C.N. Douglas, comp. Forty Thousand Quotations: Prose and Poetical. 1917.
The soul of art best loved when love is by.
Sweet music! sacred tongue of God.
Music is well said to be the speech of angels.
Music’s golden tongue.
Music is the universal language of mankind.
It is the medicine of the breaking heart.
The hidden soul of harmony.
The language spoken by angels.
Is there a heart that music cannot melt?
The ordered music of the marching orbs.
All of heaven we have below.
Music is the poetry of the air.
Music is the poor man’s Parnassus.
I am never merry when I hear sweet music.
Why should the devil have all the good tunes?
The stormy music of the drum.
For discords make the sweetest airs.
Music, which gentler on the spirit lies than tired eyelids upon tired eyes.
Music should strike fire from the heart of man, and bring tears from the eyes of woman.
There is music in all things, if men had ears.
Let me have music dying, and I seek no more delight.
Music!—O, how faint, how weak, language fades before thy spell!
Music is the child of prayer, the companion of religion.
Let me die to the sounds of the delicious music.
It is in learning music that many youthful hearts learn love.
I was all ear, and took in strains that might create a soul under the ribs of death.
Music washes away from the soul the dust of every-day life.
How sour sweet music is, when time is broke, and no proportion kept!
Music is the metre of this poetic movement, and is an invisible dance, as dancing is a silent music.
Music stands in a much closer connection with pure sensation than any of the other arts.
Music, rather than poetry, should be called “the happy art.”
Had I children, my utmost endeavors would be to make them musicians.
Sentimentally I am disposed to harmony, but organically I am incapable of a tune.
Sweetest melodies are those that are by distance made more sweet.
Melodies die out, like the pipe of Pan, with the ears that love them and listen for them.
Music, among those who were styled the chosen people, was a religious art.
See deep enough, and you see musically; the heart of nature being everywhere music, if you can only reach it.
Men, even when alone, lighten their labors by song, however rude it may be.
The harmony of things, as well as that of sound, from discord springs.
Music that brings sweet sleep down from the blissful skies.
Music is nothing else but wild sounds civilized into time and tune.
Music is not merely a study, it is an entertainment: wherever there is music there is a throng of listeners.
Music cleanses the understanding, inspires it, and lifts it into a realm which it would not reach if it were left to itself.
O Music! how it grieves me that imprudence, intemperance, gluttony, should open their channels into thy sacred stream.
Music, when combined with a pleasurable idea, is poetry; music without the idea is simply music; the idea without the music is prose from its very definiteness.
Music was a thing of the soul; a rose-lipped shell that murmured of the eternal sea; a strange bird singing the songs of another shore.
Music, in the best sense, does not require novelty; nay, the older it is, and the more we are accustomed to it, the greater its effect.
All musical people seem to be happy. It is the engrossing pursuit,—almost the only innocent and unpunished passion.
Music is not a science any more than poetry is. It is a sublime instinct, like genius of all kinds.
Where painting is weakest,—namely, in the expression of the highest moral and spiritual ideas,—there music is sublimely strong.
Music, if only listened to, and not scientifically cultivated, gives too much play to the feelings and fancy; the difficulties of the art draw forth the whole energies of the soul.
Music is a kind of inarticulate unfathomable speech, which leads us to the edge of the infinite, and lets us for moments gaze into that.
Music is a discipline, and a mistress of order and good manners; she makes the people milder and gentler, more moral and more reasonable.
Lord, what music hast thou provided for Thy saints in heaven, when Thou affordest bad men such music on earth!
O, it came over my ear like the sweet south, that breathes upon a bank of violets, stealing and giving odor!
Music is the fourth great material want of our natures,—first food, then raiment, then shelter, then music.
If music be the food of love, play on, give me excess of it; that, surfeiting, the appetite may sicken, and so die.
I ever held this sentence of the poet as a canon of my creed, “that whom God loveth not, they love not music.”
It wakes a glad remembrance of our youth, calls back past joys, and warms us into transport.
Music when thus applied raises in the mind of the hearer great conceptions. It strengthens devotion, and advances praise into rapture.
Music is a prophecy of what life is to be, the rainbow of promise translated out of seeing into hearing.
Music is the only sensual gratification which mankind may indulge in to excess without injury to their moral or religious feelings.
Music,—we love it for the buried hopes, the garnered memories, the tender feelings it can summon at a touch.
There is no feeling, perhaps, except the extremes of fear and grief, that does not find relief in music,—that does not make a man sing or play the better.
Explain it as we may, a martial strain will urge a man into the front rank of battle sooner than an argument, and a fine anthem excite his devotion more certainly than a logical discourse.
Next to theology I give to music the highest place and honor. And we see how David and all the saints have wrought their godly thoughts into verse, rhyme, and song.
Such is the sociableness of music, it conforms itself to all companies, both in mirth and mourning; complying to improve that passion with which it finds the auditors most affected.
Music is the only one of the fine arts in which not only man, but all other animals, have a common property,—mice and elephants, spiders and birds.
Music, of all the liberal arts, has the greatest influence over the passions, and is that to which the legislator ought to give the greatest encouragement.
It is a bird-flight of the soul, when the heart declares itself in song. The affections that clothe themselves with wings are passions that have been subdued to virtues.
Music is God’s best gift to man, the only art of heaven given to earth, the only art of earth that we take to heaven. But music, like all our gifts, is given us in the germ. It is for us to unfold and develop it by instruction and cultivation.
Music is one of the fairest and most glorious gifts of God, to which Satan is a bitter enemy; for it removes from the heart the weight of sorrow, and the fascination of evil thoughts.
The direct relation of music is not to ideas, but emotions. Music, in the works of its greatest masters, is more marvellous, more mysterious, than poetry.
Music is the harmonious voice of creation, an echo of the invisible world, one note of the divine concord which the entire universe is destined one day to sound.
Music is the medicine of an afflicted mind, a sweet sad measure is the balm of a wounded spirit; and joy is heightened by exultant strains.
The lines of poetry, the periods of prose, and even the texts of Scripture most frequently recollected and quoted, are those which are felt to be pre-eminently musical.
Some of the fathers went so far as to esteem the love of music a sign of predestination; as a thing divine, and reserved for the felicities of heaven itself.
Music is the art of the prophets, the only art that can calm the agitations of the soul; it is one of the most magnificent and delightful presents God has given us.
Amongst the instrumentalities of love and peace, surely there can be no sweeter, softer, more effective voice than that of gentle, peace-breathing music.
Arcadians skilled in song will sing my woes upon the hills. Softly shall my bones repose, if you in future sing my loves upon your pipe.
In the germ, when the first trace of life begins to stir, music is the nurse of the soul; it murmurs in the ear, and the child sleeps; the tones are companions of his dreams,—they are the world in which he lives.
Those who love music are gentle and honest in their tempers. I always loved music, and would not, for a great matter, be without the little skill which I possess in the art.
Without the definiteness of sculpture and painting, music is, for that very reason, far more suggestive. Like Milton’s Eve, an outline, an impulse, is furnished, and the imagination does the rest.
The cause of freedom, in music as elsewhere, is now very nearly triumphant; but at a time when its adversaries were many and powerful, we can hardly imagine the sacred bridge of liberty kept by a more stalwart trio than Schubert the Armorer, Chopin the Refiner, and Liszt the Thunderer.
Music is thus, in her health, the teacher of perfect order, and is the voice of the obedience of angels, and the companion of the course of the spheres of heaven; and in her depravity she is also the teacher of perfect disorder and disobedience.
Music is a sacred, a divine, a Godlike thing, and was given to man by Christ to lift our hearts up to God, and make us feel something of the glory and beauty of God, and of all which God has made.
A well-composed song strikes and softens the mind, and produces a greater effect than a moral work, which convinces our reason, but does not warm our feelings, nor affect the slightest alteration in our habits.
The time is probably not far distant when music will stand revealed perchance as the mightiest of the arts, and certainly as the one art peculiarly representative of our modern world, with its intense life, complex civilization, and feverish self-consciousness.
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.
What rapturous flights of sound! what thrilling, pathetic chimes! what wild, joyous revelry of passion! what an expression of agony and woe! All the feelings of suffering and rejoicing humanity sympathized with and finding a voice in those tones.
Music moves us, and we know not why; we feel the tears, but cannot trace their source. Is it the language of some other state, born of its memory? For what can wake the soul’s strong instinct of another world, like music?
I think sometimes could I only have music on my own terms; could I live in a great city, and know where I could go whenever I wished the ablution and inundation of musical waves, that were a bath and a medicine.
Curran’s favorite mode of meditation was with his violin in his hand; for hours together would he forget himself, running voluntaries over the strings, while his imagination, collecting its tones, was opening all his faculties for the coming emergency at the bar.
Music is the mediator between the spiritual and the sensual life. Although the spirit be not master of that which it creates through music, yet it is blessed in this creation, which, like every creation of art, is mightier than the artist.
I always loved music; whoso has skill in this art, is of a good temperament, fitted for all things. We must teach music in schools. A schoolmaster ought to have skill in music, or I would not regard him; neither should we ordain young men as preachers, unless they have been well exercised in music.
And sure there is music even in the beauty, and the silent note which Cupid strikes, far sweeter than the sound of an instrument; for there is music wherever there is harmony, order, or proportion; and thus far we may maintain the music of the spheres.
Tunes and airs have in themselves some affinity with the affections,—as merry tunes, doleful tunes, solemn tunes, tunes inclining men’s minds to pity, warlike tunes,—so that it is no marvel if they alter the spirits, considering that tunes have a predisposition to the motion of the spirits.
It reveals us to ourselves, it represents those modulations and temperamental changes which escape all verbal analysis, it utters what must else remain forever unuttered and unutterable; it feeds that deep, ineradicable instinct within us of which all art is only the reverberated echo, that craving to express, through the medium of the senses, the spiritual and eternal realities which underlie them.
Music, according to Wagner, is no longer to be considered merely a means of exciting “the pleasure which we derive from beautiful forms;” it is, instead, the most immediate means possessed by the will for the manifestation of its inner impulses. Far from exercising a determining influence of its own, “the æsthetic form must itself be determined by the artist’s inner intuition of the idea.”
Lord Bacon had music often played in the room adjoining his study. Milton listened to his organ for his solemn inspirations; and music was ever necessary to Warburton. The symphonies which awoke in the poet sublime emotions might have composed the inventive mind of the great critic in the visions of his theoretical mysteries.
If you love music, hear it: go to operas, concerts, and pay fiddlers to play to you; but I insist upon your neither piping nor fiddling yourself. It puts a gentleman in a very frivolous, contemptible light; brings him into a great deal of bad company; and takes up a great deal of time, which might be much better employed.
In part of Lord Kames’ Elements of Criticism, he says that “music improves the relish of a banquet.” That I deny,—any more than painting might do. They may both be additional pleasures, as well as conversation is, but are perfectly distinct notices; and cannot, with the least propriety, be said to mix or blend with the repast, as none of them serve to raise the flavor of the wine, the sauce, the meat, or help to quicken appetite. But music and painting both add a spirit to devotion, and elevate the ardor.
Is it any weakness, pray, to be wrought on by exquisite music? to feel its wondrous harmonies searching the subtlest windings of your soul, the delicate fibres of life where no memory can penetrate, and binding together your whole being, past and present, in one unspeakable vibration; melting you in one moment with all the tenderness, all the love, that has been scattered through the toilsome years, concentrating in one emotion of heroic courage or resignation all the hard-learned lessons of self-renouncing sympathy, blending your present joy with past sorrow, and your present sorrow with all your past joy?