Speaking of Music and Pianos …
Music, in general, and pianos, in particular, have inspired many people to try and capture the essence of music or pianos in a few words or sentences. Music touches our hearts and souls and speaks to us on an emotional level. Here are some great quotes about two of our favorite subjects—music and pianos.
Music as Mystery
Music is what feelings sound like.
Music expresses that which cannot be said and on which it is impossible to be silent.
—Victor Hugo, French poet, playwright, novelist, and essayist
After silence, that which comes nearest to expressing the inexpressible is music.
—Aldous Huxley, English writer
Where words fail, music speaks.
—Hans Christian Andersen, Danish author and poet
My idea is that there is music in the air, music all around us; the world is full of it, and you simply take as much as you require.
—Edward Elgar, English composer
Music as Therapy
Why waste money on psychotherapy when you can listen to the B Minor Mass?
—Michael Torke, American composer
Music washes away from the soul the dust of everyday life.
—Berthold Auerbach, German-Jewish author
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, Sr., American physician, professor, lecturer, and author
He who sings scares away his woes.
—Miguel de Cervantes Saavedra, Spanish novelist, poet, and playwright
Music is the moonlight in the gloomy night of life.
—Jean Paul Richter, German Romantic writer
Music is love in search of a word.
—Sidney Lanier, American musician and poet
Life is like a piano. What you get out of it depends on how you play it.
—Tom Lehrer, American singer-songwriter, satirist, and pianist
Music is an outburst of the soul.
—Frederick Delius, English composer
Without music life would be a mistake.
—Friedrich Wilhelm Nietzsche, German philosopher
Music is well said to be the speech of angels.
—Thomas Carlyle, Scottish writer, essayist, historian, and teacher
You can’t possibly hear the last movement of Beethoven’s Seventh and go slow.
—Oscar Levant, American pianist, composer/arranger, author, comedian, and actor (explaining his way out of a speeding ticket)
Classical music is the kind we keep thinking will turn into a tune.
—Frank McKinney (“Kin”) Hubbard, American cartoonist, humorist and journalist
Country music is three chords and the truth.
—Harlan Howard, American country songwriter
Blues are the songs of despair, but gospel songs are the songs of hope.
—Mahalia Jackson, African-American gospel singer
A jazz musician is a juggler who uses harmonies instead of oranges.
—Benny Green, American jazz pianist
Pianos as Life
Part of Everyday Life:
I play piano every day.
—Sarah McLachlan, Canadian singer-songwriter
All I need is a big surfboard and a piano.
—Dennis Wilson, American rock and roll musician (Beach Boys)
I totally related to Cole Porter’s magnetic pull to any piano that was in the room, which he was famous for doing, as was Gershwin. You couldn’t drag them away from a piano.
—Kevin Kline, American actor
Last year, I finally got my own grand piano, and that was a big thing for me because it’s always been and always will be a very important part of my life.
—David Hyde Pierce, American actor and comedian
I believe in using the entire piano as a single instrument capable of expressing every possible musical idea.
—Oscar Peterson, Canadian jazz pianist and composer
It’s like a whole orchestra, the piano for me. And also, it’s to me the greatest instrument.
—Dave Brubeck, American jazz pianist and composer
No other acoustic instrument can match the piano’s expressive range, and no electric instrument can match its mystery.
—Kenneth Miller, American scientist
Piano playing is a dying art. I love the fact that I can be one guy with one instrument evoking an emotional and musical experience.
—Jon Bon Jovi, American singer-songwriter and actor
The piano is a monster that screams when you touch its teeth.
—Andres Segovia, Spanish classical guitar virtuoso
The piano is able to communicate the subtlest universal truths by means of wood, metal and vibrating air.
—Kenneth Miller, American scientist
The piano is the X factor. People have a tough time following the structures when there’s no piano there, spelling it out. It makes it more easily understood, particularly to people who don’t know as much about music.
—Branford Marsalis, American saxophonist, composer, and bandleader
To me, the piano in itself is an orchestra.
—Cecil Taylor, American jazz pianist, composer, and poet
I started studying music at the age of five and a half. My older sister was taking piano lessons. When her teacher left our apartment, I would get up on the piano bench and start picking out the notes that were part of my sister’s lessons.
—Marvin Hamlisch, Award-winning American composer and conductor
I think one of the best things you can do, no matter what you play, is to take up piano. Music is based on chord changes and harmonies, and you can get ’em more out of an instrument like piano, where you can hear all the notes at once.
—John Haley (“Zoot”) Sims, American jazz saxophonist
Thoughts from Musicians, Actors and Other Artists
The notes I handle no better than many pianists. But the pauses between the notes—ah, that is where the art resides!
—Artur Schnabel, Austrian classical pianist, composer, teacher
Once you replace negative thoughts with positive ones, you’ll start having positive results.
—Willie Nelson, American country singer-songwriter, poet, actor, activist
I always wanted to be a full-time musician. Every television job I had was a means to buy a grand piano, or to put in a recording studio, or something like that.
—John Tesh, American pianist, composer, entertainer and radio & television personality
Loving a child doesn’t mean giving in to all his whims; to love him is to bring out the best in him, to teach him to love what is difficult.
—Nadia Boulanger, French composer, conductor, teacher
Life is one grand, sweet song, so start the music.
—Ronald Reagan, President and actor