1863 in music
- January 6 – Johannes Brahms' Piano Sonata no. 3 is premiered in Vienna, played by the 29-year-old composer. Richard Wagner is among the audience.
- January 29 – Established composer Giacomo Meyerbeer presents the young Jacques Offenbach to Augusta of Saxe-Weimar-Eisenach, the queen consort of Prussia.
- February 8 – Richard Wagner conducts a concert of his own music in Prague; Antonín Dvořák is a member of the orchestra.
- February-April – Richard Wagner conducts a concert of his own music in Saint Petersburg. Tchaikovsky and César Cui attend. Works performed included excerpts from Tristan und Isolde, Das Rheingold, Die Walküre and the overture to Die Meistersinger von Nürnberg.
- February 25 – Johann Strauss II is appointed musical director of the Hofball.
- March 15 – In Vienna, Franz Schubert's Der Entfernten D.331 for a male vocal quartet is performed in public for the first time, 35 years after the composer's death.
- April 19 – Hector Berlioz is presented with the Cross of the Order of Hohenzollern.
- May 10 – Violinist Joseph Joachim marries contralto Amalie Schneeweiss.
- May 12 – Richard Wagner takes up residence at Penzing, near Vienna.
- June 20 – Franz Liszt takes up residence at the Dominican monastery of the Madonna del Rosario, Monte Mario, near Rome.
- July 11 – Pope Pius IX visits Franz Liszt at Monte Mario, and the two hold an impromptu concert.
- August 3 – 21-year-old Jules Massenet is awarded the First Grand Prix de Rome for his setting of the cantata David Rizzio.
- September 30 – Georges Bizet's opera, Les pêcheurs de perles receives its première at the Théâtre Lyrique in Paris.
- November 2 – John Knowles Paine performs at the inauguration of a new organ at the Music Hall in Boston, Massachusetts, USA.
- November 4 – Les Troyens, opera by Hector Berlioz, debuts, also at the Théâtre Lyrique
- December 13 – Modest Mussorgsky becomes collegiate secretary at the chief engineering department of the Russian Ministry of Communications. In the same year, he begins work on an opera, Salammbô, which is never finished.
Published popular music
- "All Quiet Along the Potomac Tonight" w. Ethel Lynn Beers m. John Hill Hewitt
- "Eton Boating Song" w. William Johnson Cory m. Capt. Algernon Drummond
- "Just Before the Battle, Mother" by George F. Root
- "Mother Would Comfort Me" w.m. Charles C. Sawyer
- "Oh My Darling, Clementine" by Percy Montrose & H S. Thompson
- "Sweet and Low" words by Alfred Tennyson, music by Joseph Barnby
- "Tenting on the Old Camp Ground" w.m. Walter Kittredge
- "Weeping Sad And Lonely" w. Charles Carroll Sawyer m. Henry Tucker
- "When Johnny Comes Marching Home Again" by Louis Lambert & Patrick Gilmore
- "You Are Going to the Wars, Willie Boy!" w.m. John Hill Hewitt
- "The Young Volunteer" w.m. John Hill Hewitt
- Anton Bruckner – Study Symphony in F minor
- Franz Liszt
- Camille Saint-Saëns
- Johannes Brahms – Variations on a Theme of Paganini
- William Stanley – New South Wales volunteer Rifles Quick March
- Hector Berlioz – Les Troyens
- Georges Bizet – Les pêcheurs de perles (The Pearl Fishers)
- Charles Gounod – Mireille
- Giovanni Pacini – Carmelita (not performed)
- Jacques Offenbach – Il signor Fagotto
- Semen Hulak-Artemovsky – Zaporozhets za Dunayem
- February 4 – Pauline de Ahna, operatic soprano (died 1950)
- February 19 – Emánuel Moór, composer (died 1931)
- March 20 – Ernesto Nazareth, pianist and composer (died 1934)
- March 21 – Hugo Kaun, conductor, composer and music teacher (died 1932)
- April 4 – Blanche Marchesi, operatic contralto (died 1940)
- April 9 – Ernst Heuser, German composer (died 1942)
- April 19 – Felix Blumenfeld, Russian composer, pianist (died 1931)
- May 10 – Upendrakishore Ray Chowdhury, Bengali writer, painter, violin player and composer (died 1915)
- May 12 – Charles Bordes, composer (died 1909)
- June 2 – Felix von Weingartner, composer, conductor (died 1942)
- June 5 – Arthur Somervell (died 1937)
- June 16 – Paul Antonin Vidal, composer (died 1931)
- September 15 – Horatio Parker, composer (died 1919)
- November 1 – Alfred Reisenauer, composer (died 1907)
- December 7 – Pietro Mascagni, composer (died 1945)
- December 17 – Ion Vidu, composer (died 1931)
- December 24 – Enrique Fernández Arbós, violinist, conductor and composer (died 1939)
- February 4 – Giuseppe Lillo, composer, 38
- February 25 – Laure Cinti-Damoreau, operatic soprano, 62
- April 8 – Joseph Netherclift, composer, 70
- May 14 – Émile Prudent, composer, 46
- June – Filippo Colini, operatic baritone, 51
- June 7 – Franz Xaver Gruber, composer of "Silent Night", 75
- June 20 – Luigi Felice Rossi, composer, 57
- July 23 – Sophie Lebrun, pianist and composer, 82
- August 5 – Adolf Friedrich Hesse, composer, 53