Great Throughts Treasury

A database of quotes

Music

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

"Every man's work, whether it be literature or music or pictures or architecture or anything else, is always a portrait of himself, and the more he tries to conceal himself the more clearly his character appear in spite of him." - Samuel Butler

"Benevolence is not in word and in tongue, but in deed and in truth. It is a business with men as they are, and with human life as drawn by the rough hand of experience. It is a duty which you must perform at the call of principle; though there be no voice of eloquence to give splendor to your exertions, and no music of poetry to lead your willing footsteps through the bowers of enchantment. It is not the impulse of high and ecstatic emotion. It is an exertion of principle. :You must go to the poor man’s cottage, though no verdure flourish around it, the gentleness of its murmurs. If you look for the romantic simplicity of fiction you will be disappointed; but it is your duty to persevere in spite of every discouragement. Benevolence is not merely a feeling but a principle; not a dream of rapture for the fancy to indulge in, but a business for the hand to execute." - Thomas Chalmers

"There have been men who could play delightful music on one string of the violin, but there never was a man who could produce the harmonies of heaven in his soul by a one-stringed virtue." - Edwin Hubbell Chapin

"Poetry is the music of thought, conveyed to us in music of language." -

"Music has charms to soothe a savage breast, to soften rocks, or bend a knotted oak. I’ve read that things inanimate have moved, and, as with living souls, have been informed by magic numbers and persuasive sound." - William Congreve

"We settle things by a majority vote, and the psychological effect of doing that is to create the impression that the majority is probably right. Of course, on any fine issue the majority is sure to be wrong. Think of taking a majority vote on the best music. Jazz would win over Chopin. Or on the best novel. Many cheap scribblers would win over Tolstoy. And any day a prizefight will get a bigger crowd, larger gate receipts and wider newspaper publicity than any new revelation of goodness, truth or beauty could hope to achieve in a century." - Harry Emerson Fosdick

"The direct relation of music is not to ideas, but to emotions - in the works of its greatest masters, it is more marvelous, more mysterious than poetry." - Henry Giles

"They [trees] hang on from a past no theory can recover. They will survive us. The air makes their music. Otherwise, they live in savage silence, though mites and nematodes and spiders teem at their roots, and though the energy with which they feed on the sun and are able to draw water sometimes hundred of feet up their trunks and into their twigs and branches calls for a deafening volume of sound." - John Hay, fully John Milton Hay

"Character is the product of daily, hourly actions, and words and thoughts; daily forgiveness, unselfishness, kindnesses, sympathies, charities, sacrifices for the good of others, struggles against temptation, submissiveness under trial. Oh, it is these, like the blending colors in a picture or the blending notes of music which constitute the man." - James Ramsay MacDonald

"All music - since its though is upon melody and rhythm - must be the earthly representation of the music there is in the rhythm of the Ideal Realm." - Plotinus NULL

"They all were ravished by a glimpse of heaven, where everything is known and yet forgiven, and all that is not music is pure silence." -

"Music is harmony, harmony is perfection, perfection is our dream, and our dream is heaven." -

"To know how to suggest is the great art of teaching. To attain it we must be able to guess what will interest; we must learn to read the childish soul as we might a piece of music. Then, by simply changing the key, we keep up the attraction and vary the song." -

"Where words fail, music speaks." - Hans Christian Anderson

"Music exalts each joy, allays each grief, expels diseases, softens every pain, subdues the rage and poison and of plague." - John Armstrong

"A verbal art like poetry is reflective; it stops to think. Music is immediate, it goes on to become." - W. H. Auden, fully Wystan Hugh Auden

"Music is a universal language, and needs not be translated. With it soul speaks to soul." - Berthold Auerbach

"Music washes away from the soul the dust of every-day life." - Berthold Auerbach

"Music, not being made up of objects nor referring to objects, is intangible and ineffable; it can only be, as it were, inhaled by the spirit: the rest is silence." -

"Music is a higher revelation than philosophy." -

"Music is the mediator between the spiritual and the sensual life. Although the spirit be not master of that which it creates through music, yet it is blessed in this creation, which, like every creation of art, is mightier than the artist." -

"In the germ, when the first trace of life begins to stir, music is the nurse of the soul; it murmurs in the ear, and the child sleeps; the tones are companions of his dreams, they are the world in which he lives." - Bettina Skrzypczak

"In the germ, when the first trace of life begins to stir, music is the nurse of the soul; it murmurs in the ear, and the child sleeps; the tones are companions of his dreams, they are the world in which he lives." - Antoine Bettini

"It calls in my spirits, composes my thoughts, delights my ear, recreates my mind, and so not only fits me for after business, but fills my heart, at the present, with pure and useful thoughts; so that when the music sounds the sweetliest in my ears, truth commonly flows the clearest into my mind." - William Beveridge

"Music is a part of us, and either ennobles or degrades our behavior." - Boethius, fully Anicius Manlius Severinus Boethius NULL

"Music is the fourth great material want of our natures - first food, then raiment, then shelter, then music." - Christian Nestell Bovee

"Music is the fourth great material want of our nature, first is food, then raiment, then shelter, then music." - John Christian Bovee

"Chamber music - a conversation between friends." - Catherine Bowen, née Catherine Shober Drinker

"There's a strange music in the stirring wind." - Samuel Bowles III

"Music evokes the spirit of prophecy." -

"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 Bulwer-Lytton, 1st Baron Lytton, fully Edward George Earle Lytton Bulwer-Lytton, Lord Lytton

"Among the instrumentalites of love and peace, surely there can be no sweeter, softer, more effective voice than that of gentle peace-breathing music." - Elihu Burritt

"A man's work whether in music, painting or literature is always a portrait of himself." - Samuel Butler

"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

"The mind, the music breathing from her face." -

"Music is the language of praise; and one of the most essential preparations for eternity is delight in praising God; a higher acquirement, I do think, than even delight and devotedness to prayer." - Allan Chalmers, fully Allan Knight Chalmers

"Poetry is the music of thought, conveyed to us in the music of language." -

"Digestion exists for health, and health exists for life, and life exists for the love of music or beautiful things." - G. K. Chesterton, fully Gilbert Keith Chesterton

"Music is a prophecy of what life is to be; the rainbow of promise translated out of seeing into hearing." -

"Music hath charm to soothe the savage breast, to soften rocks, or bend a knotted oak." - William Congreve

"The child's entire life is influenced by his ability to listen. Good listening habits make it possible for him to broaden his knowledge, enjoy music, conversation, storytelling, drama; discriminating listening makes it possible for him to select radio and television programs for enjoyment. Critical listening helps him function intelligently in selection of governmental leaders. It is quite possible that the ability to listen effectively may be one of the most valuable tools he can use in his efforts to bring understanding and peace to the world." - Lucile Cypreansen

"Only paper flowers are afraid of the rain. We are not afraid of the noble rain of criticism because with it will flourish the magnificent garden of music." - Konstanin Dankevich or Dankevych

"If I had my life to live again, I would have made a rule to read some poetry and listen to some music at least once every week; for perhaps the parts of my brain now atrophied would thus have been kept active through use. The loss of these tastes is a loss of happiness, and may possibly be injurious to the intellect, and more probably to the moral character, by enfeebling the emotional part of our nature." - Charles Darwin, fully Charles Robert Darwin

"If I had my life to live over again, I would have made a rule to read some poetry and listen to some music at least once a week; for perhaps the parts of my brain now atrophied would have thus been kept active through use. The loss of these tastes is a loss of happiness, and may possibly be injurious to the intellect, and more probably to the moral character, by enfeebling the emotional part of our nature." - Charles Darwin, fully Charles Robert Darwin

"Music was invented to confirm human loneliness." -

"There exists a passion for comprehension, just as there exists a passion for music. That passion is rather common in children but gets lost in most people later on. Without this passion, there would be neither mathematics nor natural science." - Albert Einstein

"Is it any weakness, pray, to be wrought on by exquisite music? to feel its wondrous harmonies searching the subtlest windings of your soul, the delicate fibres of life where no memory can penetrate, and binding together your whole being, past and present, in one ;unspeakable vibration; melting you in one moment with all the tenderness, all the love, that has been scattered through the toilsome years, concentrating in one emotion of heroic courage or resignation all the hard-learned lessons of self-renouncing sympathy, blending your present joy with past sorrow, and your present sorrow with all your past joy?" - George Eliot, pen name of Mary Ann or Marian Evans