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Music Quotations (Authors A to L)

Guest Author - Danielle Hollister

Celebrate the day Woodstock opened on August 15, 1969 with this special collection of music quotations...

  1. "Nothing is capable of being well set to music that is not nonsense."
    -- Joseph Addison

  2. "Music, the greatest good that mortals know, And all of heaven we have below."
    -- Joseph Addison

  3. "Mozart has the classic purity of light and the blue ocean; Beethoven the romantic grandeur which belongs to the storms of air and sea, and while the soul of Mozart seems to dwell on the ethereal peaks of Olympus, that of Beethoven climbs shuddering the storm-beaten sides of a Sinai. Blessed be they both! Each represents a moment of the ideal life, each does us good. Our love is due to both."
    -- Henri Frederic Amiel

  4. "Musically, I always allow myself to jump off of 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

  5. "It is only by introducing the young to great literature, drama and music, and to the excitement of great science that we open to them the possibilities that lie within the human spirit -- enable them to see visions and dream dreams."
    -- Eric Anderson

  6. "Music was my refuge. I could crawl into the space between the notes and curl my back to loneliness."
    --Maya Angelou

  7. "Music is either good or bad, and it's got to be learned. You got to have balance."
    -- Louis Armstrong

  8. "Today, music heralds... the establishment of a society of repetition in which nothing will happen anymore."
    -- Jacques Attali

  9. "Music washes away from the soul the dust of everyday life."
    -- Berthold Auerbach (1812-82) German writer

  10. "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

  11. "Love is like a violin. The music may stop now and then, but the strings remain forever."
    -- June Masters Bacher

  12. "It seems to me that those songs that have been any good, I have nothing much to do with the writing of them. The words have just crawled down my sleeve and come out on the page."
    --Joan Baez

  13. "There are two golden rules for an orchestra: start together and finish together. The public doesn't give a damn what goes on in between."
    -- Sir Thomas Beecham

  14. "Of all the music that reached farthest into heaven, it is the beating of a loving heart."
    -- Henry Ward Beecher (1813-87) American clergyman

  15. "Music is the mediator between the spiritual and the sensual life."
    -- Ludwig van Beethoven (1770-1827) German composer

  16. "Music is a higher revelation than philosophy."
    -- Ludwig van Beethoven

  17. "Music - The one incorporeal entrance into the higher world of knowledge which comprehends mankind but which mankind cannot comprehend."
    -- Ludwig van Beethoven

  18. "Music can change the world. "
    -- Ludwig Van Beethoven

  19. "Leaders must encourage their organizations to dance to forms of music yet to be heard."
    -- Warren G. Bennis (b. 1925) American writer, educator, University of Southern California sociologist

  20. "Music can name the unnameable and communicate the unknowable."
    -- Leonard Bernstein (1918-90) American conductor, composer

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

  22. "The earth has grown old with its burden of care But at Christmas it always is young, The heart of the jewel burns lustrous and fair And its soul full of music breaks the air, When the song of angels is sung."
    -- Phillips Brooks (1835-93) American Episcopal bishop

  23. "Christianity helps us face the music even when we don't like the tune."
    -- Phillips Brooks (1835-93)American Episcopal bishop

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

  25. "Music has to breathe and sweat. You have to play it live. "
    -- James Brown

  26. "Every man's work, whether it be literature or music or pictures or architecture or anything else, is always a portrait of himself."
    -- Samuel Butler (1612-80) English poet, author

  27. "Life is like music, it must be composed by ear, feeling and instinct, not by rule. Nevertheless one had better know the rules, for they sometimes guide in doubtful cases, though not often."
    -- Samuel Butler (1612-80) English poet, author

  28. "There is pleasure in the pathless woods, there is rapture in the lonely shore, there is society where none intrudes, by the deep sea, and music in its roar; I love not Man the less, but Nature more."
    -- George Gordon Byron (1788-1824) [Lord Byron] English romantic poet

  29. "Music is a means of rapid transportation. "
    -- John Cage

  30. "To me, the greatest pleasure of writing is not what it's about, but the music the words make."
    -- Truman Capote (1924-84) American novelist

  31. "Writing has laws of perspective, of light and shade just as painting does, or music. If you are born knowing them, fine. If not, learn them. Then rearrange the rules to suit yourself."
    -- Truman Capote (1924-84) American novelist

  32. "A lot of people are singing about how screwed up the world is, and I don't think that everybody wants to hear about that all the time."
    -- Mariah Carey

  33. "Music is well said to be the speech of angels."
    -- Thomas Carlyle (1795-1881) British historian, essayist

  34. "It's a marvelous feeling when someone says 'I want to do this song of yours' because they've connected to it. That's what I'm after."
    -- Mary Chapin Carpenter

  35. "All music comes from God."
    -- Johnny Cash

  36. "If you learn music, you'll learn most all there is to know. "
    -- Edgar Cayce

  37. "Music is nothing separate from me. It is me... You'd have to remove the music surgically. "
    -- Ray Charles

  38. "Thank God I have music to vent my emotions. I’d be in a prison if I didn’t. "
    -- Paula Cole

  39. "Without music, life is a journey through a desert."
    -- Pat Conroy

  40. "Extraordinary how potent cheap music is."
    -- Noel Coward

  41. "As any jazz musician knows, it takes flexibility and adaptability for improvisation to create beauty."
    -- Doc Childre and Bruce Cryer, From Chaos to Coherence

  42. "At that elusive moment when we transcend our ordinary performance and feel in harmony with something else—whether it's a glorious sunset, inspiring music or another human being—our studies have shown that what we are really coming in sync with is ourselves. Not only do we feel more relaxed and at peace, but this entrained state increases our ability to perform well and offers numerous health benefits."
    -- Doc Childre and Howard Martin, HeartMath Solution

  43. "There are so many opportunities in life, that the loss of two or three capabilities is not necessarily debilitating. A handicap can give you the opportunity to focus more on art, writing, or music."
    -- Jim Davis

  44. "Good music is good no matter what kind of music it is. "
    -- Miles Davis

  45. "Praise the Lord and pass the ammunition."
    -- Dixie Chicks, Sin Wagon

  46. "I'd rather be alone like I am tonight, than settle for a kind of love that fades before the morning light."
    -- Dixie Chicks, I Believe In Love

  47. "The truest expression of a people is in its dance and music."
    -- Agnes de Mile (1905-93)

  48. "Number is the Word but is not utterance; it is wave and light, though no one sees it; it is rhythm and music, though no one hears it. Its variations are limitless and yet it is immutable. Each form of life is a particular reverberation of Number."
    -- Maurice Druon From the Memoirs of Zeus

  49. "Music was invented to confirm human loneliness. "
    -- Lawrence Durrell

  50. "I think there are only three things America will be known for 2,000 years from now when they study this civilization: the Constitution, jazz music, and baseball."
    -- Gerald Early writer, baseball documentary

  51. "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. ...I get most you in life out of music. "
    -- Albert Einstein

  52. "He who joyfully marches to music in rank and file has already earned my contempt. He has been given a large brain by mistake, since for him the spinal cord would fully suffice. This disgrace to civilization should be done away with at once. Heroism at command, senseless brutality, and all the loathsome nonsense that goes by the name of patriotism, how violently I hate all this, how despicable and ignoble war is; I would rather be torn to shreds than be part of so base an action! It is my conviction that killing under the cloak of war is nothing but an act of murder."
    --
    (1875-1955) German-born American theoretical physicist, theories of relativity, philosopher

  53. "There is no feeling, except the extremes of fear and grief, that does not find relief in music."
    -- George Eliot (1819-80)

  54. "You are the music while the music lasts."
    --T. S. Eliot

  55. "The angels are so enamoured of the language that is spoken in heaven, that they will not distort their lips with the hissing and unmusical dialects of men, but speak their own, whether there be any who understand it or not."
    --
    (1803-82) American writer, philosopher, poet, essayist

  56. "The sweetest music is not in the oratorio, but in the human voice when it speaks from its instant life tones of tenderness, truth, or courage."
    --Ralph Waldo Emerson ("Art" Essays: First Series)

  57. "The music that can deepest reach, And cure all ill, is cordial speech. "
    -- Ralph Waldo Emerson

  58. "Wish someone would help me write this song.
    -- Pink Floyd, Three Wishes

  59. "Then one year you find ten years have gotten behind, no one told you when to run, you missed the starting gun.
    -- Pink Floyd, Time

  60. "We're just two lost souls swimming in a fish bowl year after year."
    -- Pink Floyd, Wish You Were Here

  61. "Did they get you to trade your heroes for ghosts? Hot ashes for trees? Hot air for a cool breeze? Cold comfort for change? And did you exchange a walk on part in the war, for a lead role in a cage?"
    -- Pink Floyd, Wish You Were Here

  62. "You bought a guitar to punish your Mom."
    -- Pink Floyd, Welcome To The Machine

  63. "Hey you, don't tell me there's no hope at all, together we stand, divided we fall."
    -- Pink Floyd, Hey You

  64. "For millions of years mankind lived just like the animals. Then something happened which unleashed the power of our imagination."
    -- Pink Floyd, Keep Talking

  65. "I always felt rock and roll was very, very wholesome music."
    -- Aretha Franklin

  66. "Music is the wine that fills the cup of silence. "
    -- Robert Fripp

  67. "There has always been a strong relationship between music and religion. It is because they both plug directly into the heart and can have real power for good or evil. "
    -- Peter Gabriel

  68. "We need magic, and bliss, and power, myth, and celebration and religion in our lives, and music is a good way to encapsulate a lot of it. "
    -- Jerry Garcia

  69. "Music is expression of harmony in sound. Love is the expression of harmony in life."
    -- Stephen (F.) Gaskin (b. 1935)American writer, author

  70. "Music is the language of the spirit. It opens the secret of life bringing peace, abolishing strife."
    -- Kahlil Gibran (1883-1931) Syrian-born American mystic poet, painter

  71. "When you work you are a flute through whose heart the whispering of the hours turns to music. Which of you would be a reed, dumb and silent, when all else sings together in unison?"
    --Kahlil Gibran (The Prophet)

  72. "I call architecture frozen music."
    -- Johann Wolfgang von Goethe (1749-1832) German writer, scientist, master of poetry, drama and novel

  73. "Music isn't just learning notes and playing them, You learn notes to play to the music of your soul."
    -- Katie Greenwood

  74. "All the sounds of the earth are like music."
    --Oscar Hammerstein(1895-1960)

  75. "Music is going to break the way because music is in a spiritual thing of its own. It's like the waves of the ocean. You can't just cut out the perfect wave and take it home with you. "
    -- Jimi Hendrix

  76. "Without Elvis, none of us could have made it."
    -- Buddy Holly

  77. "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, Jr. (1841-1935) American associate justice, US Supreme Court

  78. "I been doing the same things as in my younger days, when I was coming up, and now here I am, an old man, up there in the charts. And I say, well, what happened? Have they just thought up the real John Lee Hooker, is that it? And I think, well, I won't tell nobody else! I can't help but wonder what happened."
    --John Lee Hooker (1917-2001)

  79. "Country music is three chords and the truth."
    -- Harlan Howard

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

  81. "Music expresses that which cannot be said and on which it is impossile to be silent."
    -- Victor Hugo (1802-85) French poet, dramatist, writer

  82. "After silence, that which comes nearest to expressing the inexpressible is music."
    -- Aldous Leonard Huxley (1894-1963) British writer

  83. "The history of a people is found in its songs."
    -- George Jellinek

  84. "I learned that the only way you are going to get anywhere in life is to work hard at it. Whether you're a musician, a writer, an athlete or a businessman, there is no getting around it. If you do, you'll win -- if you don't you won't."
    -- Bruce Jenner

  85. "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

  86. "It is from the blues that all that may be called American music derives it most distinctive characteristics."
    -- James Weldon Johnson

  87. "The Blues? It's the mother of American music. That's what it is the Source." "
    -- B. B. King

  88. "If a man is called to be a streetsweeper, he should sweep streets even as Michelangelo painted, or Beethoven played music, or Shakespeare wrote poetry. He should sweep streets so well that all the hosts of heaven and earth will pause to say, here lived a great streetsweeper who did his job well."
    -- Martin Luther King, Jr. (1929-68) African-American reverend, civil rights leader

  89. "Music is Love in search of a word."
    -- Sidney Lanier (1842-81) American writer, musician

  90. "Music is the vernacular of the human soul."
    -- Geoffrey Latham

  91. "It requires wisdom to understand wisdom; the music is nothing if the audience is deaf."
    -- Walter J. Lippmann

  92. "Just as certain selections of music will nourish your physical body and your emotional layer, so other musical works will bring greater health to your mind."
    -- Hal A. Lingerman

  93. "The Spirit speaks directly to our hearts through music. That's why music has always had such power to move people into positive action. "
    -- Kenny Loggins

  94. "People whose sensibility is destroyed by music in trains, airports, lifts, cannot concentrate on a Beethoven Quartet."
    -- Witold Lutoslawski


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