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John Philip Sousa Quotes

America can well expect to develop a goodly amount of composers for she has a goodly number of people.

American teachers have one indisputable advantage over foreign ones; they understand the American temperament and can judge its unevenness, its lights and its shadows.

Any composer who is gloriously conscious that he is a composer must believe that he receives his inspiration from a source higher than himself.

Anybody can write music of a sort. But touching the public heart is quite another thing.

Composers are the only people who can hear good music above bad sounds.

From childhood I was passionately fond of music and wanted to be a musician. I have no recollection of any real desire ever to be anything else.

Governmental aid is a drawback rather than an assistance, as, although it may facilitate in the routine of artistic production, it is an impediment to the development of true artistic genius.

Grand opera is the most powerful of stage appeals and that almost entirely through the beauty of music.

I am happy now, to recall that I was no only his son but his companion, and whenever there was a hunting expedition or any other pleasure, I was always with him.

I can almost always write music; at any hour of the twenty-four, if I put pencil to paper, music comes.

I firmly believe that we have more latent musical talent in America than there is in any other country. But to dig it out there must be good music throughout the land, a lot of it. Everyone must hear it, and such a process takes time.

I had found English audiences highly satisfactory. They are the best listeners in the world. Perhaps the music-lovers of some of our larger cities equal the English, but I do not believe they can be surpassed in that respect.

I have always believed that 98% of a student's progress is due to his own efforts, and 2% to his teacher.

I still feel the impulse to give young writers a hearing, and I believe I have played more unpublished compositions than any other band leader in the country.

I think that the quality of all bands is steadily improving and it is a pleasant thought to me that perhaps the efforts of Sousa's Band have quickened that interest and improved that quality.

Is it not the business of the conductor to convey to the public in its dramatic form the central idea of a composition; and how can he convey that idea successfully if he does not enter heart and soul into the life of the music and the tale it unfolds?

Jazz will endure just as long people hear it through their feet instead of their brains.

My religion lies in my composition.

My success is not due to any personal superiority over other people.

No nation as young as America can be expected to become immediately a power in the arts.