Quotes about music

A collection of quotes on the topic of music.

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Johann Sebastian Bach photo

„All music should have no other end and aim than the glory of God and the soul's refreshment; where this is not remembered there is no real music but only a devilish hubbub.“

—  Johann Sebastian Bach German late baroque era composer 1685 - 1750

Quoted in Ludwig Prautzsch Bibel und Symbol in den Werken Bachs, p. 7 http://books.google.co.uk/books?id=xaG9peANY9kC&pg=PA7&dq=teuflisches+%22Finis+und+Endursache+anders+nicht,+als+nur+zu+Gottes+Ehre+%22;translation from Albert Schweitzer (trans. Ernest Newman) J. S. Bach (New York: Dover, 1966), vol. 1, p. 167
Variant: Like all music, the figured bass should have no other end and aim than the glory of God and the recreation of the soul; where this is not kept in mind there is no true music, but only an infernal clamour and ranting.

Redd Foxx photo

„Music played a large role in the survival of the black people in America — that and a sense of humor that just couldn't be enslaved.“

—  Redd Foxx American comedian and actor 1922 - 1991

The Redd Foxx Encyclopedia of Black Humor (1977) (co-written with Norma Miller)

Glenn Gould photo

„I think that if I were required to spend the rest of my life on a desert island, and to listen to or play the music of any one composer during all that time, that composer would almost certainly be Bach.“

—  Glenn Gould Canadian pianist 1932 - 1982

Gramophone
Context: I think that if I were required to spend the rest of my life on a desert island, and to listen to or play the music of any one composer during all that time, that composer would almost certainly be Bach. I really can't think of any other music which is so all-encompassing, which moves me so deeply and so consistently, and which, to use a rather imprecise word, is valuable beyond all of its skill and brilliance for something more meaningful than that -- its humanity.

Marcel Marceau photo

„Music and silence… combine strongly because music is done with silence, and silence is full of music.“

—  Marcel Marceau French mime and actor 1923 - 2007

US News & World R eport (23 February 1987)

Ludwig Van Beethoven photo

„Music is like a dream. One that I cannot hear.“

—  Ludwig Van Beethoven German Romantic composer 1770 - 1827

Conversations (January 1804)

Sergei Rachmaninoff photo
Dmitri Shostakovich photo

„What can be considered human emotions? Surely not only lyricism, sadness, tragedy? Doesn't laughter also have a claim to that lofty title? I want to fight for the legitimate right of laughter in "serious" music.“

—  Dmitri Shostakovich Russian composer and pianist 1906 - 1975

From an article in Sovetskoye Iskusstvo, November 5, 1934; translation from Laurel Fay Shostakovich: A Life (2000) p. 77.

James Hetfield photo

„I like playing music because it's a good living and I get satisfaction from it. But I can't feed my family with satisfaction.“

—  James Hetfield American musician, songwriter and record producer 1963

Playboy, April 2001

Kurt Cobain photo
Kurt Cobain photo

„Jocks have completely taken over music… And just to get back at them, I’m going to start playing basketball.“

—  Kurt Cobain American musician and artist 1967 - 1994

As quoted in Musician (1993-10).
Interviews (1989-1994), Print

Amos (prophet) photo
Albert Schweitzer photo

„There are two means of refuge from the misery of life — music and cats.“

—  Albert Schweitzer French-German physician, theologian, musician and philosopher 1875 - 1965

Variant: There are two means of refuge from the miseries of life: music and cats.

Antonio Vivaldi photo

„If you don't like this, I'll stop writing music.“

—  Antonio Vivaldi Italian composer 1678 - 1741

Se questa non piace, non voglio più scrivere di musica.
Quoted in: Michael Talbot (1978) Vivaldi, p. 90
An ironic note written upon an aria score of his opera Orlando Furioso (1727).

Justin Bieber photo

„I want to grow as an artist and I'm taking a step out, I want my music to mature.“

—  Justin Bieber Canadian singer-songwriter, record producer, and actor 1994

Radio interview to Power 106, as quoted in Daily Mail, 'I'm retiring man': Justin Bieber announces that he's quitting his career as a singer during interview on national radio http://www.dailymail.co.uk/tvshowbiz/article-2525612/Justin-Bieber-announces-hes-quitting-career-singer-interview-national-radio.html, 18 December, 2013

Kurt Cobain photo
Ludwig Van Beethoven photo
Michio Kaku photo

„We actually have a candidate for the mind of God. The mind of God we believe is cosmic music, the music of strings resonating through 11 dimensional hyperspace. That is the mind of God.“

—  Michio Kaku American theoretical physicist, futurist and author 1947

Math is the Mind of God http://bigthink.com/dr-kakus-universe/math-is-the-mind-of-god?utm_source=feedburner&utm_medium=feed&utm_campaign=Feed%3A+bigthink%2Fblogs%2Fdr-kakus-universe+%28Dr.+Kaku%27s+Universe%29 (29 December 2012)

Michio Kaku photo

„… the "Mind of God," which Einstein wrote eloquently about, is cosmic music resonating throughout hyperspace.“

—  Michio Kaku American theoretical physicist, futurist and author 1947

Source: Parallel Worlds: A Journey Through Creation, Higher Dimensions, and the Future of the Cosmos

Frank Zappa photo

„Information is not knowledge. Knowledge is not wisdom. Wisdom is not truth. Truth is not beauty. Beauty is not love. Love is not music. Music is the best…“

—  Frank Zappa American musician, songwriter, composer, and record and film producer 1940 - 1993

"Packard Goose"
"Joe's Garage Acts II & III" (1979)
Variant: Information is not knowledge. Knowledge is not wisdom. Wisdom is not truth. Truth is not beauty. Beauty is not love. Love is not music. Music is the best.

Ludwig Van Beethoven photo

„Music is the one incorporeal entrance into the higher world of knowledge which comprehends mankind but which mankind cannot comprehend.“

—  Ludwig Van Beethoven German Romantic composer 1770 - 1827

As reported by Elizabeth Brentano (Bettina) in a letter to Goethe, 27 May 1810.
Quoted in Edwin Burgum The new criticism (1930), p. 179