Music and Life: A Study of the Relations Between Ourselves and Music Thomas W. Surette

ISBN: 9781500523596

Published: July 14th 2014

Paperback

270 pages


Description

Music and Life: A Study of the Relations Between Ourselves and Music  by  Thomas W. Surette

Music and Life: A Study of the Relations Between Ourselves and Music by Thomas W. Surette
July 14th 2014 | Paperback | PDF, EPUB, FB2, DjVu, talking book, mp3, RTF | 270 pages | ISBN: 9781500523596 | 3.44 Mb

From the Introduction:DURING the last twenty or thirty years there has been an enormous increase in the United States of what may be called institutional music. We have built opera houses, we have formed many new orchestras, and we haveMoreFrom the Introduction:DURING the last twenty or thirty years there has been an enormous increase in the United States of what may be called institutional music. We have built opera houses, we have formed many new orchestras, and we have established the teaching of music in nearly all our public and private schools and colleges, so that a casual person observing all this, hearing from boastful lips how many millions per annum we spend on music, and adding up the various columns into one grand total, might arrive at the conclusion that we are really a musical people.But one who looks beneath the surface - who reflects that the thing we believe, and the thing we love, that we do-would have to do a sum in subtraction also- would have to ask what music there is in our own households.

He would find that in our cities and towns only an infinitesimal percentage of the inhabitants sing together for the pleasure of doing so, and that the task of keeping choral societies together is as difficult as ever- that the music we take no part in, but merely listen to, is the music that flourishes- that our operatic singers, the most highly paid in the world, come to us annually from abroad and sing to us in languages that we cannot understand- that, in short, while music flourishes, much of it is bought and little of it is home-made.

The deduction is obvious. This institutional music is a sort of largess of our prosperity. We are rich enough to buy the best the world affords. We institute music in our public schools and display our interest in it once a year - at graduation time. We see that our children take music lessons and judge the result likewise by their capacity to play us occasionally a very nice little piece.

Men, in particular, - all potential singers, and very much needing to sing, -look upon it as a slightly effeminate or scarcely natural and manly thing to do. Music is, in short, too much our diversion, and too little our salvation.And to form a correct estimate of the value of our musical activities we should need also to consider the quality of the music we hear- and this, in relation to the sums we have been doing, might make complete havoc of our figures, because it would change their basic significance. For if it is bad music, the more we hear of it the worse off we are. If a city spends thirty thousand dollars a year on bad public school music, it is a loser to the extent of some sixty thousand dollars.

If your child is painfully acquiring a mechanical dexterity (or acquiring a painful mechanical dexterity) in pianoforte playing and is learning almost nothing about music, you lose twice what you pay and your child pays twice for her suffering.

What is called being musical cannot be passed on to someone else or to something else- you cannot be musical vicariously - through another person, through so many thousand dollars, through civic pride, through any other of the many means we employ. Being musical does not necessarily lie in performing music- it is rather a state of being which every individual who can hear is entitled by nature to attain to in a greater or less degree.Such are the musical conditions confronting us, and such are the possibilities open to us.My purpose is, therefore, to suggest ways of improving this situation, and of realizing these possibilities- and, as a necessary basis for any such suggestions, to consider first the nature of music itself.

Is it merely a titillation of the ear? Are Mozart, Beethoven, and Schubert merely purveyors of sweetmeats? Does music consist in an astonishing dexterity in performance? Is it, as Whitman says, what awakes in you when you are reminded by the instruments? Or has it a life of its own, self-contained, self-expressive, and complete? These questions need to be asked - and answered - before we can formulate any method of improving our musical situation....



Enter the sum





Related Archive Books



Related Books


Comments

Comments for "Music and Life: A Study of the Relations Between Ourselves and Music":


btf.org.pl

©2009-2015 | DMCA | Contact us