Quotes About Music


Music is an agreeable harmony for the honor of God and the permissible delights of the soul. -- Johann Sebastain Bach


God is its author, and not man; he laid
The key-note of all harmonies; he planned
All perfect combinations, and he made
Us so that we could hear and understand.
_Music_. J.A.C. BRAINARD.

There's music in the sighing of a reed;
There's music in the gushing of a rill;
There's music in all things, if men had ears:
Their earth is but an echo of the spheres.
_Don Juan, Canto XV_. LORD BYRON.

With melting airs, or martial, brisk, or grave;
Some chord in unison with what we hear
Is touched within us, and the heart replies.
_The Task, Bk. VI.: Winter Walk at Noon_. W. COWPER.

A velvet flute-note fell down pleasantly,
Upon the bosom of that harmony,
And sailed and sailed incessantly,
As if a petal from a wild-rose blown
Had fluttered down upon that pool of tone,
And boatwise dropped o' the convex side
And floated down the glassy tide
And clarified and glorified
The solemn spaces where the shadows bide.
The Symphony. by S. LANTER.

Can any mortal mixture of earth's mould
Breathe such divine enchanting ravishment?
Sure something holy lodges in that breast,
And with these raptures moves the vocal air
To testify his hidden residence.
How sweetly did they float upon the wings
Of silence, through the empty-vaulted night,
At every fall smoothing the raven down
Of darkness till it smiled.
_Comus_. MILTON.

Though music oft hath such a charm
To make bad good, and good provoke to harm.
_Measure for Measure, Act iv. Sc_. 1. SHAKESPEARE.

If music be the food of love, play on;
Give me excess of it, that, surfeiting,
The appetite may sicken, and so die.--
That strain again--it had a dying fall:
O, it came o'er my ear like the sweet south,
That breathes upon a bank of violets,
Stealing and giving odor.
_Twelfth Night, Act i. Sc_. 1. SHAKESPEARE.

Where music dwells
Lingering and wandering on, as loath to die,
Like thoughts whose very sweetness yieldeth proof
That they were born for immortality.
_Ecclesiastical Sonnets, Pt. III_. xliii. W. WORDSWORTH.

Music hath charms to soothe a savage breast,
To soften rooks, or bend a knotted oak.
I've read that things inanimate have moved,
And, as with living souls, have been informed
By magic numbers and persuasive sound.
_The Mourning Bride, Act i. Sc_. 1. W. CONGREVE.

There is a charm, a power, that sways the breast;
Bids every passion revel or be still;
Inspires with rage, or all our cares dissolves:
Can soothe distraction, and almost despair.
_Art of Preserving Health_. J. ARMSTRONG.

The soul of music slumbers in the shell,
Till waked and kindled by the Master's spell;
And feeling hearts--touch them but lightly--pour
A thousand melodies unheard before!
_Human Life_. S. ROGERS.

Give me some music; music, moody food
Of us that trade in love.
_Antony and Cleopatra, Act ii. Sc. 5_. SHAKESPEARE.

See to their desks Apollo's sons repair,
Swift rides the rosin o'er the horse's hair!
In unison their various tones to tune.
Murmurs the hautboy, growls the hoarse bassoon;
In soft vibration sighs the whispering lute,
Tang goes the harpsichord, too-too the flute,
Brays the loud trumpet, squeaks the fiddle sharp,
Winds the French-horn, and twangs the tingling harp;
Till, like great Jove, the leader, figuring in,
Attunes to order the chaotic din.
_Rejected Addresses: The Theatre_. H. AND J. SMITH.

'Tis believed that this harp which I wake now for thee
Was a siren of old who sung under the sea.
_The Origin of the Harp_. T. MOORE.

And wheresoever, in his rich creation,
Sweet music breathes--in wave, or bird, or soul--
'Tis but the faint and far reverberation
Of that great tune to which the planets roll!
_Music_. F.S. OSGOOD.

He touched his harp, and nations heard, entranced;
As some vast river of unfailing source,
Rapid, exhaustless, deep, his numbers flowed,
And opened new fountains in the human heart.
_Course of Time, Bk. IV_. R. POLLOK.

Music resembles poetry: in each
Are nameless graces which no methods teach,
And which a master-hand alone can reach.
_Essay on Criticism_. A. POPE.


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