Music Quotes

Jazz has endured because it doesn’t have a beginning or an ending. It’s a moment.

Robert Altman

Nobody loves me, nobody seems to care.

Roll ‘Em, Pete
Count Basie, Joe Williams

The other half of my heart beat.

Dizzy, on Bird

Jazz washes away the dust of everyday life.

Art Blakey

You be surprised who you find in heaven and who in hell.

Uncle Buddy

… a whole bunch of lies; but … lying from a master.

Uncle Buddy

Saved? Saved from what? Life?

Uncle Buddy

The most fun I’ve ever had with my cloths on.

Miles Davis
on playing with Billy Eckstein, Bird and Diz also on the gig

I’m going to call myself on the phone and say, “Just shut up.”

Miles Davis

It takers a long time before you can sound like yourself.

Miles Ahead

Sometimes it takes a long time to sound like yourself.

Miles Davis

A spiritual orgasm

Miles Davis

Through Stockhausen I understood music as a process of elimination and addition. Like ‘yes’ only means something after you have said no.

Miles Davis

If it’s not the truth, then it’s not the blues.

Willie Dixon

If I couldn’t cheat, I couldn’t eat.

Honeyboy Edwards

Dissonance is our life in America.

Duke Ellington

It ain’t where you’re from that’s important, it’s where you going.

Ramblin’ Jack Elliot (quoting a rodeo guy)

Art you think; music you feel.

Ron English

Everybody wanted to be Miles Davis: no matter what instrument you played.

Funk Brothers (Motown)

The Beatles turned pop music into an art form.

Robin Gibb

It was like someone put a bomb in your mouth: and light it.

Dizzy Gillespie, on hearing Charlie Parker

The miners they cried
And the miners they moaned
To see what your greed
For money has done.

Woody Guthrie

I feel like I been shot at and missed, shit at and hit.

Woody Gutherie

To know yourself you have to know the past.

Corey Harris

Every time Miles puts the horn to his lips it’s a great event.

Dave Holland, Miles Davis’ bass player

The blues is when a man and a woman deceive one another through their love.

Son House

Soul of a poet, mind of a killer

said of Jay Z & ilk

Because love is the saddest thing
When it goes away.

Jobim, Gilbert

Music become noise is anonymous —
music become noise has no form:
sewage-water music in which music is dying

Milan Kundera

Steal whatever you like, but I ain’t givin’ it away.


“Howdya do that?”

Ramblin’ Jack asked Woody Guthrie. Woody told Jack about asking Leadbelly the same thing, then quoted Leadbelly as above: “Steal whatever you like, but I ain’t givin’ it away.”

Our descendants will despise us for throwing away the best of our culture.

Alan Lomax
(Mr. Lomax, I wish I believed that our descendants would know what we threw away!)

Without music, life would be a mistake.


You have a one-man conversation with the world for so long. You never hear anything you don’t want to hear. You can start believing any old nonsense and it is going to get to anyone after a while.

Guy Pratt on pop stars

Apropos: Next time you go out for dinner, have a look around the table and if everyone is on your payroll, the chances are you have become a prick.


Without music, life would be a mistake.


Music is auditory cheesecake.

Steven Pinker

Music is like the center … of everything …

Keith Richards

Music become noise

Arnold Schoenberg

I’m tired of buying pork chops
To grease his fat lips
And he’d better find another place
To park his old hips.
He’s got to get it, bring it,
and put it right here
Or’n else he’s got to keep it out there.

Bessie Smith

Woody Guthrie is the greatest American song writer.

Dave Van Ronk

It’s your music: and you’re gonna lose it.

Warming By the Devil’s Fire
on young blacks and the blues

It’s fine that you are all deep into music. But there’s something deeper and if you would go deeper, if you go to the source of where the music is being made, you’ll find something even more interesting. At the source, everyone’s individual music is made. If you ask what the deep place is, it’s your own life and it’s knowing your own life, that own way that you live.

The reason that we use sounds is to get to the basics of the human life, of the human health and the strength.

If you got something good, keep it in your pocket!

Muddy Waters

People don’t write music; it’s given to them.

Hank Williams

Music: coherent in many dimensions

Robert Anton Wilson

god is to everything what music is to sound.

The blues isn’t the blues. No: it’s the cure for the blues. It’s medicine.

There is no macroinformation more concentrated, more efficient, than music. Witness the blues.

The music is total; the sentience fractional.

Dance, like music, is counting, in patterns.

Isaac Asimov said, “Writing, to me, is simply thinking through my fingers.” I imagine any musician saying, Music is patterning emotion through your instrument. (Voice, fingers …)

Art, Music … Lit Quotes Subdivisions:

Art Quotes (plastic arts)
Literature Quotes
Movie Quotes
Music Quotes

About pk

Seems to me that some modicum of honesty is requisite to intelligence. If we look in the mirror and see not kleptocrats but Christians, we’re still in the same old trouble.
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2 Responses to Music Quotes

  1. These are great! Thanks for posting.

  2. Pingback: Charlie Parker Quote about Music | Beautiful Summer Morning

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