very cognitive, representational flexibility necessary to become humans. (Daniel J. Levitin)

The narrative of serial art works more like music than like literature. (Sol LeWitt)

Music is the universal language of mankind. (Henry Wadsworth Longfellow)

The bottom line is that musicians love to make music and always will. (Jennifer Lopez)

My heart, which is so full to overflowing, has often been solaced and refreshed by music when sick and weary. (Martin Luther)

Music is a discipline, and a mistress of order and good manners, she makes the people milder and gentler, more moral and more reasonable. (Martin Luther)

What is best in music is not to be found in the notes. (Gustav Mahler)

Always, however brutal an age may actually have been, its style transmits its music only. (Andre Malraux)

One good thing about music, / Well, it helps you feel no pain. / So hit me with music; / Hit me with music now. (Bob Marley)

-Life of Pi...
Music is a bird's answer to the noise and heaviness of words. It puts the mind in a state of exhilarated speechlessness. (Yann Martel)

If there had not been music in my life, I would have been a very poor man. (Henri Leopold Masson)

Music is queer. Its power seems unrelated to the other affections of man, so that a person who is elsewhere perfectly commonplace may have for it an extreme and delicate sensitiveness. (W. Somerset Maugham)

Music is the fragrance of the universe. (Giuseppe Mazzini)

But I think a song that is really emotionally packed, with a great melody that just will soar, that's the keeper. (Reba McEntire)

Now music is everywhere - in malls, in movies, in elevators. The world has been Muzaked. It is a world, [Harold] Brown said... 'that's the debasement of music, because it's an industry founded on the premise that silence is bad.' (Pete McMartin)

If the king loves music, there is little wrong in the land. (Mencius)

These seem to me so ambiguous, so vague, so easily misunderstood in comparison to genuine music, which fills the soul with a thousand things better than words. (Felix Mendelssohn)

Music creates order out of chaos. (Yehudi Menuhin)

Jazz voices that unvanquishable, natural will toward creaativity and self-expression, depite everything, in the here and now. (Stephanie Mills)

Such sweet compulsion doth in music lie. (John Milton)

Good jazz is when the leader jumps on the piano, waves his arms, and yells. Fine jazz is when a tenorman lifts his foot in the air. Great jazz is when he heaves a piercing note for 32 bars and collapses on his hands and knees. A pure genius of jazz is manifested when he and the rest of the orchestra run around the room while the rhythm section grimaces and dances around their instruments. (Charles Mingus)

Just listening carefully to what the musicians are really doing, putting the music in the right time... I became aware of the degree to which time, and therefore duration, was important in music and in art. It had a direct influence on my painting. (Guido Molinari)

No, but a cello is the perfect string bass for an accordion. Works with it beautifully. (Elizabeth Moon)

Music is the surest way of reaching someone else's heart. (Dudley Moore)

Music inflames temperament. (Jim Morrison)

I like any reaction I can get with my music. Just anything to get people to think. (Jim Morrison)

Writing music is my one and only passion and joy. (Wolfgang Amadeus Mozart)

What's even worse than a flute? - Two flutes! (Wolfgang Amadeus Mozart)

Music, even in situations of the greatest horror, should never be painful to the ear but should flatter and charm it, and thereby always remain music. (Wolfgang Amadeus Mozart)

If one listens to music deeply and long enough, one can hear and see and feel the music interpretations of colours created by the vibrations of the individual and groupings of sounds. One can see the colour of the instruments. (Alfred Muma)

Many musicians are fabulously skilled at playing the black dots on the printed page, but mystified by how the dots got there in the first place and apprehensive of playing without dots. Music theory does not help here; it teaches rules of the grammar, but not what to say. (Stephen Nachmanovitch)

The good composer is slowly discovered; the bad composer is slowly found out. (Ernest Newman)

-Twilight of the Idols...
Without music life would be a mistake. (Friedrich Nietzsche)

Music is art in real time. As soon as the brain conceives of a variation it is rendered. It is like painting in public, but much more compressed. (Ben Novak)

-quoted in Mark Twain's Autobiography, 1924...
I have been told that Wagner's music is better than it sounds. (Edgar Wilson Nye)

When I write my music I see all the rivers flowing... sensual, spiritual, religious, animal, intellectual... (Laura Nyro)

In Eastern philosophy, the body is seen as an orchestra whose music is the soul. Remove any instrument, or change the way it is played, and you alter the music entirely... each organ must blend harmoniously... to bring forth the most complete and beautiful being, which is You. (Ohashi)

People make music to get a reaction. Music is communication. (Yoko Ono)

If you talk bad about country music, it's like saying bad things about my momma. Them's fightin' words. (Dolly Parton)

All art aspires to the condition of music. (Walter Pater)

A band isn't a band unless they're playing together. Otherwise it's just five guys that are living off their royalty checks. (Joe Perry)

Music gives a soul to the universe, wings to the mind, and life to everything. (Plato)

Musical training is a more potent instrument than any other, becuase rhythm and harmony find their way into the secret places of the soul, on which they mightily fasten, imparting grace, and making the soul graceful of him who is rightly educated, or ungraceful of him who is ill-educated. (Plato)

Music begins to atrophy when it departs too far from dance... poetry begins to atrophy 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)

Man, that record came out and was real big in Memphis. They started playing it, and it got real big. Don't know why - the lyrics had no meaning. (Elvis Presley)

There is geometry in the humming of the strings, there is music in the spacing of the spheres. (Pythagoras)

Music is the greatest communication in the world. Even if people don't understand the language that you're singing in, they still know good music when they hear it. (Lou Rawls)

Martial music has sudden and strongly marked transitions from one note to another which that style of music requires; while in that which is intended to move the softer passions, the notes imperceptibly melt into one another. (Sir Joshua Reynolds)

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

I'm a little obsessive about grammar. I always thought the band should be called The Whom. (Scott Roeben)

Music is the sole art which evokes nostalgia for the future. (Ned Rorem)

If music could be translated into human speech, it would no longer need to exist. (Ned Rorer)

Music, when healthy, is the teacher of perfect order, and when depraved, the teacher of perfect disorder. (John Ruskin)

You could live without the opera singer, but not without the services of the baker. On this ground you might say that the baker performs a greater service; but no lover of music would agree. (Bertrand Russell)

Jazz music is an intensified feeling of nonchalance. (Francoise Sagan)

There is a music for lonely hearts nearly always. If the music dies down there is a silence. Almost the same as the movement of music. To know silence perfectly is to know music. (Carl Sandburg)

Music is essentially useless, as life is, but both lend utility to their conditions. (George Santayana)

Jazz may be a thrilling communion with the primitive soul; or it may be an ear-splitting bore. (Winthrop Sargeant)

-direction on one of his piano pieces...
To be played with both hands in the pocket. (Erik Satie)

Music is the melody whose text is the world. (Arthur Schopenhauer)

Music occupies a certain part of the brain, and allows the other senses to float through colour choices, line and design with spontaneity. (Elfrida Schragen)

Aunt Marion was right... Never marry a musician, and never answer the door. (Charles Schulz)

Music – so different from painting – is the art which we enjoy most in company with others. A symphony, presented in a room with one other listener, would please him but little. (Robert Schumann)

-on Giovanni Battista Pergolesi...
The music takes over the words and makes them speak to me in another language. (Roger Scruton)

I think of music a lot when I paint. The theme of it to a degree is music. So instead of literally putting in music or literally putting in a musical instrument, I use only a hint of the instrument, but the brocaded pattern is like a line of Bach because of its order and the leaves going up are like passages from Vivaldi, and the emphasis on drapery is where the sound comes... (Nelson Shanks)

Music, when soft voices die / Vibrates in the memory. (Percy Bysshe Shelley)

The lines of poetry, the period of prose, and even the texts of Scripture most frequently recollected and quoted, are those which are felt to be preeminently musical. (William Shenstone)

I can't work without it [music]. And it has to be the right kind, because if it's not then I get into a bad mood. I work with a remote so that I can change CDs instantly if I need to. (Cindy Sherman)

I don't like rap music at all. I don't think it's music. It's just a beat and rapping. (Nina Simone)

Jazz is a white term to define black people. My music is black classical music. (Nina Simone)

I only knew classical music, which to me was the only true music. The only way I could survive at the bar was to mix the classical music with popular songs, and that meant I had to sing... I discovered I had a voice plus the talent to mix classical music together with more popular songs... (Nina Simone)

Discord oft in music makes the sweeter lay. (Edmund Spenser)

The best music is essentially there to provide you something to face the world with. (Bruce Springsteen)

Music revives the recollections it would appease. (Madame de Stael)

Kids: they dance before they learn there is anything that isn't music. (William Stafford)

I think no woman I have had ever gave me so sweet a moment, or at so light a price, as the moment I owe to a newly heard musical phrase. (Stendhal)

-Peter Quince at the Clavier...
Music falls on the silence like a sense / A passion that we feel, not understand. (Wallace Stevens)

Music is feeling then, not sound. (Wallace Stevens)

Music can be all things to all men. It is like a great dynamic sun in the center of a solar system which sends out its rays and inspiration in every direction... It is as if the heavens open and a divine voice calls. Something in our souls responds and understands. We are speaking here of the most inspired music. (Leopold Stokowski)

Music comes from the heart and returns to the heart... music is spontaneous, impulsive expression... its range is without limit... forever growing... can be one element to help us build a new conception of life in which the madness and cruelty of wars will be replaced by a simple understanding of the brotherhood of man. (Leopold Stokowski)

Where painting is weakest, namely, in the expression of the highest moral and spiritual ideas, there music is sublimely strong. (Harriet Beecher Stowe)

A good composer does not imitate; he steals. (Igor Stravinsky)

We have a duty toward music, namely to invent it. (Igor Stravinsky)

In music one must think with the heart and feel with the brain. (Geroge Szell)

If my tongue were trained to measures, I would sing a stirring song. (Paul Tillich)

When the colors work together, they have an amazing sound, like a good chorus in harmony. (Aleksander Titovets)

There is a kinship between music and painting - with the same words used to describe both, as when a musical composition is said to have color and a painting to have rhythm. (Alton S. Tobey)

Music is the shorthand of emotion. (Leo Tolstoy)

-The Mysterious Stranger...
An ecstasy is a thing that will not go into words; it feels like music, and one cannot tell about music so that another person can get the feeling of it. (Mark Twain)

The late Bill Nye once said, 'I have been told that Wagner's music is better than it sounds.' (Mark Twain)

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

A harp is a nude piano. (Author unknown)

-from James Gleik's CHAOS...
The music was human; the static was natural. (John Updike)

Anything that is too stupid to be spoken is sung. (Voltaire)

Music begins and ends in the air – it's got to be shared. (Errollyn Wallen)

-The Path to New Music...
So how do people listen to music? How do the broad masses listen to it? Apparently they have to be able to cling to pictures and 'moods' of some kind. If they can't imagine a green field, a blue sky or something of the sort, then they are out of their depth. (Anton Webern)

-The Cornel West Reader...
Music at its best... is the grand archaeology into and transfiguration of our guttural cry, the great human effort to grasp in time our deepest passions and yearnings as prisoners of time. (Cornel West)

There is nothing like a Bach fugue to remove me from a discordant moment... only Bach holds up fresh and strong after repeated playing. I can always return to Bach when the other records weary me. (Edward Weston)

Music makes one feel so romantic – at least it always gets on one's nerves – which is the same thing nowadays. (Oscar Wilde)

Musical people always want one to be perfectly dumb at the very moment when one is longing to be perfectly deaf. (Oscar Wilde)

If one plays good music, people don't listen and if one plays bad music people don't talk. (Oscar Wilde)

-on a passage from his Fourth Symphony...
It looks wrong, and it sounds wrong, but it's right. (Ralph Vaughan Williams)

But I feel music has a very important role in ritual activity, and that being able to join in musical activity, along with dancing, could have been necessary at a very early stage of human culture. (Edward O. Wilson)

Soft is the music that would charm for ever; / The flower of sweetest smell is shy and lowly. (William Wordsworth)

Music is a fantastic peacekeeper of the world, it is integral to harmony, and it is a required fundamental of human emotion. (Xun Zi)

Music has been a fantastic guidance for me. I'll be eternally thankful for this guidance. (Pinchas Zukerman)


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Last modified: September 1, 2014