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The Best Quotations

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Quotations

Victor HugoMusic expresses that which cannot be put into words and that which cannot remain silent.

—  Victor Hugo, 1802-1885, French writer

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Gioachino RossiniWagner has beautiful moments but awful quarters of an hour.

—  Gioachino Rossini, 1792-1868, Italian music composer

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AristotleIt is not easy to determine the nature of music, or why any one should have a knowledge of it.

—  Aristotle, 384-322 BC, Ancient Greek philosopher

Wolfgang GoetheMusic is liquid architecture; Architecture is frozen music.

—  Wolfgang Goethe, 1749-1832, German poet & philosopher

Blaise PascalIt's not those who write the laws that have the greatest impact on society. It's those who write the songs.

—  Blaise Pascal, 1623-1662, French thinker

Friedrich NietzscheWithout music, life would be a mistake.

—  Friedrich Nietzsche, 1844-1900, German philosopher

Arthur SchopenhauerMusic is the occult metaphysical exercise of a soul not knowing that it philosophizes.

—  Arthur Schopenhauer, 1788-1860, German philosopher

H.L. MenckenOpera in English, is about as sensible as baseball in Italian.

—  H.L. Mencken, 1880-1956, American columnist & cultural critic

H.L. MenckenThe opera…is to music what a bawdy house is to a cathedral.

—  H.L. Mencken, 1880-1956, American columnist & cultural critic

Ralph Waldo EmersonMusic is the poor man's Parnassus.

—  Ralph Waldo Emerson, 1803-1884, American philosopher

Gioachino RossiniGive me a laundress’ list and I will set to music even that.

—  Gioachino Rossini, 1792-1868, Italian music composer

Gioachino RossiniBeethoven I take twice a week, Haydn four times, and Mozart every day.

—  Gioachino Rossini, 1792-1868, Italian music composer

John KeatsHeard melodies are sweet, but those unheard, are sweeter.

—  John Keats, 1795-1821, English poet

Fernando PessoaMy soul is a hidden orchestra; I know not what instruments, what fiddlestrings and harps, drums and tamboura I sound and clash inside myself. All I hear is the symphony.

—  Fernando Pessoa, 1888-1935, Portuguese poet & writer

G. K. ChestertonMusic with dinner is an insult both to the cook and the violinist.

—  G. K. Chesterton, 1874-1936, English writer & critic

Jean CocteauAll good music resembles something. Good music stirs by its mysterious resemblance to the objects and feelings which motivated it.

—  Jean Cocteau, 1889-1963, French artist

George SantayanaThe earth has music for those who listen.

—  George Santayana, 1863-1952, Spanish-American philosopher

T. S. EliotYou are the music while the music lasts.

—  T. S. Eliot, 1888-1965, British poet, Nobel 1948

Bob MarleyOne good thing about music, when it hits you, you feel no pain.

—  Bob Marley, 1945-1981, Jamaican singer

Charles DarwinIf 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 every week.

—  Charles Darwin, 1809-1882, British scientist

William ShakespeareIf music be the food of love, play on.

—  William Shakespeare, 1564-1616, English poet & playwright ‐ Twelfth Night

Vladimir LeninI can't listen to music too often. It affects your nerves, makes you want to say stupid, nice things, and stroke the heads of people who could create such beauty while living in this vile hell.

—  Vladimir Lenin, 1870-1924, Soviet revolutionary & leader

Lao-TzuMusic in the soul can be heard by the universe.

—  Lao-Tzu, 6th cent. BC, Chinese philosopher


Personal Stories

Vladimir LeninI know of nothing better than the Appassionata and could listen to it every day.

—  Vladimir Lenin, 1870-1924, Soviet revolutionary & leader


Quotes in Verse

William WordsworthThe music in my heart I bore
Long after it was heard no more.

—  William Wordsworth, 1770-1850, English poet


Funny Quotes

Robert BenchleyOpera is when a guy gets stabbed in the back and, instead of bleeding, he sings.

—  Robert Benchley, 1889-1945, American columnist

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George CarlinThe only good thing ever to come out of religion was the music.

—  George Carlin, 1936-2008, American comedian

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Woody AllenI can't listen to that much Wagner. I start getting the urge to conquer Poland.

—  Woody Allen, 1935-, American actor & film director


Ancient Greek

DiogenesBecause he is like this and plays the guitare instead of robbing.

Διότι τηλικούτος ών, κιθαρωδεί και ου ληστεύει!

—  Diogenes, 410-323 BC, Ancient Greek Cynic philosopher

     (explaining why he applauded a big ferocious guy who was playing very badly the lyre)

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Movie Quotes

Casablanca (1942)Play it once, Sam, for old times' sake...Play it, Sam.
Play “As Time Goes By”.

—  from the film Casablanca (1942)

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2017: Manolis Papathanassiou