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Inspiring quotes about making music

Do you have some quotes that inspire you, as you make your own music?

I’ve always loved those little thoughts that would inspire me to dig deeper in my songwriting, try new sounds in the studio, or listen to music in a new way.

A few years ago, I collected these quotes into a simple website:

It’s there for two reasons:

  1. inspire other musicians (you!)
  2. collect other thoughts about music

I think you’ll love this new update: I hired professional translators to translate MusicThoughts into nine languages: Spanish, French, German, Italian, Portuguese, Russian, Arabic, Japanese, and Chinese.

Look again, and play with the language bar across the top:

If you are fluent in any of these languages, please notice that below every translated quote is a link that says, “Can you improve this translation?” Example, here:

If you can’t see the Asian fonts, this link will tell you how to fix that:

After browsing around the site for a while, if you’ve got a favorite quote that inspires your music-making, please add it to the site. I’m not trying to make this a big site of all thoughts about music - just a simple quiet place with a few of the most inspiring ones.

Feel free to bookmark or link to any you love. The URLs are permanent, so it’ll always be there for you.


Reader Comments (9)

Derek, is there a way to get Music Thoughts via RSS? I can't seem to locate a feed for the site. I'd love to get a random thought as a daily feed.

Also, any plans to create a Music Thoughts widget/module for bloggers to host on their sites? I could see that going over well with lots of music bloggers. just a thought.

thanks, whit

January 26 | Unregistered Commenterwhitperson

Whit : yeah, that's coming soon. First I just wanted to get it launched and get feedback on the translations. I'll keep adding new features like RSS & module for other sites to include a random thought or thought-of-the-day.


January 26 | Unregistered CommenterDerek Sivers

Hi Derek,

"Do you have some quotes that inspire you, as you make your own music? "
Once after getting some harsh, but level criticism about my music from world renowned mastering engineer Bob Katz, I was inspired to make some of the best music I have ever done in my entire career. Bob most inspiring words were,

"It don't come easy."


January 26 | Registered CommenterHakim Callier

Hi Derek, sorry i don't have enough time for it, but the french translation is not very good...

For the menu, "home" is "accueil", not "acceuil"... i didn't find any contact link either...

Good idea anyway... seems you're quite influenced by Brian Eno quotes... Cheers...

January 27 | Unregistered CommenterLaurent

Lots of dodgy German translations as well. Both in the quotes (even some spelling errors here) and in the site labels and descriptions.

For example the search form has this description above the search term field:

"suche nach jeglichem Thema, Instrument, Musiker, egal was..."

but in German every sentence has to start with an uppercase letter:

"Suche nach jeglichem Thema, Instrument, Musiker, egal was..."

and a better idiomatic description would be:

"Suche nach einem beliebigen Thema, Instrument, Musiker, usw..."

And then, when there are no results, instead of

"Entschuldigung! Nicht gefunden. Nochmals versuchen?"

this sounds much better, IMHO:

"Es tut uns leid, es wurde nichts passendes gefunden. Noch ein Versuch?"

I also posted a few German translation improvements (IMHO) for some quotes.


January 27 | Unregistered CommenterChris Arndt

Also, the name of the tag "Schreiberblock" (writer's block) should be "Schreibblockade".

January 27 | Unregistered CommenterChris Arndt

There is nothing more left to say
It's all for free on Pirate Bay

January 27 | Unregistered CommenterBlack Beard

I like the idea of the website. With slight improvement in the translation it will be perfect.

January 30 | Unregistered CommenterEnjoyTheSong

Cool idea! There are definitely some good thoughts there.

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