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Quotes by the Famous


Music is the universal language of mankind.

                                                                 Henry Wadsworth Longfellow

The passions, whether violent or not, should never be so expressed as to reach the point of causing disgust; and music, even in situations of the greatest horror should never be painful to the ear but should flatter and charm it, and thereby always remaining music.

                                                                     Wolfgang Amadeus Mozart

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

In art, and in the higher ranges of science, there is a feeling of harmony which underlies all endeavor. There is no true greatness in art or science without that sense of harmony.

                                           Albert Einstein, on the connection between
                                                                        music and mathematics

Rhythm and melody enter into the soul of the well-instructed youth and produce there a certain mental harmony hardly obtainable in any other way.   . . . thus music, too, is concerned with the principles of love in their application to harmony and rhythm.

It is the melody which is the charm of music, and it is that which is most difficult to produce. The invention of a fine melody is a work of genius.

                                                                                Franz Joseph Haydn

The age of automobiles and aeroplanes cannot express itself in the same manner as did the age of the diligence.
                                                                                        Claude Debussy

It is not hard to compose but it is wonderfully hard to let the superfluous notes fall under the table. . . So many melodies fly about, one must be careful not to tread on them.
                                                                                    Johannes Brahms

Simplicity and truth are the sole principles of the beautiful in art.

                                                                        Christoph Willibald Gluck

When I am at peace with myself . . . then thoughts flow into me most easily and at their best. Where they come from and how -- that I cannot say . . . I'd be willing to work forever and forever if I were permitted to write only such music as I want to write and can write -- which I myself think good.
                                                                     Wolfgang Amadeus Mozart

I have put my whole soul into this work [The Pathetique Symphony] . . . You cannot imagine what joy I feel at the thought that my days are not yet over and that I may still accomplish much.

                                                                         Peter Ilyich Tchaikovsky

Music resembles poetry; in each
Are nameless graces which no methods teach,
And where a master-hand alone can reach.
                                                                                         Alexander Pope

Truly there would be reason to go mad were it not for music.

                                                                         Peter Ilyich Tchaikovsky

Keep an eye on that young man, someday he will make a big splash in the world.
                                     Wolfgang Amadeus Mozart, about Beethoven

Only the flint of a man's mind can strike fire in music.

                                                                            Ludwig van Beethoven

The orchestra whirls me wider than Uranus
It wrenches such ardors from me I did not
     know I possess'd them
                                                                                              Walt Whitman

Oh, how beautiful it is to be alive -- would that I could live a thousand times
                                                                            Ludwig van Beethoven

The aesthetic principle is the same in every art, only the material differs.
                                                                                     Robert Schumann

I despise a world which does not feel that music is a higher revelation than all wisdom and philosophy.
                                                                            Ludwig van Beethoven

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

I must study politics and war that my sons may have liberty to study mathematics and philosophy . . . in order to give their children a right to study painting, poetry and music.
                                                                                                John Adams

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

Handel is the greatest composer that ever lived . . . I would uncover my head and kneel down on his tomb.
                                                                            Ludwig van Beethoven

I am in the world only for the purpose of composing. What I feel in my heart, I give to the world.
                                                                                          Franz Schubert

A work of art does not answer questions, it provokes them; and its essential meaning is in the tension between the contradictory answers.

                                                                                    Leonard Bernstein

I'm one of the boys, no better than the last second violinist . . . I'm just the lucky one [conductor] to be standing in the center, telling them how to play.
                                                                                      Eugene Ormandy

I have no style, because I change each time . . . each day I play differently. Today I play differently than yesterday.
                                                                                      Vladimir Horowitz

The notes I handle no better than many pianists. But the pauses between the notes -- ah, that is where the arts resides!
                                                                                           Artur Schnabel

I cannot tell you how much I love to play for people. Would you believe it -- sometimes when I sit down to practice and there is no one else in the room, I have to stiffle an impulse to ring for the elevator man and offer him money to come in and hear me.
                                                                                         Artur Rubinstein

Keyboardists whose chief asset is mere technique . . . more often than not astound us with their prowess without ever touching our sensibilities. They overwhelm our hearing without satisfying it and stun the mind without moving it.
                                                                                                 C.P.E. Bach

I beg you, my dear friend, when you do me the honor of playing my compositions, to play them as they are written or else not at all.

                                                                                           Chopin to Liszt 

Play it yourself then!  . . . Ah yes , my friend, you were right; works like yours ought not to be meddled with; other people's alterations only spoil them. You are a true poet.
                                                                                            Liszt to Chopin