February 1 – "The Battle Hymn of the Republic" by Julia Ward Howe is published in Atlantic Monthly.
March 17 – Anton Rubinstein is named first director of the Saint Petersburg Conservatory, which opens in September.
March 24 – Fromental Halévy's funeral, in Paris, is attended by an estimated 15,000 people.
April 24 – A letter from Giuseppe Verdi is published in The Times, complaining about the rejection of a work commissioned from him for the Great Exhibition.
May 17 – Teatro Comunale Florence inaugurated as an open-air amphitheatre, the Politeama Fiorentino Vittorio Emanuele, with a production of Donizetti's Lucia di Lammermoor.
May 21 – Edvard Grieg gives his first concert in his home town of Bergen, Norway.
August 4 – Louis-Albert Bourgault-Ducoudray wins the Prix de Rome in the Musical Composition category. Jules Massenet is one of the runners-up.
August 9 – Béatrice et Bénédict, opera by Hector Berlioz, is premièred in Baden-Baden.
November 2 - The overture to Die Meistersinger von Nürnberg by Richard Wagner is publicly performed in Leipzig, conducted by the composer.
November 10 – Giuseppe Verdi's opera La forza del destino is premièred in Saint Petersburg.
November 18 – Antonín Dvořák is a member of the orchestra at the opening of the Provisional Theater in Prague.
Stephen Heller and Charles Hallé perform Mozart's E-flat concerto for two pianos at The Crystal Palace.
Ludwig von Köchel publishes Chonologisch-thematisches Verzeichnis sämtlicher Tonwerke Wolfgang Amadé Mozarts (Catalogue of Mozart's Works or "The Köchel Catalog").
"Here's Your Mule" – C. D. Benson
"Kingdom Coming" – Henry C. Work
"The Merry, Merry Month of May" – Stephen Foster
"We Are Coming, Father Abra'am, 300,000 More", a poem by James S. Gibbons, set to music by eight different composers, including Stephen Foster.
Felix Draeseke – Fantasiestücke in Walzerform, opus 3: Nr. 1 in B; Nr. 2 in A-flat
Asger Hamerik – Quintetto
Joachim Raff – Piano quintet opus 107 in A minor
Alexander Borodin - Piano Quintet in C minor
Camille Saint-Saëns - Mazurka No. 1 for piano in G minor Opus 21
Julius Benedict – The Lily of Killarney
Frederic Clay – Court and Cottage (libretto by Tom Taylor)
Charles Gounod – La reine de Saba
Franz von Suppé – Die Kartenschlägerin
Hector Berlioz – Béatrice et Bénédict
January 29 – Frederick Delius, composer (d. 1934)
January 30 – Walter Damrosch, conductor (d. 1950)
February 13 – Karel Weis, composer (d. 1944)
February 17 – Edward German, composer (d. 1936)
March 21 – Elmer Samuel Hosmer, composer (d. 1945)
May 2 – Maurice Emmanuel, composer (d. 1938)
June 27 – May Irwin, actress and singer (d. 1938)
August 11 – Carrie Jacobs-Bond, US songwriter (d. 1946)
August 22 – Claude Debussy, composer (d. 1918)
September 25 – Léon Boëllmann, composer and organist (d. 1897)
October 10 – Arthur De Greef, composer and pianist (d. 1940)
November 1 – Johan Wagenaar, organist and composer (d. 1941)
December 18 – Moriz Rosenthal, pianist (d. 1946)
date unknown – Marcelle Lender, French singer-dancer and entertainer (d. 1926)
February 5 – Ignaz Franz Castelli, dramatist and songwriter (b. 1780)
February 7 – František Škroup, composer (b. 1801)
February 16 – Leopold Schefer, composer and poet (b. 1784)
March 17 – Fromental Halévy, composer (b. 1799)
May 21 – Edwin Pearce Christy, founder of Christy's Minstrels (b. 1815) (suicide)
May 23 – Friedrich Ruthardt, oboist and composer (b. 1800)
May 25 – Johann Nestroy, singer and actor (b. 1801)
August 31 – Ignaz Assmayer, composer (b. 1790)
December 24 – Joseph Funk, composer and music teacher (b. 1778)
Joseph Fonclause, bow-maker (b. 1799)
Jon Eriksson Helland, Hardanger fiddle maker (b. 1790)
Luigi Piccioli, singer and music teacher (b. 1812)
Geltrude Righetti, operatic contralto (b. 1793)
1862 in music Wikipedia