Quotations about   music

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The music — It’s ghostly, it’s wild, and it teeters on the edge of arrhythmia: a skirling mournful howl of tormented strings, the distant moaning of a tied-down giant whose vocal cords are being bowed by malign Lilliputian tormentors, intent on turning his every attempt at spoken communication into a vehicle for an inhuman melody.

Charles "Charlie" Stross (b. 1964) British writer
The Annihilation Score (2015)
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Added on 18-Jul-17 | Last updated 18-Jul-17
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Music is no different from opium. Music affects the human mind in a way that makes people think of nothing but music and sensual matters. […] Music is a treason to the country, a treason to our youth, and we should cut out all this music and replace it with something instructive.

Ruhollah Khomeini (1902-1989) Iranian Shia Muslim religious leader, revolutionary, politician
Ramadan Speech (23 Jul 1979)
Added on 26-Jan-17 | Last updated 26-Jan-17
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America’s two great specialties are demagogues and rock and roll, and we’ve all heard plenty of both in our time.

king-demagogues-and-rock-and-roll-wist_info-quote

Stephen King (b. 1947) American author
“Busted” (2009)
Added on 2-Nov-16 | Last updated 2-Nov-16
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MINSTREL: [singing]
He was not in the least bit scared to be mashed into a pulp,
Or to have his eyes gouged out and his elbows broken,
To have his kneecaps split and his body burned away,
And his limbs all hacked and mangled, brave Sir Robin!
His head smashed in, and his heart cut out,
And his liver removed, and his bowels unplugged,
And his nostrils raped, and his bottom burnt off,
And his penis —

SIR ROBIN: That’s enough music for now, lads.

Monty Python (contemp.) British comedy troupe
Monty Python and the Holy Grail (1975)
Added on 3-Jun-16 | Last updated 3-Jun-16
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There are two means of refuge from the misery of life: music and cats.

Schweitzer - music and cats - wist_info quote

Albert Schweitzer (1875-1965) Alsatian theologian, philosopher, physician, philanthropist
(Attributed)
Added on 3-May-16 | Last updated 3-May-16
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Mister Marvin Middle Class is really in a stew
Wond’rin’ what the younger generation’s coming to
And the taste of his martini doesn’t please his bitter tongue
Blame it on the Rolling Stones.
Blame it on the Stones; blame it on the Stones
You’ll feel so much better, knowing you don’t stand alone
Join the accusation; save the bleeding nation
Get it off your shoulders; blame it on the Stones.

Kris Kristofferson (b. 1936) American singer, songwriter, musician, actor
“Blame It on The Stones” (1970) [with Bucky Wilkin]
Added on 2-Feb-16 | Last updated 2-Feb-16
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As my dad always says, while improvisation and spontaneity may be the hallmarks of great jazz, the hallmark of being a great player is ensuring the rest of the band is spontaneously improvising the way you want them to.

Ben Aaronovitch (b. 1964) British author
Broken Homes (2013)
Added on 13-Jan-16 | Last updated 13-Jan-16
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Music and silence — how I detest them both! How thankful we should be that ever since our Father entered Hell — though longer ago than humans, reckoning in light years, could express — no square inch of infernal space and no moment of infernal time has been surrendered to either of those abominable forces, but all has been occupied by Noise — Noise, the grand dynamism, the audible expression of all that is exultant, ruthless, and virile — Noise which alone defends us from silly qualms, despairing scruples, and impossible desires. We will make the whole universe a noise in the end. We have already made great strides in this direction as regards the Earth. The melodies and silences of Heaven will be shouted down in the end. But I admit we are not yet loud enough, or anything like it.

C.S. Lewis (1898-1963) English writer and scholar [Clive Staples Lewis]
The Screwtape Letters (1942)
Added on 18-Nov-15 | Last updated 18-Nov-15
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We may have an excellent Ear in Musick, without being able to perform in any kind. We may judge well of Poetry, without being Poets, or possessing the least of a Poetick Vein: But we can have no tolerable Notion of Goodness, without being tolerably good.

Anthony Cooper, 3rd Earl of Shaftesbury (1671-1713) English politician and philosopher
Characteristicks of Men, Manners, Opinions, Times, Vol. 1, “A Letter Concerning Enthusiasm” (1711)
Added on 5-Dec-14 | Last updated 5-Dec-14
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Bach almost persuades me to be a Christian.

Roger Fry (1866-1934) English artist and art critic
(Attributed)

Quoted in Virginia Woolf, Roger Fry, ch. 11 (1940).
Added on 7-Nov-14 | Last updated 7-Nov-14
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The truth is, as every one knows, that the great artists of the world are never Puritans, and seldom even ordinarily respectable. No virtuous man — that is, virtuous in the Y.M.C.A. sense — has ever painted a picture worth looking at, or written a symphony worth hearing, or a book worth reading.

H.L. Mencken (1880-1956) American writer and journalist [Henry Lewis Mencken]
“The Blushful Mystery: Art and Sex,” Prejudices: First Series (1919)
Added on 3-Jun-14 | Last updated 2-May-16
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You can “just listen” to the Brahms violin concerto and enjoy it keenly. But if you read about Brahms’ life, you appreciate it more. And, if you’ve listened to recordings of it, you will appreciate it ten times as much.

Jascha Heifetz (1901-1987) Lithuanian-American violinist
(Unsourced)

Quoted on his official web page.
Added on 30-Dec-13 | Last updated 30-Dec-13
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In this country the Episcopalians have done some good, and I want to thank that church. Having on an average less religion than the others — on an average you have done more good to mankind. You preserved some of the humanities. You did not hate music; you did not absolutely despise painting, and you did not altogether abhor architecture, and you finally admitted that it was no worse to keep time with your feet than with your hands. And some went so far as to say that people could play cards, and that God would overlook it, or would look the other way. For all these things accept my thanks.

Robert Green Ingersoll (1833-1899) American lawyer, agnostic, orator
“What Must We Do to Be Saved?” Sec. 7 (1880)
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Added on 16-Oct-09 | Last updated 4-Feb-16
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The idea is like the seed corn; it grows imperceptibly in secret. When I have invented or discovered the beginning of a song …, I shut up the book and go for a walk or take up something else; I think no more of it for perhaps half a year. Nothing is lost, though. When I come back to it again, it has unconsciously taken a new shape, and is ready for me to begin working at it.

Johannes Brahms (1833-1897) German composer and pianist
Conversation with George Henschel
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Quoted in a letter to Herr and Frau von Herzogenberg in Max Kalbeck, ed., the Brahms-Gesellschaft collection of correspondence, Vol. 2 [tr. Bryant (1909)], as cited in John Alexander Fuller-Maitland, Brahms, ch. 3 (1911).
Added on 1-Jul-09 | Last updated 29-May-14
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As some to church repair
Not for the doctrine, but the music there.

Alexander Pope (1688-1744) English poet
“An Essay on Criticism,” Part 2, l. 142-3 (1711)
Added on 1-Feb-04 | Last updated 3-Mar-17
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