Eight Of My Favourite Quotes About Music
In today’s blog I shall share with you my eight of my favourite quotes about music by composers, conductors, musicians, and those not “in music”. The list is in no particular order.
“The magic of music is a sign of consciousness
That could be understood
On far-flung worlds millions of light years from our horizon.”
From “Solar Driftwood” by Yello
The opening track to Yello’s album “Pocket Universe” blew me away. The album is a continuous one with no gaps in between the tracks. It’s not orchestral but it is a brilliantly produced concept album comparable to the likes of Pink Floyd’s “Dark Side Of The Moon” and The Beatles “Sgt Pepper…”. The album boasts many styles including, ambient, military, dance, hypnotic…and with words like those quoted above I simply can’t get enough.
“Life without playing music is inconceivable for me. I live my daydreams in music. I see my life in terms of music…I get most joy in life out of music.”
Albert Einstein - Physicist
The famed physicist rarely left home without his music, and it inspired him as he developed some of the most elegant theories in science. Albert’s cousin Elsa fell in love him because he played Mozart “…so beautifully on the violin.” Einstein himself said that if he hadn’t become a scientist he most certainly would have become a musician. He had his first lessons on violin at the age of six. It wasn’t until he discovered Mozart’s violin sonatas at the age of 13 that the passion grew.
“To play a wrong note is insignificant; to play without passion is inexcusable”
Ludwig Van Beethoven - Composer
This short but to the point quote by Beethoven sums up my feelings about music. All too often you see musicians and groups just play the notes. There is a lack of soul and connection with their music. They’re simply playing the blobs which can make music sound like a MIDI recording. When you see someone perform (or conduct) with passion, they are letting you in on their journey within the music and that’s something special.
“Great music is that which penetrates the ear with facility and leaves the memory with difficulty. Magical music never leaves the memory”
Thomas Beecham - Conductor
Beecham is not only renowned for his incredible conducting, but he is also responsible for some of the most cutting quotes in music. I chose this quote because again it fits my sentiment but other quotes of his are rather amusing. “Beethoven’s last quartets were written by a deaf man and should only be listened to by a deaf man”, or “Elgar’s first symphony is the musical equivalent of St. Pancras Railway Station.”
“The music is not in the notes, but in the silence between”
Wolfgang Amadeus Mozart - Composer
Mozart had such a wonderful turn of phrase, even though he said he wasn’t a poet. “I choose such notes that love one another” complements the quote above. The silence gives respite, however brief. The silence builds anticipation. The silence, said Mozart, was just as important as the notes themselves. Mozart was a great letter writer and for that I am grateful as it is for that reason that we are blessed with an insight of the man and have access to wonderful quotes.
“Where words fail, music speaks”
Hans Christian Andersen - Author
In his film “Moulin Rouge” Baz Luhrmann said that he wanted to build the emotion up so much that the only possible option was the character to burst into song. There is no doubt that music can enhance a film or tv show. In fact, if you have play a scene with different music the mood changes and the effect is completely different. On its own music tells wonderful stories that everyone can understand (in their own way). Just one chord can convey a paragraph of words.
“One good thing about music, when it hits you, you feel no pain”
Bob Marley - Singer
There’s a certain comfort in this quote by Marley. Music can affect everyone and anyone listening to it and we will all respond differently. Some music will make you smile while other music will make you sad. Some will relax you, while another will energise you. It is true that you can feel a whole spectrum of emotions but ultimately there is no pain. And whilst you may feel the pain within the music, you aren’t in pain yourself.
“Music is my religion”
I have this quote on a t-shirt my parents got for me from a visit around Sedona. I was today years old when I found out it was a Hendrix quote. It is a phrase that probably rings the most true because I like having music as a religion. It requires no belief, no sacrifice, no book, no iconography, and no guilt (though I’m sure we all have our own guilty pleasures). But, most importantly it reaches everyone and has a positive impact without judgement.