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Quotations by Musicians on Music

“Never look at the trombones, it only encourages them.”

—Richard Strauss

“After silence, that which comes nearest to expressing the inexpressible is music.”

—Aldous Huxley

“The drummer drives. Everybody else rides!”

— Panama Francis

“Some days you get up and put the horn to your chops and it sounds pretty good and you win. Some days you try and nothing works and the horn wins. This goes on and on and then you die and the horn wins.”

—Dizzy Gillespie on playing the trumpet

“Jazz is the only music in which the same note can be played night after night but differently each time.”

—Omette Coleman

“We never play anything the same way once. “

—Shelly Manne's definition of jazz musicians

“Someone who knows how to play the accordion, and doesn't.”

—Al Cohn's definition of a gentleman

“To be a musician is a curse. To not be one is even worse."

—Jack Daney

“I would rather play Chiquita Banana and have my swimming pool than play Bach and starve.”

—Xavier Cugat

“Flint must be an extremely wealthy town: I see that each of you bought two or three seats.”

—Victor Borge, playing to a half-filled house in Flint, Michigan

“Critics can't even make music by rubbing their back legs together.”

—Mel Brooks

“Wagner's music is better than it sounds.”

—Mark Twain

“Berlioz says nothing in his music, but he says it magnificently.”

—James Gibbons Hunekar

“God tells me how the music should sound, but you stand in the way. “

—Arturo Toscanini to a trumpet player

“Already too loud! “

—Bruno Walter at his first rehearsal with an American orchestra, on seeing the players reaching for their instruments.

“When she started to play, Steinway himself came down personally and rubbed his name off the piano. “

—Bob Hope, on comedienne Phyllis DilIer

“In opera, there is always too much singing.”

—Claude Debussy

“I think popular music in this country is one of the few things in the twentieth century that has made giant strides in reverse.”

—Bing Crosby

“The bottom line of any country is, what did we contribute to the world? We contributed Louis Armstrong.”

—Tony Bennett