I think music is important for many reasons. Music is a great uniter, a common interest, a shared love. People from all walks of life appreciate music. There’s no barrier it cannot break, no boundary it cannot cross.
I need music to live almost as surely as I need oxygen. Like an addict, I need it every day. My life would be incomplete without it. Even when there’s no music being played, music is in my head.
Music helps me shoulder my burdens and eases my soul. Music buoys me up when I’m down and calms me down when I’m agitated. Music has been my friend when it seemed I had none.
Music shares your joys and your sorrows. Music lets you know you’re not alone in this world, but can also isolate you from it, serving as both commune and refuge.
Music speaks to the Community of Man; a sameness of experience or feelings we all know but can’t always grasp. Music speaks a universal language that anyone can understand, despite its many dialects, if they know how to listen.
Quotes about music:
“If music be the food of love, play on...”
- Shakespeare, "Twelfth Night"
“Musick has Charms to sooth a savage Breast”
- William Congreve, "The Mourning Bride"
"The man that hath no music in himself,
Nor is not mov'd with concord of sweet sounds,
Is fit for treasons, stratagems, and spoils."
- Shakespeare, "The Merchant of Venice"
“Music’s golden tongue
Flatter’d to tears this aged man and poor.”
- John Keats, "The Eve of St. Agnes"
“O Music! Sphere-descended maid,
Friend of Pleasure, Wisdom’s aid!”
- William Collins, "The Passions"
“Music is well said to be the speech of angels.”
- Thomas Carlyle, "Essays - The Opera"
“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 dissolves the straight and narrow.”
- Mason Cooley, "City Aphorisms"
” Great music is that which penetrates the ear with facility and leaves the memory with difficulty. Magical music never leaves the memory.”
- Thomas Beecham
“This music crept by me upon the waters,
Allaying both their fury and my passion
With its sweet air; thence have I followed it,
Or it hath drawn me rather.”
- Shakespeare, "The Tempest"
“Music is the best means we have of digesting time."
- W.H. Auden
“Music was invented to confirm human loneliness.”
- Lawrence Durrell, "Clea"
“Music and Wine are one.”
- Ralph Waldo Emerson, "Bacchus"
“The finer the music the less ignorant persons like it.”
- Honoré de Balzac, "Ursula"
“Music is the sound of the universal laws promulgated. It is the only assured tone. There are in it such strains as far surpass any man’s faith in the loftiness of his destiny. Things are to be learned which it will be worth the while to learn.”
- Henry David Thoreau, "A Week on the Concord and Merrimack Rivers"
“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, "Essay On Music"
“Music is the sole art which evokes nostalgia for the future.”
- Ned Rorem
"Music conveys moods and images. Even in opera, where plots deal with the structure of destiny, it’s music, not words, that provides power.”
- Marcel Marceau
(It's not often does one encounter quotes from a mime!)
“Music, of all the arts, stands in a special region, unlit by any star but its own, and utterly without meaning … except its own.”
- Leonard Bernstein, "The Joys of Music"
“Through music the passions enjoy themselves.”
- Friedrich Nietzsche
“Without music to decorate it, time is just a bunch of boring production deadlines or dates by which bills must be paid.”
- Frank Zappa
“The music in my heart I bore,
Long after it was heard no more”
- William Wordsworth, "The Solitary Reaper"
“Good music is very close to primitive language."
- Denis Diderot, "orrespondence of Ideas with the Motion of Organs"
“All good music resembles something. Good music stirs by its mysterious resemblance to the objects and feelings which motivated it.”
- Jean Cocteau, "Le Coq et l’Arlequin"
“Music … can name the unnamable and communicate the unknowable.”
- Leonard Bernstein
“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, "Prisoner of Love"
“There is sweet music here that softer falls
Than petals from blown roses on the grass,
Or night-dews on still waters between walls
Of shadowy granite, in a gleaming pass;
Music that gentlier on the spirit lies,
Than tired eyelids upon tired eyes;
Music that brings sweet sleep down from the blissful skies"
- Alfred Lord Tennyson, "The Lotus-Eaters"
“If music could be translated into human speech, it would no longer need to exist.”
- Ned Rorem, "Music from Inside Out"
“Alas! All music jars when the soul’s out of tune.”
- Miguel De Cervantes, "Don Quixote"
“Music is so much a part of their daily lives that if an Indian visits another reservation one of the first questions asked on his return is: “What new songs did you learn?” “
- Frances Densmore, "Chippewa Music"
“Music is a good thing; and after all that soul-butter and hogwash, I never see it freshen up things so, and sound so honest and bully.”
- Mark Twain, "The Adventures of Huck Finn"
“Give me some music; music, moody food
Of us that trade in love.”
- William Shakespeare, "Antony and Cleopatra"
“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.”
- Herman Hess
“The Church knew what the psalmist knew: Music praises God. Music is well or better able to praise him than the building of the church and all its decoration; it is the Church’s greatest ornament."
- Igor Stravinsky
“Sweet sounds, oh, beautiful music, do not cease!
Reject me not into the world again.
With you alone is excellence and peace,
Mankind made plausible, his purpose plain.”
- Edna St. Vincent Millay
“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, "Wealth"
“The dignity of art probably appears most eminently with music since it does not have any material that needs to be discounted. Music is all form and content and elevates and ennobles everything that it expresses.”
- Johann Wolfgang Von Goethe, "Reflections in the Spirit of the Travellers"
“It is cruel, you know, that music should be so beautiful. It has the beauty of loneliness & of pain: of strength & freedom. The beauty of disappointment & never-satisfied love. The cruel beauty of nature, & everlasting beauty of monotony.”
- Benjamin Britten, "A Working Life"
“Lovers of painting and lovers of music are people who openly display their preference like a delectable ailment that isolates them and makes them proud.”
- Maurice Blanchot, "The Space of Literature"
“A verbal art like poetry is reflective; it stops to think. Music is immediate, it goes on to become.”
- W. H. Auden, "The Dyer’s Hand"
“The feelings that Beethoven put into his music were the feelings of a god. There was something Olympian in his snarls and rages, and there was a touch of hellfire in his mirth.”
- H. L. Mencken, "Selected Prejudices"
“All art constantly aspires towards the condition of music.”
- Walter Pater, "The School of Giorgione"
“Whatever has made, or does make, or may make music, should be held sacred as the golden bridle-bit of the Shah of Persia’s horse, and the golden hammer, with which his hoofs are shod."
- Herman Melville
“I traveled and made money and I wouldn’t let anybody get between me and my music. If I belong to anything, I belong to my music."
- Eva Jessye
“As polishing expresses the vein in marble, and grain in wood, so music brings out what of heroic lurks anywhere. The hero is the sole patron of music.”
- Henry David Thoreau
“So long as the human spirit thrives on this planet, music in some living form will accompany and sustain it and give it expressive meaning."
- Aaron Copeland
“How little it takes to make us happy! The sound of a bagpipe. - Without music life would be a mistake. The German even imagines God as singing songs."
- Friedrich Nietzsche
“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
“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
“There is no truer truth obtainable by Man than comes of music.”
- Robert Browning