Music and Words


“Music is the literature of the heart; it commences where speech ends.” ―Alphonse de Lamartine


“Music … a kind of inarticulate, unfathomable speech, which leads to the edge of the Infinite.” —Thomas Carlyle


“Music expresses that which can not be put into words and that which cannot remain silent.” —Victor Hugo


“People usually complain that music is so ambiguous, and what they are supposed to think when they hear it is so unclear, while words are understood by everyone. But for me it is exactly the opposite...what the music I love expresses to me are thoughts not too indefinite for words, but rather too definite.” ―Felix Mendelssohn


“I would say that music is the easiest means in which to express, but since words are my talent, I must try to express clumsily in words what the pure music would have done better.” ―William Faulkner





Music and Dance


“Now I am going to reveal to you something which is very pure, a totally white thought. It is always in my heart; it blooms at each of my steps... The Dance is love, it is only love, it alone, and that is enough... I, then, it is amorously that I dance: to poems, to music but now I would like to no longer dance to anything but the rhythm of my soul.” ―Isadora Duncan


“To be creative means to be in love with life. You can be creative only if you love life enough that you want to enhance its beauty, you want to bring a little more music to it, a little more poetry to it, a little more dance to it.” —Osho





Music and Memory


“Music is the mysterious key of memory, unlocking the hoarded treasures of the heart. Tones, at times, in music, will bring back forgotten things.” —Edward Bulwer Lytton


“Music, once admitted to the soul, becomes a sort of spirit, and never dies. It wanders perturbedly through the halls and galleries of the memory, and is often heard again, distinct and living, as when it first displaced the wavelets of the air.” —Edward Bulwer Lytton


“Music is the language of some other state, born of memory. For what can wake the soul’s strong instinct of some other world like music?” —Letitia Elizabeth Landon


“There's always that song that brings you back to the past. That makes you pause in the middle of what you're doing just so you could hear it clearly. The words bringing you back to a time that seemed nearly impossible, the words making you think for one moment that time itself has actually stopped. And there's nothing but you & perfect melody that brings you one step closer to what used to be.” ―Kira Jeffries


“The beautiful thing is, music can be like a time machine. One song―the lyrics, the melody, the mood―can take you back to a moment in time like nothing else can.” ―Lisa Schroeder





Music and Magic



“Ah, that shows you the power of music, that magician of magician, who lifts his wand and says his mysterious word and all things real pass away and the phantoms of your mind walk before you clothed in flesh.” ―Mark Twain, Personal Recollections of Joan of Arc


“Ah, music," he said, wiping his eyes. "A magic beyond all we do here!” ―J.K. Rowling, Harry Potter and the Sorcerer's Stone


“Music is probably the only real magic I've encountered in my life. There's not some trick involved with it. It's pure and it's real. It moves, it heals, it communicates and it does all these incredible things." —Tom Petty

“Music is the strongest form of magic.” ―Marilyn Manson


“The most important ingredient to making a song work is the magic. You've got a melody, you've got words, but on the more successful songs, there's a sort of magic glow that just happens and you can feel it happening. It just makes the songs sort of roll out.” —Paul McCartney.





Music and Spirituality


“Music is well said to be the speech of angels; in fact, nothing among the utterances allowed to man is felt to be so divine. It brings us near to the infinite.” ―Thomas Carlyle


“Music is, to me, proof of the existence of God. It is so extraordinarily full of magic, and in tough times of my life I can listen to music and it makes such a difference.” ―Kurt Vonnegut


“If I should ever die, God forbid, let this be my epitaph: THE ONLY PROOF HE NEEDED FOR THE EXISTENCE OF GOD WAS MUSIC” ―Kurt Vonnegut


“The only truth is music.” ―Jack Kerouac


“Music is the only religion that delivers the goods.” ―Frank Zappa


“It's like this when you fall hard for a musician. It's a crush with religious overtones. You listen to the songs and you memorize the words and the notes and this is a form of prayer. You attend the shows and this is the liturgy. You're interested in relics—guitar picks, set lists, the sweaty napkin applied to His brow. You set up shrines in your room. It's not just about the music. It's about who you are when you listen to the music and who you wish to be and the way a particular song can bridge that gap, can make you feel the abrupt thrill of absolute faith.


The connection being that in my head all language began in song and that the best stories inevitably return to song, to a state of rapture. For years, I had assumed that throwing beautiful words at the page would make my prose feel true. But I had the process exactly backward. It was truth that lifted the language into beauty and toward song. It was a matter of doing what Joe Henry did, of pursuing characters into moments of emotional truth and slowing down. The result was a compression of sensual and psychological detail that released the rhythm and melody in language itself, what Longfellow called ‘the happy accidents of language.’” ―Steve Almond, Rock and Roll Will Save Your Life: A Book by and for the Fanatics Among Us





Music & Universal Harmony


“Each celestial body, in fact each and every atom, produces a particular sound on account of its movement, its rhythm or vibration. All these sounds and vibrations form a universal harmony in which each element, while having it’s own function and character, contributes to the whole.” —Pythagoras


“Music in the soul can be heard by the universe.” ―Lao Tzu


“Do you know that our soul is composed of harmony.” —Leonardo da Vinci


“The earth has music for those who listen.” —William Shakespeare


“Music is the harmonious voice of creation: an echo of the invisible world, one note of the divine concord that the entire universe is destined one day to sound.” —Giuseppe Mazzini


“By harmony all phenomena are formed and sustained. There is a scientific statement to the effect that this earth is a vast harmonic wave system that is built and sustained by unheard music.” —Corinne Heline


“The knower of the mystery of sound knows the mystery of the whole universe. What makes us feel drawn to music is that our whole being is music: our mind and body, the nature in which we live, the nature which has made us, all that is beneath and around us, it is all music.”—Hazrat Inayat Khan (Sufi Musician)


“What makes us feel drawn to music is that our whole being is music: our mind and body, the nature in which we live, the nature which has made us, all that is beneath and around us, it is all music.”  Hazrat Inyat Khan


“Sounds are the echo of the ‘Harmony of the Spheres’ which man took into himself when he came down from the divine-spiritual world into the physical world.” —Rudolf Steiner


“I believe that from the earth emerges a musical poetry that is by the nature of its sources tonal. I believe that these sources cause to exist a phonology of music, which evolves from the universal, and is known as the harmonic series.” —Leonard Bernstein


“All the world is made of music. We are all strings on a lyre. We resonate. We sing together.” ―Joe Hill, Heart-Shaped Box


“Life is a song. It has its own rhythm of harmony. It is a symphony of all things which exist in major and minor keys of Polarity. It blends the discords, by opposites, into harmony which unites the whole into a grand symphony of life. To learn through experience in this life, to appreciate the symphony and lessons of life and to blend with the whole, is the object of our being here.” —Dr. Randolph Stone


“At the root of all power and motion, there is music and rhythm, the play of patterned frequencies against the matrix of time. We know that every particle in the physical universe takes its characteristics from the pitch and pattern and overtones of its particular frequencies, its singing. Before we make music, music makes us.” —Joachim-Ernst Berendt, ‘The World is Sound’