I love Beethoven, especially the poems. (Ringo Starr)


Music is not illusion, but revelation rather. Its triumphant power resides in the fact that it reveals to us beauties we find nowhere else. (Peter Ilyich Tchaikovsky)


He has Van Gogh's ear for music. (Billy Wilder)


I used to be in a band called ‘Missing Dog’. You probably saw our posters.


Interviewer: How much rewriting do you do?

Hemingway: It depends. I rewrote the ending of A Farewell to Arms, the last page of it, thirty-nine times before I was satisfied.

Interviewer: Was there some technical problem there? What was it that had you stumped?

Hemingway: Getting the words right. (Paris Review) 


Go to High School. Write down everything. (Taylor Swift on songwriting)


He who works with his hands is a laborer. He who works with his hands and his head is a craftsman. He who works with his hands, his head and his heart is an artist. (Saint Francis of Assisi)


Paris is for Louvres. (T-shirt)


A musician wins $75,000 in the lottery.

TV interviewer: You mind me asking what you do for a living?

Musician: I’m a full-time musician.

TV interviewer: $75,000…that’s a lot of money. If you don’t mind me asking, what do you expect to do with it?

Musician: I guess I’ll just keep working until it’s all gone.


It is better to have done something than to have been someone. (Claude Monet)


I can play piano with my eyes closed. It sounds really awful though.


An essential thing was mystery. That was what dreams and truly great works of art had in common. Mystery. (Herman Hesse, “Narcissus and Goldman,” 1930)


A movie is life with the dull parts cut out. (Alfred Hitchcock)


Mozart is sunshine. (Antonin Dvorak)


Boy (to mom): When I grow up I want to be a musician!

Mom: I sorry, Honey, you can’t do both.


The man who has no imagination has no wings. (Mohammad Ali)


It is the function of art to renew our perception. What we are familiar with we cease to see. The writer shakes up the familiar scene, and, as if by magic, we see a new meaning in it. (Anais Nin)


I tried to write a drinking song, but I couldn’t make it past the first few bars.

I’ve always held the song in high regard because songs have got me through so many sinks of dishes and so many humiliating courting events. (Leonard Cohen)


An artist is someone who has learned to trust in himself. (Ludwig van Beethoven)


Art is either plagiarism or revolution. (Paul Gauguin)


It’s taken me all my life to learn what not to play. (Dizzy Gillespie)

The most important thing I look for in a musician is whether he knows how to listen. (Duke Ellington)


Frustration is one of the greatest things in art; satisfaction is nothing. (Malcom McLaren)


Everything you can imagine is real. (Pablo Picasso)


You have to create the quiet to be able to listen to the very faint voice of your intuition. (Jon Favreau)


What’s green and sings?...Elvis Parsley.


I think I had it in the back of my mind that I wanted to sound like a dry martini. (Paul Desmond)


I have won several prizes as the world’s slowest alto player, as well as a special award in 1961 for quietness. (Paul Desmond)


I was unfashionable before anyone knew who I was. (Paul Desmond)


I tried practicing for a few weeks and ended up playing too fast. (Paul Desmond)


My life is music, and in some vague, mysterious and subconscious way, I have always been driven by a taut inner spring which has propelled me to almost compulsively reach for perfection in music, often—in fact, mostly—at the expense of everything else in my life. (Stan Getz)

I was trying to play guitar like John Coltrane played the sax. Of course, nobody understood it, especially me. (James Gurley-Big Brother & the Holding Company, 1968)


In fifteen seconds the difference between composition and improvisation is that in composition you have all the time you want to decide what to say in fifteen seconds, while in improvisation you have fifteen seconds. (Steve Lacy)

Guitar players read by ear. (Ron Eschete)


It Don’t Mean a Thing, If It Ain’t Got That Swing. (Duke Ellington-1943)


Playing ‘bop’ is like playing Scrabble with all the vowels missing. (Duke Ellington)


I like beautiful melodies telling you terrible things. (Tom Waits)


Hell, there ain’t no notes on the banjo. You just play it! (unknown)


I have had a very thin time of it these days. My money ran out on Thursday, and I have lived for four days on twenty-three cups of coffee. (Vincent van Gogh)


Art is by nature optimistic. Art is optimistic because it is alive. (Patti Smith)


Practice makes perfect, and nobody’s perfect, so why practice? (David Dean)


The composer Stravinsky had written a new piece with a difficult violin passage. After it had been in rehearsal for several weeks, the solo violinist came to Stravinsky and said he was sorry, he had tried his best, the passage was too difficult, no violinist could play it. Stravinsky said, “I understand that. What I am after is the sound of someone trying to play it.” (Thomas Powers)


After silence, that which comes nearest to expressing the inexpressible is music. (Aldous Huxley)


My neighbor banged on my front door at two-thirty this morning. Thank God I was still up playing the drums.


A22DNCR (License Plate)

When the mbira is played it brings the two worlds together, the world of our ancestors and the world of today. (Ephat Mujuru, mbira [thumb piano] player from Zimbabwe) 


I don’t know anything about music. In my line you don’t have to. (Elvis Presley)


He who sings scares away his woes. (Spanish Proverb)


What do Fellini’s films have to do with naturalism? He works with the inaccuracies of memory. It’s the opposite direction from naturalism: elevating things to mythical, archetypal status. Make them more dreamlike. That’s a feeling I like a lot. (Brian Eno)


First thoughts are the strongest. (Allen Ginsberg)


Art is the stored honey of the human soul, gathered on wings of misery and travail. (Theodore Dreiser)


What did Vincent say when his car was stolen?...Where did my Van Gogh?


Why should people go out and pay money to see bad films when they can stay home and see bad television for nothing? (Samuel Goldwyn)


My books are water; those of the great geniuses are wine. Everybody drinks water. (Mark Twain)


How is a drum solo like a sneeze?…You can tell it’s coming, but you can’t do anything about it.


A poet looks at the world as a man looks at a woman. (Wallace Stevens)


This urge to make everything profound. What nonsense! (Henry Miller)


I dream my painting, and then I paint my dream. (Vincent van Gogh)


How many poets does it take to screw in a lightbulb?

Two.: One to curse the darkness, and one to light a candle.


I have come to believe that a great teacher is a great artist and that there are as few as there are any other great artists. Teaching might even be the greatest of the arts since the medium is the human mind and spirit. (John Steinbeck)


I don’t paint things. I only paint the difference between things. (Henry Matisse)


A classic is something that everybody wants to have read and nobody wants to read. (Mark Twain)


Making the simple complicated is commonplace; making the complicated simple, awesomely simple, that’s creative. (Charles Mingus)


Information is not knowledge. Knowledge is not wisdom. Wisdom is not truth. Truth is not beauty. Beauty is not love. Love is not music. Music is the best. (Frank Zappa)


“I used to drive out to John’s house,” says Paul McCartney. “He lived out in the country, and I lived in London. I remember asking the chauffeur once if he was having a good week. He said, ‘I’m very busy at the moment. I’ve been working eight days a week.’ And I thought, ‘Eight days a week! Now there’s a title.’”


Charles Dickens walks into a bar and orders a martini. The bartender asks, “Olive or Twist?”


Give me a smart idiot over a stupid genius any day. (Samuel Goodwyn)


I hate flowers. I paint them because they’re cheaper than models and they don’t move. (Georgia O’Keefe)


Tuba Player: Did you hear my last recital?

Friend: I hope so.


For a long time now I have tried simply to write the best I can. Sometimes I get lucky and write better than I can. (Ernest Hemingway)


A person from Boston took a Zen Buddhist monk to hear the Boston Symphony perform Beethoven’s Fifth Symphony. His comment was, “Not enough silence.”


Art should never try to be popular. The public should try to make itself artistic. (Oscar Wilde)


Interviewer: Some people say they can’t understand your writing even after they read it two or three times. What approach would you suggest for them?

William Faulkner: Read it four times.


To say that a work of art is good, but incomprehensible to the majority of men, is the same as saying of some kind of food that it is very good but that most people can’t eat it. (Leo Tolstoy)


What is art but a way of seeing? (Saul Bellow)


It takes a very good drummer to be better than no drummer at all. (Chet Baker)


Nowhere is Hell so paved with good intentions as in Art. (Aldous Huxley)


Two girls are walking through the forest when they come upon a talking frog. “Kiss me and I will turn into a famous jazz musician,” says the frog.

The first girl picks him up and puts him in her pocket.

 “How come you didn’t kiss him?” says the other girl.

 “He’ll be worth more as a talking frog,” says the first.


Artistic growth is, more than it is anything else, a refining of the sense of truthfulness. The stupid believe that to be truthful is easy; only the artist, the great artist, knows how difficult it is. (Willa Cather)


If I miss one day of practice, I can tell. Two days: the critics can tell. Three days: the public can tell. (Yascha Heifitz)


Having your book turned into a movie is like seeing your oxen turned into bouillon cubes. (John le Carre)


Three chords and the truth---That’s what a country song is. (Willie Nelson)


The secret to being funny is to say smart things stupidly. Or is stupid things smartly? Whatever…It’s not rocket surgery.


Did you hear about the tenor who was so arrogant that even the other tenors noticed?


George Bernard Shaw telegram to Winston Churchill: “Sending you two opening night tickets to my new play. Bring a friend if you have one.” Winston Churchill to Shaw: “Unable to come on opening night. Will come 2nd night, if you have one.”


Those who wish to sing always find a song. (Swedish Proverb)


If it sounds good, it is good. (Duke Ellington)


There are no wrong notes…only wrong resolutions. (Dizzy Gillespie)


Miles Davis (on how to begin a solo): Think of a note…then don’t play it.


When composer Igor Stravinsky was fifty-seven, he settled in the United States and a year later decided to apply for American citizenship. He made an appointment to see the appropriate official. At his first interview the official asked the famous composer his name. “Stra-vin-sky,” he replied, speaking each syllable distinctly. “You could change it, you know,” suggested the official. (Bartlett’s Book of Anecdotes)


Where words fail, music speaks. (Hans Christian Anderson)


The music business is a cruel and shallow money trench, a long plastic highway where thieves and pimps run free, and good men die like dogs. There’s also a negative side. (Hunter S. Thompson)


How many producers does it take to screw in a lightbulb?...I don’t know…what do you think?


The difference between fiction and reality? Fiction has to make sense. (Tom Clancy)


The great composer does not set to work because he is inspired, but becomes inspired because he is working. Beethoven, Wagner, Bach, and Mozart settled down day after day to the job in hand with as much regularity as an accountant settles down each day to his figures. They didn’t waste time waiting for inspiration. (Ernest Newman)


How many surrealists does it take to change a lightbulb?...Two: One to hold the giraffe, and the other to fill the bathtub with brightly colored machine tools.


What’s the difference between an accordion and an onion?…Nobody cries when you chop up an accordion.


All the sounds of the earth are like music. (Oscar Hammerstein)


There are no dull subjects, there are only dull writers. (H. L. Mencken)


That’s not writing, that’s typing. (Truman Capote on Jack Kerouac)


I decided to start anew---to strip away what I had been taught, to accept as true my own thinking. This was one of the best times of my life. There was no one around to look at what I was doing, no one interested, no one to say anything about it one way or another. I was alone and singularly free, working into my own, unknown---no one to satisfy but myself. I began with charcoal and paper and decided not to use any color until it was impossible to do what I wanted to do in black and white. I believe it was June before I needed blue. (Georgia O’Keefe)


There’s no money in poetry…but then there’s no poetry in money, either. (Robert Graves)


Amateurs emulate. Pros steal. (Author unknown)


I knew a one-armed piano player once…It took him two minutes to play “The Minute Waltz.”


What’s the difference between a trumpet and a trombone?…You can make more belt-buckles out of a trombone.


I perhaps owe having become a painter to the flowers. (Claude Monet)


When I don’t write, I feel my world shrinking. I feel I am in a prison. I feel I lose my fire and my color. It should be a necessity, as the sea needs to heave, and I call it breathing. (Anais Nin)


You want to make money in the music business?...sell band uniforms. (Andre Previn)


Art is a luxury for which the artist pays. (David Smith-sculptor)


Church for accordion players…Our Lady of Spain.


Television has raised writing to a new low. (Samuel Goldwyn)


You never have to change anything you got up in the middle of the night to write. (Saul Bellow)


After a concert, a fan rushed up to famed violinist Fritz Kreisler and gushed: “I’d give my life to play as beautifully as you do.” Kreisler replied, “I did.”


Things are beautiful if you love them. (Jean Anouilh)


Shelly Manne, famous jazz drummer, was once in a serious car accident. As he was being hurried to the ER on a gurney, the attendant asked, “Is there anything you can’t take?” Shelley replied, “Country music.”


Never judge a book by it’s movie. (J.W. Eagan)


It is difficult to produce a television documentary that is both incisive and probing when every 12 minutes one is interrupted by 12 dancing rabbits singing about toilet paper. (Rod Serling)


An intellectual snob is someone who can listen to the William Tell Overture and not think of The Lone Ranger. (Dan Rather)


I hate music, especially when it’s played. (Jimmy Durante)


The chromatic scale is what you use to give the effect of drinking a quinine martini and having an enema simultaneously. (Philip Larkin)


Music is the language of the spirit. It opens the secret of life bringing peace, abolishing strife. (Kahil Gibran)


Classical music is the kind we keep thinking will turn into a tune. (Kin Hubbard)


Assassins! (Arturo Toscanini to his orchestra)


The chief objection to playing wind instruments is that it prolongs the life of the player. (George Bernard Shaw)


Harpists spend ninety percent of their lives tuning their harps and ten percent playing out of tune. (Igor Stravinsky)


You can’t wait for inspiration. You must go after it with a club. (Jack London)


Wagner’s music is better than it sounds. (Mark Twain)


Man is not on the earth solely for his own happiness. He is there to realize great things for humanity. (Vincent Van Gogh)


A story should have a beginning, a middle, and an end…but not necessarily in that order. (Jean Luc Goddard)


The amount of money one needs is terrifying. (Ludwig Van Beethoven)


You can’t possibly hear the last movement of Beethoven’s Seventh and go slow. (Oscar Levant, explaining his way out of a speeding ticket)


PATIENT: Doc, you’ve got to help me! Every time I drive down a country lane, I find myself singing ‘Green Green Grass Of Home.’ Every time I see a cat I sing ‘What’s New Pussycat?’ And last night I sang ‘Delilah’ in my sleep. I tell you, Doc, my wife was not at all amused.

DOCTOR: I wouldn’t worry. It seems you have the early symptoms of Tom Jones syndrome.

PATIENT: I have never heard of that. Is it common?

DOCTOR: It’s not unusual.


There are only two kinds of songs: the blues and zip-a-dee-doo-dah. (Townes Van Zandt)


Music is organized sound. (Edgard Varese)


The road to Hell is paved with adverbs. (Stephen King)


General Custer and an Indian scout are on top of a hill overlooking Little Big Horn, when they start to hear drums in the distance. General Custer says, “I don’t like the sound of those drums.” The Indian scout listens for a second and says, “That’s not their regular drummer.”


Dare to be stupid. (Weird Al Yankovic)


If you create from the heart, nearly everything works: if from the head, almost nothing. (Marc Chagall)


There are three rules for writing a novel. Unfortunately, no one knows what they are. (W. Somerset Maugham)


All the inspiration I ever needed was a phone call from a producer. (Cole Porter)


If Isaac Stern tries to play every piece ever composed for the violin, would he leave no tone un-Sterned?


He has never been known to use a word that might send a reader to the dictionary. (William Faulkner about Ernest Hemingway)

Thank you for sending me a copy of your book; I'll waste no time reading it. (Moses Hadas)


Opera is where a guy gets stabbed in the back, and instead of dying, he sings. (Robert Benchley)


Everything has beauty, but not everyone sees it. (Confucius)


Never look at the trombones, it only encourages them. (Richard Strauss)


Over the years I have discovered that ideas come through an intense desire for them; continually desiring, the mind becomes a watchtower on the lookout for incidents that may excite the imagination. (Charlie Chaplin)


A backward poet writes inverse.


We are not here to do what has already been done. (Robert Henri)


CLASSIFIED AD: “Apt. for rent: 3 br., deposit, lease. No poets.” 


Students in a Harvard English 101 class were asked to write a concise essay containing four elements: religion, royalty, sex and mystery. The only A+ in the class read: “My God,” said the Queen, “I’m pregnant! I wonder who did it.”


An idea comes as close to something for nothing as you can get. (Robert Frost)


1 million microphones=1 megaphone


The difference between the right word and almost the right word is like the difference between lightning and the lightning bug. (Mark Twain)


A writer is someone for whom writing is more difficult than it is for other people. (Thomas Mann)


Art is long and life is short. (Goethe)


Everybody has talent at 25. The difficult thing is to have it at 50. (Edgar Degas)


Art is making something out of nothing and selling it. (Frank Zappa)


The most important thing to succeed in show business is sincerity. And if you can fake that, you’ve got it made. (George Burns)


There is no surer way of evading the world than by Art, and no surer way of uniting with it than in Art. (Johann Wolfgang von Goethe)


How many altos does it take to screw in a lightbulb?...One to climb the ladder and the rest to complain about how high it is.


What’s the difference between a soprano and a rotweiller?...Jewelry.


“My first real joke was in the fourth-grade talent show. My friend Joel wrapped himself up in bandages like a mummy and held a sign that read ‘400 B.C.’ I said that was the license plate of the car that ran over him.” (Jay Leno)


Inspiration only knocks. Some writers expect it to break down the door and pull them out of bed. (Leonard Bernstein)


Music is spiritual. The music business is not. (Van Morrison)


An artist is a man who carries his happiness within him. (Ludwig von Beethoven)


Books are the quietest and most constant of friends; they are the most accessible and wisest of counsellors, and the most patient of teachers. (Charles E. Eliot)


The eccentric American composer, John Cage, is responsible for composing the sheet music for his extremely quiet Opus “4 Minutes, 33 Seconds,” which is exactly that much silence. The sheet music is blank and just tells you how long not to play.


Music gives a soul to the universe, wings to the mind, flight to the imagination, and life to everything. (Plato)


Last year I went fishing with Salvador Dali. He was using a dotted line. He caught every other fish. (Steven Wright)


I hold that a writer who does not passionately believe in the perfectibility of man has no dedication nor any membership in literature. (John Steinbeck)


I’ll play it first and tell you what it is later. (Miles Davis)


Music is the shorthand of emotion. (Leo Tolstoy)


Which artist had the dirtiest hands?...Picasso.


The most popular form of transportation in the music business is the bandwagon. (David Hopper)


Among the many forms in which human spirit has tried to express its innermost yearnings and perceptions, music is perhaps the most universal.

It symbolizes the yearning for harmony, with oneself and others, with nature and the spiritual and the sacred within us and around us.

There is something in music that transcends and unites. This is evident in the sacred music of every community…music that expresses the universal yearning that is shared by people all over the globe. (Dalai Lama)


Our good time is sitting in a coffee shop with a newspaper, writing a line on the back of a napkin. That is the most fun comedians ever have. (Jerry Seinfeld)


I’m writing a book. I’ve got the page numbers done. (Steven Wright)


Music is the meeting place of the tangible and the intangible. (Yehudi Mehnuin)


Sign on a music teacher’s door: “Out Chopin, Bach in a minuet.”


Audiences like their blues singers to be miserable. (Janis Joplin)


I did a theatrical performance about puns. It was a play on words. (M. D. Rosenberg)


It is said that no word in the English language rhymes with: month, orange, silver or purple. (See YouTube, Eminem Rhymes Orange)


I like talking about ideas. I find them terribly interesting. (Brian Eno)


Television is a medium. So called because it is neither rare nor well done. (Ernie Kovacs)


The hardest thing about writing is writing. (Nora Ephron)


Les Paul, the great guitarist, was asked in an interview with Pat Martino (also a great guitarist): Do you have any guidelines for guitar players? He replied, “Can your Mom recognize your playing over the radio?”


 To play a wrong note is insignificant; to play without passion is inexcusable. (Beethoven)


Genius is to believe your own thought; to believe that what is true for you in your private heart is true for all men. (Ralph Waldo Emerson)


Painting is another way of keeping a diary. (Pablo Picasso)


You can’t use up creativity. The more you use, the more you have. (Maya Angelou)


Metaphors be with you (Bumper Sticker)