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50 Ludwig van Beethoven Quotes From the Greatest Composer of All Time

Ludwig van Beethoven is widely considered one of the greatest composers to have ever lived. We hope you enjoy these Ludwig van Beethoven quotes about life and his passion for music.

Born in Bonn, Germany, Beethoven grew up in a dysfunctional household. After his grandfather died, his family lost their money and Beethoven’s father became an alcoholic.

His father believed Beethoven could be a child musical prodigy like Mozart and so he forced Beethoven to learn music and was often very cruel. One theory around why Beethoven eventually became deaf was because his father boxed his ears so often when displeased with Beethoven’s practicing.

Though the child prodigy attempt did not work out, Beethoven did become interested in music later in his adolescence. He studied under the composer, Christian Gottlob Neefe, and at the age of 21 moved to Vienna where word of his talents influenced composers to seek out Beethoven to work with him.

We hope you enjoy these quotes from one of the greatest composers of all time.

Don’t forget to also check out these Mozart quotes about God, death, and music.

Ludwig van Beethoven quotes about music

1. “Music is the mediator between the spiritual and the sensual life.” — Ludwig van Beethoven

2. “Music is a higher revelation than all wisdom and philosophy.” — Ludwig van Beethoven

3. “Music is the electrical soil in which the spirit lives, thinks and invents.” — Ludwig van Beethoven

4. “I wish you music to help with the burdens of life, and to help you release your happiness to others.” — Ludwig van Beethoven

5. “Music should strike fire from the heart of man, and bring tears from the eyes of woman.” — Ludwig van Beethoven

6. “He that divines the secret of my music is freed from the unhappiness that haunts the whole world of men.” — Ludwig van Beethoven

7. “I change many things, discard others, and try again and again until I am satisfied; then, in my head, I being to elaborate the work in its breadth, its narrowness, its height, its depth…I hear and see the image in front of me from every angle as if it had been cast and only the labor of writing it down remains.” — Ludwig van Beethoven

8. “The vibrations on the air are the breath of God speaking to man’s soul.” — Ludwig van Beethoven

9. “Music is the language of God.” — Ludwig van Beethoven

10. “We musicians are as close to God as man can be. We hear his voice, we read his lips, we give birth to the children of God, who sing his praise. That’s what musicians are.” — Ludwig van Beethoven

11. “I would rather write 10,000 notes than a single letter of the alphabet.” — Ludwig van Beethoven

12. “Music is the wine which inspires one to new generative processes, and I am Bacchus who presses out this glorious wine for mankind and makes them spiritually drunken.” — Ludwig van Beethoven

13. “Music is the one incorporeal entrance into the higher world of knowledge which comprehends mankind but which mankind cannot comprehend.” — Ludwig van Beethoven

14. “Music is the electrical soil in which the spirit lives, thinks and invents.” — Ludwig van Beethoven

15. “The guitar is a miniature orchestra in itself.” — Ludwig van Beethoven

16. “Music is like a dream. One that I cannot hear.” — Ludwig van Beethoven

17. “Never break the silence if it is not to improve it.” — Ludwig van Beethoven

Ludwig van Beethoven quotes about passion

18. “To play without passion is inexcusable!” — Ludwig van Beethoven

19. “What is to reach the heart must come from above; if it does not come from thence, it will be nothing but notes, body without spirit.” — Ludwig van Beethoven

20. “You ask me where I get my ideas. That I cannot tell you with certainty. They come unsummoned, directly, indirectly – I could seize them with my hands – out in the open air, in the woods, while walking, in the silence of the nights, at dawn, excited by moods which are translated by the poet into words, by me into tones that sound and roar and storm about me till I have set them down in notes.” — Ludwig van Beethoven

21. “Don’t only practice your art, but force your way into its secrets.” — Ludwig van Beethoven

22. “I want to seize fate by the throat.” — Ludwig van Beethoven

23. “I have never thought of writing for reputation and honor. What I have in my heart must come out; that is the reason why I compose.” — Ludwig van Beethoven

24. “It seemed unthinkable for me to leave the world forever before I had produced all that I felt called upon to produce.” — Ludwig van Beethoven

Ludwig van Beethoven quotes about life

25. “Love demands all, and has a right to all.” — Ludwig van Beethoven

26. “Art! Who comprehends her? With whom can one consult concerning this great goddess?” — Ludwig van Beethoven

27. “Nothing is more intolerable than to have to admit to yourself your own errors.” — Ludwig van Beethoven

28. “I can live only wholly with you or not at all.” — Ludwig van Beethoven

29. “A great poet is the most precious jewel of a nation.” — Ludwig van Beethoven

30. “Recommend to your children virtue; that alone can make them happy, not gold.” — Ludwig van Beethoven

31. “Artists who have won fame are often embarrassed by it; thus their first works are often their best.” — Ludwig van Beethoven

32. “One must not hold one’s self so divine as to be unwilling occasionally to make improvements in one’s creations.” — Ludwig van Beethoven

33. “I love a tree more than a man.” — Ludwig van Beethoven

34. “There are and always will be thousands of princes, but there is only one Beethoven!” — Ludwig van Beethoven

35. “Never misjudge the most faithful heart of your beloved.” — Ludwig van Beethoven

Wise Ludwig van Beethoven quotes

36. “Must it be? It must be.” — Ludwig van Beethoven

37. “Genius is composed of 2% talent and 98% persevering application.” — Ludwig van Beethoven

38. “Then let us all do what is right, strive with all our might toward the unattainable, develop as fully as we can the gifts God has given us, and never stop learning.” — Ludwig van Beethoven

39. “This is the mark of a really admirable man: steadfastness in the face of trouble.” — Ludwig van Beethoven

40. “There is no loftier mission than to approach the Godhead more nearly than other mortals, and by means of that contact to spread the rays of the Godhead through the human race.” — Ludwig van Beethoven

41. “Fate gave to man the courage of endurance.” — Ludwig van Beethoven
If you’re enjoying these quotes, make sure to read our collection of fate quotes that will remind you to take each day one at a time.

42. “The amount of money one needs is terrifying…” — Ludwig van Beethoven

43. “True friendship can be based only on the union of similar ways of being.” — Ludwig van Beethoven

More Ludwig van Beethoven quotes

44. “My misfortune is doubly painful to me because it will result in my being misunderstood. For me there can be no recreation in the company of others, no intelligent conversation, no exchange of information with peers; only the most pressing needs can make me venture into society. I am obliged to live like an outcast.” — Ludwig van Beethoven

45. “What you are, you are by accident of birth; what I am, I am by myself.” — Ludwig van Beethoven

46. “Rossini would have been a great composer if his teacher had spanked him enough on the backside.” — Ludwig van Beethoven

47. “There is nothing more beautiful than distributing happiness to many people.” — Ludwig van Beethoven

48. “Only the pure of heart can make a good soup.” — Ludwig van Beethoven

49. “There is no real intelligence without goodness.” — Ludwig van Beethoven

50. “There ought to be but one large art warehouse in the world, to which the artist could carry his art-works, and from which he could carry away whatever he needed. As it is, one must be half a tradesman.” — Ludwig van Beethoven

You might also like these Frank Zappa quotes from one of the greatest musicians in history.

Do you like classical music?

There are many statements as to why Beethoven is one of the greatest composers of all time. Here’s my theory: the reason Beethoven is considered one of the greatest composers of all time, if not the greatest composer of all time, is not simply because he was a deaf composer who made beautiful music.

It is not only because of his talent to weave ideals of freedom, individualism, passion, and expression into wordless music. It’s also not because he was one of the leading musicians to bring music out of the classical and into the romantic era. It also wasn’t only his passion for music and his dedication to his dream that made him great.

It is a combination of all these things — his drive, his passion, his creativity, and more that make Beethoven the greatest composer in the history of music.

We hope you enjoyed these Ludwig van Beethoven quotes and sayings. Let us know your favorite quote in the comment section below.

Sckylar Gibby-Brown
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