These 150 Inspiring Music Quotes Will Be Music to Your Ears

Celebrate the power of song with these quotes about music.

Can you imagine your life without music? It’s almost impossible. Whether we are cruising in the car headed to the beach on a hot summer day or listening to muzak at a doctor’s office, we are constantly surrounded by song. Makeups, breakups, parties, hanging out with friends, singing along with our kids, or caroling a Christmas tune—music stamps nearly every aspect of our life. Much in the way a killer soundtrack accompanies a movie, most of us have songs that accent each phase of our lives, melodies that instantly bring us back to specific moments or memories when we hear them even years later.

To celebrate the magical feelings that music can evoke in our lives, we’ve put together a list of 150 quotes about music. Some of these music quotes are by musical artists themselves, others are from philosophers, authors and other performers. But no matter who the person was that said these inspiring words, these music quotes all beautifully describe the huge impact that music has on our lives.

150 Best Music Quotes

1. “Where words fail, music speaks.” — Hans Christian Andersen

2. “Music is the language of the spirit. It opens the secret of life bringing peace, abolishing strife.” — Kahlil Gibran

3. “Where words leave off, music begins.” — Heinrich Heine

Related: We Don't Know About You, but We're Feeling These 32 Best Gifts for Taylor Swift Fans

4. “Music, once admitted to the soul, becomes a sort of spirit, and never dies.” ― Edward Bulwer Lytton

5. “Music touches us emotionally, where words alone can't.” ― Johnny Depp

6. “Music produces a kind of pleasure which human nature cannot do without.” ― Confucius

7. “Music is the universal language of mankind.” ― Henry Wadsworth Longfellow

8. “I like beautiful melodies telling me terrible things.” ― Tom Waits

9. “Music, when soft voices die, vibrates in the memory.” — Percy Bysshe Shelley

10. “Beethoven tells you what it's like to be Beethoven and Mozart tells you what it's like to be human. Bach tells you what it's like to be the universe.” ― Douglas Adams

11. “Music is an agreeable harmony for the honor of God and the permissible delights of the soul.” ― Johann Sebastian Bach

12. “Music is healing. Music holds things together.” ― Prince

13. “There are not more than five musical notes, yet the combinations of these five give rise to more melodies than can ever be heard.” — Sun Tzu

14. “Music can change the world.” — Ludwig van Beethoven

15. “The true beauty of music is that it connects people. It carries a message, and we, the musicians, are the messengers.” — Roy Ayers

16. “The best music is essentially there to provide you something to face the world with.” — Bruce Springsteen

17. “He took his pain and turned it into something beautiful. Into something that people connect to. And that's what good music does. It speaks to you. It changes you.” ― Hannah Harrington, Saving June

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

19. “There is no feeling, except the extremes of fear and grief, that does not find relief in music.” ― George Eliot

20. “Music is the great uniter. An incredible force. Something that people who differ on everything and anything else can have in common.” ― Sarah Dessen, Just Listen

21. “The wise musicians are those who play what they can master.” — Duke Ellington

22. “If you’ve lost your faith in love and music, then the end won’t be long.” — Pete Doherty

23. “I've found that no matter what life throws at me, music softens the blow.” ― Bryce W. Anderson

24. “Music acts like a magic key, to which the most tightly closed heart opens.” ― Maria von Trapp

Related: The Best Sound of Music Quotes

25. “When I hear music, I fear no danger. I am invulnerable. I see no foe. I am related to the earliest times, and to the latest.” ― Henry David Thoreau

26. “Music is the art which is most nigh to tears and memory.” — Oscar Wilde

27. “My heart, which is so full to overflowing, has often been solaced and refreshed by music when sick and weary.” ― Martin Luther

28. “Music is the wine that fills the cup of silence.” — Robert Fripp

29. “Love is friendship set to music.” — Jackson Pollock

30. “Musicians want to be the loud voice for so many quiet hearts.” — Billy Joel

31. “Music is an outburst of the soul.” ― Frederick Delius

32. “A great song should lift your heart, warm the soul and make you feel good.” ― Colbie Caillat

33. “Those who wish to sing always find a song.” — Unknown

34. “For me, there is something primitively soothing about this music, and it went straight to my nervous system, making me feel ten feet tall.” ― Eric Clapton

35. “Music is the divine way to tell beautiful, poetic things to the heart.” ― Pablo Casals

36. “Can a mere song change a people's minds? I doubt that it is so. But a song can infiltrate your heart and the heart may change your mind.” ― Elvis Costello

37. “Music is life itself.” — Louis Armstrong

38. “How is it that music can, without words, evoke our laughter, our fears, our highest aspirations?” — Jane Swan

39. “Music is the moonlight in the gloomy night of life.” ― Jean Paul Friedrich Richter

40. “Once again, she was free. Once again, she found peace. It was music that freed her soul from the dungeon of her mind.” ― Wiss Auguste, The Illusions of Hope

41. “I’ve always said music should make you laugh, make you cry or make you think.” — Kenny Rogers

42. “Music is the only language in which you cannot say a mean or sarcastic thing.” ― John Erskine

43. “Life is one grand, sweet song so start the music.” — Ronald Reagan

44. “Music can heal the wounds which medicine cannot touch.” ― Debasish Mridha

45. “If Music is a Place – then Jazz is the City, Folk is the Wilderness, Rock is the Road, Classical is a Temple.” — Vera Nazarin

46. “Music replays the past memories, awaken our forgotten worlds and make our minds travel.” ― Michael Bassey Johnson

47. “Without music, life would be a blank to me.” — Jane Austen, Emma

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

49. “Country music is three chords and the truth.” — Harlan Howard

50. “I’ve always thought people would find a lot more pleasure in their routines if they burst into song at significant moments.” — John Barrowman

51. “Music is nothing else but wild sounds civilized into time and tune.” — Thomas Fuller

52. “One good thing about music, when it hits you, you feel no pain.” — Bob Marley

53. “Music kept me off the streets and out of trouble and gave me something that was mine that no one could take away from me.” — Eddie Van Halen

54. “Music is the soundtrack of your life.” — Dick Clark

55. “The most exciting rhythms seem unexpected and complex, the most beautiful melodies simple and inevitable.” — H. Auden

56. “Music is your own experience, your thoughts, your wisdom. If you don’t live it, it won’t come out of your horn.” — Charlie Parker

57. “Music expresses feeling and thought, without language; it was below and before speech, and it is above and beyond all words.” ― Robert G. Ingersoll

58. “Music is the only thing I’ve ever known that doesn’t have any rules at all.” — Josh Homme

59. “The times you lived through, the people you shared those times with – nothing brings it all to life like an old mix tape. It does a better job of storing up memories than actual brain tissue can do. Every mix tape tells a story. Put them together, and they can add up to the story of a life.” — Rob Sheffield, Love Is a Mix Tape

60. “Music is love in search of a word.” — Sidney Lanier

61. “Music cleanses the understanding; inspires it, and lifts it into a realm which it would not reach if it were left to itself.” — Henry Ward Beecher

62. “The easiest way to avoid wrong notes is to never open your mouth and sing. What a mistake that would be.” — Pete Seeger

63. “Music… can name the unnameable and communicate the unknowable.” — Leonard Bernstein

Related: The Best Music Videos of All Time

64. “The only truth is music.” — Jack Kerouac

65. “Music is the shorthand of emotion.” — Leo Tolstoy

66. “Some days there won’t be a song in your heart. Sing anyway.” — Emory Austin

67. “Music gives color to the air of the moment.” — Karl Lagerfeld

68. “Some people have lives; some people have music.” — John Green, Will Grayson, Will Grayson

69. “Even if you can’t sing well, sing. Sing to yourself. Sing in the privacy of your home. But sing.” — Rebbe Nachman

70. “Music and silence combine strongly because music is done with silence, and silence is full of music.” — Marcel Marceau

71. “A painter paints pictures on canvas. But musicians paint their pictures on silence.” — Leopold Stokowski

72. “Music is what tells us that the human race is greater than we realize.” — Napoleon Bonaparte

73. “He who sings frightens away his ills.” — Miguel de Cervantes

74. “Music washes away from the soul the dust of everyday life.” — Berthold Auerbach

75. “When we listen to music we are not listening to the past, we are not listening to the future, we are listening to an expanded present.” — Alan Watts

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

77. “Music gives a soul to the universe, wings to the mind, flight to the imagination and life to everything.” — Plato

78. “Music has a poetry of its own, and that poetry is called melody.” — Joshua Logan

79. “There are two means of refuge from the misery of life—music and cats.” — Albert Schweitzer

80. “Music is a language that doesn’t speak in particular words. It speaks in emotions, and if it’s in the bones, it’s in the bones.” — Keith Richards, According to the Rolling Stones

81. “The world’s most famous and popular language is music.” — PSY

82. “Music is feeling. You can try to verbalize it. It really just hits you or it doesn’t.” — Gene Simmons

83. “My ambition was to live like music.” — Mary Gaitskill

84. “If I were not a physicist, I would probably be a musician. I often think in music. I live my daydreams in music. I see my life in terms of music.” — Albert Einstein

85. “To stop the flow of music would be like the stopping of time itself, incredible and inconceivable.” — Aaron Copland

86. “Take a music bath once or twice a week for a few seasons. You will find it is to the soul what a water bath is to the body.” — Oliver Wendell Holmes

87. “Music has healing power. It has the ability to take people out of themselves for a few hours.” — Elton John

88. “Jazz is not just music, it’s a way of life, it’s a way of being, a way of thinking.” — Nina Simone

89. “I haven’t understood a bar of music in my life, but I have felt it.” — Igor Stravinsky

90. “Music is the tool to express life—and all that makes a difference.” — Herbie Hancock

91. “After silence, that which comes nearest to expressing the inexpressible is music.” —Aldous Huxley, Music at Night and Other Essays

92. “Bach is an astronomer, discovering the most marvelous stars. Beethoven challenges the universe. I only try to express the soul and the heart of man.” — Frédéric Chopin

93. “Music is forever; music should grow and mature with you, following you right on up until you die.” — Paul Simon

Related: The Best Fun, Happy Songs

94. “If you cannot teach me to fly, teach me to sing.” — J.M. Barrie, Peter Pan

95. “Heard melodies are sweet, but those unheard are sweeter; therefore, ye soft pipes, play on.” — John Keats

96. “Music is a weapon in the war against unhappiness.” — Jason Mraz

97. “If I had my life to live over again, I would have made a rule to read some poetry and listen to some music at least once every week.” — Charles Darwin

98. “If a composer could say what he had to say in words he would not bother trying to say it in music.” — Gustav Mahler

99. “Music is the emotional life of most people.” — Leonard Cohen

100. “Life, he realized, was much like a song. In the beginning, there is mystery, in the end, there is confirmation, but it's in the middle where all the emotion resides to make the whole thing worthwhile.” —Nicholas Sparks, The Last Song

101. “Music is a great natural high and a great natural escape.” — Shania Twain

102. “You can cage the singer but not the song.” — Harry Belafonte

103. “The music is not in the notes, but in the silence between.” — Wolfgang Amadeus Mozart

104. “Music is my religion.” — Jimi Hendrix

105. “Life and love go on, let the music play.” — Johnny Cash

106. “Music is powerful. As people listen to it, they can be affected. They respond.” — Ray Charles

107. “People haven’t always been there for me, but music always has.” — Taylor Swift

108. “Music should be your escape.” — Missy Elliot

109. “Without music to decorate it, time is just a bunch of boring production deadlines or dates by which bills must be paid.” — Frank Zappa

110. “My music isn’t just music—it’s medicine.” — Kanye West

111. “People ask me how I make music. I tell them I just step into it. It’s like stepping into a river and joining the flow. Every moment in the river has its song.” — Michael Jackson

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

113. “Without music, life would be a mistake.” —Friedrich Nietzsche, Twilight of the Idols

114. “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

115. “Music does a lot of things for a lot of people. It’s transporting, for sure. It can take you right back, years back, to the very moment certain things happened in your life. It’s uplifting, it’s encouraging, it’s strengthening.” — Aretha Franklin

116. “If music be the food of love, play on.” — William Shakespeare, Twelfth Night

117. “Softly, deftly, music shall caress you. Hear it, feel it, secretly possess you.” — Andrew Lloyd Webber, The Phantom of the Opera

118. “I believe that a person's taste in music tells you a lot about them. In some cases, it tells you everything you need to know.” — Leila Sales, This Song Will Save Your Life

119. “Most people die with their music still locked up inside them.” ― Benjamin Disraeli

120. “If I cannot fly, let me sing.” ― Stephen Sondheim

121. “I think there is a song out there to describe just about any situation.” — Criss Jami, Killisophy

122. “Why not just live in the moment, especially if it has a good beat?” ― Goldie Hawn

123. “Live your truth. Express your love. Share your enthusiasm. Take action towards your dreams. Walk your talk. Dance and sing to your music. Embrace your blessings. Make today worth remembering.” — Steve Maraboli

124. “The more you love music, the more music you love.” – Tom Moon

125. “Words make you think. Music makes you feel. A song makes you feel a thought.” — Yip Harburg

Inspirational Music Quotes

126. “Or music heard so deeply that it is not heard at all, but you are the music while the music lasts.” — T.S. Eliot, Four Quartets

127. “Music should be an essential part of every analysis.” — Carl Jung

128. “Such sweet compulsion doth in music lie.” ― John Milton

129. “Music is very spiritual, it has the power to bring people together.” — Edgar Winter

130. “A bird does not sing because it has an answer. It sings because it has a song.” — Chinese Proverb

131. “We are the music-makers, and we are the dreamers of dreams.” — Arthur O’Shaughnessy

132. “Music can change the world because it can change people.” ― Bono

133. “Music could ache and hurt, that beautiful music was a place a suffering man could hide.” — Pat Conroy

Related: The Best Songs About Friendship

134. “Music isn’t just a pleasure, a transient satisfaction. It’s a need, a deep hunger; and when the music is right, it’s joy. Love. A foretaste of heaven.” — Orson Scott Card

135. “Music is the soundtrack to every good and bad time we will ever have.” ― Alex Gaskarth

136. “Music is enough for a lifetime, but a lifetime is not enough for music.” ― Sergei Rachmaninov

137. “Music doesn't get in. Music is already in. Music simply uncovers what is there, makes you feel emotions that you didn't necessarily know you had inside you and runs around waking them all up. A rebirth of sorts.” — Matt Haig, How to Stop Time

138. “If you want to make beautiful music, you must play the black and the white notes together.” ― Richard Nixon

139. “Music does not replace words, it gives tone to the words” — Elie Wiesel

140. “If everyone started off the day singing, just think how happy they'd be.” ― Lauren Myracle, Shine

141. “When you're happy, you enjoy the music but when you're sad, you understand the lyrics.” ― Frank Ocean

142. “Music… is the only real religion that is worth devoting your soul to. It is the last remnant of the primal scream, the funeral dirge, and the wedding march. It is the light that keeps me out of the shadows, and it is the reason my immortal soul is not in dire straits.” — Corey Taylor, Seven Deadly Sins

143. “That’s one of the great things about music. You can sing a song to 85,000 people and they’ll sing it back for 85,000 different reasons.” ― Dave Grohl

144. “If you talk bad about country music, it's like saying bad things about my momma. Them's fightin' words” ― Dolly Parton

145. “Music is everywhere. It’s in the air between us, waiting to be sung.” ― David Levithan, How They Met and Other Stories

146. “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

147. “Music is not take it or leave it; Music is life or death!” ― Joss Stirling, Finding Sky

148. “The more you love music, the more music you love.” ― Tom Moon, 1,000 Recordings to Hear Before You Die

149. “Music is nothing else but wild sounds civilized into time and tune.” ― Thomas Fuller

150. “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

Next, read…

The 100 Best Breakup Songs of All Time
All of The Cover Songs on the Bridgerton Soundtrack
Music Trivia Questions & Answers