Music Quotations


10. The important thing is never to play a piece 'because that is the way it goes'. There is no way it goes until you play it. If you can read, then you can recite Shakespeare. But that's not acting. Knowing how to play the violin is not playing music. The Beethoven violin concerto is just a bunch of arpeggios and scales. No mystery there. But if you put your mind in a different groove and tell the story of the music as it reveals itself to you, then you've really got something going on."
(Itzhak Perlman)
9. The notes I handle no better than many pianists. But the pauses between the notes, aha, that is where the art resides!
(Artur Schnabel)
8. If anyone has conducted a Beethoven performance, and then doesn't have to go to an osteopath, then there's something wrong.
(Simon Rattle)
7. I don’t believe in the cliché that art has to reflect its times – that since we’re living in a horrible age, our music has to rub your face in it. . . . We live in a sarcastic age. A lot of intellectuals are uncomfortable with genuineness.
(Lowell Liebermann)
6. Truly fertile Music, the only kind that will move us, that we shall truly appreciate, will be a Music conducive to Dream, which banishes all reason and analysis. One must not wish first to understand and then to feel. Art does not tolerate Reason.
(Albert Camus)
5. [Music] takes us out of the actual and whispers to us dim secrets that startle our wonder as to who we are, and for what, whence, and whereto.
(Ralph Waldo Emerson)
4. It is the stretched soul that makes music, and souls are stretched by the pull of opposites--opposite bents, tastes, yearnings, loyalties. Where there is no polarity--where energies flow smoothly in one direction--there will be much doing but no music.
(Eric Hoffer)
3. The life of the arts, far from being an interruption, a distraction, in the life of a nation, is close to the center of a nation's purpose . . . and a test of the quality of a nation's civilization.
(John F. Kennedy)
2. Don’t stand up and be perfect. Perfect is very boring. Show me a few flaws; I’ll accept them, but give me a couple of goosebumps as I go along and I’ll take nything else you want to offer me.
(Beverly Sills)
1. Every musical phrase has a purpose. It's like talking. If you talk with a particular purpose, people listen to you, but if you just recite, it's not as meaningful.
(Itzhak Perlman)


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