By Author [ A  B  C  D  E  F  G  H  I  J  K  L  M  N  O  P  Q  R  S  T  U  V  W  X  Y  Z |  Other Symbols ]
  By Title [ A  B  C  D  E  F  G  H  I  J  K  L  M  N  O  P  Q  R  S  T  U  V  W  X  Y  Z |  Other Symbols ]
  By Language
all Classics books content using ISYS

Download this book: [ ASCII ]

Look for this book on Amazon

We have new books nearly every day.
If you would like a news letter once a week or once a month
fill out this form and we will give you a summary of the books for that week or month by email.

Title: Music and Its Masters
Author: Boise, O. B. (Otis Bardwell)
Language: English
As this book started as an ASCII text book there are no pictures available.
Copyright Status: Not copyrighted in the United States. If you live elsewhere check the laws of your country before downloading this ebook. See comments about copyright issues at end of book.

*** Start of this Doctrine Publishing Corporation Digital Book "Music and Its Masters" ***

This book is indexed by ISYS Web Indexing system to allow the reader find any word or number within the document.

produced from images generously made available by The
Internet Archive)

                         MUSIC & ITS MASTERS

                               _Uniform with this Volume_

                                   AND THEIR MEANING

                                   BY PHILIP H. GOEPP

                              _12mo. 407 pages. Cloth, $2.00_

                            This work, now in its third edition,
                            has demonstrated its great

                            Taking up the representative
                            symphonies of the great composers,
                            and illustrating his remarks with
                            excerpts from the score, the author
                            shows the individuality, the special
                            intention of the master, and, where
                            possible, the underlying purpose of
                            his art.

                            As an aid in the study of the
                            symphony, and as a companion at
                            symphony concerts, the book is
                            without a rival.

                    [Illustration: WAGNER] Page 134
               By permission of E. H. Schroeder, Berlin

                          MUSIC & ITS MASTERS
                              O. B. BOISE


                          WITH SIX PORTRAITS

                         PHILADELPHIA & LONDON
                       J. B. LIPPINCOTT COMPANY

                           _Copyright, 1901
                     By J. B. Lippincott Company_

                     _Electrotyped and Printed by
            J. B. Lippincott Company, Philadelphia, U.S.A._

                       GEORGE W. STOCKLEY, ESQ.


I have endeavored through showing the true nature of music, and
the conditions that are essential to its growth in breadth and
significance, to incite amateurs to a more respectful consideration of
its claims.

                                                       O. B. B.

BERLIN, March 1, 1901.


         CHAPTER                                          PAGE

            I.  THE NATURE AND ORIGIN OF MUSIC             13

                DURING ITS CONTINUANCE                     26

          III.  BIBLICAL MENTION OF MUSIC                  61

                DATE                                       80

            V.  WAGNER AND THE MUSIC DRAMA                134

                BE OUR SEVENTH HIGH-PRIEST?               169

                CONSTITUTES MUSICAL INTELLIGENCE?         188



          WAGNER                                    _Frontispiece_

          PALESTRINA                                      92

          BACH                                            99

          BEETHOVEN                                      106

          SCHUBERT                                       109

          SCHUMANN                                       114

                          MUSIC & ITS MASTERS

                               CHAPTER I
                    THE NATURE AND ORIGIN OF MUSIC

A glance backward over the course of music's evolution suffices to
show that, until in very recent times, it furnishes no pregnant data
for the historian. The first era of music's evolution began before the
advent of historic man, for the earliest races of whom we know anything
had a well-defined appreciation of its significance, but no noteworthy
landmarks appear until after music came in touch with modern culture;
indeed, no great advancement is traceable until after the invention of
notation. The first record of melodies produced is supposed to have
been made in the fourth century (A.D. ),--viz., that of three Greek
hymns,--to Apollo, Nemesis, and Calliope,--which, however, possess
meagre means of proving their authenticity. From this shadowy period
until harmonies enter the field, nearly a thousand years later, the
historian finds no fruitful material, no verified accomplishments.

The march of material events was amply recorded, but melodies were
passed from mouth to mouth and ear to ear, necessarily changing
their outlines in the process, for the line that connects memory and
expression seems, in most of humankind, to run so near that which
leads from imagination to expression, as to engender inaccuracy in
transmission. (This crossed-line influence is recognizable in the
productions of most composers. Memories become entangled in their
fancies.) Although our modern melody has doubtless come down to us
through long lines of heritage, yielding to the prevailing influences
of each successive stage in transmission, there is no statistical light
on its line of development.

It would be interesting to know in what form the first musical
intuition manifested itself, and then to trace an unbroken chain of
cause and effect from that first manifestation to date, but that
knowledge would not materially benefit music, which is the only art
whose career does not follow well-defined cycles,--the features of
periods reproducing themselves with the recurrence of conditions.

In sculpture, poetry, and architecture we have seasons of reverting
to the antique, and with good results. These arts dealt with tangible
material, could be kept present to the eye and mind, and therefore
developed quickly. We return to their ancient forms, so restful in
their conformity to natural adjustment, for relief from the tireless
ingenuity of modern producers, and to find bases for new flights.

Music is, however, so essentially intangible that it required ages
to discover sufficient of its underlying principles to afford the
foundation for an art. Nothing within our ken has been as slow in
evolving, and yet nothing has shown such an unwavering tendency
forward and upward. These characteristics, and its insidious influence
upon man's nature, entitle it to be called the divine art. It is in
course of evolution from its original germ, but the outlines of its
early technical forms have no significance for the nineteenth-century

For the above reasons statistics will be avoided when they are not
essential in locating and verifying conditions. Some periods were too
influential in broadening and defining the scope of musical expression
to be ignored. I shall endeavor to make my theories in regard to the
origin and growth of music accord with its inherent qualities, as well
as with man's devious and changing nature. The greater the music the
more direct is its appeal to our imaginations, and the stronger its
effect upon our emotions. Each intrinsically great composition has its
distinguishing mood or temperament, which is the sequential expression
and perpetuation of an emotion. This mood is first announced by the
chosen themes, and then its varied phases and the cumulative intensity
essential to sustained expression are secured through the logical
manipulation of these themes.

I would divide music into two classes, natural and artificial. The
latter class is, as the name assigned to it implies, a mechanical
combination of musical means, the result of purely intellectual
processes, incited by will force, and not by inspiration. It lacks all
reason for being, and I shall dismiss it without further ceremony. It
is to natural music, which springs from our imaginations, is formulated
for purpose by intellect, appeals to the sympathies, and sways the
emotions, that I shall devote my attention. The music of the barbarous
races, although developed little beyond the initial stage, is adapted
in its character to their habits and sensibilities, and is among them
quite as powerful an agency for stimulating the passions as is our
nineteenth-century music among the people of this Western civilization.
Their musical exercises are purely emotional, and therefore natural.

Natural music is composed of two species, that which is earnest and
edifying, and that which is entertaining only. These diverse growths
are equally spontaneous, and each develops form, substance, and
proportions in keeping with the intellectual soil by which it is

The world requires that music shall suit its varying moods. Some of
Johann Strauss' waltzes are quite as genuine music as are Beethoven's
symphonies, and each in its own way contributes to the pleasure and
benefit of mankind. Which would be the greater loss, were it blotted
out of existence, is unquestionable, for the resultant deprivation must
be measured by the comparative numbers who would feel the lack of each.
The great majority of the public, and even some of music's devotees,
derive more pleasure from entertaining than from earnest (so-called
classical) music. This is partly because earnest music is quite often
abstruse, requiring well-directed mental effort to understand its full
significance; but a more generally prevailing reason for this condition
(especially when dance music is concerned) is to be found in its
cheering and exhilarating effect.

I think it pure affectation for musical persons to express a lack of
respect for a good piece of dance music. A large percentage of those
who do so are not sincere. They fear to discredit their appreciation
of the classical, thinking wrongly that there would be something
incongruous in liking both. The artist's ideals should embrace the
whole gamut of human feeling, and music that strikes our sensibilities
at any point in this line is genuine, whether it be a symphony, a love
song, or a waltz.

If music be the language of the emotions, its germs must be those
sounds through which joy, grief, love, fear, rage, wonder, and longing
find natural, unpremeditated, and often involuntary expression. The
fact that the import of these sounds, whether produced by man, beast,
or bird, is unmistakable, has led some writers to accord music the
honor of having been the initial means of intercourse between members
of the human family,--the original language. This is hardly consistent,
for life is mostly unrhythmic monotone, punctuated only here and there
by episodes fruitful in musical germs.

Scientific observation has established the fact that all of the higher
species of living things have forms of vocal intercommunication. Like
human beings, animals have forms of speech comporting with their
degrees of intelligence and needs, but quite apart from these forms,
they and man have mutually intelligible codes of emotional expression.
These codes are not identical in less essential details, nor are they
equally comprehensive, but they spring from a common source. They vary
in character according to the qualities of instinctive feeling, refined
or coarse, that dominate the creatures that employ them.

The lowest grade of animal life which possesses vocal apparatus is
susceptible of but three emotions--anger, longing, and fear--in such
measure as to elicit expression. The higher grades feel joy, love,
sorrow, anger, fear, and longing.

Music has significance only when fraught with messages from the
composer to the hearer. Therefore those sounds which most clearly
voice strong emotions are the most pregnant musical germs. Isolated
shouts of triumph, rage, and joy, or cries of pain, fear, and entreaty,
appeal to our sensibilities, but they do not suggest music, although
its line of development from these primal elements is traceable. It
began with the first intellectual recognition of the adequacy of tonal
expression, when those sounds which had been involuntarily produced as
the result of sensations, were placed by the human mind in the category
of expressive means.

At this point our germs came under the influence of deliberate purpose.
Intellect took spontaneous shouts, cries, and moans in hand, and has
gradually endowed them with continuity, life pulsation (rhythm), and
_form_; has made them express sentiments surcharged with emotions,
creating a definitely significant atmosphere (_stimmung_). This
pervading atmosphere or mood, which is a vital element in successful
musical effort, must be in no wise confounded with the situations
incident to and arising through the descriptive (_program_) composer's
art. The first is personal, a heart mood; the second is impersonal, a
brain picture.

From this first step in musical evolution intellect has been more and
more closely associated with emotion, as the composer's intentions have
become more definite and his _forms_ more extended.

Music's progress has not been uniform, for it is most sensitive, and
the conditions have often been unfavorable. It has followed, to a
great degree, the tidal fluctuations of refinement and fine sensibility
in the masses; for although its growth is dependent upon certain
conditions, these necessary conditions, if confined within narrow
limits, or when found only in isolated persons, will not suffice.

It must breathe a free air, full of sympathetic feeling and impulse,
and it must have a broad, deep soil in which to spread its roots, for
it aspires heavenward, up through the material into the ideal.

The growth of music from its initial stage to an art is quite
analogous, except in time consumed, to the growth of each talent to
maturity, or of each musical conception to full expression. They all
move on towards realization, impelled by art instinct and imagination.
The composer of to-day has a legendary past, full of romance and
heart-throbs, and a warm, sympathetic present, to stimulate his fancy,
but it required ages of joy, sorrow, love, and culture to quicken and
refine man's stoical nature. The soil which nourishes our imaginations
has been made fertile by the blood and tears of countless generations.

                              CHAPTER II


There are two distinct eras in the course of the evolution of music.
The first ended and the second began with the invention and adoption of
notation. This mechanical device so revolutionized musical production
and taste, that we may properly concede to it the honor of having
made possible the formulation of our art, for it chronicled the
accomplishments of each generation, thus furnishing its successors with
suggestive models. These were virtually lacking in the first era, which
accounts amply for the little advancement made during its continuance.

That early career of music is shrouded in utter darkness, unbroken by a
single luminous episode, and the lights which we are enabled to throw
back upon it are entirely deductive.

They are not sufficiently strong to bring details into relief, but
they suffice to develop outlines which are ample for the purposes of
my sketch. The fact that the ancient Egyptians, Greeks, and Chinese
devoted much attention to what some are pleased to call the science,
or technic, of music is to me no indication of the condition of music
existing at that time. Their libraries contained numerous volumes
devoted to music, but their treatises considered melody (harmony was
not known) from a purely mathematical stand-point. This vital element
of music, which should be as free as air, was fettered by pedantry.

I feel convinced that the evolution of music was seriously delayed by
this too early association with science. China has perpetuated this
system of vassalage, the result being that her present temple melodies,
which also serve as folk-songs, are utterly devoid of plastic grace and
spontaneity. The fallibility of long lines of oral transmission casts
doubt upon the Chinaman's claim that he inherits at least a portion of
these songs, in their original form, from a period four thousand years
back; still, there is one feature of the situation which, in a measure,
substantiates it,--viz., the instinct for imitation that distinguishes
this race from all others.

Evolution involves removal from an elementary state, and we measure
its advancement through placing the present outlines and qualities, of
whatever may be concerned, over against those that characterized some
known previous condition.

China has produced some great scholars, and her civilization, such as
it is, endures like the everlasting hills, and seems subject to little
more change than they, but her people are not emotional, imaginative,
nor susceptible to influences from without. The great wonder is not
that real art feeling has never manifested itself in China, nor that
she has repulsed all attempts to introduce the fruits of European
musical culture, but that the Chinaman, with his nature, should have
ever evoked our muse. China has contributed nothing to the development
of music, and we cannot draw one spark of light from her for our
investigations. The Mongolian race treated their feeble first musical
impulse as they still do the feet of high-caste female children,--viz.,
they wrapped it so tightly in pedantic cerements that it could not
grow; and, being an impulse, and not flesh and bones, it failed to
endure the repression.

Although these ancient scientific treatises afford no clues to the
actual spirit and form of contemporaneous musical utterances, they do
bespeak the presence of interest and respect. As I have shown, this
condition was of no service in China, but as the Egyptian and Greek
people and culture were of a quite different substance and mould, we
may safely infer that their efforts were important features in this
preparatory era.

The light which we are enabled to throw backward over the line of
musical evolution is drawn from the following sources: 1, the nature of
music itself, and the first purposeful use of its germs; 2, its present
condition among barbarous peoples; 3, profane history of ancient
Egypt; 4, its development in pace with that of the Aryan race; and, 5,
Biblical references (to which I shall devote a separate chapter).

                            NATURE OF MUSIC

It is a gross misconception to regard music as merely a "concord of
sweet sounds," for that would be a barren art which had no contrasting
features. Much great music is not beautiful, for it may be tragical,
sombre, or may voice any of the moods incident to life. Euphony was
doubtless one of the last developed qualities, for it springs from joy,
love, or reverence. We must look among the coarser emotions for the
germ which was first used in tone expression.

In that prehistoric time, at the beginning of what might be called
soul tenantry, man, whether created or evolved, being the first of
his line, had no fruits of human experience to guide him, and his
emotional status could therefore have differed little from that of the
higher grades of soulless creatures. We learn from history that since
it began its annals animal nature has remained virtually unchanged,
whereas man, because possessed of a higher grade of intellect and a
definite recognition of Deity, in one form or another, has refined and
broadened the scope of his impulses and understanding. As it is the
first subjective, and not objective, manifestation of tone expression
that we are seeking, we cannot do better than to scan this feature of
animal life.

Such manifestations result from the sequential co-operation of
emotion, reason, and impulse. Animals have their growls, roars, and
trumpetings of anger and defiance, and many of them have forms of
expressing affection, but these latter are acquired through experience,
whereas they instinctively appeal to agencies outside themselves for
relief from pain or want, employing means the efficacy of which they
recognize. If we turn to humankind, we find that the new-born babe
will express its desire for food long before it becomes responsive to
its mother's endearments.

I, therefore, assume that pleading was the first purposeful,
premeditated form of tonal communication, and, consequently, that it
was the nucleus about which experience and culture have gathered such
ample resources. (This term, tonal communication, applies equally well
to our formulated art, for music is invariably addressed by its creator
to some intelligence, whether it be a person, the world, or God.)

This first developed element has never relinquished its prominence,
for it is the mood which most often pervades the composer's tone
pictures. We find it depicted, as prompted by each and all phases of
human insufficiency, appealing to appropriate sources for relief,--the
oppressed entreating the tyrant, the lover the object of his affection,
and the finite world, prostrate before Infinity, pouring its hopes and
aspirations into the Divine ear.

Now occurs a period of unmeasurable time upon which we can throw no
light. It extends from this first manifestation up to that stage in
evolution which produced forms of tonal expression like those now
employed by the lowest savage races. Some time during this unexplorable
period, man having appropriated a fuller vocabulary from nature's
store, and having adopted more sustained, and at the same time
articulate, forms, was led to feel pulsations,--incipient rhythm.
Whether this primitive conception of metre was suggested by associated
word successions, or was incident to the extension of tonal expression
itself, we can only conjecture, but rhythmic impulse is evident in,
and it is the main feature of, the crudest musical efforts.

                       MUSIC OF THE SAVAGE RACES

Science has long busied itself with race origin. It has approached
the problem from every side, and has accomplished so much towards its
solution as to afford grounds upon which to base the assumptions that
the diverse types of mankind, as they now exist, are each physically,
morally, and mentally the outcome of conditions of which climate, soil,
and degrees of isolation have been the most potent factors; and that
these branches which have spread out to cover the world spring from one
common family trunk. Even within the limits of historic time migrations
have been caused either by climatic changes or by the dissensions
incident to over-population.

When the savages of the South Sea Islands became detached, and
whether of their own volition or through a dispensation of Providence,
which caused the Pacific Ocean to isolate them from less pestiferous
humanity, will never be known. It must, however, have taken place after
the idea of at least limited tone expression had taken a firm hold on
mankind and had become a transmittible instinct, for these savages
evince little more disposition or capacity for originating than the
more intelligent species of animals. I cite these people and their
lyric status to mark the lowest ebb in things human and musical of
which we have any knowledge.

Their music and habits are alike crossed by the line which separates
the human from the animal, and it is needless to say which quality
contributes the larger portion. Their songs are, like their language,
ejaculatory, showing little exercise of reason in their forms, and
voicing the baser emotions solely. Rude rhythms are the only features
that attest their origin in musical impulse. Music in its course of
evolution had necessarily to pass through this primitive stage. In more
congenial environments it passed on and out, but these barbarians,
being neither emotionally nor intellectually capable of imparting the
impetus requisite to the development of finer and broader significance,
have for thousands of years used their present crude forms. Their stage
comes in touch with music's line of evolution at a period countless
years before David sang.

From a letter in response to my inquiries as to the musical status of
these barbarians, written by Count Pfeil, who has most closely observed
their customs during twenty years spent in exploring the dark continent
and these darker islands, I infer that their barbarism has grades
analogous to those that exist in the culture of civilized nations.

In speaking of the two musical instruments in use Graf Pfeil says,
"They are the 'Tutupele' on New Britain and Duke of York, and a sort
of pan pipe or flute on the Solomon Islands. The former may hardly be
called an instrument. It is used in connection with the superstitious
ceremonies of the Dult-Dult practice, and is supposed to herald the
appearance of the spirits. Two pieces of wood are carved down till they
sound two neighboring notes, such as c-d, g-a, or f-g. They are then
placed over a little hollow dug in the ground, and are beaten with
small club sticks....

"The other instrument is used by the Solomon Islanders. They assemble
three or four men, each armed with his flute, of which the largest pipe
is about three feet in length, with a two-inch internal diameter. There
are five of these pipes in each instrument. They are made of bamboo,
and played by being raised to the lips and strongly blown into. The
sound, especially when heard from a long distance, which robs it of its
harshness, is not at all unpleasant, but has rather a melodious, though
sad, character. The few men who play these instruments begin turning
round and round, and others, wishing to join in the dance, gather
round them, also moving in a circle. When a hundred dancers perform,
those on the outside run at a headlong speed, while those forming the
centre spin, but very slowly. The dancers accompany the players by very
curious half-whistling sounds, which sound like the twitter of birds.
The louder and shriller the sounds the prettier they are thought to

"On the Duke of York, boys have a curious, cruel way of procuring
music. They take a large beetle and break off one of its legs. In the
remaining stump they push a lot of elastic gum, of which they hold the
other end. The beetle is now made to fly, but not being able to get
away from the boy's hand, keeps circling round and round it, emitting a
loud whirring or humming sound....

"All these races sing. Their songs are very monotonous, but are
defined, like our own. You can ask them to sing such or such a song,
and they will always sing it exactly as they sang it before. All songs
are sung in a subdued voice, as the melancholy and suspicious character
of the people prevents all loud demonstrations of mirth.... I have
never heard their songs accompanied by any instrument, excepting at
a dance, when, to my sorrow, combined vocal and instrumental efforts
served as an accompaniment to the dance."

The North American Indians, despite the demoralizing influences of
traders, agencies, and fire-water, are noble men as compared with
the cannibals just considered. Many of their less amiable traits are
doubtless the fruits of white intruders' avarice, which has from the
first set aside equity when dealing with the red man. They live having
a future state in view in the happy hunting-grounds, which stimulates
in them a strict, but not too comprehensive, moral consciousness. Those
conditions of life which mould race characteristics have in the case of
the North American Indian developed bodily activity, close observation,
bravery, and reasoning faculties, though crude. They lack delicate
sensibility and imagination, but still in them we find nomadic manhood
at its best, and their music mirrors their character.

Their war, funeral, and joyous songs are alike monotonous to modern
Aryan ears, for they are devoid of romance and fine feeling, and
are composed of repetitions _ad libitum_, instead of progressive
developments. Their climaxes are produced through increased unction in
delivery rather than through sequential means. They mark the primary
pulsations of their songs through swaying the body, dancing, and
through the use of rude instruments, and in so doing work themselves
up to a remarkable state of exaltation. This result of their musical
exercises must not be construed as indicating the presence of a strong,
emotional element in the Indian character. They are, on the contrary,
so stolid that few things can ruffle their equanimity. Their ecstasies
are purposeful and self-induced.

Their phenomenal capacity for reading and interpreting nature's
chronicle of the movements of living things, and its continual
exercise, have blinded them, in a great degree, to the beauties
of landscape. They devote themselves to the analysis of details
instead of to the contemplation of the Creator's harmonious ensemble,
and they consequently develop little sense for the beautiful. The
fundamental manifestation of this sense is, in normally endowed man,
an appreciation of the forms and colors of material things. Upon this
sense we may build responsiveness to the intangible and ideal, but
without it we have no foundation for æsthetic taste. I can think of
nothing more incongruous than an atmosphere of Bach fugues or Beethoven
symphonies for a man who sees only tons of hay, feet of lumber,
water-power, etc., while gazing upon nature's grand panorama. The music
of the North American Indian is neither euphonious nor romantic, but
it is distinctly more human than that of the South Sea Islanders, and
its varying tribal phases permit the inference that it has, in their
keeping, accumulated resources, however slight they may seem.

The Indian's character and music throw light upon the course of
evolution during the first era, inasmuch as they, contrasted with
those of the cannibal races, tend to substantiate my claim that sound
expression takes its cue from attendant culture, advancing in pace with


At that remotest period upon which the historian can throw light (about
3000 B.C. ) the Valley of the Nile was the scene of undertakings the
fruits of which have ever since excited the wonder of the world. The
Pyramids, the somewhat later-built Palace of Karnak, and Temples
of Luxor and Ipsambul stand first among the phenomenal conceptions
of human architects; and the mechanical skill required in handling
the massive blocks and pillars of which they are composed would
severely test the appliances of our practical and inventive age.
These monumental buildings, their consistent environments, and the
deciphered records of scientific and literary accomplishments in those
earliest historic times, bespeak broad culture. As we possess no record
of a race from whom the Egyptians could have drawn either stimulus
or knowledge itself, their culture was presumably indigenous, and
therefore of slow growth. The Palace of Karnak, for instance, marks the
climax of accomplishment in a line of architectural endeavor which may
have begun soon after the Nile commenced making her alluvial deposits.

The persistent and audacious ambition which this long course of
development attests, and the art feeling expressed in their works,
endows Egyptian interest in music, as evinced through the scientific
treatises mentioned at the beginning of this chapter, with especial
significance. They were more learned and less pedantic than the
Chinese, and were, besides, emotional and imaginative, although sadly
superstitious. Had that high enlightenment permeated all classes of
the people, Egypt would have been an Elysium for our art, but it was,
unfortunately, confined to the upper social grades, which embraced the
priests, and to a certain extent the warriors.

The masses, in company with prisoners of war and slaves from Central
Africa, were mere servitors to the monarchs and priests in executing
their ambitious schemes. Although their labor built up indubitable
testimony to the greatness of their masters, the burdens imposed
upon them century after century finally wore away their fealty;
therefore the decadence and downfall of great Egypt. There could not
possibly have been anything like art enthusiasm among a people so
oppressed. Despite this vital lack, ancient Egypt did more, directly
and indirectly, to foster music, and to give it an onward impulse,
than all other agencies of the first era combined. This was somewhat
attributable to the fact that then, for the first time, tone expression
was associated with rhythmic texts; still, I infer that their music
was merely an accessory to euphonious declamation,--subservient to
poetry,--for had their melodies possessed independent import, those
resourceful people would have found some way of recording them. These
relations between music and poetry were perpetuated in Greece; indeed,
our art was not accorded equality as a contributive element in song
until in quite modern times. There have been several distinct epochs in
this relationship,--viz., that in which tone expression, because of
its little understood capacities was held in vassalage to her sister
art; music's equality (dating from the adoption of notation), during
which she greatly extended and beautified her forms; her ascendency,
which characterized the vocal works of the early part of the present
century; and now the Wagner school, in which the two are again made to
collaborate on equal terms.

The ancient Egyptians employed pan pipes, flutes, horns, instruments
of percussion, and small harps. Mural pictures of the fourth dynasty
represent players blowing upon pipes of different lengths, and
consequently of different pitches, which is a dumb declaration that
at least some principles regulating the simultaneous use of tones
had been recognized. Outside this pictorial record, we can find no
intimation that anything analogous to modern harmony was known and
practised by this people. In the absence of specific data we are
forced to predicate the condition of music in that stupendous, though
exclusive, civilization, upon the elements of the atmosphere from which
it drew its impulse. As the more prominent of these elements were
profound religious feeling, scientific learning, insatiable ambition,
and a clearly pronounced lyric tendency, their melodies must have been
coherent and expressive.

                              ARYAN RACE

As the instincts and capacities of the Aryan race have always been
unique, it may prove instructive to glance at those features of its
prehistoric existence in Asia which have been brought to light through
comparative philology and mythology. In the first place, these sciences
establish the fact that we of the West (Greeks, Italians, Germans,
English) and the Hindoos of the East are of common origin. Our
ancestors listened to the same legends, ballads, and mythical tales
while gathered as children about one and the same mother, and they
have handed them down to this generation of the descendants of each
so little changed as to furnish ample proof of family relationship.
Many of the more important words of the various Aryan languages are
suggestively similar, and this in spite of the five thousand years of
transmission, and of the diverse conditions incident to the growth of
widely separated clans into great nations.

The Aryans were worshippers of Nature in her more spectacular and
heroic forms and moods,--in storms, fire, sunset, and dawn, but looked
upward for their Supreme Deity. The sky, with its fathomless depths
of blue and its star mysteries, was their Zeus. From this it will be
seen that they were, in a way, idolaters, but their idolatry was not
degrading; it was, indeed, ennobling. They contemplated Nature, and in
her processes saw the hand of an all-pervading, beneficent power,--a
God. They worshipped the God thus, and in no other way, revealed to
them through His works.

Their conceptions of family and community organization have served,
and still serve, as models to civilized nations. They were paternal,
the clans being large families with patriarchal heads, and elected
councillors. They were pastoral, cultivating the soil and herding
cattle, sheep, horses, and pigs; but they were at the same time good
warriors. They wore leathern shoes, garments woven from wool, and they
had at least a rudimentary knowledge of the sciences.

From all this I infer that the early Aryans were a race of freemen,
not subject to the class discrimination that ruined Egypt.

Their appreciation of nature, and their reverence, ambition, and
pertinacity fitted them to become the especial guardians of the
arts, and their comparative class equality enabled them to fulfil
the requirements of my theory that music can only flourish in a
widely diffused interest and knowledge. It must breathe a genial and
suggestive atmosphere.

Our main business is with Aryan music after it came under the influence
of Egyptian culture, but it may interest my readers to flash, for a
moment, the light of analogy back upon its earlier period. We have
found the early Aryans less learned than the Egyptian scholar class,
but also less superstitious and less pedantic. They were normal human
beings in their occupations, susceptibilities, and social life. With
such a picture in view it is quite natural for our imaginations to
hear its complement in expressive sounds,--peaceful lullabies, songs of
praise and love, and sonorous rejoicings.

In remote times the region which is supposed to have been the original
home of the Aryans must have been fertile, for early poets were
enthusiastic in describing its charms. The climatic changes that made
the soil arid as it is to-day may have suggested, or may even have
necessitated, migration; still, what condition or combination of
conditions induced the Aryans to abandon Central Asia can never be
positively known; but it is certain that they, like irresistible tidal
waves, rolled westward and southward, destroying, carrying before them,
or absorbing and dominating all peoples and institutions in their

One of the streams of Aryan migration flowed towards the south and
formed the Hindoo and Persian nations, and another came into Europe
by way of the Hellespont and took up its abode in Greece and Italy.
Three others, the Celtic, Teutonic, and Slavonic, followed in the order
named, passing to the north of the Black Sea, and occupied respectively
Western, Central, and Eastern Europe.

Of all the nations who have developed from these original nuclei, the
Hindoos show least evidence of close intercourse with the world's
great teacher, whereas the Greeks, perhaps because of their proximity
to Egypt, were led to avail themselves of her tuition to the fullest

The ancient Hindoos were less scientific than the Chinese or
Egyptians, and isolation has prevented them from advancing with modern
civilization. Their music is less the fruit of theories than it is of
natural Aryan impulse. They do not look upon it as a science, but as
a matter of the emotions, the result of, and intended to quicken, the
imagination. I have seen Hindoo melodies which exhibited a correct
appreciation of rhythmic adjustment, still their accomplishments do not
entitle them to a place among the potent factors in musical evolution.

Now we come to the climax of our first era. Such a true conception of
beauty, such perfect symmetry, and such far-reaching imagination and
lofty aspiration as are present in, and have made ancient Greek art and
literature luminous for all time, bespeak conditions that would have
carried music to fruition during their continuance had she not been
so intangible, and therefore necessarily slow in developing. Had her
nature been less coy, we might have ancient Greek music as monumental
as the Iliad or the Parthenon.

The Greeks were quick to recognize the virtues of Egyptian learning,
and Greece soon became great Egypt's greater pupil. Still, we should
accord Egypt first place among the factors that built up modern
civilization and led to the formulation of musical art, for she
originated the vital impulse.

That period of Greek culture supremacy dispensed no laurels to its
mothers, wives, and daughters. Woman was regarded as an inferior
being, and she took no honorable part in intellectual social life.
Boys were exhaustively educated, while girls were neglected. This was
the one blot on the glory of those times, and we, besides deprecating
the injustice it involved, must regret that these ancient art-workers
denied themselves that highest earthly source of inspiration,
intercourse with the delicate enthusiasm, the keen perceptions, and art
instinct of educated and loved womanhood; for to what heights might
their achievements have attained but for this misconception of woman's
nature and capacities!

One would think that Sappho's lyrics, which induced Plato to call
her the "Tenth Muse," would have suggested the existence, in woman's
purer and more sensitive nature, of a subtle vein of beautiful
intellectuality, but such was not the case. Judging from what we have
seen of early Aryan family life, this unpractical and debasing idea of
suppressing woman must have been imbibed with Egyptian learning.

Music was taught in the Greek schools, and youths were thus fitted
to join in the sacred choruses, and to appreciate the significance
of poetry. The immortal bards sang their creations, and they often
remained unwritten for generations. The drama developed from songs and
dances. Music was a prominent feature of their symposiums, the lyre
being passed from guest to guest, each contributing of his best to the
intellectual feast. Banquets were brought to a close by singing hymns.
Music pervaded each function of Hellenic life.

Their choruses were unisons, and their instrumental accompaniments
were either purely rhythmic (regardless of pitch) or they followed the
voice, for the Greeks had no discoverable conception of harmony. In
contemplating the marvellous erudition and the poetic sense of ancient
Greece, and the important _rôle_ played by music in the period of her
glory, I can but feel that the failure to chronicle her melodies is a
misfortune. They may not have been rich in variety of tone succession
or in rhythm, but they doubtless were vigorous, expressive, and
logically rounded, and they therefore mark the brightest point reached
in the first era.

Greece succeeded Egypt as the world's teacher, and her precepts gain
significance as advancing culture enables us to better comprehend
the fine adjustment of imagination to nature which they embody. Her
sculpture, architecture, and literature are the highest models that
we have, and those of our architects who appreciate the import of
monumental buildings look to ancient Greece for appropriate inspiration.

Is it not reasonable and logical to assume that the spirit of Greece's
unwritten musical forms has been preserved, passed from nation to
nation, and from generation to generation, and that it underlies
our present classical school? I say spirit in speaking of musical
transmission, for music's resources and outward forms were, in the
Homeric period, and still are, in course of development.

It would be a waste of space to discuss the musical doings of other
European nations during this period. Those that did least to prepare
the way have been most active since our art took shape. As great as
Italy's services have been since the sixteenth century (A.D. ), she did
little for music previous to that time. St. Ambrose, of Milan (384 A.D.
), and St. Gregory, of Rome (590 A.D. ), ordained rituals, prayers,
music, etc., but there is no detailed record of their achievements,
therefore no authentic Gregorian chants.

                              CHAPTER III
                       BIBLICAL MENTION OF MUSIC

The Old Testament is a chronicle of the growth, movements, physical
and mental habits, and religious status of the great Jewish race.
Its religion with one Godhead, whose immediate presence was often
felt, its music addressed to this presence, and its family, tribal,
and racial organizations were all Jewish. The great moving lever of
Jewish existence was a religion whose creed prohibited the making of
"graven images," so painting and sculpture were not cultivated; it
recognized the direct agency of supreme will in moulding daily events,
and prescribed oft-repeated praise and prayer, and thus created the
atmosphere of exalted devotional feeling which we find recorded in
many of the books of the Bible, and which climaxed in David's Psalms.

The ancient Hebrews were in no measure a scientific people. Their one
intellectual aspiration found vent in beautifying the worship of God.
They were religious teachers, who have directly or indirectly shaped
the creeds of the civilized world.

According to the conditions upon which I have thus far based my
theories of musical evolution, early Jewish songs could not have been
equal, in artistic merit, to the texts with which they were associated,
for there was an utter lack, in this race, of such general culture and
art sense as we found prevailing in ancient Egypt; but the Hebrews were
a race apart, and their unique instincts may have made their music an
exception to all rules.

Their song-impulse was confined to one line, but it was so strong
that it projected itself from conception, in religious enthusiasm, to
a high grade of fulfilment without touching the low plane of their
general culture; nevertheless, the above-mentioned short-comings and
the subsequent decadence of race nationality relegate Hebrew music to a
low place as an influence upon the world's song.

They had men who devoted themselves to the playing of instruments
as an accompaniment to song, and the Bible mentions more varieties
of instruments than can be found in profane history of those times.
Worship was such an important feature of Jewish life, and praise
was so essential an element in their worship, that the masses must
have learned and sung those great lyrics which to-day represent the
culmination of human awe, reverence, prayer, and thanksgiving. It is
impossible to imagine David singing his psalms to crude or inadequate
musical settings.

Here we have a situation apparently full of vital contradictions.
Most of the influences which have proven themselves necessary to the
development of music were wanting, and still there is evidence that it
had grown to be an expressive means. The Jews were actuated by profound
religious feeling and by an exquisite sense of nature's forms. No poet
has yet equalled David's simple but beautiful appreciation of the
universe, and of its influence upon mankind.

The Jews of Poland, Spain, and Germany have diverse musical settings of
the Psalms, so there is no traceable line of inheritance from David.
This line has been obliterated by the changes incident to generations
of unassisted memory. That there may be rare exceptions to this rule
of change in form during extended oral transmission was abundantly
proven recently by a German Hebrew musician and scholar. He played me
an unwritten Passover hymn which his father had always sung at that
festival time, and told me that he had not long before been entertained
by a Spanish Hebrew, who sang the same melody tone for tone. This
gentleman's hearing and memory are so absolute that there is no
question to be raised as to this case; but as far as my investigations
have gone, it stands alone.

The composer of the nineteenth century can nowhere else find such
earnest and suggestive texts as in the Old Testament. They voice the
hopes, sorrows, despair, reverence, and joys of our hearts just as
aptly as they did those of the Hebrew bards who wrote them thousands of
years ago. Their natural and direct method of expressing the emotions,
and their incomparable elevation of spirit, make them appeal especially
strongly to the musician, whose flights of imagination start from these

We are denied the privilege of scanning the forms and substance of
Biblical melodies or chants, and must content ourselves with tracing
the more prominent features of the _rôle_ which was assigned to music
during that older era, and the mechanical devices which were employed
to enhance rhythmic precision and sonority.

Some writers have endeavored to solve the problem presented by Hebrew
music in the midst of incongruous conditions by attributing its
development to the influence of presumable intercourse with prehistoric
Egyptian civilization. This does not appear logical, for Hebrew music
seems to have been little, if at all, affected by the continued direct
contact during the long sojourn of the Israelites in Egypt.

The Jewish and Egyptian characters were so diametrically opposed (as
was evinced in their beliefs, habits, and aspirations) that their
emotional forms of expression could not possibly have followed common

Intercourse with Egyptians did not impart even a scientific impulse to
the Hebrew mind. It is therefore safe to conclude that my previously
mentioned hypothesis--that the force of their impulses carried Jewish
music and poetry to unique positions, as compared with those of their
other arts and branches of learning--is worthy of credence.

The first mention of music is made in Genesis iv. 21. Jubal, the son
of Lamech and Adah, is described as the "father of all such as handle
the harp and organ." Jubal was of the seventh generation of Adam's
descendants, and the world was, according to Biblical records, in its
second century of existence. These "harps and organs" were doubtless
similar to those depicted in pictures painted in the fourth Egyptian
dynasty. The first named were frames upon which one or, at most, a
very limited number of strings were stretched, and the "organs" were
pan-pipes (a series of reeds of graded lengths, bound together, and
played by blowing into them as they were passed back and forth across
the lower lip). The pan-pipes were probably played in unison with
the voice, whereas the primitive harp was used, with the existing
instruments of percussion, to mark rhythms only.

All historians agree in their deductions as to the order in which the
several classes of instruments made their appearance on the musical
stage. As rhythm is the heart pulsation of music, it naturally
took hold of the first singers of in any measure formulated melody,
leading to swaying of the body, clapping of the hands, stamping of
the feet, and quickly suggested the employment of other resonant
means for marking its progress. Our drums were at first only hollow
pieces of wood, our cymbals, triangle, and gong may have had double
duties,--musical and culinary,--and our harp and piano were anticipated
by single strings stretched to yield a sonorous tone regardless of

Next came the wind instruments,--at first single reeds blown to
mark rhythms, then pan-pipes, and much later single pipes provided
with finger-holes like the unimproved flute. Last of all came the
instruments from which the tones are drawn by passing a bow over the
strings. The idea of adapting the vibrating length of strings to a
desired pitch, through pressing them down upon a fingerboard, is
comparatively modern. These general classes took on numerous forms and
were made from various materials.

The existence of Jubal and his musical line of descendants bespeaks a
wide-spread interest in and use of song, but Genesis yields no further
enlightenment, no texts, nor any other allusions to the subject of

Exodus xv. furnishes the next mention. The treacherous quicksands of
the Red Sea having swallowed up the Egyptians, Moses and the children
of Israel join in a song of rejoicing and thanksgiving to God, to
whose direct interposition they ascribe their deliverance. The song
as recorded is too circumstantial to have been spontaneous. Moses,
in writing his account of the occurrence, doubtless embodied the
sentiments which burst forth from the hearts of his people in the
presence of the event in a more orderly and more amplified form. The
sentiments are lofty, and the effect produced by the singing of that
vast chorus of just rescued was, beyond compare, the grandest focus
of human enthusiasm that the world has witnessed; for Moses had six
hundred thousand fighting men alone.

"Miriam the prophetess," after the song, or during lapses in the
singing, to incite the throng to renewed efforts, "took a timbrel
in her hand; and all the women went out after her with timbrels and
dancing. And Miriam answered them, Sing ye to the Lord, for He hath
triumphed gloriously; the horse and his rider hath He thrown into the
sea." The timbrels were drums, probably much like our tambourines in
size and shape.

The trumpet is mentioned three times in the nineteenth and twentieth
chapters of Exodus in connection with the delivery to Moses of
the Commandments. The last occasion is after the consummation of
this universe-shaping ceremony,--viz., "And all the people saw the
thunderings, and the lightnings, and the noise of the trumpet, and the
mountain smoking."

The thirty-second and thirty-third chapters of Deuteronomy contain one
of the Bible's most sombre lyrics. Moses, whose life has been devoted
to the welfare of the Israelites, who has for forty years struggled to
overcome in them the demoralization incident to centuries of bondage,
sings there a parting song to his people, for they are about to enter
into possession of the promised land, which happiness is denied him.
Could a sadder picture be imagined than this good man, so little
confident in the fruits of his past teaching, exhorting the Israelites
for the last time?

It would make my sketch tiresome to burden it with the less important
musical events chronicled in sacred history, like the songs of
Deborah, Hannah, etc., so I shall skip four centuries, the musical
exercises of which seem to have been marked by no extraordinary
occurrences, unless we accept the fall of Jericho as a musical

At the end of this period we come upon David, who might appropriately
be called the Isaiah of our art, for his songs voice the conception of
a full, free, resourceful musical fruition, unmeasured as yet by even
the greatest composers who have given them settings. I. Samuel xvi.
makes the first mention of David's musical capacity,--viz., "And Saul
said unto his servants, Provide me now a man that can play well, and
bring him to me.... And it came to pass, when the evil spirit from God
was upon Saul, that David took a harp, and played with his hand: so
Saul was refreshed, and was well, and the evil spirit departed from
him." David's first recorded "psalm of thanksgiving" is in II. Samuel
xxii. Its power, vivid imagery, and conception of omnipotence have
never been surpassed by the mind of man. It is musically suggestive and
inspiring, but a composer capable of grasping its import might be awed
into silence, for our art is still feeble to attempt such flights. A
careful reading of verses five to eighteen, inclusive, will yield an
understanding of my feelings in regard to this song.

There is in much earnest music a substratum of "ecclesiastical tone,"
for the deeper strings of cultivated human responsiveness are attuned
to worship. Our relation as creatures to God, the Creator, is the prime
factor in inducing this condition, but next to it Biblical song most
influences the trend of high musical aspiration. These influences are
insidious, and their fruits do not necessarily betoken design on the
part of the composer, who may be not at all devout; but he, having
imbibed, in common with civilized mankind, the spirit of religion, it
permeates, and to some extent characterizes, his highest efforts.

As long as man continues to write music David will not cease to be one
of the moving levers in shaping his conceptions. This ecclesiastical
tone, when present, does not usually manifest itself in themes, nor
in their contrapuntal development, but in the harmonic outlines upon
which these elements rest. David is supposed to have written the larger
number of the one hundred and fifty Psalms that have come down to us,
and it may be interesting to trace some of the musical colors suggested
by his more clearly manifested moods. They mirror the deepest recesses
of his God-fearing and paternal heart.

The thirteenth Psalm is a wail of sorrow, which is saved from sinking
to despair by David's memory of past mercies. This latter element is
analogous in this case to the major harmonies in our modern minor
keys, which lend suggestions of coming brightness to our darkest tone

In the nineteenth Psalm, which begins, "The heavens declare the glory
of God, and the firmament sheweth his handiwork," we find a spirit
of contented contemplation, for which these quoted lines strike the
key-note, and announce the _theme_ with no uncertain sound.

The twenty-third consists of pastoral similes, which follow each
other with quiet but ever-increasing intensity. It is as full of
restful confidence and self-contained energy as the slow movement of
Beethoven's Fifth Symphony. It is too sustained in its sequential
progress to afford the contrasts so essential to composers of mediocre
ability, which may account for the desecrations of which it has been
the subject. Nothing so tests the calibre of a musician as logically
growing continuity. This Psalm would have found an ideal setting in
Bach's lofty serenity.

The spirit of exultation in the praise of the Almighty, which is
present in even the sadder moments of David's song, flashing light
through its doubts and sorrows, breaks into effulgent glory in the
ninety-eighth Psalm, which has probably received more attention from
composers than any other Biblical text. It has inspired much wonderful
music, but a misconception of the spirit which prompted the last verse
has become traditional.

The psalmist did not invoke the floods to clap their hands, and the
hills to be joyful together before the Lord, in order to propitiate
God, but to express the joy he felt in anticipating the advent of
Him who should "judge the people with equity." To be consistent,
the composer should set this sentiment in broad grandeur, as the
culmination of his musical scheme.

These examples will suffice to illustrate, in a superficial way, the
suggestive richness of David's Psalms.

Isaiah, in chapter v. 12, says, "And the harp and the viol, the tabret
and pipe, and wine, are in their feasts;" indeed, the prophet makes
repeated references to music, but not in such manner as to endow his
chronicle with special import to us.

I will close this chapter with two instances from the New Testament.
The first occurred in connection with the Lord's Supper,--viz., after
the administration of the sacrament, and when they had sung a hymn they
went out into the Mount of Olives. This quiet hymn will not cease to
echo through the universe until we are enabled to realize St. John's
vision of heavenly music, which as described in Revelation (fifth
chapter) would form a fitting climax to earthly musical effort.

                              CHAPTER IV

The sweep of events in this new era has been so grand in its cumulative
momentum and high tendency, that one is quite as much embarrassed by
its richness in data as by the poverty of the older period.

At the opening of its second era music began to make history, and
many painstaking and erudite men have devoted the best years of their
lives to collating her records; we are therefore amply supplied with
books of reference, which fact would seem to justify me in still
further pursuing the path marked out by my individual impressions. My
deductions and theories may not always follow beaten paths; indeed, I
am only led to discuss the well-known events of this era by the hope
that these digressions may afford my readers new points of view, and
thus, perhaps, incite them to acquire a more intimate knowledge of the
nature of music.

Before commencing our explorations I should like to emphasize the
theory advanced in Chapter II.,--viz., that the progress of musical
evolution is more or less rapid as the quality of its culture
environment is better or less well suited to its requirements. Great
composers are not eccentric growths, but they are the natural fruits of
the conditions into which they are born and in which they create.

Acorns thrown upon bare rocks will decay; planted in sands exposed to
the violent winds from the sea, they grow into gnarled scrubs; but if
they fall into a soil possessing qualities calculated to expand their
inherent germs, they become noble oaks, differing in size according to
the assertive vitality of their several germs and to the impulses which
they receive from earth and sky. These conditions also mould their
forms, for their branches reach out for sunlight and rain just as their
root-tendrils seek more substantial, but no more necessary, sustenance.
This quest gives direction to their growth.

The forest giants are like our Bach, Beethoven, Schubert, Schumann, and
Wagner; they, like these musical giants, tower above their fellows. Our
musicians spread their roots out into the past (into the knowledge of
what others have achieved), their aspirations are warmed into activity
by the sunlight of widely diffused culture, and their creations take
form from their surroundings.

To illustrate my theory: if Beethoven were now living and composing
music, it would necessarily differ as much from that which he did
produce, in form and means, as our life conditions and modes differ
from those of seventy-five years ago, for such a genius would be
quick to feel the presence of new elements in either his material
surroundings or art atmosphere.

Some of these new elements are helpful to the composer, while others
tend to stifle his spontaneity or to distort the outlines and too
much brighten the colors of his tone pictures. In the first class
I would put the universal increase of musical intelligence; the
mechanical devices, which, as applied to the organ, piano, and most of
the orchestral wind instruments, greatly increase their efficiency;
Berlioz's idea of color integrity, which has revolutionized orchestral
writing; the decrease of conventionality in form; the greater intensity
in harmonic successions; and the somewhat Bach-like import with which
the writer of to-day attempts to endow the bass and middle voices.

At the head of the second class (harmful elements) I should place the
immense practicality of our age, which intrudes its steam ploughs upon
our rural pictures, and, with its unending procession of mechanical
innovations, crowds poetic fancy into dark recesses, where she
survives but does not thrive; then comes the feverish haste to become
rich or famous, which so dominates our generation as to disturb the
contemplative moods of the artist, imparting sometimes a suggestion of
prosaic utility to his creations, and in other cases endowing them with
incongruous form and colors; and last, but not least, comes the modern
habit of self-introspection, which, springing from a laudable desire to
reason philosophically, smothers spontaneity.

Beethoven would have rebelled against these adverse conditions, but
he would nevertheless have been influenced by them. His spirit will
defy time, but his models and methods have become antiquated. A modern
composer, however gifted, could not follow them without sacrificing his
claims to recognition.

We willingly allow Bach and Beethoven to transport us back into their
times, and we draw refreshment from the natural atmosphere that
pervades them, but would reject a modern product which embodied similar
elements; for they would, in such case, be artificial, not the elements
suggested by and characteristic of an emotional mood.

Notation, which defined musical achievements, and thus fitted each
stage of development to serve as a stepping-stone to formulated art,
was unaccountably long in coming.

There is no absolute certainty as to who invented our present system
of writing music, but the honor is usually accredited to Huchbold, of
Flanders (840-930). He was a learned Benedictine monk and an ardent
worker in the field of music. Huchbold certainly employed a form of
notation at least suggestive of that now in use, but, according to
some historians, Huchbold's own writings mention the device as if not
original with him. He left examples of part writing, which, however,
mark no improvement on the implied methods of the ancient Egyptians
(suggested through the mural paintings referred to in Chapter II.),
for his voices progress in parallel fourths, fifths, and octaves, and
consequently have no independent significance.

The earliest example of modern notation is to be seen in the Winchester
Cathedral. It is the setting of a prayer, and is supposed to have been
written in 1016 A.D. England also claims to have furnished the first
example of contrapuntal composition,--a four-voiced canon with two
free _bassi_, written in, or prior to, 1240. If this be authentic, it
is a phenomenon, like "thunder out of a clear sky," for there was not
at that time, nor for three hundred years afterwards, any manifest
scientific tendency in England's musical methods. This piece may have
been a direct or indirect product of the Flanders school, of which
Huchbold was the progenitor.

This learned priest, who strove to materialize and co-ordinate musical
means (not its spirit), may be taken as an index of the intellectual
bent of his time in the Netherlands, whose people, undaunted by human
foes, or by the more merciless sea, which was a perpetual menace to
their very existence, devoted much attention to the development of the
arts and sciences and to building up industries. Their intelligent and
persistent enterprise walled out the North Sea and made it a tractable
servant, and created on those reclaimed marshes a civilization which
for several hundred years represented the highest attainments of man.

This earnestness of character and high culture were congenial elements
to the growth of music, and there is abundant evidence that their
complement, a distinct sense for sound expression, was not wanting,
for Taine, in his "Art in the Netherlands," says, "Other people
cultivate music; to them it seems an instinct." It is not strange
that this instinct, coupled with the perpetuated spirit of Huchbold,
should have produced a formulated art at that propitious stage in
music's evolution. Music itself had become a ripe impulse, ready and
waiting for just such conditions. The Flanders school adjusted tone
relationships and invented counterpoint and canon. John Osteghem
and his pupil Despres were the greatest masters of that initial
school, which for nearly two centuries, beginning with the middle
of the fourteenth, furnished all the European courts with singers,
instrumentalists, and composers.

Their more elaborate music was written for the Church, and a damper
was consequently put upon production by the Reformation, which greatly
simplified religious observances and closed choir doors to the
composers of ambitious works.

Before the development of opera and the institution of the concert
orchestra and chorus, the Church was the sole patron of high musical
endeavor. Fortunately, the Netherlands musicians had forestalled
the calamitous results of this religious revolution through the
establishment of conservatories of music in Venice and Naples. They
transplanted their knowledge and high aspirations into sunny and
Catholic Italy, where they flourished and bore fruit after their native
land had ceased to be musically supreme.

A new art is unavoidably over-conservative. The natural laws, upon
which it is founded, hold its devotees to literal conformity until
experience has evolved a sense of their broader meaning.

They are in reality but rigid outlines, drawn in accordance with
fundamental art adjustments, the recognition of which saves the curved
lines of our fancy's pictures from abnormity and chaos. They are quite
analogous to the anatomical knowledge which is essential to the artist,
who conforms to its general requirements and still endows his figures
with individual character.

The Netherland music of that period was more intellectual than
emotional; therefore, taking the comparative characteristics of the
two peoples into account, we can but regard the migration of the focus
of musical activity to Italy as an extremely fortunate event; beside
the fact that this change of base avoided delay in evolution, or
possible decadence.

The emotional Italians would not have made music's foundation as deep
or as broad, but they were well fitted to contribute grace and beauty
to its superstructure. The sensuous element in music is almost wholly
a reflex of Italian temperament. We northern peoples, recognizing the
power inherent in this quality, cultivate it with more or less success,
but it is an exotic in our colder natures.

Under the influence of Italian character music soon began to assume
more graceful lines, purer euphony, and richer significance. Science
was further developed, but it was treated as a means, subject to
individual conceptions. The success of this school transplanted from
the Netherlands to Italy culminated in the production of Palestrina
(1524-1594), the first high-priest of our finally clarified art.

The inherent qualities of music, which were considered at some length
in Chapters I. and II., make our art exclusive. They wall it about,
forming an outer temple, an inner temple, and a holiest of holies. The
first is accessible to all sincere and responsive adherents of the
musical faith. The second is for those who minister, priests dedicated
to the service. To the innermost sanctuary, which holds the presence
of our musical goddess, Aaron-like high-priests alone are admitted,
but the song incense which they bring forth diffuses itself, filling
the inner and the outer temples to their farthermost recesses. It is
primarily to the ministrations of these high-priests that we owe the
widely diffused musical culture of to-day. It shall therefore be one
of my tasks to trace the characteristic influence of each one of this
line, whose creations will endure throughout time. In the course of
music's refining she had necessarily become more and more exclusive,
less accessible in her ever higher estate to coarse and uncultivated
mankind. This exclusiveness had from the first step in evolution been
raising the walls of our now finished temple.

                      [Illustration: PALESTRINA]
               By permission of E. H. Schroeder, Berlin

Although most of Italy's early music, like that of the Netherlands,
was written for the Church, Palestrina was the first composer to
strike a clear ecclesiastical tone. The tendency had been towards
brilliancy, with a seasoning of unbecoming sentimentality, and Pope
Marcelli, realizing the inappropriateness of such musical settings,
conferred with this rising genius, and commissioned him, in 1563, to
write a mass consistent with the spirit of worship. Palestrina's third
attempt resulted in the great "Pope Marcelli Mass," which is to-day as
acceptable a model for church music as it was in the sixteenth century.

I have chosen Palestrina as the first high-priest because he, like his
successors, Bach, Beethoven, Schubert, Schumann, and Wagner, was a
creator, and because his works, like theirs, exhale the incense of the
holiest of holies; an incense which, unlike all others, gains power
with the passage of time.

Palestrina's works are characterized by lofty purpose and by logically
audacious methods. His voice leading was so smooth and melodic as to
prompt one of the most erudite of living musicians, who was at first
an anti-Wagnerite, to say that "Wagner began with Meyerbeer and ended
with Palestrina;" meaning in the latter comparison to pay the highest
possible tribute to the contrapuntal skill and musical methods of the
writer of "Die Meistersinger."

Besides Palestrina, Scarlatti and Pergolesi were the only early Italian
composers whose music outlived the generation in which it was written.
Scarlatti wrote operas, but it is through his piano-forte music that
his name has been kept alive. Pergolesi, who appeared on the scene
nearly two hundred years later than Palestrina, wrote operas which were
received with wild enthusiasm.

During the period of Italy's supremacy (1500-1700) many forms of
composition were originated, and many mechanical devices for recording
and performing music were invented or perfected. Among the former
were the fugue, the oratorio, the latter of which was at first
responsive (alternating music and reading), but soon assumed its
present character, the mass, and the opera. (It is astonishing that
Monteverde's operas "Arianna" and "Orfeo," produced in 1607-8, embody
to some degree Wagner's idea of consistent musical drama.) The organ,
violin, and piano-forte were improved, the flageolet, clarionet,
bassoon, music type, punches, and metal plates were invented, the first
opera-house was built (in Venice), and the elements of modern orchestra
(wind, stringed, and percussion instruments) were formally combined.

Flanders' light had shone into France and England, had awakened the
people of those lands to a sense of music's latent possibilities, and
we find them working intelligently and with good results; but our
present aim is to follow the main stream of musical development, guided
by the successive "beacon-lights" of achievement, along its course. We
will later trace these lesser tributaries.

At the beginning of the eighteenth century two lights of dazzling
brilliancy draw our gaze from Italy to Germany. The direct influence of
the Netherlands, which made a deep and lasting impression on the slow,
but earnest, intellectual, and song-loving Germans, had quickened their
susceptibilities, and had made them responsive to the riper musical
development of Italy.

The Teutonic character is less emotional and impulsive than the
Italian, but it is more methodical, more romantic, and deeper. It is
more like that of the Netherlanders, but in measuring their status we
must not forget that at the period of which I write two hundred years
had passed since the beginning of music's decadence in the northern
first home. The Reformation, which had such a depressing effect upon
that initial art, incited these less scientifically musical people
to song. Luther, who co-ordinated the modern German language, also
struck a song tone, which set the hearts of his race into sympathetic

The choral voices the deepest strata of German character, and its
spirit echoes through their more earnest works,--in the substratum,
mentioned in Chapter III.,--so the Reformation marks the beginning of
Germany's musical culture, which under direct and indirect guidance
and incitement from Italy grew substantially and broadened until the
eighteenth century, when the appearance of Händel and Bach evidences a
northward turn in the stream of development.

The Italians had contributed the most potent qualities of their
nature to this stream, and now the Germans added their deep feeling,
intellectual force, and somewhat later their romance. As will be seen,
Italy had not entered an inactive era, but Germany at this period
took first place among the factors of evolution, a place she still

                         [Illustration: BACH]

My theory in regard to the essential character of widely diffused
interest in music finds full endorsement in the conditions which
prevailed at that time, and still continue in Germany. Luther's chorals
were written for and were sung by the people. Each worshipper found in
them a conveyance for his devotional feelings. This feature of church
service, this song essence, gradually permeated every-day life and
bore wonderful fruit; produced a really musical nation, out of which
our second high-priest, Johann Sebastian Bach, and his less German
contemporary, George Frederick Händel, could arise.

Before the advent of these giants Germany had written and performed
numerous operas, and had in various ways manifested high aspirations,
but her musicians had composed no monumental works.

Her early troubadours, of whom Walther von der Vogelweide was the
greatest, and the "Meistersänger," of whom Hans Sachs, who lived
1494-1576, was the most gifted, left no record of their melodies. The
very existence of these Meistersänger guilds for hundreds of years
shows vitality of purpose and high aim. Spurred on to ever higher
accomplishment by friendly rivalry, these guilds doubtless contributed
much to the lyric strain in the German nature, and therefore to the
ultimate greatness of their "Fatherland." The last of these guilds was
disbanded at Ulm in 1836.

Bach was the mightiest man who has composed music. A writer who saw him
says, "His black eyes, shining out of his massive head, looked like
flames bursting from a rock." He was the descendant of a line that was
both mentally and physically stalwart. His remotest traceable ancestor
was a baker who migrated from Hungary to Saxony, and his son, Johann
Sebastian's great-grandfather, was a carpet-weaver and musician. The
two succeeding generations devoted themselves exclusively to music,
and they furnished half Thuringia with capable musicians. Their
conscientious work, however, gave no premonition of the coming sublime
climax in their family achievements.

Johann Sebastian Bach inherited an iron will, self-abnegation, and
devotion to art. His conceptions soared so far above the existing
traditions, and he did so little to attract public attention, that
he was but slightly heeded during his lifetime; indeed, it required
a century after his death and the appreciation of a Mendelssohn to
make the world realize that a veritable god had lived among men.
The modest cantor of Leipzig's St. Thomas' school was obliged to
struggle to support his large family, but he made no concessions to
prevailing taste; he did not depart from the lines of his ideal to
secure popularity. He patiently submitted to whatever teaching-drudgery
was necessary to earn bread for his children, but when seated on his
organ-bench or when he took his quill in hand he admitted no other
allegiance than that to art, and no other impulse than that which
prompted him to serve her with his fullest powers.

The force, dignity, simple loveliness, pathos, and grandeur which in
turn characterize his conceptions are so wonderful, when considered
as products of the eighteenth century, that they and his serene
indifference to recognition stamp him a unique man,--a musical Messiah.

Bach's versatility, facility, and physical endurance were as remarkable
in their way as was the quality of his creations. He wrote for organ,
piano, violin, for voices unaccompanied and with organ or orchestra,
and asserted his mastery in each and all of these fields. His preserved
writings would busy a copyist ten hours per day for fourteen years,
and still Bach, in the absence of other outlets, found time to engrave
much of his own music. It is to be hoped that the tardy appreciation
of his character and works, which have at last filled the world with
adoration, may penetrate the Beyond and warm his heart towards mankind,
who during his life so little fathomed the depths of his emotions and
failed to see the loftiness of his ideals.

Händel was also great, unless compared with his greater contemporary.
His best work was the oratorio "Israel in Egypt." His style was a
mixture of Italian grace and German vigor. He was a master of vocal
resources, and his works are therefore strong in sonority, and
grateful to both singers and hearers. Händel wrote fluently, but with
a less sustained earnestness than Bach, and his compositions have done
more to foster chorus singing than have all other agencies combined;
for which reason the musical world is but discharging a just debt in
assigning to him the place of honor on its vocal repertoires.

Of these two masters, Händel wrote less involvedly. Bach depended upon
the legitimate development of his themes, whereas Händel often resorted
to tone masses,--was more harmonic than contrapuntal.

Soon after the middle of the eighteenth century the ever-rising flood
of musical culture became highest in Vienna. This resulted quite as
much from the city's contiguity to Italy, whose lyric springs had by
no means run dry, as from the stream of northern influence. Musical
intelligence had by this time become so diffused that bright lights
showed themselves at many points on the horizon, but Vienna was made
resplendent by a galaxy that illumined her musical life and prepared
her for our third and fourth high-priests, Beethoven and Schubert.

The most brilliant of this galaxy were Haydn, Mozart, and Gluck, each
and all of whom bequeathed treasures to the world surpassed in value
only by those with which our priestly line endowed us. "Papa Haydn"
gave expression to his pure aspirations and childlike simplicity in
symphonies, stringed quartets, and other ensemble works, and in large
vocal compositions. The "Creation" and "Seasons" are his most ambitious
writings. Few of Haydn's works have great intellectual power, but they
are as refreshing as rural scenes or well-told tales. Mozart and Gluck
will be necessarily discussed in Chapter V., so I will pass them now.

Beethoven was our third high-priest, because his somewhat earlier
appearance entitles him to precedence over his later coadjutor. The
Vienna school had originated or evolved the sonata form, had endowed
music with more sustained and more clearly defined melody, richer
harmonic color, and dramatic power, and had greatly enriched the
orchestra; so Beethoven began his work with far ampler resources at his
command and more fertile traditions in which to root his art than had
any of his predecessors.

Beethoven was like Bach in many of his characteristics; he was
self-reliant, manfully tender, and forcible without violence. His best
conceptions are so high and noble that they leave human frailties
far behind and suggest the music of the spheres, but he was less
constant in his fidelity to art than Bach; not because he yielded to
pressure from without, but because of his impatient nature, which at
times impelled him to follow routine rather than wait for inspiration
to outline his course. This resulted in lapses, which will, when awe
has given place to discriminating judgment, lead the musical world to
discard some of his now blindly accepted works. This is to be desired,
for those who profess to, or actually do, derive pleasure from all
of Beethoven's works are either untrue to themselves, or they are
incapable of responsiveness to his supreme moments, which produced such
wonders of tonal expression as "Fidelio" and the "Eroica."

                       [Illustration: BEETHOVEN]

It will not matter what forms music may assume in the course of her
further evolution, Beethoven's more intensely individual creations
will retain their monumental character, looking serenely upon passing
generations of mankind like the Pyramids, but even less perishable than

In scanning Beethoven's methods and the spirit which pervades his
compositions, as compared with those of Bach, we must take cognizance
of the different social and musical conditions which prevailed in their
respective periods. Europe was, at the beginning of the nineteenth
century, shaking off her powdered wigs and their attendant austerity.
Culture was becoming more confident and audacious, and music reflected
the features of her new environment in increased geniality and breadth
of scope. Beethoven's methods were quite opposed to those employed
by Bach. The former drew a grand sweep of outline, and then used
counterpoint as a contributive element, whereas thematic counterpoint
was the substance of Bach's creations,--the tissue which gave them
form. Each was a reflex of the noblest tendencies of his time.

                       [Illustration: SCHUBERT]
               By permission of E. H. Schroeder, Berlin

I approach Schubert, our fourth high-priest, whose ministrations,
coming in conjunction with those of Beethoven, make their epoch the
most remarkable one in music's career, with wonder for his achievements
and regret for his half-lived life. That which was so beautifully said
of Keats, "Life of a long life condensed to a mere drop, and fallen
like a tear upon the world's cheek, to make it burn forever," would
apply equally to Schubert. He was born into a period that had already
manifested lyric tendencies, but he was an inexhaustible spring, from
which limpid melody gushed in ever-increasing volume, filling his every
musical scheme to repletion. Nature made Schubert the greatest musical
genius the world has seen, and had his life but reached completeness,
he would, perhaps, have drawn from his emotional well-spring greater
symphonies than the "C major" and the "Unfinished."

Schubert was virtually the originator of the modern song, which has
been, and always will be, a great solace to mankind. It is at the
same time the most practical, because the most easily understood,
means of educating musical instinct into sympathy with the spirit that
pervades more elaborate forms. The associated texts make clear their
musical import, and the appreciation of one really good composition
places us on a vantage-ground from which we can better comprehend
others. Schubert required the song as a ready outlet for his lyric
productiveness, and wrote twelve hundred of them without redundancies
and with always definite and distinguishing significance.

Many gifted composers have put their most felicitous fancies into this
fireside form, but although some have sung more impassionedly, and
others have placed their melodies in richer settings, no one has been
so uniformly adequate as Franz Schubert. Schumann, Franz, and Jensen
always please, and they often excite our wonder by the beauty and
adaptability of their song conceptions, but Schubert's songs do not
express, they embody, moods and sentiments. His flow of melody was so
fresh and strong that in instrumental compositions it often carried him
to uncommon length. The Germans call his C major symphony "The Symphony
of Heavenly Length." This phrase quite aptly describes the work, for
an idea of its proportions, and of the quality which prevents them
from being prohibitory, are both voiced by the expressive adjective
employed, Schubert scarcely lived to maturity, but he dispensed such
unalloyed benefits that his name will be forever enshrined in the
hearts of those who love pure music.

During all this time culture had been making great strides, and a
comprehensive glance, at the time of Schubert's death, would have
revealed all Europe aflood with musical enthusiasm. Orchestras were
multiplied and improved, grand chorus organizations were founded, and
institutions for the education of musical aspirants were established
under the patronage of various governments.

Out of this condition come two bright lights that rivet our attention
upon Cantor Bach's old home as the centre of influence. Our stream
of development, which was a rivulet as it flowed from Flanders, soon
became a mighty river, and has now overflowed its banks and formed a
great sea of culture.

Mendelssohn was one of the most genial characters that we meet in the
annals of music. His education and temperament made the adequate
adjustment of resources to the fulfilment of his schemes almost
intuitive; but his conceptions themselves, although invariably round
and poetic, usually lack the bold lines and the deep import that have
distinguished the creations of our high-priests. Human characters,
like forest-trees, seem to need exposure to trying winds, which if
successfully weathered only strengthen their fibres and loosen the soil
about their roots, so that they may spread out and extend downward to
fresh and deeper sources of impulse. It may be that Mendelssohn's life
conditions were too peaceful, that he was too much sheltered from care
and adversity to fully develop the depth and nobility of his nature,
which flashes out in some parts of "Saint Paul" and "Elijah," and
pervades the "Walpurgis Night."

His happy disposition found its most characteristic expression
in inimitable scherzi and works of that less emotional class.
Mendelssohn's elegance of style, richness of color, and his personality
caused a wave of imitation to set across musical production, but it
soon subsided, for only the most stalwart methods endure the dilution
incident to their adoption by lesser talent without degenerating to
insipid weakness. Mendelssohn's greatest service to the musical world
was rendered in his persistent advocacy of Bach.

Schumann, our fifth high-priest, had to encounter the difficulties of
life in the open field, having had no social nor financial breastworks
from behind which he could ignore the "arrows of outrageous fortune."
His path was strewn with thorns, and was unlighted by recognition until
near its end. Schumann was not so consummate a master of counterpoint
as was Mendelssohn, but his stronger individuality and deeper
sensibility filled his fancies with epoch-making qualities. Our art had
during the previous quarter century taken on more intensity, greater
freedom in voice leading, and, last of all, a well-defined romantic

                       [Illustration: SCHUMANN]
               By permission of E. H. Schroeder, Berlin

The first two appealed strongly to Schumann's nature, as is evidenced
by his writings, for the pictures of his imaginings are not peaceful
pastoral scenes, but depict storms of passion and emotional struggles.
Romance shows itself at times, but it is not a distinguishing element.
Schumann wrote four symphonies, of which the last one heard is always
the best. They rank among the few immortal works in this epic form,
but entirely because of the individual character of their schemes and
the richness of their musical texture, for their instrumental colors
are not adequate. He succeeded equally well in ensemble, chorus, and
piano-forte music, and his songs almost rival those of Schubert, but
strange to say, the orchestra seems to have been a closed book to our
fifth high-priest.

Schumann had, in his impatience to overcome the weakness of his fourth
or ring fingers, employed a mechanical appliance which permanently
lamed his hands, thereby dashing his hopes of becoming a piano
virtuoso. This is the only recorded case in which violent methods have
produced desirable fruits; for they usually deaden the nerves only,
and result in strength without facility, and tone without beauty; in
other words, in wooden pianists. In this case they produced entire
disability, and forced Schumann into his proper sphere,--creation,--in
which he accomplished lasting good, whereas the benefits to art of even
the highest grade of virtuosity are comparatively ephemeral.

His love for the piano-forte led him to study its capacities
and limitations most thoroughly, the consequence being that his
compositions for that instrument are more grateful to the fingers and
ears of pianists than those of any other classical composer.

Schumann's music is more involved than Beethoven's or Schubert's,
and his restless passion found expression in broken rhythms and in
dissonant compounds, which, however they may at first impress us, gain
natural and deep significance with close familiarity. He was the first
composer to feel and apply the immense, expressive resources inherent
in rhythm.

Schumann's quintet for strings and piano-forte is one of the greatest
pieces of ensemble music that has been written, and his piano concerto
in A minor is, to my mind, without a rival. Of his songs, the "Frauen
Liebe und Leben" cyclus are, when the numbers are considered singly,
and then in their respective relations to his beautifully rounded
conception of womanliness, the most remarkable, although the "Dichter
Liebe" is full of gems, and the "Spring Night" is a picture which is
more suggestive of a magic wand than of a human intellect.

Our fifth high-priest was not alone a musician; he was a philosopher
and the ablest critic the musical world has seen. He was so broad that
he could be generous as well as just, as was shown by his laudatory
writings in regard to his rival,--Mendelssohn. He estimated Wagner's
cruder stage correctly, and would doubtless have become an adherent of
the new faith had he lived to see its riper fruits; for he was always
susceptible to manifestations of genuine creative ability and logical

The consideration of Wagner, the sixth in line, involves entering
upon a somewhat new field, and it will require so much space that I
will give him, his forms, and his methods a separate chapter. Before
undertaking that task it may be well to trace some of the tributary
influences which, following collateral lines, have helped to swell the
tide of musical culture. It will facilitate the accomplishment of this
purpose to scan the achievements of each nation separately, mentioning
only such individuals and events as were active agents in furthering
the cause.

France evinced a very marked interest in music early in its second era,
but her good intentions were several hundred years in crystallizing.
The establishment of an Academy of Music in Paris (1672) was the first
really noteworthy event in the history of French music. Tulli, who was
its first director, was a very able man. He wrote operas, which were
sung in French, and he created the chrysalis from which our symphony
was later developed.

Although the next hundred years were not productive of great men,
Paris had at the end of that period become attractive and congenial to
such masters as Gluck, Cherubini, and Piccini. This shows that she had
educated a generation of intelligent listeners, and at least a portion
of the executants necessary to the performance of grand opera.

In 1795 the Conservatory was founded, which event marked the beginning
of that earnest, organized effort that has given the world so many rare
instrumentalists and vocalists. The finesse of the French school is
delicious when applied with intellectual breadth sufficient to prevent
its becoming finical. France has also produced numberless composers,
but few who have attained to more than passing fame. Her people are
quick in their perceptions, and deft and dainty in all that appertains
to æsthetics. They are enthusiastic lovers of such music as does not
require them to think earnestly while following it, but they are
emotionally volatile.

Berlioz is the only French composer who successfully resisted the
pressure of this environment. He was made of stern stuff, and followed
the promptings of his muse without wavering, although she often
dictated courses and methods that precluded immediate success with the
public. In his Requiem Mass, which looks bizarre to a casual observer
of the score, he uses each and all of the executive forces, an immense
orchestra with all possible accessories, auxiliary brass corps, chorus,
and _soli_, with such keen appreciation of individual quality and
such unerring judgment as to the appropriate rôle for each quality
in the grand ensemble, that the effects he attains not only disarm
criticism, they fill one with awe. Still, if we scrutinize Berlioz's
works closely, we find that he was more a Rubens than a Rembrandt, for
while his diction was often more erratic than sequential, his sense
of tone color was so acute that it led him to inaugurate the movement
that is still in progress for purging music of pernicious _unisons_

Of the other notable French composers, Gounod is delightfully
melodious, but is too sweet to be entirely wholesome, and Saint-Saëns
(half German in instinct and manner) is a phenomenal master of
instrumentation, and he is very ingenious, but one is seldom convinced
that his compositions have grown from emotional germs. Massenet, Bizet,
and others have written, or are writing, charming music, but it has
little substantiality. Its charms are liable to effervesce, like the
emotions of the Paris public. The French seem to reserve all of their
earnestness for the more tangible arts, and for science, to all of
which they have contributed their full share.

England's musical career has been unique. The people of that snug
little island across the channel should be an enthusiastically happy
race, for nature endowed their land with fertility and beauty, and
centuries of skillful cultivation have enhanced these virtues until
Albion's rural loveliness is to-day unequalled. They have exceptionally
rich traditions, their prowess in arms and achievements in literature,
science, pictorial art, and industry furnish abundant grounds for
their national pride, but it is a pity that their blessings have not
made them more demonstrative, for stoical complacency is not good soil
in which to grow an emotional art. For this reason recorded English
composition, which began so unprecedentedly well in the sixteenth
century with the invention of the madrigal, has not fulfilled the
promise implied by that event.

The English are a sturdy race, and their climate and out-of-door
amusements have endowed their voices with uncommonly mellow and tuneful
qualities. It is therefore quite natural that their musical activities
should have been so largely centred in chorus singing, which they make
peculiarly sonorous and artistically adequate.

This choral virtuosity is not a recent growth, for it attracted Händel
in the eighteenth century. It was also recognized by Mendelssohn. This
love for song has been materially fostered by the Established Church,
whose elaborate services have furnished composers with both incitement
and outlet. Most of England's choral works are dignified and smooth,
but they lack intensity.

There is an element in English (and American) musical life the evil
influence of which cannot be easily over-estimated: it is the popular
ballad. In them the best lyric texts in any language are associated
with musical conceptions which are usually so devoid of artistic
qualities and significance, that no one at all musical would endure
them were it not for the halo cast about their imbecility by the poet's
art, which they profane.

The Scandinavian countries, and Russia, Poland, and Hungary, each with
its distinctive folk-song treasury and romantic traditions, have,
during this century, awakened to great musical activity, and each of
them has produced one or more composers who have made an impression on
art evolution.

The first named have given us Svendsen, Grieg, and Hamerik, not to
mention the artistic but less stalwart Gade, with their weird and at
times grotesque rhythms, melodic contour, and harmonies. The sensation
produced by these Scandinavian song characteristics when first brought
to the notice of the outside world, impelled these talented men to
incorporate them into their art. This was a mistake, for great music
is as broad as the universe, whereas the vein of national song is
narrow and only limitedly fruitful. Had Svendsen escaped infection from
this northern piquancy, he might possibly have fitted himself to wear
high-priestly robes, for his endowments were of the highest, and his
début as a composer was startlingly brilliant.

Russia's musical type is less pronounced than the Scandinavian. Her
producers have therefore developed on cosmopolitan lines. Tschaikowski,
who was beyond compare the most gifted composer that Russia has given
to the world, may with the passage of time be recognized as the
natural heir of our priestly line. His emotional power, clean-cut
individuality (originality), fine sense of rhythmic values and color
combinations, and his inexhaustible lyric invention place him at the
head of symphonists of his time.

An event which reflected honor on the empire of the Czar was the birth
within her borders of that giant of all pianists, Anton Rubinstein.
I speak of him as a pianist rather than as a composer, for while he
often showed the possession of uncommon creative faculties, he was too
diffuse, seldom focussed his tonal diction to such coherent strength as
would make his writings comparable with his playing.

Poland gave us Chopin, who is the one exception to the rules by which
I have endeavored to trace the successive stages of musical evolution.
All other composers have taken inherited forms and means, and have
moulded them into shapes comporting with the spirit of their individual
conceptions, and even these conceptions were to a considerable extent
reflections of their environment. Beethoven was a mighty genius, but he
did not create an art type, and was therefore not, in a broad sense,
original, whereas Chopin was radically so, his works seeming to owe
no allegiance to schools, and seldom to nationality, but only to his
poetic soul, of which they were the legitimate offspring.

His fancies are sometimes more graceful than strong; they even, now and
then, verge on the sentimental; so Chopin is not entitled to a place
among the giants, although he revolutionized composition for the piano,
and wrote some things so beautiful that they excite ever fresh wonder.
The small form seemed to best suit his spontaneous style; therefore op.
10 and op. 25, and the preludes, undoubtedly better represent Chopin's
individuality than do any other of his works.

Franz Liszt was born in Hungary, and in his less serious moments made
use of the gypsy-like rhythms, twists, and spasmodic utterance of her
national music. At other times he wrote universal music, which he made
characteristic through breathing into it his own rich individuality.
The Abbé Doctor was more fêted and less spoiled thereby than any
successful artist of modern times. He led a life of triumph from youth
to old age, and through it all preserved a simple modesty of manner,
interest in new talents and accomplishments, and an indescribable
intellectual fascination.

Nothing afforded Liszt more pleasure than to give advice to, or to
use his influence for the benefit of, talent struggling to clarify
its own conceptions, or seeking indispensable publicity. The list of
his protégés includes many who have made world records, like Raff,
Bülow, Tausig, and Wagner. But for "Meister" Liszt's early perception
of Wagner's then undeveloped genius, we should have had no sixth
high-priest to record, and no Bayreuth festivals.

America has only recently entered the lists, for the conditions
attendant upon a new civilization make artistic achievement impossible.
These conditions were emphatically bad in our land, and they yielded
reluctantly to art requirements. The religious bigotry of a large
portion of those who first came to America, seeking freedom of
conscience (for those who thought and believed as they thought and
believed), was deadly to art impulse. They looked upon any music not
set to sacred words as a frivolity that would imperil their souls, and
they exercised little judgment in selecting such music as they did use.
This narrow view of our art greatly delayed the advent of musical
intelligence, and it called a species of "psalm-smiters" into being,
who, with inappropriate adaptations of secular melodies, and worse
attempts at composition, debased both music and the services of the
church, and sapped the vitality of art tendency when it first became
manifest. America still harbors some of these vampires, but the day of
art is breaking over our land, and these creatures of darkness will
soon disappear.

Our progress was at first slow, but there have been no backward steps,
and the past fifty years have witnessed a magical advance in general
intelligence and in creative capacity.

Before closing this chapter I must return to Germany and trace some of
the subsidiary sources of her present supremacy.

The name "Robert Franz," which was years ago adopted by a timid young
musician as his _nom de plume_, was formed by combining the first
names of his ideal tone poets, Schumann and Schubert. His success was
immediate, and he soon became so identified with this name that his own
almost passed out of use. Robert Franz was a pure lyrist, and his songs
must be given place little below those of his great models. He served
to perpetuate the spirit of song, and placed the world under tribute by
his Bach researches.

Raff was a man of startling routine, and of no less astounding
inequalities in merit. Some of his symphonies are replete with sensuous
melody and fresh harmonic, contrapuntal, and instrumental color, while
others are incomprehensibly dull. "Leonora" and "Im Walde" represent
Raff at his best, and they are so strong and beautiful that they will
keep their creator's name before the musical world for many years. No
one can predict how long Raff's mastery of methods and forms will exert
a salutary influence upon composers.

Schumann was Brahms' musical god-father, and he predicted great results
from the development of his godson's talent. There is much difference
of opinion as to whether Schumann's prophecy was fulfilled, but many
capable critics are on the affirmative side. Brahms has, in one way
at least, shown the possession of absolutely great qualities,--viz.,
his productivity did not exhaust, but increased the vitality of his
conceptions. He was an artist with whom future generations will have to
do, but he was not an epoch-maker.

                               CHAPTER V
                      WAGNER AND THE MUSIC DRAMA

It is quite proper to devote a chapter to Richard Wagner, for his
later works are not only examples of the most skillful and purposeful
employment of the contrapuntal and instrumental resources which he, in
common with his contemporaries, inherited from the past, but they show
how audacious genius may safely pursue its purposes out beyond beaten
paths into unexplored regions of tonal expression.

Why may genius do this, which is so uniformly fatal to the less gifted?
It is because of its comprehensive grasp of logical sequence and its
intuitive choice of adaptable means.

Ripe genius is a definite talent which has been subjected to
exhaustive discipline, which is familiar with traditions, and takes
full cognizance of pedantic forms, but is guided by an art feeling
engendered by this knowledge, and not by the knowledge itself.

It is a law unto itself. It conceives a picture, a poem, or a musical
sentiment, and communicates it to us through means that are often as
unfamiliar as is the effect of the whole original; for it usually
avoids the ruts of travelled ways, its clear view of the objective goal
enabling it to follow the less frequented stream-side or mountain-top

Wagner was, in the last thirty years of his life, a ripe genius. He was
the sixth of our musical high-priests, and he filled the art temple
with a characteristic song incense which will pervade its atmosphere as
long as human passions continue to furnish art impulse.

There is a class of pedants who still take satisfaction in calling
Wagner's music artificial; but these short-sighted critics cannot or
will not properly survey the field of his activity and its fruits. No
human mind could, unless impelled by natural, sequential feeling and
virile imagination, write even one of his later dramas without manifold
exhibitions of weakness in redundancies and lapses in significance.
The fact that Wagner's works, from the "Meistersinger" on, show few,
if any, such barren moments, adequately evidences their natural growth
from musical germs.

A great creator always incites a large number of lesser lights to
imitate his methods, but few of them do so successfully. Wagner is not,
however, answerable for the vague effects of his dramatic means, when
they are transplanted into Wagnerish overtures and symphonic poems. He
evolved situations that made these means legitimate and significant;
isolated, they fall into bizarre artificiality. Although we cannot fail
to be influenced by the elements which Wagner added to tonal resources,
they, like all other elements, must be applied because most adaptable
to the development of the musical scheme in hand, and not because of
their newness.

"A prophet is not without honor save in his own country." This was
strikingly exemplified by the attitude of professional Leipzig towards
Wagner during the earlier stages of his career. Leipzig was at that
time regarded by the outlying world as the musical centre of the
universe, a Mecca with a magic balm, dispensed by a priesthood whose
Mahomet was Mendelssohn.

The town had been a prominent seat of learning since the first part
of the fifteenth century, had possessed Bach as cantor of its
"St. Thomas' school," had for a long series of years maintained
its "Gewandhaus" concerts, and was the greatest of all book- and
music-selling marts.

These circumstances combined to make Leipzig stand out in bold relief
on the world's map, but it required Mendelssohn's magnetism to make its
attractions irresistible.

The Conservatory faculty of those days included all the most prominent
musicians domiciled in Leipzig, for the town was too small to furnish
adherents for such contra-minded parties or factions as exist in
larger cities. Mendelssohn had enlisted his forces with well-directed
regard for harmony, but their creed, although properly placing Bach
as the corner-stone of musical faith, was too narrow in its tenets
to admit those to communion whose fancy led them outside the pale of
traditional forms. They were even lukewarm towards Schumann, who
had lived among them, had created a period,[A] and had contributed
treasures to musical literature so luminous with genius that, as
the mists of prejudice clear away, they will eclipse forever all
contemporaneous productions in the various forms which they followed.
The rugged boldness of originality was in the esteem of the Leipzig
pedagogue but an exhibition of crude ignorance. Those who could not or
would not recognize Schumann's great throbbing heart in his writings,
because he, in expressing his individuality, did not always follow
prescribed formulæ, would naturally have rejected Wagner, for his
earlier works were not cast in classic moulds.

[A] Composers who originate forms or methods that recommend themselves
to the musical world because they voice recognizable advance in art
expression, create periods. Mendelssohn was in his more earnest moods a
modernized Bach. He did not originate forms, but adapted those of his
great ideal to our nineteenth century habits of thought and feeling. He
did this inimitably, but he was more finished than forceful or bold,
and his impress on art was consequently not deep, although extremely

Those of Wagner's creations which had been before the public previous
to 1860 were characterized by few departures from Weber and Meyerbeer
in scheme. Wagnerian harmonies were, however, too strong for the
Leipzig critic, but the public flocked to hear them, and was pleased.

Original ideas often find first recognition among the non-professional,
because musical leaders are so saturated with pedantry that sparks of
genius cannot quickly kindle them to enthusiasm.

In 1862 the Gewandhaus directors made a great concession; they invited
Richard Wagner to conduct his "Tannhäuser Overture" at one of their
concerts. This was a fatal mistake, for his triumph was complete,
and their influence as opponents of the "music of the future" was
correspondingly weakened. I have discussed Leipzig at such length,
not because it was Wagner's birthplace, but because from this town,
with all its intolerance and smallness, started the only short road to
success. Leipzig's endorsement was a universally accepted voucher.

Wagner had found this direct path barred, and his wanderings in
surmounting or circumventing obstacles lasted for a long series of
years, but his faith remained steadfast, and he reached the goal of
his ambition a far stronger man because of the difficulties he had
overcome. His appearance at the Gewandhaus was only a station on his
course to already assured success, and not his starting-point.

Wagner found opera a succession of solo, ensemble, and chorus pieces,
strung upon plots often too slender to give them coherence.

Texts had been made subservient to music, and that, in turn, to the
singer's convenience and ambition for display. Operas were written as
early as the thirteenth century, but Cherubini was the first Italian,
and Gluck the first German, to produce works that have survived.
Cherubini was followed by Rossini, a man of genius, but too indolent
to fully develop his gifts. Had his beautiful sensuous melodies been
put into richer settings, had more earnest thought been added to his
spontaneity, his operas would have taken their places among the undying

Flashes of genius ultimately tire. It is the steady light of genius,
fed by knowledge and earnestness (as in Beethoven, Schubert, and
Schumann), that can hold the world's attention restfully, which means

Bellini, with "Norma" and "Sonnambula," and Donizetti, with "Lucia di
Lammermoor" and "Lucretia Borgia," still hold a place on the operatic
stage, but their grasp is weakening. Verdi was the best equipped of all
Italian opera composers, and his "Trovatore," with it rare gems, will
crown his memory to the end of musical time. His later works, "Aida,"
"Othello," and "Falstaff," written under the influence of the Wagner
period, are quite different from his earlier operas in instrumentation
and in treatment of themes. In them he is more logical and stronger,
but less sensuous. They furnish the first instances of Italian music
dressed in foreign garb; of Italian music written under pressure from
without. It has until recently been Italy's province to shed influence
over the musical world. I construe Verdi's concessions to Wagner as
the strongest possible endorsement of the latter's ideas. No other
composer was in position to pay such tribute to Wagner's forceful and
far-reaching art sense.

The Italian composers of the new school are musical brigands, who for a
brief space succeeded in taking tribute from the musical world. Their
leader, Mascagni, made such a sensational raid with his "Cavalleria
Rusticana" that young Italy jumped into the breach he made, and
evidently thought to take possession of our temple, regardless of their
lack of equipment and discipline. Although but few years have elapsed
since this assault on art, its episodes have already been relegated to
the realm of disturbing memories.

"Cavalleria Rusticana," the first and best of its class, has some
merits; it is short, melodious, and dramatic, but its melodies are
often sentimental, and its dramatic points are usually made through the
audacious employment of crude means. The direct influence of this work
and its reception, conspired for harm to art.

Gluck was a Teuton, and although educated in Italy and adopted by
France, can with propriety be called the father of German opera.
His "Iphigenia in Tauris" and "Orpheus and Eurydice" will always
be regarded as classic models of lyric writing. Gluck's schemes
differed little from those of the Italian school, but his harmonic and
instrumental methods were German.

Mozart was a phenomenal combination of inconsistencies. His routine and
creative genius were of the highest order, his spontaneity and finish
make his music delightful alike to amateurs and musicians, but he
seldom seems to take matters seriously. "Don Juan," the "Requiem," and
his string quartets are exceptions, for in these he is earnest and does
his genius full justice.

Beethoven gave us "Fidelio." He was equally endowed with Mozart, but
was actuated in what he did by earnest, deep feeling. "Fidelio,"
although built on the old and now discarded lines, will only take
second place (musically) when some genius arises capable of writing
symphonies to supersede Beethoven's nine. In "Fidelio" we still have
the string of well-defined pieces, but they are rich in harmonization
and polyphony.

Weber made a great impression on opera. His audacious use of the
orchestra and of modulation, opened up new fields of possibility, and
there is a doubt as to whether modern German opera would have become
what it is, had Weber not lived. He was gifted with an inexhaustible
store of melody, was equal to all dramatic situations, however
exacting, and could court popular favor without belittling his art,--a
very rare quality. Weber was at first Wagner's model, and "Rienzi" and
"Der Fliegende Holländer" bear a distinct Weber impress.

Meyerbeer was a German, but early adopted Italian methods. He was an
excellent business man, possessed ample means, and therefore secured
deserved recognition early in his career, instead of having lived
almost a life of deferred hopes, as is usually the good musician's
lot. Meyerbeer is melodious, and is often dramatic, but unlike Weber,
sometimes belittles his art in catering to public tastes. His pageant
and ballet music are the most characteristic and impressive features of
his operas.

Wagner expressed contempt for Meyerbeer, but evidently recognized the
grandeur of the operatic pageantry of which he was the creator. We see
evidences of this phase of Meyerbeer's influence until we pass the
"Lohengrin" stage.

Many other good operas were produced during the first half of this
century, but as they were not potential factors in operatic evolution,
I shall mention them only in passing.

Adam wrote "Postillion;" Auber, "Fra Diavolo," "Die Stumme von
Portici," etc.; Flotow, "Martha" and "Alessandro Stradella;"
Hérold, "Zampa;" Kreutzer, "Nachtlager von Granada;" Lortzing, "Der
Waffenschmied," "Der Czar und Zimmermann," etc; Marschner, "Hans
Heiling," "Der Templer und die Jüdin," and "Der Vampyre;" Nicolai, "The
Merry Wives;" Spohr, "Jessonda" and "Faust," and Schumann, "Genoveva."
All of these operas are still given at least occasionally, and most of
them are excellent musical compositions.

The situation at the time when Wagner first manifested a defined
tendency towards the music drama was as follows: Gluck had given the
world his two great works, and they, together with "Fidelio," "Don
Juan," "The Magic Flute," "The Marriage of Figaro," "Der Freischutz,"
and "Oberon" of the German, and "Trovatore," "William Tell," "Norma,"
"Lucia di Lammermoor," "La Sonnambula," "Robert le Diable," "Der
Prophet," and "Die Hugenotten" of the Italian, were the most prominent
and best examples of operatic writing.

Although the first steps towards the emancipation of opera from
inconsistencies were the result of conditions rather than of
premeditation, Wagner had sufficient genius to appreciate the power
inherent in logical sequence: a power which, when compared with that
resulting from eccentric modes, is as the progress of the ages to
that of a leaf borne by the wind. Logical sequence moves onward with
irresistible momentum, whereas fragmentary diction is blown about by
every wind of caprice.

The condition which most influenced Wagner's conceptions was his
relation as poet to his musical undertakings. He was in each instance
first poet and then composer, and nothing could have been more natural
than his early evinced disposition to guard his texts from distorted,
disconnected renderings. This disposition grew, as through experience
his grasp became more and more comprehensive. There were no backward
steps in his career. It was like his schemes,--consequent,--advancing
unwaveringly from inception to full realization in "Parsifal" and
"Tristan und Isolde."

Wagner had courage adequate to sustain him in following his
conceptions through ridicule, want, and almost utter friendlessness.
No discouragement could divert him from the even tenor of his chosen
course. His early operas, although their texts were treated with
unwonted respect, gave little intimation of the revolution which was
to be accomplished by their author, and it is extremely doubtful
whether Wagner at this period had a shadowy conception even of that
later ideal, which time and experience developed, in which music and
the pictorial element were not only to collaborate with, but were to
reproduce the situations and sentiments of his poems.

This kind of tone painting, in which the composer endeavors to endow
his musical phrases with definite significance, is justifiable and
effective when they are so closely associated in performance with the
motive text as to derive directness from its more tangible character.
Such efforts must not be classed with so-called program music.

"Der Fliegende Holländer", "Rienzi," and "Tannhäuser" might have
been produced through the co-operation of Weber and Meyerbeer, with
Wagner's individuality as a flavor. In them the voices are given
melodies in clear-cut form, and they contain pompous Meyerbeerisms
almost approaching the bizarre. This Wagner flavor, which consisted
largely of a disregard of harmonic laws and key relationships, as
dictated by the pedantic school, caught the public, but it aroused the
violent opposition of older musicians. They denounced Wagner as a crazy
ignoramus and his operas as abominations.

Viewed from a theoretical stand-point, there was that in Wagner's
earlier works which in a measure justified his critics. He was not a
good contrapuntist, and he consequently violated tenets of musical
structure when conformity would have been more adequate.

The relations borne by plastic musical diction to the elementary rules
of tonal science are so little understood, and a clear understanding of
these relations is so important, that I feel justified in reiterating
in different form what was said in a former chapter,--viz., that
musical theory as a whole is but the codification of nature's
adjustments. Extraordinary requirements license exceptional means and
modes, but when composers abandon the letter of musical tenets and
substitute therefor the higher law of compensation, they enter upon
a field in which pitfalls abound, and through which nothing but keen
judgment, founded upon experienced erudition, can safely guide them.

This law of compensation allows us to disregard elementary laws, when
the nature of the situation in hand is such as to warrant and reconcile
our musical sense to combinations or successions, which would without
this justification sound crude and faulty. The habit of what is called
free writing is most pernicious, for compensation must legitimize each
irregularity or we lapse into incoherency.

Wagner was a firm, but an equally thoughtful man, and while apparently
undisturbed by the cyclone of criticism evoked by his compositions,
saw his vulnerable points, and at once set about fortifying them.
He studied counterpoint exhaustively, taking Bach as his model, and
memorizing many of that master's most characteristic works. He then
gave the world "Die Meistersinger" as the fruit of his labor, and
therewith forever silenced honest cavillers who had based their adverse
criticisms on his ignorance, for that work is a sublime example of
contrapuntal virtuosity, and it marks the beginning of a new era in
Wagner's development as a musician. His orchestral settings having
kept pace with his musical growth, had ripened, had become tempered,
consequently "Die Meistersinger" is one of the most beautiful
compositions of any time, and in it we have the clear announcement of
the new dispensation.

There have been tons of literature printed, having as subjects "The
Music of the Future," "Wagner," and "The Music-drama," some of the
authors of which have been properly equipped (good musicians and
liberally educated men), but more have been literary scavengers. The
former class, having been on a war footing ever since Wagner became
a bone of contention, are only just now beginning to discuss his
creations dispassionately. Most of them were quite naturally arrayed
against Wagner, for the most pungent flavor of the educated critic's
writing is pedantry. He prefers traditions without originality to
originality which does nor conform to traditions.

Wagner's first works almost paralyzed these gentlemen, and they were
a long time forgetting and forgiving the shock. Their criticisms were
terribly acrid, but, as I have before mentioned, were instrumental in
creating the music-drama, inasmuch as through pointing out veritable
faults and weaknesses they led Wagner to broaden his scholarship. These
critics find it hard to lay down their arms, although the battle is
over, and Wagner died in full possession of the field. The few who were
from the outset in sympathy with Wagner were quite as intemperate in
their laudations as were his opponents in their strictures. They were
blind idolaters, and Wagner was their musical "golden calf."

The essence of the creed upon which the new dispensation is based
is logical consistency. Poetry, music, and "stage business" are by
it required to co-operate in expressing sentiments and in carrying
the threads of dramatic schemes. Each of these arts is entirely
essential to Wagner's creations. His texts are statues, which music,
stage-setting, and action imbue with life. For this reason no one can
hope to follow Wagner intelligently who starts without having made
himself conversant with his poems. His later texts are heroic epics
of no mean order. Their adaptability and musical suggestiveness are
phenomenal. They could have been produced only by a musician-poet who
had his completed pictures in view while writing them.

They contain a vast amount of a species of word-painting,--viz., the
use of words the very sounds of which are expressive. I remember well
the hilarity caused among the anti-Wagnerites by the "Nibelungen" text,
which was published some years before the operas were performed.
Satires and parodies were written; Wagner was described wooing his muse
arrayed in fanciful vestments suiting the character of the subject
under treatment. That was a happy time for his opponents. Opera texts
that were not sentimental lyrics were incomprehensible. The "Call of
the Walküre" was to them the climax of inanity; but those who have
heard its musical setting will readily understand how its performance
hushed these scoffers into respectful silence. I mention this "call"
because most musical persons have heard it, and wondered at its

Wagner bestowed the utmost care upon each and every task which
he undertook; his effects are, therefore, less accidental than
those of any other composer. He was in the habit of making three
manuscripts,--viz., a sketch in which the outlines of form and
character were defined, then a score in which contrapuntal and
instrumental material were developed, and, lastly, a manuscript in
which, after ample weighing and filing, each detail of dynamic marking,
etc., was not approximately but precisely indicated. A Wagnerian
crescendo or decrescendo must begin and end with the notes and dynamic
force prescribed by the master, or we miss the full realization of
his pictures. In securing instrumental color he was liable to mark
the various parts played together differently, ranging from forte
to pianissimo, according to the combination and registers of the
instruments employed.

Wagner left little or nothing to the conductor's discretion.
Nevertheless, there are few who have the keen, delicate perception
requisite to understanding his aims, and still fewer who have it in
their power to so control their forces as to secure their fulfilment.

We will now look at some of Wagner's methods of musical treatment.
In the first place, we find the Overture replaced by the Vorspiel
(prelude or introduction). The former, in its independent completeness,
complying more or less with the exactions of the sonate form, was
quite in place when operas consisted of detached pieces; whereas
the "Vorspiel," which is analogous to the dramatic prologue, is
better adapted to the newer form. It is composed of, or at least it
introduces, the pivotal themes of the drama which it precedes. In the
prelude to "Parsifal," which begins with the _communion_ theme, Wagner
has accorded to it, and to the _grail_ and _faith_ motives, places of
honor. They are, indeed, the foundation upon which the whole drama
rests, and are the keys to its situations. We find the traditional
closing form (Coda) conspicuous by absence, the prelude leading up to
and closing in the opening tones of the first act. This omission is
grateful, for all careful musical listeners must have been disturbed
time and again by the long-drawn, fanfare effects that custom has
placed at the end of musical pieces. They are relics of barbarism to
which even Beethoven's genius could not impart logical significance.
The composer who, having finished the development of his themes, having
said what he had to say, appends a closing form composed of either new
material or of old inconsequently presented, sacrifices symmetry and
vital force.

If custom required poets to attach Hallelujah-Hosanna verses to their
finished poems, the result would not be intrinsically more incongruous
than that produced by the average musical coda. A piece of music should
end roundly, with a peroration, but this peroration must be adapted
to the character and length of that which has preceded it, must grow
out of the themes from which the piece has been developed, and form an
integral part of the whole. The oft-mentioned intangibility of our art
seems to induce timidity among her devotees, and unfortunately this
timidity is often greatest among those who are best fitted to introduce

We will next consider the vocal treatments of Wagner's texts. Following
his course from the beginning, we find the singer's parts grow less
and less melodic, but the listener, if not the singer, has more than
adequate compensation for this loss of lyric quality in the dramatic
power gained. Reverting to our simile of the statue, the stage setting
and orchestra provide an atmosphere, and the singer breathes into the
text the breath which launches it into life.

In his later dramas Wagner makes the vocal parts purely musical
declamation. He endeavors to, and usually succeeds in intensifying
the elocutionary effects through changes of pitch and expressive
rhythm, but gives the singer's convenience and voice limitations
little attention. The singer's parts are, therefore, very difficult to
learn and exhausting to sing, and they afford so little opportunity
for display that only a love of art, strongly flavored with
self-abnegation, could induce singers to attempt them.

My study of Wagner's works has greatly increased my respect for
the intellects of Wagnerian singers. Any man or woman who can sing
a leading part in one of the music-dramas acceptably, must have
been endowed with strong throat and lungs, and must have acquired a
faultless vocal method.

It is almost needless to say that the texts are set without any of
those old-time illogical repetitions in which composers indulged, in
order that happy thoughts--good musical episodes--might be amplified.
Wagner never lost sight of his central idea, and made everything bend
to its fullest realization.

His orchestra does not accompany, in the common acceptation of that
term, but sings into its many-voiced melody the sentiments and moods
suggested by the text. The principal means used in the attainment of
this end is the "Leit Motif." Its auxiliaries are the countless shades
of harmonic and instrumental color which Wagner commanded.

These "Leit Motifs" (leading and characteristic themes) constituted
Wagner's vocabulary. They expressed to him personalities, moods, or
sentiments, as the case required, and they were consequently chosen
to impersonate these in his schemes. They sometimes consist of a
few tones, and again of phrases. They appear in varied forms to suit
changing conditions, but their impersonations are only made clearer
through their elastic adaptability. These themes seldom appear in
the vocal parts, but Wagner makes them, through adaptation and
instrumentation, express each shade, from sunlight to storm, from love,
trust, and worship, to wrath, fear, and hate, and in this way follows
his text on parallel lines,--music by the side of and reinforcing

Wagner's demands on the stage-carpenter and scene-painter are so great
that none but large theatres with ample means can properly realize his
ideas of pictorial illustration. He possessed remarkable talent for
inventing scenic effects, and disregarded cost.

Wagner originated the idea of having the stage overshoot the space
allotted to the orchestra, the effect of which has been good in
most instances where applied. It has two advantages over the common
placing,--viz., it brings the singer nearer his audience, which
facilitates his task of making himself understood, and it has a
grateful tendency to suppress obstreperous brass, who have a way, when
placed in front of the stage, of making singers forgotten. I have seen
singers struggle with tense muscles and swelling veins to make a vocal
climax with no other result than an heroic spectacle.

When a conductor allows his brass to bury the more modest elements
of his orchestra under their clangor, he shows incapacity,--either a
lack of control or a coarse conception of their mission,--and as this
incapacity is quite common, any mechanical device which will insure
moderation on the part of our assertive friends who play the trumpets
and trombones is worthy of commendation.

Now let us see what can be done towards putting ourselves still more
closely in sympathy with the master, and to better prepare ourselves to
follow his creations intelligently. Following intelligently does not
imply merely the recognition of episodes of especial significance or
beauty, but much more: it implies the loss of no contributive detail
and an easy grasp of the combined means.

Exhaustive study alone can make this possible. Its importance must
serve to excuse my reverting to the subject of texts. One should
never take a book into an opera-house, but should make it superfluous
through earnest and repeated readings at home. We should at least so
familiarize ourselves with the text of works worthy of hearing, that
we can anticipate situations and keep in touch with each and every
detail of action and shade of meaning. This having been accomplished,
and having made ourselves acquainted with the more important Leit
Motifs, we shall be intellectually equipped to follow the master in the
development of his music-drama on the lines and through the methods we
have considered.

I do not wish to claim that the most favorable conditions would enable
us to fully understand intentions, or to discover all points of beauty
and strength in one hearing; our study should, however, have placed
us quite inside the cold curiosity line. We would be entitled to a
creative sense akin to that felt by a co-worker: our natures would have
been made acoustically receptive and responsive.

                              CHAPTER VI

For reasons inherent both in music itself and in man's sluggish and
prejudiced perceptions, really great composers have usually to wait
longer for recognition than do those of mediocre capacities. Music
that is worthy of consideration is as individual as its composer's
features or his unconscious habits. It is a tonal utterance of his most
intimate nature, an inarticulate but clear expression of his strongest
emotions,--a shadow-picture of his very soul. The more intense the
nature, the stronger the emotions; and the deeper the soul of the
composer, the less quickly can we apprehend the full import of his
writings, for they are characteristic of him and foreign to us. Each
period-maker adds so much to art resources and so materially modifies
art methods, that he may be said to originate a musical dialect, with
which our ears and minds have to become familiar before his poetic
schemes can assume for us sustained and clear significance.

Because of this alien character of pronounced originality,
high-priestly honors are usually posthumous, for they are bestowed
only upon those who have convinced the musical world of their fitness
through the life-long, patient, and intelligent use of supreme
endowments. It is the musical world only that has the power to confer
high-priestly honors, for that office is not at the disposal of
composers' friends or adherents, nor of parties or clans. One must
have gained universal recognition as a beneficent and radically new
factor in art in order to secure the requisite suffrages, and that
requires so much time that but two of our six high-priests lived to
realize the honor. Even Beethoven did not live to feel full assurance
of immortality, but Wagner did. He knew that his innovations had
been accepted by the world, that his achievements broadened the
foundations of art and opened new channels for musical thought, that
his individuality shone brightly across the broad sea of modern
culture, a "beacon-light" of resplendent brightness, and that he was
a period-maker, whose impress upon art was too deep to wear away, for
he was a musician who abated not one jot or tittle of that which he
thought was art's due.

This working throughout life for posthumous honors is not so depressing
as it would seem at first glance, for any man, however modest, if
blessed with supreme endowments, must feel his power, and be buoyed up
by the certainty of ultimate recognition. The art love, steadfastness,
ambition, individuality, and imagination of truly great men are proof
against the struggles and discouragements of the artist's existence.

Time is then our final tribunal, the only adjuster of musical values
who makes no errors in judgment. The individual judge gauges the
merits of contemporaneous composers, guided by his or her personal
impressions. Time gathers composite impressions made upon races of
music-lovers during decades, and her verdicts, based upon these
impressions, are final. We are sometimes nonplussed, and even
rebellious, when the success of our favorite composer, or of some
especially sympathetic piece of music, proves ephemeral, but the
fittest always survives, and the fittest is the composer or work
which, in addition to the indispensable technical and æsthetic
qualities, is pervaded by the richest vein of altruistic individuality.

If time be our final tribunal, then professional critics are the
advocates who present the claims of artists at the bar of her court.
These advocates differ widely in ability and in character. A few of
them have great learning, acute perceptions, and honesty; they will
advocate no cause that is prejudicial to the interests of art, our muse
having, as it were, endowed them with a super-retainer. Such advocacy
embodies the highest and best of which the limitations of individuality
admit. From this ideal standard professional critics grade downward
until they reach assertive, prejudiced, and sometimes malicious
ignorance. In passing down the scale we first find capacity without
the essential confidence in convictions (timid ability is always a
weak factor in adjusting affairs, whether artistic or material), then
honesty and good-will unsupported by capacity, then capacity biassed by
prejudice or self-interest, and last and worst, the pettifogger. These
classes show arrogance, and attract attention (temporarily) in inverse
ratio to their abilities. If we scan the history of our tribunal, we
find that the more assertive the advocate the smaller his sphere of

The great public is the jury in this court, and its decisions, although
ultimately wise and just, are always so delayed by the babel of pleas
that dins in its ears, that I feel justified in devoting a little space
to these "moulders of opinion," and to facilitate my purpose will use
a simile drawn from nature, which is less whimsical and more reliable
than man.

Music is like a sensitive plant,--it flourishes only when each and
every condition is favorable to its growth. For this reason those
who find pleasure, edification, and comfort in its subtle qualities
should imitate the skilled gardener in his watchful and discriminating
culture of flowers. A professional gardener is to horticulture what a
critic should be to art. Each is supposed to bring trained faculties to
his task, but the gardener, familiar with the principles that govern
flower growth, studies the natures of his germs, and then adapts soil,
temperature, etc., to the requirements of each. He thus starts out with
one material advantage over his art _confrère_, in that his experience
enables him to recognize the genera of his germs and to anticipate
results. He deals with seeds, roots, slips, and bulbs; the art critic
with the mysteries of individuality, of which he most often judges from
the impressions made upon his susceptibilities by a momentary contact
of its outward manifestations. These manifestations are seldom full and
trustworthy indexes of creative capacity, especially in the cases of
young composers, because of the unfavorable conditions that so often
attend upon their development and presentation.

Communities are gardens in which music thrives, barely exists (the
most common condition), or entirely fails to take root. Propagation is
the crucial test of vitalizing qualities. A community that can produce
new varieties, really audacious talents, must possess a high degree of
fertility. The composers to be found living and creating in any given
place are therefore reflections of their musical environment, for the
faculties of musical organisms are more sensitive even than music
itself. Transplanted music will continue to exist under conditions that
afford no incitement to earnest creation, nor the elements from which
virility may be drawn. Beethoven's works interest communities in which
his faculties would have remained latent.

The legitimate functions of criticism are to seek out and to nurture
true talent and to guide public discrimination in its initial judgment.
Critics and reviewers are experts to whose expressed opinions the
printing-press imparts degrees of convincing power not always
comportable with their merit, and spreads them broadcast for good or
ill. Printed criticism, because of this cogent quality, and because
it appeals, and may repeatedly appeal,--being in fixed form,--to so
broad a radius of intelligence, should be the most powerful as well as
the most active agency in creating the conditions essential to musical
growth; but a careful review of the past and present relations of
criticism to art culture would, to my mind, convince any unbiassed
thinker that the decision of our court had been delayed and not
facilitated by the average advocate, and that the productivity of our
garden had never been increased by the ministrations of professional

Nevertheless, printed criticism has a momentary influence. We do
not necessarily surrender when confronted by criticisms at variance
with our own ideas, but the undue weight with which printed matter
is endowed often causes even expert opinion to waver, protest to the
contrary as it may.

Printed news is not always authentic, nor are printed opinions on
finance, political economy, sports, weather, etc., infallible, although
usually written by specialists; but these matters, being material,
adjust themselves, and their editorial short-comings seldom do
irreparable harm; whereas our sensitive art, the elements of which are
emotional, and the supersensitive organisms which are blessed with art
productivity, are less capable of recovering from the shock incident to
misconception and misrepresentation.

Wagner was unique in this respect, for he endured years of calumny
and injustice without flinching. His nature was dual, as if his art
instinct had been grafted into an heroic character, like a noble oak,
from which it drew vitality, and whose wide-spread roots imparted
stability to its convictions without infusing into them any other
suggestion of its stern elements. Were all talented composers as firmly
rooted as Wagner, there would be less reason for protesting against
ignorance and carelessness in print.

The second question propounded in the headlines of this chapter can
be discreetly considered, but it can receive no conclusive answer
until time's verdict is rendered. We can weigh the impressions made
upon our individual susceptibilities by the qualities of the more
prominent candidates for high-priestly honors, and compare these with
like individual conceptions of ideal attributes, but the result of
our speculations must necessarily partake more of the character of a
weather-vane, subject to the caprice of changing conditions, than of a
finger-post, giving reliable direction to our anticipations.

Of all the composers of recent times, Brahms attracted the largest
following of musicians, and with right, for the volume of his worthy
creations is larger than that produced by any of his contemporaries. He
wrote a vast number of songs, ensemble pieces for a great variety of
instrumental combinations, accompanied and unaccompanied piano-forte
pieces, and symphonies, overtures, etc., for the grand orchestra.
His work is usually characterized by rich harmonies, melodic
voice-leading, transparent form, and a varying amount of spontaneity
that at times fails to conceal evident effort. This effort makes itself
felt in peculiar and even grotesque harmonic successions and rhythms,
and it is traceable through all periods of his career. These, which
to me are forced methods, are the only features that individualize
Brahms' music. He is greatest when self-forgetful, and these unnatural
features bespeak self-consciousness. Schumann, who was, as I said in
a previous chapter, Brahms' musical god-father, was a genius with a
clearly defined individuality, the complete and natural expression
of which obliged him to invent means to supplement those that he had
inherited from his predecessors. These invented means were peculiar
harmonic compounds and erratic accents. Schumann usually employed
these devices with grateful results; for he makes us feel that they are
essential to the development of full significance in his tonal schemes.
Genius has a magical power over resources and modes, often transforming
eccentricities into felicitous, expressive means, and endowing that
which would be chaotic in other hands with logical import.

Brahms seems to have been dazzled by these extreme manifestations
of his great prototype's individuality. He not only adopted, but
exaggerated these, and made them the distinguishing features of his
style. He was a masterly contrapuntist, had a clear sense of form,
handled the orchestra well, although he never exhausted its resources,
and was always a logical thinker. His skill in the treatment of themes
was so astounding that he often imparted significance to trivial
motives (_vide_ the "Academic Overture" and his sets of variations),
but he was not a great initial inventor (an originator of pregnant
themes) nor was he a resourceful colorist.

As I said before, Brahms was greatest when self-forgetful, for at such
times the artificial element dropped out of his diction and he became
a masterful musician, possessed of all the qualities but one that have
characterized our priestly line. This missing quality is to my mind the
most essential of all,--viz., a natural, distinguishing, and pervading

Tschaikowski received brief mention while we were considering Russia's
services to art in the fourth chapter. Because of Russia's half-closed
door her art has, until recent times, been very much isolated. For
this reason Tschaikowski's claims have not even now been fully laid
before our tribunal. It is a peculiar but characteristic circumstance
that America anticipated Europe by several years in her knowledge and
appreciation of this great creator. America is constantly eager for
novelty, and has not learned to seek it at home; Germany, and in a less
degree the other European countries, feel complacency in their own
achievements, and corresponding distrust and intolerance of foreign

It was but six years ago that Germany was made aware of the fact that
a great genius had lived, created, and died outside of her sphere
of direct influence, and almost without her knowledge. Tschaikowski
had naturally been known in a way to well-read German musicians, but
it required such a blow as was struck by Professor Leopold Auer to
draw from our tocsin a peal sufficiently vibrant to penetrate to the
farthermost confines of the musical world and to herald the coming of a
new hero. Never was an act of justice and love more conscientiously and
adequately accomplished. Auer showed rare judgment in the selection
of his programme. His evident desire was to display as many features
of Tschaikowski's versatile genius as possible. He therefore chose
the scholarly second, instead of the more assertively emotional sixth
symphony. The violin concert, the "Nutcracker" suite, and the symphonic
poem "Francesca da Rimini" followed. I know of no other composer of any
time whose works could furnish an equal variety of defined moods, each
bearing the unmistakable stamp of his individuality.

Professor Auer conducted the orchestral works and played the concerto
with a skill which drew its inspiration from the reverent memory of
his lost friend. His exaltation infected the orchestral players, and
finally the audience, making the evening memorable, and sending out
waves of enthusiasm that have carried Tschaikowski's name and music to
the remotest corners of the musical world.

In my previous mention of Tschaikowski I accorded him virtues that
"place him at the head of symphonists of his time." He had, however,
two frailties, one of which more or less pervades his works, while
the other shows itself but seldom. The former is a too great fealty
to his themes as at first announced, and the latter is an occasional
tendency to be melodramatic. Plastic compositions must be true to the
spirit, but not to the initial form of their themes, for pregnant
themes possess many phases of suggestiveness, and the more of these
phases a composer feels and displays, the richer the homogeneity of his

Were it not for these slight weaknesses in Tschaikowski's work I should
not hesitate to predict that time would make him her choice for our
seventh high-priest, and he may win the honor in spite of them, for
his great qualities are overpowering.

There are no known candidates who are worthy of comparison with these
two giants, Brahms and Tschaikowski, one mechanically and the other
emotionally musical.

                              CHAPTER VII

Although some of the attributes of our art have received repeated
mention in previous chapters, I feel that a short summary of their
distinguishing qualities might serve to throw the outlines of my sketch
into clearer relief. I shall seek this background without resorting to
technical analysis.

Before undertaking this task I should like to emphasize the
oft-announced fact that music is a thing apart. It, like language and
the other arts, follows lines that lead from individuality to outside
intelligence. In the case of music, these lines start in the innermost
recess of the composer's emotional nature, and connecting with lines
that lead through our intellects into the equally secret chambers of
our natures, bring to us sentiments intelligible, but too intimate to
endure analysis.

Civilized nations have long associated rhythms and moods,--_i.e._,
a marked four-quarter measure has always been characteristic of the
march, etc., but rhythm, although it is music's heart-pulsation, is
only the metre for musical thought.

Scientists teach us that certain sounds are adapted to conjunctive use
as chords because of the mathematical relation existing between the
vibrations, of which they are the audible results. They go on from this
beginning through the gamut of musical learning, and close without
having given us a key to interpretation; so music is, and must remain,
an untranslatable language of the soul, producing effects and inducing
emotions, using the intellect as a medium only.

Dr. Oliver Wendell Holmes said, "Music which is translatable is
necessarily of a low order." This sentiment is true, and it voices
a fine sense of music's nature and limitations, remarkable in a
layman, for there exists a disposition to pull the creations of the
great masters down to earth, and to make them tell tales of earthly

Music's purity, strength, and beauty are always sacrificed through
attempts to materialize it, for great music results from the natural
development and the felicitous expression of characteristic musical
thought, and not in the ingenious tonal illustrations of scenes or
sentiments, which have been, or might better be, expressed in words,
because of their material character.

Pure, complete conceptions cannot take form in other than sensitive
natures; sensitive to the influences of life's surroundings, receiving
impressions from the bird's song, the flower's perfume, the storm's
might, the mountain's grandeur, the rippling stream, the peaceful
valley, and filled, at least for the time, with love for God and man;
nor could such conceptions pass to expression through intellects
that had not been tempered, refined, and broadened to grasp all the
resources that tonal science offers.

It is in artificial music only,--born of purpose and not of
inspiration,--or in the work of unripe musicians, that science obtrudes
itself. In other words, when the means are noticeable, they have
either been unskillfully employed, or the composer has been actuated
by the ambition to display scholarly qualities regardless of æsthetic

How often we hear works in which any possible sparks of sensibility
and spontaneity have been smothered beneath loads of counterpoint and
thematic development, which are devoid of significance because not
evolved in logical sequence! Drawing and anatomy are to painting and
sculpture, and grammar, rhetoric, and metre are to poetry, what musical
science is to musical art, inasmuch as in each the capacity to produce,
or to appreciate what others have produced, is largely proportioned to
one's knowledge of these structural laws.

Temperament, natural endowments, culture, and habit play such important
rôles in creating individual conceptions of beauty that we can only
consider as our criterion the judgment of people existing in our own

The first essential of beauty is symmetry. A rose cannot be beautiful
unless gracefully formed and poised. The Creator's hand may have
tinted it incomparably, may have distilled the daintiest fragrance for
its portion, but these will avail naught if it has inherited ungraceful
proportions, or if the world has distorted it during its period of

As the rose requires color and perfume to perfect its charms, so each
animate and inanimate creation in this world requires its suitable
accessories to symmetry.

According to our standard, woman should have a lithe, plastic form,
with fluctuating color and an all-pervading fragrance of intellectual
modesty; whereas man should have a sinewy form, bold and strong,
the color of perfect health, and the fragrance of intellectual
fearlessness. Each must possess clearly defined individuality.

God's creations are never exact duplicates, and still we have numerous
beautiful roses and women and Apollo-like men, each with appropriate
attributes, and each satisfying the æsthetic taste of some one person
or class of persons, because of the affinity to that object of the
personal ideal which was implanted in this person or these persons by
God, and which has been nurtured by conditions of life.

As in everything else that lays claim to beauty, so in music, symmetry
must underlie all other attributes. The laws regulating musical
symmetry are so rigid, when viewed from one stand-point, and are
so elastic when viewed from another and higher, that it is not at
all strange that young composers stand aghast when they reach the
neutral point of receptivity from which these apparently contradictory
conditions first manifest themselves. But these conditions are
not really contradictory, for prescribed form is but a properly
proportioned and adjusted skeleton, an outlining framework, subject to
such modifications as will adapt it to the character of our schemes.
These modifications must not, however, involve the use of eccentric
lines, or the omission of essential members of the body musical, for
such action would result in malformations.

The composer, having articulated his form, clothes it in such melodic
and harmonic material, moulded into such shape, as will realize his
fancy's ideal. The outcome of exhaustive knowledge, directed with
justifiable freedom, is musical symmetry.

The next attribute is, as in the case of the rose, color; which in
music is more or less attractive according to the richness of the
material applied and the artistic skill and care bestowed upon its

There are several sources to which the tone painter may resort for
what might be termed primary colors,--viz., the human voice, the
characteristic qualities of instruments, harmonic compounds, and
rhythm, the combining and blending of these primary colors so as to
produce the most effective shade for each episode, not only when
considered by itself, but also in its relations to the whole panoramic
succession of the finished picture, is the problem that so few solve.
Most composers seem to feel quite satisfied if they succeed in
startling us with uncommon combinations, however crude and irrelevant.

Next comes sentiment, which is to music what fragrance is to the
rose, and what intellectuality is to woman. All three would be hollow
mockeries without this parallel endowment. A piece of music must
express a human desire, a belief, or an emotion, otherwise it is but
empty sound.

These three attributes--symmetry, color, and sentiment--are at the
command of all talented musicians, but the all-pervading individuality
that so adjusts form, so arranges color, and gives such adequate
expression to each shade of feeling as to create natural but unique
tone pictures, is possessed by few composers of any given generation.

So-called original music may be nothing more than the fruit of good
taste displayed in the arrangement of laboriously sought peculiarities
of means and modes, and it is therefore only outwardly individual; but
music whose themes spring from a pronounced individual feeling, which
feeling moulds its form and makes each contributive detail conform to
the spirit of the initial impulse, is truly original. Individual music
is then radically original, but original music is not necessarily

A spark of individual genius, because of its clean brilliancy, sends
out its rays into illimitable space; whereas a whole bonfire of
purposeful eccentricities curtains its flames with non-radiating
elements, illuminating but a small field.

Now we must step backward beyond that point where science begins to
shed her light upon natural laws. What agency produces life, starts
and keeps in motion the machinery of our bodies, and places a soul
behind our features? The same agency must guide us in the conception
of musical ideas, or they will lack all living elements. This power
is God: God in us,--a well-spring of inspiration for those whose
susceptibilities are sufficiently acute to feel its influence.

Science can teach us to produce rich harmonic successions and
instrumental colors, but it cannot impart the magical power
of spontaneous and sequential growth that characterizes great
compositions, nor can it show us how to identify the spirit which
pervades such works. Any one can prepare himself to weigh the
intellectual properties of a musical work, but the spirit which
these properties are supposed to clothe will not materialize for
unsympathetic souls. Herein exists the reason for differences of
opinion entertained by cultured and honest critics.

Some works possessing all the attributes of greatness must be often
heard before they begin to enlist our sympathies. Others, equally
inspired, fail to awaken responsiveness in certain persons. Differently
constituted natures cannot be expected to vibrate in unison, and as
real music is soul vibration made audible, it seeks responsiveness in
our natures, as any given tone lays hold of objects whose vibrations
are sympathetic, causing them to emit consonant sounds.

The impression made by music can only be similar even--in character
and intensity--where the hearers are equally endowed and cultured,
and are equally conditioned mentally to surrender themselves to its
influence. As long as each member of the human family is distinguished
by individuality, so long will the impressions made by the intangible
elements in art be diverse.

Suggestiveness is the highest quality with which a poet, an orator,
a painter, a sculptor, or a musician can endow his productions.
Its existence implies a clear conception, rooted in sentiment and
adequately expressed through adaptable means, but well within the line
of demarcation which separates logical terseness from redundancy.

Who can listen to Beethoven, Schubert, Schumann, or Wagner and not find
himself in a dreamland, peopled not so much by children of the great
master's brain, as by the offspring of his own fancy? These results
are the fruits of suggestiveness.

Routine often leads to diffuseness; the lack of it always results in
illogical and inadequate expression; but routine directed by genius
seldom fails to discover the vital line which marks the boundary of
completeness. On one side of this line we have inland waters, flowing
from the author's fancy: on the other, and fed therefrom, the open sea
of semi-conscious cerebration, with its capricious winds and tidal

If a writer succeed in enlisting our sympathies, the flow of his
thoughts will impart the impetus requisite to carry us beyond this
line; but here his direct influence ceases, for the stream of his
fancies becomes merged in the ocean of each of our lives' memories,
hopes, and experiences, and each having received an impulse comporting
with his receptivity and habits of mind, sails away upon his course
propelled by unfettered imagination.

                         MUSICAL INTELLIGENCE.

A symphony is like an epic poem; its salient points rather than its
rounded whole appeal to the average reader or listener. The striking
episodes of unfamiliar compositions in large form, are prone to come
out into undue prominence, and so blind us to their true significance
as phases of sequential development. The sustained effort, and
experience demanded by a symphony, are the supreme tests of a composer.
We therefore have no right to an opinion in regard to the merits or
demerits of a large earnest work until study and hearing have, in our
understanding, joined its episodes and given them importful continuity.

Beethoven, Schubert, Schumann, and Wagner were endowed with great
talent, which indefatigable energy advanced to genius. They worked
upon a plane far above other men. We cannot hope to feel what they felt
while creating, but we can work, the while knowing that as we approach
their level in knowledge and experience our minds will better assist
our understanding of their conceptions. Their joys, their sorrows,
their triumphs, their every sentiment should find response in our
hearts; but the impression made by music can only be distinct after
we have made ourselves acoustically receptive, after our natures have
become attuned like æolian harps to responsiveness when waves of melody
strike upon them.

Our minds can be sounding-boards, which gather and reflect upon our
souls the tone pictures we hear. A wooden surface must be smooth,
properly formed, and perfectly poised, or it will not collect, focus,
and reflect sound effects. In the same way our mental sounding-boards
must be properly prepared, or they will not collect details and reflect
sentiments. This preparation involves the use of all available means
for shaping, refining, and poising. The earnest study of any branch of
learning broadens, and the contemplation of the beautiful in nature and
art quickens, the perceptions.

Pedantry--another name for self-sufficient ignorance--will warp and so
distort our reflector as to mar its efficiency, making it unjust alike
to the subject and to us.

The ear should be capable of transmitting correctly, and if possible in
detail. Some persons are endowed with absolute pitch. These fortunates,
if they persist in careful listening, can become able to follow an
intricate composition, in its modulations, thematic development,
etc., more easily, as well as more accurately, through hearing than
through reading the printed page. This ability marks a long stride
towards sympathy with the composer, especially as its exercise involves
undivided attention to the subject in hand.

The absence of absolute pitch is no indication of lack of talent,
and those who cannot acquire it have no reason for discouragement.
Every ordinarily gifted student can educate his hearing to recognize
intervals (seconds, thirds, etc.) and the tendency of chords, as
based on the relations existing between the tones of which they are
composed--to each other and to the key.

We should strive to make ourselves good mediums. Refined creations
cannot appeal to crude natures. The savage, although sometimes
possessing poetic instincts, prefers his own music, with its monotonous
weirdness, to that which more civilized communities can offer. Our
right to pass judgment upon others' creations will therefore depend
largely on the distance we are removed from the savage in the process
of evolution.

                                THE END

                   *       *       *       *       *

                          TRANSCRIBER'S NOTES

Italic text is denoted by _underscores_.

A number of words in this book have both hyphenated and non-hyphenated
variants. For those words, the variant more frequently used was
retained. In some cases there was no predominant variant. The
hyphenated variant was chosen in those cases.

Obvious punctuation and printing errors, which were not detected during
the printing of the original book, have been corrected.

*** End of this Doctrine Publishing Corporation Digital Book "Music and Its Masters" ***

Doctrine Publishing Corporation provides digitized public domain materials.
Public domain books belong to the public and we are merely their custodians.
This effort is time consuming and expensive, so in order to keep providing
this resource, we have taken steps to prevent abuse by commercial parties,
including placing technical restrictions on automated querying.

We also ask that you:

+ Make non-commercial use of the files We designed Doctrine Publishing
Corporation's ISYS search for use by individuals, and we request that you
use these files for personal, non-commercial purposes.

+ Refrain from automated querying Do not send automated queries of any sort
to Doctrine Publishing's system: If you are conducting research on machine
translation, optical character recognition or other areas where access to a
large amount of text is helpful, please contact us. We encourage the use of
public domain materials for these purposes and may be able to help.

+ Keep it legal -  Whatever your use, remember that you are responsible for
ensuring that what you are doing is legal. Do not assume that just because
we believe a book is in the public domain for users in the United States,
that the work is also in the public domain for users in other countries.
Whether a book is still in copyright varies from country to country, and we
can't offer guidance on whether any specific use of any specific book is
allowed. Please do not assume that a book's appearance in Doctrine Publishing
ISYS search  means it can be used in any manner anywhere in the world.
Copyright infringement liability can be quite severe.

About ISYS® Search Software
Established in 1988, ISYS Search Software is a global supplier of enterprise
search solutions for business and government.  The company's award-winning
software suite offers a broad range of search, navigation and discovery
solutions for desktop search, intranet search, SharePoint search and embedded
search applications.  ISYS has been deployed by thousands of organizations
operating in a variety of industries, including government, legal, law
enforcement, financial services, healthcare and recruitment.