Aubertine Woodward Moore.

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[Illustration: MALIBRAN]






Copyright, 1902, by



1. MALIBRAN _Frontispiece_
2. MOZART 22
3. BRAHMS 54
8. CORELLI 214


Preface 17

How we can approach knowledge of music. Mistaken isolation of the
art. Those who belong to the privileged class. Music, as well as
religion, meant for all. Business of its ministers and teachers.
Promise of the twentieth century. Fruitage of our own free soil.
American world-view. Purpose of volume.

The Origin and Function of Music 21

Story of music affording knowledge of man's inner life. Mythology
and legendary lore. Emerson's dualism. Music a mirror. Ruskin and
art. Beethoven's lofty revelation. The real thing of Schopenhauer.
Views of Carlyle, Wagner and Mazzini. Raw materials. Craving for
sympathy in artistic type. Evolution of tone-language. French writer
of 1835. Prince of Waldthurn, in 1690. Spencer's theory. Controversy
and answer. Music of primeval man and early civilizations. The
Vedas. Hebrew scriptures. Basis of scientific laws. Church ritual.
Folk-music. Influence of crusades. Modern music architect of its own
fortunes. Present musical vocabulary and literature. Counsel of
Pythagoras. What Plato taught. Euripides on song. Auerbach. Martin
Luther. Napoleon Bonaparte. Bain and Dr. Marx. Shakespeare, in
Merchant of Venice. Wagner's unspoiled humanity. Tolstoi in art.

Blunders in Music Study 43

Voice from the unseen. Perverted soul. Normal instincts. Genius and
talent. Æsthetic tastes. Musical sound and rhythmic motion. Average
child. Frequent blunders. Appeal to intellect. Teacher with strong
personality. Experimenting with beginners. Legal protection. Vienna
musician. Class instruction. French solfège. English tonic sol-fa.
Mrs. John Spencer Curwen. Rev. John Curwen. Time a mental science.
Musical perception of the blind. Music in public schools. Phillips
Brooks on school song. Compulsory study. Socrates. Mirabeau.
Schumann on brilliancy. Unrighteous mammon of technique. Soul of
music. Neglect of ensemble work. As to accompaniments. Underlying
principles. Hearing good music. Going abroad. Wagner's hero. A
plumed knight wanted.

The Musical Education That Educates 61

Symmetrical development. Well-rounded musician. Well-balanced
individual. Profits proportionate to investment. Living force. What
Goethe said. Rich harvest. Aristotle on command over mind. Music
study many-sided. Madox-Brown on art. Mabie on beauty. Practical
forces in shaping character, purifying taste and elevating
standards. Master-works. Human voice as music teacher. Scientific
methods of study. Both art and science. Mental discipline. Stephen
A. Emory. Huxley on education.

How to Interpret Music 73

College professors on criticism and interpretation. External and
technical forms. Distrusting impressions. Trampling on God-given
intuitions. Throb and thrill of great art. Insight requisite for
interpretation. Living with masterpieces. Three souls of Browning.
Dr. Corson. Every faculty alive. Vital knowledge. Musical
imagination. Technical proficiency. Head, hand and physical forces.
In service of lofty ideal. Musical art work. Theme. Unfolding.
Climax. Labor of composition. Mind of genius. Elementary laws. Tonal
language. Karl Formes and operatic aspirant. Motto of Leschetitzky.
Marks of expression. Adolph Kullak. Hans von Bülow. Pulse of music.
Memory. Ruskin's fatal faults.

How to Listen to Music 89

Listening an art. Painting completed whole. Music passing panorama.
Not translatable into words. To follow, even anticipate composer.
Bach's absolute knowledge. Fire of Prometheus. Inner sanctuary of
art. Science of acoustics. Prime elements. Dr. Marx and Helmholtz.
Motive. Beethoven's fifth symphony. Phrase. Period. Simple melody.
"God Save the King." Our "America." Masters of counterpoint. Bach's
fugues. Monophony and polyphony. Classical and romantic. Heretic and
hero. Hadow on musical laws. Form the manifestation of these. Good
music versus ragtime. Dr. Corson on spiritual appeal.

The Piano and Piano Players 105

Pythagoras and musical intervals. Pan pipes. Portable organs.
Monochords with keys. Guido d'Arezzo. Clavier type. Virginal in
Elizabethan age. Early clavier masters. First woman court clavier
player. Scarlatti and Bach. True art of clavier-playing. Sonata
form. Where Haydn gained much. Mozart and Clementi. Pianoforte and
improvements. Viennese school. Clementi school. Giant on lofty
heights. Oscar Bie on Beethoven. Golden age of pianoforte. Piano
composers and virtuosi, from Weber to the present time. Teachers and
performers often corrupters of music.

The Poetry and Leadership of Chopin 135

Rubinstein on Polish patriot and tone-poet who explored harmonic
vastness of pianoforte. Like exquisitely constructed sounding-board.
Enriched and spiritualized the pianoforte for all time. Universal
rather than individual experiences. National tonality. Zwyny and
Elsner. Intimate acquaintance with Bach. Prince Charming of the
piano. Liszt on Chopin. Raphael of music. Playing and teaching.
Tempo rubato. Compositions. Schumann's words. Oscar Bie.

Violins and Violinists - Fact and Fable 151

Volker the fiddler. Nibelungen lay. Videl of days of chivalry. Bow
fashioned like sword. Hagen of Tronje. Wilhelm Jordan, in
"Sigfridsage." Henrietta Sontag and the coming Paganini. Wagner's
Volker-Wilhelmj at Bayreuth. Magic fiddles and wonderworking
fiddlers. Grimm's Fairy Tales. Norse folk-lore. English nursery
rhymes. Crickets as fiddlers. Progenitors of violin. The violin of
Queen Elizabeth and her age. Shakespeare in Twelfth Night. Household
of Charles II. Butler, in Hudibras. Viola d'amore in Milwaukee, Wis.
Brescian and Cremonese violin-makers. Early violinists. Value and
history of some violins. Strings and bow. Violin virtuosi from
Corelli to our day. Mad rush for technique.

Queens of Song 183

Florentine lady, Vittoria Archilei. Embryo opera of Cavalieri.
Peri's "Eurydice." Euterpe. Marthe le Rochois and Lully's operas.
Rival queens in London. Steele, in "Tattler." Second pair of rivals,
Cuzzoni and Faustina. Master Handel. Germany's earliest queen of
song. Frederick the Great and German singers. Mrs. Billington. Haydn
and Sir Joshua Reynold's St. Cecilia. Mozart's operas introduced
into England. Catalani. Pasta. Sontag. Schröder-Devrient and
Goethe's "Erl King." Malibran a dazzling Meteor. Another daughter of
Manuel del Popolo Garcia. Marchesi, Grisi and Mario. Manuel Garcia
and the Swedish Nightingale. Other Swedish songstresses. Patti.
Queens of song pass in review. Two Wagner interpreters. A Valkyrie's
horse. A word for American girls.

The Opera and Its Reformers 213

Evolution of drama. At the altar of Dionysus. Greek poetry and
music. Aristotle on Greek stage-plays. Æschylus and Sophocles.
Euripides. Words, music and scenic effect. Lenæan theatre
exhibitions. More costly than Peloponnesian war. Roman dominion.
Primitive Christian church. St. Augustine. Mystery, miracle,
morality and passion plays. Strolling histriones, etc. Florence
"Academy." Vincenzo Galilei. Monody. Polyphonic music. Emilio del
Cavalieri. Vittorio Archilei. Music of Greeks recovered. Peri.
Monteverde and his work. First opera house. Alessandro Scarlatti.
Troubadours. Lully, Rameau and French opera. Purcell, Handel and
music in England. Gluck, the regenerator. German opera. Mozart,
Beethoven, Weber and Wagner. What came from Bach, Chopin and
Berlioz. Rossini's melodies. Wagner's influence. Verdi, the grand
old man.

Certain Famous Oratorios 235

Neri's oratory. Dramatized versions of biblical stories. Palestrina
and harmonies of celestial Jerusalem. Religious dramas of Roswitha.
Laura Guidiccioni's first oratorio text. Music by Cavalieri. At
Santa Maria della Vallicella. Orchestra behind the scene.
Description. Carissimi, "father of oratorio and cantata."
Alessandro Scarlatti. Another Alessandro. Dr. Parry's opinion. "San
Giovanni Battista" and famous air. Tradition about Stradella. What
recent writers say. Handel and the "Messiah." Bach and the "Passion
Music." "The Creation" and Haydn. Beethoven's "Mount of Olives."
Mendelssohn, in "St. Paul" and "Elijah." Oratorios of Liszt and
Gounod. Next step in the evolution.

Symphony and Symphonic Poem 247

That adventurous spirit, Monteverde. Charm in exploring resources of
instrumentation. Operatic overture. Forge of genius. Dance of
obscure origin. Craving for individual expression. Touch of
authority by Corelli. Cardinal Ottoboni's palace. Symphony, a sonata
for orchestra. Purcell, Scarlatti, Sammartini and the Bachs.
Monophonic style. Contrasting movements. German critic on early
sonata. Further explanation. Meaning of symphony. Haydn with
Esterhazy orchestra. Father of the symphony. Mozart. Beethoven.
Schubert. Schumann. Mendelssohn. Berlioz, the musical heretic. His
"fixed idea" and programme music. Liszt and symphonic poem.
Saint-Saëns. Tschaikowsky and Russian spirit. Sinding. Grieg. Gade.
Brahms and absolute music.


We cannot gain experience by being brought into contact with the
experiences of others, nor can we know music by reading about it. Only
by taking it into our hearts and homes, by admitting it to our intimate
companionship, can we approach a knowledge of the art that has enriched
so many lives, even though it has never yet completely fulfilled its
function. At the same time, every music lover is helped to new ideas,
inspired to fresh efforts, by suggestions and statements from those who
have themselves had deep experiences in their search for the inner
sanctuary of the Temple of Art.

Musicians have been too much inclined to treat their art as something to
be exclusively appropriated by a favored class of men and women, and are
themselves greatly to blame for its mistaken isolation. True, music has
its privileged class. To this belongs the mind of creative genius that
can formulate in tones the universal passions, the eternal verities of
the soul. In it may also be numbered those gifted beings whose
interpretative powers peculiarly adapt them to spread abroad the
utterances of genius. Precisely in the same way religion has its
prophets and its ministers. Music, as well as religion, is meant for
everyone, and the business of its ministers and teachers is to convey to
all the message of its prophets.

The nineteenth century was the period of achievement. There is every
reason to believe that the twentieth century will be the period of still
nobler achievement, beyond all in the realm of the spirit. Then will
music find its most splendid opportunity, and in our own free soil it
will yield its richest fruitage. Amid the favorable conditions of
liberty it will flourish to the utmost, and will come to afford blessed
relief from the pressure of materialism. During the era we are entering
no unworthy teacher will be permitted to trifle with the unfolding
musical instincts of childhood. The study of music will take an honored
place in the curriculum of every school, academy, college and
university, as an essential factor in culture. Then music among us will
come to reflect our deepest, truest consciousness, the American

It is with a desire to stimulate thought and incite to action that the
present volume has been prepared for every music lover. The essays
contained in it have not previously appeared in print. They are composed
to a large extent of materials used by the author in her lectures and
informal talks on music and its history. That her readers may be led to
seek further acquaintance with the divine art is her earnest wish.

Many thanks are due L. C. Page & Company, of Boston, for kind permission
to use the portrait of Corelli, from their "Famous Violinists," by Henry
C. Lahee.




The Origin and Function of Music

One of the most interesting of the many interesting stories of our
civilization is the story of Music. It affords an intimate knowledge of
the inner life of man as manifested in different epochs of the world's
history. He who has failed to follow it has failed to comprehend the
noblest phenomena of human progress.

Mythology and legendary lore abound in delightful traditions in regard
to the birth of music. The untutored philosophers of primitive humanity
and the learned philosophers of ancient civilizations alike strove to
solve the sweet, elusive mystery surrounding the art. Through the myths
and legends based on their speculations runs a suggestion of divine

The Egyptians of old saw in their sublime god, Osiris, and his ideal
spouse, Isis, the authors of music. Among the Hindus it was regarded as
a priceless gift from the great god Brahma, who was its creator and
whose peerless consort, Sarasvati, was its guardian. Poetic fancies in
these lines permeate the early literature of diverse peoples.

This is not surprising. Abundant testimony proves that the existence of
music is coeval with that of mankind; that it is based on the
modulations of the human voice and the agitations of the human muscles
and nerves caused by the infinite variations of the spiritual and
emotional sensations, needs and aspirations of humanity; that it has
grown with man's growth, developed with man's development, and that
its origin is as divine as that of man.

[Illustration: MOZART]

The inevitable dualism which Emerson found bisecting all nature appears
also in music, which is both spiritual and material. The spiritual part
of music appeals to the spiritual part of man, addressing each heart
according to the cravings and capacities of each. The material part of
music may be compared to the body in which man's spirit is housed. It is
the vehicle which conveys the message of music from soul to soul through
the medium of the human ear with its matchless harp of nerve-fibres and
its splendid sounding-board, the eardrum.

Music is the mirror which most perfectly reflects man's inner being and
the essence of all things. Ruskin saw clearly that he alone can love art
well who loves better what art mirrors. This may especially be applied
to music, which offers, as a Beethoven has said, a more lofty revelation
than all wisdom and philosophy.

Having no model in nature, being neither an imitation of any actual
object, nor a repetition of anything experienced, music stands alone
among the arts. It represents the real thing, as Schopenhauer has it,
the thing itself, not the mere semblance. Were we able to give a
thoroughly satisfactory explanation of music, he declares, we should
have the true philosophy of the universe.

"Music is a kind of inarticulate, unfathomable speech, which leads us to
the edge of the Infinite, and impels us for a moment to gaze into it,"
exclaimed Carlyle. Wagner found in music the conscious language of
feeling, that which ennobles the sensual and realizes the spiritual.
"Music is the harmonious voice of creation, an echo of the invisible
world, one note of the divine concord which the entire universe is
destined one day to sound," wrote Mazzini. Literature is rich in noble
definitions of the divine art.

From a matter of fact standpoint music consists of a vast concourse of
tones which are its raw materials and bear within themselves the
possibility of being moulded into form. Utterances and actions
illustrating these raw materials are common to all living creatures. A
dog, reiterating short barks of joy, or giving vent to prolonged howls
of distress, is actuated by an impulse similar to that of the human
infant as it uplifts its voice to express its small emotions. The sounds
uttered by primeval man as the direct expression of his emotions were
unquestionably of a like nature.

The tendency to manifest feeling by means of sound is universally
admitted, and sound, freighted with feeling, is peculiarly exciting to
human beings. The agitations of a mob may be increased by the emotional
tones of its prime movers, and we all know that the power of an orator
depends more on his skill in handling his voice than on what he says.

A craving for sympathy exists in all animate beings. It is strong in
mankind and becomes peculiarly intense in the type known as artistic.
The fulness of his own emotions compels the musician to utterance. To
strike a sympathetic chord in other sensitive breasts it becomes
necessary to devise forms of expression that may be unmistakably

Out of such elements the tone-language has grown, precisely as the
word-language grew out of men's early attempts to communicate facts to
one another. Its story records a slow, painstaking building up of
principles to control its raw materials; for music, as we understand it,
cannot exist without some kind of design. Vague sounds produce vague,
fleeting impressions. Definiteness in tonal relations and rhythmic plan
is requisite to produce a defined, enduring impression. In primitive
states of music rhythmic sounds were heard, defined by the pulses but
with little or no change of pitch, and sounds varying in pitch without
regularity of impulse. A high degree of intellectuality was reached
before our modern scales were evolved from long-continued attempts at
making well-balanced successions of sounds. As musical art advanced
rhythm and melodic expression became united.

The study of the origin, function and evolution of music, according to
modern scientific methods, is a matter of comparatively recent date. As
late as 1835 a French writer of the history of music expressed profound
regret that he had been unable to determine when music was invented, or
to discover the inventor's name. It was his opinion that musical man had
profited largely from the voices of the feathered tribes. He seriously
asserted that the duck had evidently furnished a model for the clarionet
and oboe, and Sir Chanticleer for the trumpet. An entire chapter of his
book he devoted to surmises concerning the "Music before the Flood." The
poor man felt himself superior to the poetic fancies of the ancients,
which at least foreshadowed the Truth, but had found no firm ground on
which to stand.

Much finer were the instincts of Capellmeister Wolfgang Kasper, Prince
of Waldthurn, whose historical treatise on Music appeared in Dresden in
1690. He boldly declared the author of music to be the good God himself,
who fashioned the air to transmit musical sounds, the ear to receive
them, the soul of man to throb with emotions demanding utterance, and
all nature to be filled with sources of inspiration. The good
Capellmeister was in close touch with the Truth.

It was in 1835, the same year that the French writer mentioned offered
his wild speculations, that Herbert Spencer, from the standpoint of a
scientist, produced his essay on the "Origin and Function of Music,"
which has proved invaluable in arousing discriminating thought in these
lines. Many years elapsed before its worth to musicians was realized.
To-day it is widely known and far-reaching in its influence.

In those inner agitations which cause muscular expansion and
contraction, and find expression in the inflections and cadences of the
voice, Herbert Spencer saw the foundations of music. He unhesitatingly
defined it as emotional speech, the language of the feelings, whose
function was to increase the sympathies and broaden the horizon of
mankind. Besides frankly placing music at the head of the fine arts, he
declared that those sensations of unexperienced felicity it arouses,
those impressions of an unknown, ideal existence it calls forth, may be
regarded as a prophecy to the fulfilment of which music is itself partly
instrumental. Our strange capacity for being affected by melody and
harmony cannot but imply that it is possible to realize the delights
they suggest. On these suppositions might be comprehended the power and
significance of music which must otherwise remain a mystery. The
progress of musical culture, he thought, could not be too much applauded
as a noble means of ministering to human welfare. Mr. Spencer's theory
has of late led to much controversy. Its author has been censured for
setting forth no explanation of the place of harmony in modern music,
and for not realizing what a musical composition is. In his last volume,
"Facts and Comments," which contains many valuable thoughts not
previously published, he declares that his critics have obviously
confounded the origin of a thing and that which originates from it.
"Here we have a striking example of the way in which an hypothesis is
made to appear untenable by representing it as being something which it
does not profess to be," he says. "I gave an account of the origin of
music, and now I am blamed because my conception of the origin of music
does not include a conception of music as fully developed. If to some
one who said that an oak comes from an acorn it were replied that he had
manifestly never seen an oak, since an acorn contains no trace of all
its complexities of form and structure, the reply would not be thought a
rational one;" but he believes it would be quite as rational as to
suppose he had not realized what a musical composition is because his
theory of the origin of music says nothing about the characteristics of
an overture or a quartet.

Of the music of primeval man we can form an estimate from the music of
still existing uncivilized races. As the vocabulary of their speech is
limited, so the notes of their music are few, but expressive gestures
and modulations of the voice supplement both. With advancing
civilization the emotions of which the human heart are capable become
more complex and demand larger means of expression. Some belief in the
healing, helpful, uplifting power of music has always prevailed. It
remains for independent, practical, modern man to present the art to the
world as a thing of law and order, whose ineffable beauty and
beneficence may reach the lives of the average man and woman.

Without the growth of the individual, music cannot grow; without freedom
of thought, neither the language of tones nor that of words can gain
full, free utterance. Freedom is essential to the life of the indwelling
spirit. Wherever the flow of thought and fancy is impeded, or the
energies of the individual held in check, there music is cramped. In
China, where conditions have crushed spiritual and intellectual liberty,
the art remains to this day in a crude rhythmical or percussion state,
although it was early honored as the gift of superior beings. The
Chinese philosopher detected a grand world music in the harmonious order
of the heavens and the earth, and wrote voluminous works on musical
theory. When it came to putting this into practice tones were combined
in a pedantic fashion.

In all ages and climes music has ministered to religion and education.
The sacred Vedas bear testimony to the high place it held in Hindu

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Online LibraryAubertine Woodward MooreFor Every Music Lover A Series of Practical Essays on Music → online text (page 1 of 11)