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What is Music? Music Defined by Musicians.

 by Terri Paglusch

It's challenging to truly describe music in words. We all know how it makes us feel, and we know what we like when we hear it, but actually communicating this is the hard part. Author Victor Hugo wrote that “Music expresses that which cannot be put into words and that which cannot remain silent." Henry Wadsworth Longfellow described it as "the universal language of mankind." 

What do musicians have to say about it? To many of them, music is much more than something they just listen to or play for fun. Great musicians have a passionate connection to the music they play. While the music itself is their most important and accurate expression of how they feel about music, they've also managed to say a few poignant things to describe what music is to them. Click on the links below to hear what these artists have to say in their own language--the language of music. Enjoy.


So. What is Music?

"My music is the spiritual expression of what I am - my faith, my knowledge, my being ... When you begin to see the possibilities of music, your desire to do something really good for people, to help humanity free itself from its hangups ... I want to speak to their souls."  

-John Coltrane

"Music is the emotional life of most people."  

-Leonard Cohen

"Music is nothing separate from me. It is me...You'd have to remove the music surgically...Music to me is like breathing‚ÄĒI don't get tired of breathing, I don't get tired of music." ¬†

-Ray Charles

"Music is a higher revelation than all wisdom and philosophy."  

-Ludwig van Beethoven


"Good music comes out of people playing together, knowing what they want to do and going for it. You have to sweat over it and bug it to death."  

-Keith Richards

"You can't copy anybody and end with anything. If you copy, it means you're working without any real feeling. No two people on earth are alike, and it's got to be that way in music, or it isn't music."  

-Billie Holiday


"Music is your own experience, your own thoughts, your wisdom. If you don't live it, it won't come out of your horn. They teach you there's a boundary line to music. But, man, there's no boundary line to art."  

-Charlie Parker


"Music is a world within itself. It's a language we all understand."

-Stevie Wonder


"Music has healing power. It has the ability to take people out of themselves for a few hours."  

-Elton John


"The music is not in the notes, but in the silence between."  

-Wolfgang Amadeus Mozart

Do you feel a strong passion for music? Then you're in good company at Music House School of Music. Whether you play music, or just really appreciate when others play it well (and notice when they don't), enjoyment brought by a love of music is a special part of life. Learn about the rich musical community at Music House by clicking here.

Written by Terri Paglusch
Terri Paglusch
Terri comes to Music House with extensive experience in business management. At Music House she spends her time working to make the client experience the best it can be.