“Music soothes the savage beast.”I did a little research and found I had it wrong. The actual quote goes like this:
"Music hath charms to soothe a savage breast, to soften rocks, or bend a knotted oak."It is from a play by William Congreve, written in 1697. The idea of course, is that music can calm us down. Congreve waxes poetic and talks about rocks getting soft. I don’t know if I would go that far, but you know how poets are. Considering that a soprano singing the right note with enough power can cause crystal to shatter it may be that the poets have been doing scientific experiments at their day jobs.
If you want the entire stanza from the play you can read it here.
homo unius libri