In different hours, a man represents each of several of his ancestors, as if there were seven or eight of us rolled up in each man's skin,seven or eight ancestors at least, and they constitute the variety of notes for that new piece of music which his life is.
(Ralph Waldo Emerson (1803-1882), U.S. essayist, poet, philosopher. "Fate," The Conduct of Life (1860).)
If a man does not keep pace with his companions, perhaps it is because he hears a different drummer. Let him step to the music which he hears, however measured or far away.
(Henry David Thoreau (1817-1862), U.S. philosopher, author, naturalist. Walden, "Conclusion," (1854).
The expression, "music of a different drummer" has entered general usage, for example, Vice President Hubert Humphrey's address to the United States Junior Chamber of Commerce, Detroit, Michigan, June 29, 1966: "The great challenge which faces us is to assure that, in our society of big-ness, we do not strangle the voice of creativity, that the rules of the game do not come to overshadow its purpose, that the grand orchestration of society leaves ample room for the man who marches to the music of another drummer.")
Ere long, not only these banks, but on every hill and plain and in every hollow, the frost comes out of the ground like a dormant quadruped from its burrow, and seeks the sea with music, or migrates to other climes in clouds.
(Henry David Thoreau (1817-1862), U.S. philosopher, author, naturalist. Walden (1854), in The Writings of Henry David Thoreau, vol. 2, p. 341, Houghton Mifflin (1906).)
We are not concerned about the historical truth of this, but rather a higher poetical truth. We seem to hear the music of a thought, and care not if the understanding be not gratified.
(Henry David Thoreau (1817-1862), U.S. philosopher, author, naturalist. A Week on the Concord and Merrimack Rivers (1849), in The Writings of Henry David Thoreau, vol. 1, p. 58, Houghton Mifflin (1906).)