John Philip Sousa Sayings...

A musical instrument is a good deal like a gun - much depends on the man behind it.

The world does not care a rap for your name; it cares for only what you can do to please, amuse, or instruct.

Music's golden tongue speaks to all alike, and Heaven help him who can not understand.

Poet and painter, novelist and historian, maid and matron, youth and man, are all worshippers at the shrine of music.

Next to being born, the most important event of my life was when I began the study of music.

Let us hope that the number of those who find no responsive chord in the welling tones of music are of the very, very few.

From my earliest remembrance I wanted to be a musician, and I have no recollection of ever wanting to be anything else.

Music, mathematics and babies are the only original packages.

Music is the universal, the unchanging language of human feelings. Two notes of melody sounded just the same at the beginning of the world as now.

With the advent of the sweet singer of Israel came the first great writer of popular songs.

A composition in a march tempo must have the military quality; if it is to make a hit, it must have the absolute military instinct.  

John Philip Sousa Band plays New York State Chautauqua in 1925


The world is hunting for cleverness, and if a really clever person gives the world half a chance he will be found out.

Violins are like women - the one you love is the best in the world.

If I were to educate a brand new public in music, my textbook would be Wagner.

As the drama vivifies and condenses a story into an easily assimilated tabloid of time, so Wagner's works are the works for the missionary.

Inspired music is based upon natural laws, and finds an echo in the heart of the universal world.

A man before the public, whether he be actor, writer, musician, or minister, is not admired for what he is, but for what he does.

Success means a combination of the Almighty, the world, and yourself.

The world does not turn back and look for what it once passed by.

I can almost always write music.At any hour of the 24 if I put my pencil to paper something comes. But 24 hours later I usually destroy it.

I have no sympathy with the argument that music needs any remarkable fostering to give it a hold on people.

My chief object is to do that which I feel I am able best to do.

Art is the perfection, the ease, with which one does things, whether it is courting a girl or leading a band.

I would rather be the composer of an inspirational march than a manufactured symphony.

There was a time when only novelty was asked for - now is added interpretation

The music of the future? To the man who writes there is no such thing; it is the music of the now.

Life would not mean as much to me without comedy, even in music.

A horse, a dog, a girl, a gun, and music on the side .... that is my idea of heaven.

Talent in harness with sincerity always comes under the wire first.