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NY PUBL C L BRARY_ THE BRANCH LIBRARIES

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STANFORD, CHAHLES*
I INTERLUDES, RECORDS AND

REFLECTIONS

10.00

MY



The New\brk
Public Library

Aator, Lenox and Tilden Foundations














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THE

NEW YORK
PUBLIC LIBRARY

CIRCULATION DEPARTMENT




MUSIC LIBRARY




From the library of
Henry. Edwar .d .Kr.ehb ie 1





INTERLUDES




Frontispiece.]



MADAME JENNY LIND-GOLDSCHMIDT.
(From a portrait by Magnus.)



INTERLUDES

RECORDS AND REFLECTIONS



BY

CHARLES V.

PROFESSOR OF MUSIC IN CAMBRIDGE UNIVERSITY



WITH PORTRAITS



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,



NEW YORK

E. P. BUTTON AND COMPANY

1922



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NOTE

MY acknowledgments are due to the editors and
proprietors of the Times, Music and Literature,
the Musical Association, the Musical Quarterly
Review, and the Quarterly Review, for kindly giving
me permission to reprint articles which have already
appeared in these periodicals. The other articles
are printed for the first time.

C. V. S.



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TH



NEW YORK PUBLIC LIBRARY

CIRCULATION DEPAF7



C,



PREFATORY LETTER

To SIR ALEXANDER CAMPBELL MACKENZIE,

Mus.D., ETC.

MY DEAR MACKENZIE,

You will forgive me for dedicating this
little book (without your permission) to you.
You have, throughout your happily long life, been
a consistent supporter of all that is best. You
have never bowed the knee to Baal. Scot you are,
and canny you may be, as your birth-land pro-
verbially expects. But your canniness has always
been exercised to benefit others rather than your-
self, and therefore I prefer to call it a wise
humanity. YCD have strong dislikes, and cordial
likings ; but you have never lost the respect of
those whose methods you dislike, and have ever
preserved the affection of those whom you like,
amongst whom may, I trust (regardless of this
book), be reckoned,

Your old friend,

CHARLES V. STANFORD.

Oct, 1921.



Ill



v-.-i *

-; .'> .



CONTENTS



PAGE

SOME NOTES UPON MUSICAL EDUCATION i



II
ENGLISH ORCHESTRAS 18

III
ON SOME CONDUCTORS AND THEIR METHODS ... 29

IV

BEETHOVEN'S NINTH (CHORAL) SYMPHONY AND SOME

COMMON MISREADINGS OF ITS PACE .... 39

V
THE COMPOSITION OF Music 50

VI
A SKETCH OF THE SYMPHONY . 81

VII

ON SOME RECENT TENDENCIES IN COMPOSITION . . 89

VIII

MUSIC AND THE WAR IO2

IX

THREE CENTENARIES : JENNY LIND, PAULINE VIARDOT-

GARCIA, GEORGE GROVE 125

ix



x CONTENTS



x

PAGE

BAIREUTH IN 1876 138

XI

UPON SOME AMATEURS . '* ' . 148

XII
WILLIAM STERNDALE BENNETT 161

INDEX 211



LIST OF ILLUSTRATIONS



FACING PAGE

MADAME JENNY LIND-GOLDSCHMIDT . . Frontispiece

From a portrait by Magnus.

PHOTOGRAPH OF THE ORIGINAL FULL SCORE, QTH SYMPHONY 42

By kind permission of the Royal College of Music.

MADAME PAULINE VIARDOT-GARCIA (circa 1900) . . .128

From a photograph.

SIR GEORGE GROVE 136

From a photograph taken at tJte laying of the foundation stone of the
Royal College of Music.

THE REV. CANON THOMAS PERCY PEMBERTON (FORMERLY

HUDSON) .... 150

ARTHUR DUKE COLERIDGE 156

From an early daguerreotype (circa 1852).

RICHARD CHARLES ROWE (circa 1880) 160

From a photograph l>y A. G. Dew-Smith.

SIR WILLIAM STERNDALE BENNETT (ob. 1875) .162

From a portrait by Millais.






TS



PROPERTY OF TKt
CITY OF NEW YORK

INTERLUDES

RECORDS AND REFLECTIONS

I

SOME NOTES UPON MUSICAL EDUCATION

A MINIMUM of humanity is tone-deaf. A large
number have undeveloped ears. The number of
persons who can distinguish between a high and a
low voice is very large. They are not tone-deaf.
The number who can fix the accurate difference in
pitch between a high and a low voice is compara-
tively small, but not so small as the number of
those who cannot distinguish any difference at all.
Blind people are comparatively few ; short sight
is common, very acute sight is rarer, but out of
all proportion less rare than total blindness. As
it is with sight, so it is with hearing. The un-
developed ear can be trained, as painters, micro-
scopists, and sailors can train the undeveloped
eye. The ear which can distinguish between a
higher and a lower voice in ordinary speech only
needs training to specify the notes upon which
speech is based. It is only defining the pitch of
which the ear is already conscious. It has been
amply proved, by actual experiment, that a class of
children, some of whom have musical and others
unmusical ears, can be divided into these two

i B



2 NOTES UPON MUSICAL EDUCATION

parts, the so-called unmusical becoming listeners,
the musical performers. The result eventually
being that the unmusical become musical. In
other words, their ears have awoke to the acuter
sense of sound, and have developed themselves in
the process.

Rhythm is practically obvious to anybody :
and rhythm is very nearly half the battle. The
pitch of rhythm leads to melody and to music,
and it is to this end that the undeveloped
ear must be trained. A child is taught its letters
before it can read words. It should be taught
rhythm before it can appreciate melody ; and
melodic rhythms will be easier for its ear to
grasp at first, than melody without denned or with
occult rhythm. For this reason the best musical
education for children is to be found in a com-
bination of action with sound in a Word, in the
use of folk- dances before folk-songs. The dances
are full of rhythm, obvious and necessarily hide-
bound. The songs are more melodic and therefore
more difficult for the undeveloped ear to understand
and to retain. Often the only adjunct to rhythmical
spirit in them lies in the lilt of the words ; but
through the help of the fixed square rhythm of
dance-forms, the grasp of the more recondite
rhythm of song-forms will be attained.

Even at the earliest age, it is of the highest
importance to keep in view the training of listeners
more than the training of performers. As life
proceeds, the listeners are in immensely greater
numbers than the performers. Without audiences
we should have no performances ; without intelli-
gence in audiences we should have inferiority of






THE NATURAL SCALE 3

performance ; with an insufficiency of audiences we
should have a minimum of performances.

It is scarcely necessary to point out the
stress laid by the earliest nations, such as the
Greeks, upon music as a training ; not, as too
often in later times, as a luxury. Music teaches
many things beside itself. To name only one of
its essentials, the power, the prosody, and the
due accent of poetry is largely enhanced and
clarified by the rhythmical influence of music ; its
variety of expression by the melodic influence. All
children should be trained from the first to sing the
true untempered scale. This is not so difficult a
matter as it sounds. The French bring up their
children to sing intervals to the violin (the real
scale) and not to the piano (where every interval
save the octave is out of tune). Tonic Sol-fa
methods have often succeeded in this direction,
even without the help of a violin. That it is not
a proposition to be feared even by the insufficiently
trained is proved by the fact that, in the writer's
personal experience, an Eton boy learned the true
scale in an hour so thoroughly as to be able to sing
it against the false scale of the organ, to the annoy-
ance of his neighbours, who wrongly thought that
they were in tune and that he was not ! The voice
naturally sings the true intervals, and it can be
encouraged to do so by avoiding false scale instru-
ments to accompany it, such as the pianoforte.
Children will learn to adapt themselves to the com-
promise, known as equal temperament, without
sacrificing the principles of pure intonation which
is inherent in that natural instrument they possess
(in common with all instruments save the pianoforte,



4 NOTES UPON MUSICAL EDUCATION

harp, and organ), the human voice. In this way
the preservation of pitch, so often the bugbear of
unaccompanied singing, will be natural to them
from the very beginning. By this method they
will, in later days, more fully appreciate the com-
promise known as equal temperament, with which
Sebastian Bach endowed the world of keyed
instruments, and discover its necessity, as well as
its true value. Even the perfect tuning of a violin
in pure fifths, without the help of a single finger,
will be enough to show the careful listener, by
comparing the notes with the pianoforte, the vast
difference between the true and the artificial scale.
This in itself is a training, as it (gradually perhaps)
accustoms the ear to small differences in intonation.
The pure fifth of the violin is so unmistakable that
no moderately sensitive ear can fail to note the differ-
ence : a very little simple explanation will make
that difference clear. The writer has frequently
shown a tyro at the violin the difference, by making
him tune by nature, and afterwards playing (as is
unfortunately too common) the chord of D minor
on the pianoforte, and by watching the frisson which
ensues when the violinist hears the untrue fifth of
the keyed instrument quarrelling with the true fifth
of his own instrument.

But before all things, it is important that
in music, as in other branches of education,
the teaching should be on the lines of interest
and of charm, and not on those of mechanism :
mechanism revolts ; interest and charm never.
As the musical history of a nation one might even
say the history of a nation is primarily built up
upon a foundation of folk-song, it is imperative



SCHOOL EDUCATION 5

that this musical nutriment should be the chief
diet of its children. It reflects all the characteristics
of a people, in every industrial capacity. The sea,
the land, the plough, the workshop, the home, are
all sharers in this possession. In Great Britain we
have an infinite variety, and the variety is gained
by the difference of temperament in the races of
which it consists. The English, Welsh, Scotch,
and Irish are all different in expression, and
British children have all this immense conglomera-
tion of idiom ready to their hand, as no other nation
has. To ensure acquaintance with them all is the
task of the teacher. To make certain that the
knowledge should be an intimate, and not a passing,
one, he can " mix his colours " by mixing nation-
alities ; making children acquainted with the
poetry and imagination of the Celt as well as the
direct virility of the Saxon ; interesting them by
the great power of contrast, of which he will easily
find even a plethora.

When we come to higher school education, we
are facing a far more difficult problem. Boys'
schools have, as a rule, had far less incentive to
musical attainment than girls'. An evil influence
has too often subverted any effort to instil musical
knowledge into boys. They have imbibed the
horrible idea that music is not a part of life, but
a luxury, associated by them with femininity and
long hair. Any one who has been in contact with
boys will know the enormous difficulty of elimi-
nating idees fixes. Recent efforts, both from
within and without, have often combated them
successfully. Eton found to its astonishment that
a Hubert Parry could not only write music, but also



6 NOTES UPON MUSICAL EDUCATION

be " keeper of the field ' and a great football
player. He could help to build an organ, as well
as swipe a cricket ball. The influence of such
boys as he from within has had its effect far outside
the walls of any one school. What they have done,
teachers have improved upon, and the outlook
of the Public School, in a musical capacity, is far
different from what it was half a century ago. The
proof of this is to be found in the very simple fact
that a promising boy musician is now a hero,
instead of a byword, among his fellows. At
Parry's funeral in St. Paul's, the pall-bearers were
all Eton boys ; it is impossible to imagine such a
sight even forty years ago. But boys' schools can
go further, and fare better. Music is still an extra,
from the teacher's standpoint. This should cease.
It should be as essentially a part of the curriculum
as Latin or Greek, or mathematics ; it would often
be more attractive, more sympathetic, and more
humanising than they : it would most certainly be
a most helpful concomitant. Many would appre-
ciate the help of music in the rhythm of a Greek-
play chorus : now more often hated for its syntax
than appreciated for its sound and for its stage suit-
ability. Mathematics and music often interweave
Mozart was a remarkable mathematician. Beethoven
and Wagner would help ^Eschylus, and would make
him live, rather than be a hunting ground for doubt-
ful readings. The two are mutually helpful.

With girls' schools it is a far more difficult
matter. Music always was a kind of " accomplish-
ment ' to be encouraged and developed in the
education of women. But it has, only too often,
been used in the wrong way. There is a tendency






EXAMINATIONS 7

to try and make performers rather than listeners.
The disproportion of these two classes is as marked
in girls as in boys. All should be encouraged to
listen, few (and those only the specially gifted)
to perform beyond the point of appreciating the
performances of others. There is now an assump-
tion that all girls must be musical, and their educa-
tion is carried out on this principle. Temperament
is left out of account. Sifting (and this is not an
easy matter) is essential. What is to blame ? I
fear too often certificate (or cup) hunting. Long
experience has proved that the vast majority of
those who enter for examinations for certificates are
girls. These are often educated up to a certain
mechanical point, seldom to a musical one ; but
they all demand, not mastery of the craft, but
examinations in the craft. Therefore examinations
must be given and means are necessarily devised
to make them as comprehensive as possible.

Authorities began by an insistence upon a
standard of excellence in the music chosen. Exigen-
cies limited the amount chosen. The standard had
a salutary effect, but the result now is that the pieces
of music are of necessity limited in number, and
the tendency of examinees is to devote all their
energies to the small number of pieces named, to
the inevitable exclusion of a wide view of musical
literature. For example, one movement of a
Beethoven sonata will represent to the candidate's
mind the whole varied range of his many sonatas,
will exclude all other movements, cramp the style,
and import all the faults of a fixed limitation.
The musician will become a mechanician. The
mechanician will have no incentive to become a



8 NOTES UPON MUSICAL EDUCATION

musician. A scheme which was primarily meant
to direct the tendency of general study will be
smothered by being driven into narrow limits.
Moreover, human nature, which, often without
knowing it, hates examinations, will tend to dis-
like and to be revolted at the very specimens of
the better music which have to be prepared for it.
The very excellence of the music chosen will be in
the end the undoing of all taste for that excellence.
Bach and Beethoven will become to the young and
unthinking mind the musical equivalents of Czerny
and Bertini. The born musician will see through
this, the uncultured musician and he is largely in
the majority never ; at all events as long as a
narrow scheme of examination is the only incentive.
A quick examiner will usually differentiate between
the mechanician specially trained for examination
and the musician of wider outlook ; but he is tram-
melled at every turn by a system of marks, and can
only give his judgment upon general impression, so
far as marks allow him to do so. A candidate may
even play scales correctly but without any propor-
tional sense of their value in music, but it is difficult
for the examiner to do more than gain an impression
by them, and practically impossible to allow marks
to be interfered with. And yet there are even
musical, as well as unmusical, scales. Examinees,
and those who prepare them, would divide them into
the correct and the incorrect. The laws of supply
and demand have made examinations a necessity.

If only examinees, and those who teach them,
would look upon examinations as a means (how-
ever humanly imperfect) of testing knowledge
in its width as well as its limitations, they would



EXAMINATIONS 9

grasp that the wider the general outlook, the more
effective its influence upon limitations (and eventu-
ally upon examinations themselves) would be !
Those who control the systems of examinations may
be trusted, if they are wise and farseeing, to alter
and adapt those systems to suit the exigencies of
the present and future times.

All examinations are necessarily but partial
tests, unless a wide and discerning eye presides
over them, which can judge the whole from
the consideration of the part. This faculty is on
the increase ; the days when an original Kelvin
was second Wrangler to a bookwork Parkin-
son are gone, let us hope never to return. It
is the function of examiners to see that they can-
not. It is that of examinees to cultivate general
knowledge as well as to qualify for individual
pieces. It is true that some candidates, if they had
not specific lists to work for, would never work at
all, and many think that this system should be pre-
served in consequence. It should ; but for listeners,
not for performers. It cannot too often be insisted
that the standard of examinations depends, not on
the pieces and questions set, but on the appraise-
ment of the performance of pieces and of the answers
given to questions. Fine feathers will not make
fine birds. The easiest questions are often the best
test of efficiency. Examinations are meant to dis-
cover what candidates know, not what they do not
know. The ideal examination would include the
testing of taste, of taste in choice as well as of taste
in performance. But to cry for that is, I fear, to
cry for the millennium. It can only be very
partially done, and, in addition, it is unfortunately



io NOTES UPON MUSICAL EDUCATION

true that tastes differ, that no examination can be
conducted by one and the same examiner, and that
no two examiners are exactly alike in any respect,
nor is it advisable that they should be.

The general outlook upon the results of music
training in boys' and girls' schools is curiously
varied and instructive. The status of the music
master in boys' schools has been, of recent years,
vastly improved. From an outsider, he has
become an insider. His general influence is
greater and his pupils far nore numerous than
of old. But it is still not an uncommon ex-
perience to meet grown-up men who lament that
their musical taste was damped down at school,
and that their natural proclivities in that direction
have only emerged when technical education has
ceased, and individual taste has begun to assert
itself. To this personal initiative we owe the
listeners we have ; but it is an accident, not an
inevitable sequel of education. If it were, the
listeners would increase in number beyond measure.
The case of girls' schools is different. Examinations
have cramped them, and have driven their energies
into channels of details rather than of compre-
hensive knowledge. The teachers, on the other
hand, are forced to concentrate themselves upon
their pupils qualifying for certificates, rather
than upon inculcating musical knowledge into
them. They are made to see that the greater the
number of passes their pupils achieve, the more
successful they are considered by the unknowing
and short-sighted chiefs who control them. Some
fall into this rut, others all honour to them do
not. As a fact, they are for the most part out to



LISTENERS n

train listeners, not virtuosi. They know, or ought
to know, that examinations are only meant to be a
gauge of progress, not an assurance of efficiency.
If they really believe in the latter, they are on
wrong lines ; if in the former, on sound ground.
They will get less thanks, but do better work.

In the days when school has become a memory,
the tendency is to apply the same worship of detail
to music in general. Music is not so much wor-
shipped as a performer of music. A Paderewski
is an object of adoration, rather than the Chopin
which he plays. A singer is popular for his, or
her, voice, rather than for the song sung. Carry
these principles to their logical conclusion, and we
can understand how the nation has, up to now,
measured the value of its opera, not by the operas
given, but by the singers who perform them. It
went to hear Patti in Mozart, not Mozart in Patti.
Those days are happily departing. Will they
depart as quickly as they ought to ?

The more modern movement in boys' schools,
as evidenced by the improved treatment of music
teachers it would be far more comprehensive if
applied to the taught as well as the teacher is
becoming more and more evident in its effect on our
Universities. Fifty years ago music was there, but
it was dormant. The volcano was occasionally in
eruption, but only fitfully. The movement in the
schools began to show itself both in the number
and the quality of those they sent up. Universities
removed their ban on, or discouragement of, the
stage, and were mildly tolerant of music. They
cannot be said to have encouraged it, as they ought
to have done. Still, in spite of rather than because



12 NOTES UPON MUSICAL EDUCATION

of them, various musical efforts gradually developed
themselves, mostly from individual effort. Oxford
cultivated chamber music, and founded a club for
its encouragement ; Cambridge, vocal and orchestral
music (as far back as the 'eighties it possessed a local
orchestra of seventy-five members), founding a
society as far back as 1843, under the influence of
Kelvin, and devoting itself also to chamber work.
It had the benefit of a most instructive collection
of older music, left by Lord Fitzwilliam, of newer
music given by Pendlebury, and of contemporary
work left by Allon to the Union Society. The
University itself did little for the art, beyond
making music one of the subjects for an ordinary
degree, and restricting musical degrees to those who
had qualified for them by residence. What work
was done was the result of individual effort, which
far outstripped the academic. It is impossible to
minimise its influence, and it would be unfair to
exclude the Public Schools from the share which
they took in making this effort possible. A com-
pany of University students which produced
Brahms' Requiem as far back as 1876 in a most
businesslike and creditable fashion is educationally
a force to be reckoned with. Its influence in the
world of music after University days are passed
must be equally great. But it went to create
audiences rather than performers, and it was in
this wholesome direction that the Universities
worked. They had not to pass an examination in
Brahms' Requiem, but to perform it. They had
not to analyse the Qth Symphony of Beethoven,
but to sing and play it. If the University authorities
want to help music as they should, they should



READING MUSIC 13

lend a hand to the only method whereby musical
knowledge can be gained, the adequate performing
of musical works. They would find it impossible
to get men to appreciate painting without hanging
pictures to be seen ; they will find it equally im-
possible to get men to appreciate music, unless it
has facilities to be heard. Scores are interesting and
instructive to those who can read them. The great
majority cannot do so ; but they are not tone-deaf
they must hear, or music is a closed book to them.
The faculty of reading music from paper of
hearing it with the eyes is ingrained in some but
must be cultivated in others. It is not a very diffi-
cult matter, but it may take time. To read a book
without hearing it read out is an easy matter to the
great mass of mankind. To adapt the same course
to music is not at all a far cry. No performer can


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Online LibraryCharles Villiers StanfordInterludes, records and reflections → online text (page 1 of 15)