Music Quotations


I awoke into a music which no one about me heard. Whom shall I thank for it?—Journal, 22 June 1851
I catch an echo of the great strain of Friendship played somewhere, and feel compensated for months and years of commonplace.—Journal, 13 July 1857
I did not hear the strains after they had issued from the flute, but before they were breathed into it, for the original strain precedes the sound by as much as the echo follows after, and the rest is the perquisite of the rocks and trees and beasts. — Journal, 18 August 1841—Journal, 18 August 1841
I sailed on the North River last night with my flute, and my music was a tinkling stream which meandered with the river, and fell from note to note as a brook from rock to rock.—Journal, 18 August 1841
If a man does not keep pace with his companions, perhaps it is because he hears a different drummer. Let him step to the music which he hears, however measured or far away. — WaldenWalden
If we respected only what is inevitable and has a right to be, music and poetry would resound along the streets. — WaldenWalden
In music are the centripetal and centrifugal forces. The universe needed only to hear a divine harmony that every star might fall into its proper place and assume a true sphericity. — Journal, 3 July 1840—Journal, 3 July 1840
Listen to music religiously as if it were the last strain you might hear.—Journal, 12 June 1851
Man's progress through nature should have an accompaniment of music. It relieves the scenery, which is seen through it as a subtler element, like a very clear morning air in autumn. — Journal, 8 January 1842—Journal, 8 January 1842
Morning brings back the heroic ages. I was as much affected by the faint hum of a mosquito making its invisible and unimaginable tour through my apartment at earliest dawn, when I was sitting with door and windows open, as I could be by any trumpet that ever sang of fame. It was Homer’s requiem; itself an Iliad and Odyssey in the air, singing its own wrath and wanderings. There was something cosmical about it; a standing advertisement, till forbidden, of the everlasting vigor and fertility of the world. — WaldenWalden
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