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Quotes About Music
No doctor is capable of healing the intense pain that only music can
This will be our reply to violence: To make music more intensely, more
beautifully, more devotedly than ever before.
Music washes away from the soul the dust of everyday life.
O Carril, raise again thy voice! let me hear the song of Selma, which
was sung in my halls of joy, when Fingal, king of shields, was there,
and glowed at the deeds of his fathers.
What we play is life.
Rhythm is the soul of life. The whole universe revolves in rhythm. Every thing and every human action revolves in rhythm.
Music expresses that which cannot be said and on which it is impossible to be silent.
I think the labyrinth is an interesting metaphor for our lives as musicians. We're always being drawn toward the center of it because that's where the mystery is. What is music? It's a journey.
Music is love in search of a word.
You can't stay the same. If you're a musician and a singer, you have to change, that's the way it works.
Improv belongs on the stage, not in your mouth.
Tuning is like aircraft maintenance; it's always worth it.
It's the singer not the song that makes the music move along.
Let us go singing as far as we go: the road will be less tedious.
Music is a moral law. It gives soul to the universe, wings to the mind, flight to the imagination, and charm and gaiety to life and everything.
Condensed from Gaviotas: A Village to Reinvent the World,
by Alan Weisman
The Indian elders went off to discuss the offer. In just five minutes they returned. "We know what we want to do with the money."
"Excellent. Whatever you want."
"We need new musical instruments for our band."
"Maybe," replied the Bank spokesman, "you didn't understand. What you need here are improvements like electricity. Running water. Sewers. Telephone and telegraph."
But the Indians had understood perfectly. "In our village," the eldest explained, "everyone plays a musical instrument. On Sundays after Mass, we all gather for la retreta, a concert in the church patio. First we make music together. After that, we can talk about problems in our community and how to resolve them. But our instruments are old and falling apart. Without music, so will we."
Jazz came to America three hundred years ago in chains.
The history of a people is found in its songs.
Music is an outburst of the soul.
Whenever I hear music, I fear no danger. I am invulnerable, I see no foe. I am related to the earlest times, and to the latest.
Maybe it's naïve, but I would love to believe that once you grow to love some aspect of a culture—its music, for instance —you can never again think of the people of that culture as less than yourself. I would like to believe that if I am deeply moved by a song originating from some place other than my own homeland, then I have in some way shared an experience with the people of that culture. I have been pleasantly contaminated. I can identify in some small way with it and its people.
When I hear music, it seems to me that all the sins of my life pass slowly by me with veiled faces, lay their hands on my head, and say softly, "My child."
"A man in Mali told me that there are seven senses. Everyone has
five, some can use their sixth. But not everyone has the seventh. It is
the power to heal with music, calm with color, to soothe the sick soul
with harmony. He told me that I have this gift, and I know what I have
to do with it."
One good thing about music, when it hits you, you feel no pain.
There was entertainment cheaper still in [17th century] Rome's
many convents, and Christina visited some of them regularly…just
to listen to the music. Public performances were frowned upon or prohibited
outright in Counter-Reformation Rome, and convents had become almost the
only places where large numbers of women could gather to make music. Standards
were high, despite severe constraints. The nuns were allowed no instrument
but the organ or clavier, and any nun wanting to play needed to have spent
a studious girlhood, for once inside the convent, she could take no music
lessons, even from another nun. Talking about music was forbidden, too,
as was singing in harmony—the decadent new 'figured' chant, polyphonic
music, was prohibited to all nuns, and indeed to all Catholic women. The
sisters, in consequence, were restricted to plainchant. Christina enjoyed
its austere beauty, and went regularly to hear it, and she may have heard
other things besides—it was whispered that, for all the rules and
regulations, a note or two of harmony could sometimes be heard escaping
through the grilles.
Who hears music feels his solitude peopled at once.
Joseph Shabalala of Ladysmith Black Mambazo denied being political, yet told a revealing encounter he and other Mambazos had with Johannesburg police in the apartheid era. As related in the July 1987 issue of Rolling Stone, Shabalala said there was a riot going on, with black children and adults fighting the white police. A policeman asked Shambalala, "Where do you come from?" Shabalala replied, "We come from singing." The policeman asked, "You are singing while the people are fighting?" Shabalala answered, "Yes. They are doing their job. I am doing my job."
Music is nourishment, and a comforting elixir. Music multiplies the beauty of life and all its values.
The singing. There was so much singing then and this was my
pleasure, too. We all sang: the boys in the fields, the chapels
were full of singing, always singing. Here I lie. I have had pleasure enough. I have had singing.
Appalachia is still, for American musicians, a kind of fountain of youth we always go back to, the old home place to a group of artists who represent the quintessence of American independence, fortitude, genius, and madness.
The memory of things gone is important to a jazz musician. Things like old folks singing in the moonlight in the back yard on a hot night or something said long ago.
Music is the shorthand of emotion.
Music, in performance, is a type of sculpture. The air in the performance is sculpted into something.
Music is a moral law. It gives a soul to the universe, wings to the mind, flight to the imagination, a charm to sadness, gaiety and life to everything. It is the essence of order, and leads to all that is good, just, and beautiful, of which it is the invisible, but nevertheless dazzling, passionate, and eternal form.
What is my definition of jazz? "Safe sex of the highest order."