An aphorism is nothing else but the slightest
form of writing raised to the highest level of expressive communication. Carl William Brown





Music, the greatest good that mortals know, And all of heaven we have below.


Joseph Addison (1672-1719, British essayist, poet, statesman)


Nothing is capable of being well set to music that is not nonsense.


Joseph Addison (1672-1719, British essayist, poet, statesman)


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 (1821-1881, Swiss philosopher, poet, critic)


There is two kinds of music; the good and bad. I play the good kind.


Louis Armstrong (1898-1971, American jazz trumpeter, singer)


What we play is life.


Louis Armstrong (1898-1971, American jazz trumpeter, singer)


Today, music heralds...the establishment of a society of repetition in which nothing will happen anymore.


Jacques Attali (1943-, Algerian-born French economist, writer)


A verbal art like poetry is reflective; it stops to think. Music is immediate, it goes on to become.


W. H. Auden (1907-1973, Anglo-American poet)


I wish Frank Sinatra would just shut up and sing.


Lauren Bacall (1924-, American actress)


A musicologist is a man who can read music but cannot hear it.


Sir Thomas Beecham (1879-1961, British conductor)


Great music is that which penetrates the ear with facility and leaves the memory with difficulty. Magical music never leaves the memory.


Sir Thomas Beecham (1879-1961, British conductor)


The English may not like music, but they absolutely love the noise it makes.


Sir Thomas Beecham (1879-1961, British conductor)


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 (1879-1961, British conductor)


She was one of those people who said "I don't know anything about music, but I know what I like."


Max Beerbohm (1872-1956, British actor)


Beethoven can write music, thank God, but he can do nothing else on earth.


Ludwig Van Beethoven (1770-1827, German composer)


Music is the mediator between the spiritual and the sensual life.


Ludwig Van Beethoven (1770-1827, German composer)


Music should strike fire from the heart of man, and bring tears form the eyes of woman.


Ludwig Van Beethoven (1770-1827, German composer)


Music hath the charm to soothe a savage beast, but I'd try a revolver first.


Josh Billings (1815-1885, American humorist, lecturer)


Music of all the arts has the most influence on the passions and the legislator should give it the greatest encouragement.


Napoleon Bonaparte (1769-1821, French general, emperor)


Music is the fourth great material want, first food, then clothes, then shelter, then music.


John Christian Bovee (1820-1904, American author, lawyer)


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 (1913-1976, British composer)


We are aware that the conductor is not really making the music, it is making him -- if he is relaxed, open and attuned, then the invisible will take possession of him; through him, it will reach us.


Peter Stephen Paul Brook (1925-, British theater and film director)


I'm not going to be joining ZZ Top. You know they can't play my stuff. It's too complicated.


James Brown (1933-, American musician, singer, bandleader, songwriter)


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


James Brown (1933-, American musician, singer, bandleader, songwriter)


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 (1612-1680, British poet, satirist)


As I define it, rock and roll is dead. The attitude isn't dead, but the music is no longer vital. It doesn't have the same meaning. The attitude, though, is still very much alive -- and it still informs other kinds of music.


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 (1912-1992, American composer)


Truly fertile Music, the only kind that will move us, that we shall truly appreciate, will be a Music conducive to Dream, which banishes all reason and analysis. One must not wish first to understand and then to feel. Art does not tolerate Reason.


Albert Camus (1913-1960, French existential writer)


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 (1970-, American musician, singer, songwriter)


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


Thomas Carlyle (1795-1881, Scottish philosopher, author)


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 (1795-1881, Scottish philosopher, author)


One is hardly sensible of fatigue while he marches to music.


Thomas Carlyle (1795-1881, Scottish philosopher, author)


Song is the heroics of speech.


Thomas Carlyle (1795-1881, Scottish philosopher, author)


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 (1958-, American musician, singer, songwriter)


Alas! all music jars when the soul's out of tune.


Miguel De Cervantes (1547-1616, Spanish novelist, dramatist, poet)


Music is the refuge of souls ulcerated by happiness.


E. M. Cioran (1911-1995, Rumanian-born French philosopher)


All good music resembles something. Good music stirs by its mysterious resemblance to the objects and feelings which motivated it.


Jean Cocteau (1889-1963, French author, filmmaker)


Music has charms to soothe the savage beast, to soften rocks, or bend a knotted oak.


William Congreve (1670-1729, British dramatist)


Without music, life is a journey through a desert.


Pat Conroy


Canned music is like audible wallpaper.


Alistair Cooke (1908-2004, British broadcaster, journalist)


Nothing separates the generations more than music. By the time a child is eight or nine, he has developed a passion for his own music that is even stronger than his passions for procrastination and weird clothes.


Bill Cosby (1937-, American actor, comedian, producer)


Extraordinary how potent cheap music is.


Noel Coward (1899-1973, British writer)


Don't play what's there, play what's not there.


Miles Davis (1926-1991, American jazz musician)


Good music is very close to primitive language.


Denis Diderot (1713-1784, French philosopher)


Composers shouldn't think too much -- it interferes with their plagiarism.


Howard Dietz


The high note is not the only thing.


Placido Domingo (1941-, Spanish-born American musician, opera singer)


Music can name the unnamable and communicate the unknowable.


James Duffecy


Music is only love looking for words.


Lawrence Durrell (1912-1990, British author)


Music was invented to confirm human loneliness.


Lawrence Durrell (1912-1990, British author)


Mozart is sweet sunshine.


Antonin Dvorak


I always seem to have a vague feeling that he is a Satan among musicians, a fallen angel in the darkness who is perpetually seeking to fight his way back to happiness.


Havelock Ellis (1859-1939, British psychologist)


You are the music while the music lasts.


T. S. Eliot (1888-1965, American-born British poet, critic)


Music causes us to think eloquently.


Ralph Waldo Emerson (1803-1882, American poet, essayist)


Music is the only language in which you cannot say a mean or sarcastic thing.


John Erskine (1878-1951, American poet, essayist, novelist, musician)


I've always felt rock and roll was very, very wholesome music.


Aretha Franklin (1942-, American musician, singer, composer, pianist)


Americans want grungy people, stabbing themselves in the head on stage. They get a bright bunch like us, with deodorant on, they don't get it.


Liam Gallagher (1972-, British-born American musician, singer, songwriter)


The music of life is in danger of being lost in the music of the voice.


Mahatma Gandhi (1869-1948, Indian political, spiritual leader)


Opera is when a guy gets stabbed in the back and instead of bleeding he sings.


Edward Gardner (American businessman, founder of Soft Sheen Products)


Perhaps all music, even the newest, is not so much something discovered as something that re-emerges from where it lay buried in the memory, inaudible as a melody cut in a disc of flesh. A composer lets me hear a song that has always been shut up silent within me.


Jean Genet (1910-1986, French playwright, novelist)


True music must repeat the thought and inspirations of the people and the time. My people are Americans and my time is today.


George Gershwin


Sounds like the blues are composed of feeling, finesse, and fear.


Billy Gibbons


A song will outlive all sermons in the memory.


Henry Giles


The effects of good music are not just because it's new; on the contrary music strikes us more the more familiar we are with it.


Johann Wolfgang Von Goethe (1749-1832, German poet, dramatist, novelist)


I know only two tunes. One them is "Yankee Doodle" and the other isn't.


Ulysses S. Grant (1822-1885, American President (18th))


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


Benny Green


When Mozart was composing at the end of the eighteenth century, the city of Vienna was so quiet that fire alarms could be given verbally, by a shouting watchman mounted on top of St. Stefan's Cathedral. In twentieth-century society, the noise level is such that it keeps knocking our bodies out of tune and out of their natural rhythms. This ever-increasing assault of sound upon our ears, minds, and bodies adds to the stress load of civilized beings trying to live in a highly complex environment.


Steven Halpern


Words are poor interpreters in the realms of emotion. When all words end, music begins; when they suggest, it realizes; and hence is the secret of its strange, inexpressible power.


H. R. Haweis


Music and dancing (the more the pity) have become so closely associated with ideas of riot and debauchery among the less cultivated classes, that a taste for them, for their own sakes, can hardly be said to exist, and before they can be recommended as innocent or safe amusements, a very great change of ideas must take place.


Sir John Herschel (1792-1871, British scientist)


I am fond of music I think because it is so amoral. Everything else is moral and I am after something that isn't. I have always found moralizing intolerable.


Hermann Hesse (1877-1962, German-born Swiss novelist, poet)


It is the stretched soul that makes music, and souls are stretched by the pull of opposites -- opposite bents, tastes, yearnings, loyalties. Where there is no polarity -- where energies flow smoothly in one direction -- there will be much doing but no music.


Eric Hoffer (1902-1983, American author, philosopher)


Without Elvis, none of us could have made it.


Buddy Holly


Without Elvis, none of us could have made it.


Buddy Holly


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 (1809-1894, American author, wit, poet)


Country music is three chords and the truth.


Harlan Howard


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


Elbert Hubbard (1859-1915, American author, publisher)


Music expresses that which can not be said and on which it is impossible to be silent


Victor Hugo (1802-1885, French poet, dramatist, novelist)


Berlioz says nothing in his music, but he says it magnificently.


James G. Huneker (1860-1921, American critic, musician)


After silence that which comes nearest to expressing the inexpressible is music.


Aldous Huxley (1894-1963, British author)


I was a veteran before I was a teenager.


Michael Jackson (1958-, American musician, songwriter)


The history of a people is found in its songs.


George Jellinek


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 (1949-, American musician, piano man, singer, songwriter)


It is from the blues that all that may be called American music derives it most distinctive characteristics.


James Weldon Johnson (1871-1938, American writer, diplomat)


Music is the only sensual pleasure without vice.


Samuel Johnson (1709-1784, British author)


'Tis the common disease of all your musicians that they know no mean, to be entreated, either to begin or end.


Ben Jonson (1573-1637, British dramatist, poet)


Music is the vernacular of the human soul.


Geoffrey Latham


I resent performing for frisking idiots who don't know anything.


John Lennon (1940-1980, British rock musician)


Since music is a language with some meaning at least for the immense majority of mankind, although only a tiny minority of people are capable of formulating a meaning in it, and since it is the only language with the contradictory attributes of being at once intelligible and untranslatable, the musical creator is a being comparable to the gods, and music itself the supreme mystery of the science of man, a mystery that all the various disciplines come up against and which holds the key to their progress.


Claude Levi-Strauss (1908-, French anthropologist)


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 skilful than our own.


Claude Levi-Strauss (1908-, French anthropologist)


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


And the night shall be filled with music, and the cares, that infest the day, shall fold their tents, like the Arabs, and as silently steal away.


Henry Wadsworth Longfellow (1819-1892, American poet)


I have no pleasure in any man who despises music. It is no invention of ours: it is a gift of God. I place it next to theology. Satan hates music: he knows how it drives the evil spirit out of us.


Martin Luther (1483-1546, German leader of the protestant reformation)


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


Martin Luther (1483-1546, German leader of the protestant reformation)


Next to theology I give music the highest place of honor.


Martin Luther (1483-1546, German leader of the protestant reformation)


People whose sensibility is destroyed by music in trains, airports, lifts, cannot concentrate on a Beethoven Quartet.


Witold Lutoslawski (1913-1994, Polish composer)


A woman's two cents worth is worth two cents in the music business.


Loretta Lynn (1935-, American musician, singer, songwriter)


There is something suspicious about music, gentlemen. I insist that she is, by her nature, equivocal. I shall not be going too far in saying at once that she is politically suspect.


Thomas Mann (1875-1955, German author, critic)


We fight our way through the massed and leveled collective safe taste of the Top 40, just looking for a little something we can call our own. But when we find it and jam the radio to hear it again it isn't just ours -- it is a link to thousands of others who are sharing it with us. As a matter of a single song this might mean very little; as culture, as a way of life, you can't beat it.


Greil Marcus (1945-, American rock journalist)


Modern music is as dangerous as narcotics.


Pietro Mascagni


The opera is to music what a bawdy house is to a cathedral.


H. L. Mencken (1880-1956, American editor, author, critic, humorist)


Music is a beautiful opiate, if you don't take it too seriously.


Henry Miller (1891-1980, American author)


Such sweet compulsion doth in music lie.


John Milton (1608-1674, British poet)


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