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the public, but they have been pathetically
DOMESTICATING MUSIC unsuccessful.
It is a curious commentary on the quality One of the greatest obstacles to the spread of human understanding that so many writers of a love of good music lies in the difficulties should have laid so much emphasis upon the of making such music readily accessible. fact that Shakespeare's only “education ”was Before good music can be widely understood secured within the walls of the Stratford it must be domesticated. grammar school.
What a world of nonsense Orchestral music cannot be given, of there is in the superstition that a knowledge course, without orchestras which are costly to of books means a knowledge of nature and maintain, and which therefore have to charge mankind ! How much more nonsense there high prices of admission. Thus orchestral is in the superstition that knowledge of music encounters a material obstacle which nature and mankind cannot be secured ex- prevents it from becoming accessible to the cept through the perusal of many books! people of small communities. On the other . Apparently, once these twin superstitions hand, chamber music, which does not encounare planted in the mind, all the testimony ter just this material obstacle, encounters a of Shakespeare's contemporaries from Ben mental obstacle which is almost as great. Jonson down, all the experience which the Chamber music can be given by a small world has had of the nature of genius, all number of players, but chamber music has the internal evidence of character and of in it fewer elements of ordinary popularity mind which are displayed so divergently in than orchestral music. It encounters the the writings of Bacon and the writings of obstruction of a limited public taste. Even Shakespeare, count for nothing. Any incon- soloists, who are ordinarily more appresistency which may appear between the ciated than either orchestras or chamber known facts of Shakespeare's education and music organizations, appear, as a rule, in small the products of his pen is child's play com- communities only on rare occasions, and then pared with the preposterous fabric of crypto- as imported curiosities rather than as familiar grams and ciphers which has been built up features of the local life. It is said that the to explain the theory that Shakespeare was people do not like “highbrow" music. Good not the author of the plays which for three music, therefore, if it is orchestral, is costly, centuries have borne his name.
and other good music is sometimes supposed Perhaps, however, we ought to be more to be an accompaniment of exclusiveness and satisfied with the results of the investigations snobbery. of the Baconian enthusiasts than we
It is for this reason that an experiment \Vithout their efforts no small mass of sport that has been carried on now for several and humor would be lost to the world. Of years in a small New England city by Mr. course the game which they have developed X-, a local musician with few resources will probably never be as widely popular as beyond good musicianship and boundless chess, for it is too remote from fact and the love of music, promises more for the future rules of ordinary intelligence, and, with the of musical taste among us than many possible exception of Judge Tuthill, we know more ambitious, expensive, and advertised of no umpire to whom the players of this game undertakings. Similar experiments should can turn for a controlling decision. Moreover, be tried as widely as possible, under divers the game cannot be limited, like baseball, conditions and by experimenters variously to any one playing field, or, like “authors,” to endowed. This gentleman's original idea was any one century or epoch. Any cipher which simple, as are most good ideas. In response to is meet for Shakespeare seems to be equally requests from his friends, about ten years ago meet for Gray's “ Elegy” or the King James he gave a series of piano recitals in his home. Version of the Psalms. If the Baconians will In the course of time the crowd of friends only publish a set of rules for their investiga- attending these recitals so increased that he tions which brings the results to be achieved finally gave them in a neighbor's studio. Then and the facts upon which these results are there was organized a chamber music club. based into some common relation that can be The founder's idea was to gather together understood by the average dweller in our three- the local instrumentalists—from theater, resdimensional world, we will do our best to have taurant, hotel-into a small group or club, their delightful game introduced into the list coach them in pieces of good chamber music, of sports at the next Olympic Gathering. and play these for the public at moderate
prices. There are few cities, even small ones, of difficulties and problems. It was found, where you cannot find a few string players for instance, that many people, even after -violinists and 'cellists (viola players are considerable hearing of the best ensemble rarer)—men usually who are more or less un- pieces, frankly preferred piano solos, and aware of each other's existence, and who have would say, effusively, thinking to please seldom dreamed of banding together to use the founder : " A delightful concert, Mr. their music as something more than a means X-, but why don't you give us of livelihood. But with only a violinist and solos? We want to hear you play alone." a 'cellist you have, if you yourself play the To which Mr. X- would alway's longpiano, a fine musical literature of trios and sufferingly reply that there were certain sonatas open to you, and when there are things string instruments could do that a also clarinetists and cornetişts to be had, the piano could not, and that it was these larger possibilities become exciting.
effects and this new literature that he had But this good idea was like others not only wished to make available to them. Of in being simple in conception, but also in in- course this was, from one point of view, envolving for the execution much devoted labor couraging, as showing the need of just such and the solution of many puzzling problems. training ; so long as a public is more inter
First of all, it is natural that the average ested in an individual soloist, through his pertheater or restaurant player knows as little of sonality, than it is in a co-operating group music as a newspaper man does of literature. through its artistic results, it is fundamentally Singular patience, tact, and contagious enthu uneducated. siasm are needed to overcome this initial Again it was found that in some neighbordifficulty. How this New England enthusiast ing towns where it was proposed to introduce overcame it may be divined from the following the concerts (which in their home town had interesting chapter of his experiences.
swelled into a regular series of ten each winHe found working in one of the factories ter, at a subscription price of five dollars for a young man who spent all his spare time the series) the public inability to recognize playing the cornet for his own amusement. good music for itself expressed itself, as it He had a good ear and a natural love for often does, in the wish for a label.
“We can music, but next to no acquaintance with get ten concerts from Mr. Xo's Club for musical literature, and naturally little sense so much,” ran this familiar argument, “but, as of relative values or instinct for style. Find- we can only get one or two from the celeing him anxious to learn the horn, Mr. brated Quartette of New York for the X-- bought or hired for him an instru- same money, the Quartette must be very ment. There followed much coaching, play- much better, and therefore we will have it ing, discussion, study. In the course of a come for one concert rather than have a few years this young horn player was living series from an organization less famous.” in the house of the older man, in a pleas- The fallacy here is not quite so casily ant half-filial, half-comradely relation, and recognizable as that of the preference for participating in pieces like Dukas's Vil a soloist to a group, but is at last traceable lanelle for Horn and Brahms's Horn Trio. to the same indifference to art in and for itself. Somewhat similar was the story of a clarinet For if a public has really learned to love player in one of the city theaters, who after music for itself, it will prefer a number of a year or two of this inspiring association was concerts by local musicians, sufficiently well taking part in Mozart's Clarinet Quintette trained to present it intelligibly, to concerts and in Brahms's Clarinet Sonatas. Even so infrequent as hardly to keep the musical Saint-Saëns's Trumpet Septette was tried witli body and soul together by an organization the help of a cornet player sufficiently coached. of much greater reputation, yes, and even
Thus Mr. X- rendered one kind of by one of measurably greater skill and service in stirring professional musicians authority. For the music is the thing, not the accustomed to a routine of the dance and people that play it. That is a truth which the the theater into the creative activity of real American public must be made to understand. interpretation. But it is another service on Rather especially discouraging was the which we wish to lay emphasis here—the opposition of all the clergymen of the town service which Mr. X rendered to the in a body to the giving of any concerts whatgeneral public.
ever on Sunday afternoons—the dreariest Here again, of course, there were plenty portion of the dreariest day in the provincial
New England week. If they had banned stance, as the Schumann Piano Quintette or all music equally, this might be forgiven as the Schubert Forellen ” Quintette (for the the grotesque survival of a Puritan super- versatile clarinetist is by good luck also an stition. But as they must have known that excellent double bass player), wisely repeated they were quite powerless to silence the diabolic from year to year, become loved and anticiengines of domestic music, they were prac- pated favorites. It is encouraging that such tically discouraging public meeting for the complex masterpieces as Franck's great enjoyment of the music which expresses, en- Piano Quintette can be given at all; but it nobles, and disciplines emotion in order to is even more encouraging that pieces like give people plenty of leisure to go home and the Schumann and Schubert should be turn on the phonograph.
given often, and often welcomed. What Yet in spite of all these difficulties the this experiment proves as to the possibility undertaking was a success. Public interest of securing performers of good music, and was enlisted in no small degree from the first, even difficult good music, in the neighborand has steadily grown. The concerts have hood of a small community should tempt not only a body of stanch supporters from others to try the same experiment in other year to year, but tempt in from time to time communities. But this is not the chief value a number of adventurers, who often stop the of this successful chamber music club. The founder in the street to tell him how much real fruit of it is in the audience of apprecithey have enjoyed the music. Every fall he ative listeners who have learned to want such is asked with genuine interest about the music and to support it. It is this group of progress of his plans for the coming season. creative listeners that gives us ground for Best of all, it is found that certain easily hoping that good music may some day becomprehensible classic works, such, for in- come domesticated in America.
FOREIGN OPINION ON OUR LAST NOTE
A POLL OF THE PRESS
tion in foreign countries of President what is practically the most satirical suggestion
Wilson's note of April 19 to Germany that the President's note leaves a loophole with regard to her submarine warfare on mer- for further parleying comes from neutral chant vessels is that the note seems to have sources. been taken most seriously by those countries With due allowance for inaccuracies in the which were meant to take it seriously. Some translation and telegraphic transmission of of the President's former notes to Germany excerpts from German newspapers, the conwere hailed with great gravity by the press viction remains that if the German papers of neutral countries, and dismissed with ridi- reflect at all the sentiments of their subcule and irony even verging on contempt by scribers the Presidential communication has many German newspapers. This tone was had the sobering effect of a dash of cold reflected in a comment made by Count von water on nearly all the Teutonic people. Prac Reventlow, commenting in anticipation of this tically all German newspapers agree with the latest note of the President's. “ The best ** Lokal Anzeiger" of Berlin that “no sensible methods of advertisement,” said Reventlow, person even in an enemy camp can possibly "of which Wilson is master, wear thin in believe that the German Government or the time. When the sword of Damocles re. German people wish a break with the l'nited mains too long suspended, all can see that States. The whole history of German-Amerit is only a wooden one.” But this time ican relations speaks against such an assumpthe press of the Fatherland is almost unani. tion. Should the regrettable break prove to mous in taking the President at his implica- be unavoidable, the guilty ones can only be tion that this note is a virtual ultimatum. sought across the ocean." The tone of the comment of French and But, at the same time, most German com
FOREIGN OPINION ON OUR LAST NOTE TO GERMANY
mentators, with the exception of a few jingoes the moment that he is the American Presi. like Count von Reventlow, agree for once dent and pretends to talk through the lips with the Socialist organ “ Vorwaerts," which of Woodrow Wilson, he presents America's says :
case to his countrymen as he conceives AmerIt is to be hoped that the American Govern
icans understand it. ment will refrain from any over-hasty steps as
“ Germany accuses us of helping her enelong as in its opinion there is an even chance of mies with war material,” says Harden in his arriving at an understanding with Germany. temporary rôle, and continues : But this naturally presupposes at the same time that it is Germany's duty also to leave We of the United States have the right to nothing untried to prevent the threatening con- do it. It is not our fault that Germany cannot flict.
be a client.
German industry in all modern wars, notwithThe majority of the German press is agreed,
standing German neutrality, has delivered to however, that the entire surrender of the use
one party, and often both, weapons and muni. of submarines against merchant vessels can- tions. The use of their undoubted rights by not be considered. As the Berlin “ Zeitung our manufacturers has brought bitter reproach am Mittag " says:
from the Germans. From this error came forth To the last man, however, the German people
the poisoning of many of these people with the are united in the firm resolve not to let the sub
thought that they must revenge themselves in marine be wrenched from our hand as a weapon.
their new home for the supposed wrong done
to their Fatherland. We need it because it has shown itself to be an
Proofs of such criminal actions lie in our effective weapon. We use it according to the principle of justice and humanity always in
archives. For such people to bite out from voked in the American notes, and we will use
our country the most tasty bits of industrial it in the future because our right and our human
fruits, and at the first storm to turn round as consideration for our existence as a state and
spurious Germans or Irishmen—that is un
bearable. the future of our wives and children compel us.
Would Germany have allowed, during the In short, the majority of the German news- Manchurian War, Japanese agents to work in papers stand, as they have stood all along, on Prussian Poland and by agitations and fiery the position which the semi-official - Neue
speeches and the endangering of munitions facFreie Presse" of Vienna restates, namely,
tories to frighten Germany into enmity against
Russia ? that "it would be unintelligibly preposterous
Is our demand, our right, not equal to that of if the welfare and power of a great people
Germany ? were staked for the right of American
I demand that Germany shall publicly dissoadventurers ... and hirelings to travel about ciate herself from every community of foolish in the war zone."
patriots who misuse our hospitality to upset There is one striking exception to the almost our civil peace. unanimous assumption of the German press I demand that Germany without reserve prothat Germany cannot afford to give up the tect the life and property of American citizens use of the submarine against commerce.
and that no longer may the question of the Maximilian Harden, editor of “ Die Zukunft,"
future of two great peoples, whether they live devotes one entire issue of that publication to
in friendship or in enmity, depend upon the a long and astonishing editorial entitled - If
whim or the nerve of a young submarine com
mander who wishes to serve the Fatherland and I Were Wilson." Harden is known as one of
to carve his name in the German oak and who the most fearless and untrammeled, although only listens to his conscience when it says one of the most vitriolic and erratic, journalists “ Down with everything !" ... in the German Empire. He has twice been The leaders of the Empire's affairs know what imprisoned for lèse-majesté, and it is very siy- the results of a breach would be. Our whole nificant that he is allowed to speak at all in
hemisphere, north and south, would be made his latest vein. The German text of his edi- the enemies of Germany, and not only in war torial, or even an entire translation of it, has
time. not reached America as The Outlook goes
Germany would lose all her ships in Amer
ican harbors and would have to reckon with a to press, but it is reported in London that
considerable increase in the enemy's tonnage. the main body of the editorial is a plea for
From the day of the breach she would have to peace. But in the course of a discussion of provision Belgium itself. Holland and ScanGermany's present critical relations with the dinavia could scarcely hope for any more supUnited States, in which Harden assumes for plies by sea, for the United States would need
them herself and would be able to give nothing The principal intimation that the declaramore to strangers.
tion of the American Executive is not irrevWhether at such a high price the loss of
ocable and ultimate comes from Holland. power to England through the lack of food and
Several of the Dutch papers seem to think shipping could be bought, Germany alone must decide. That the end of the war would then
that the note still leaves a way for more disappear into the unforeseeable distance is
discussion between Germany and America. certain, and not less because from that moment. This view-point is cleverly expressed by the we should have a united front in America.
“ Handelsblad.” Says this paper : The Germans, Irish, and Austro-Hungarians The President informs Germany that he is in our land would forget everything but that warning it for the last time. Will there not be they are one under the Stars and Stripes.
also a warning for the very last time and for The tone of French and British papers in absolutely the last time, and for irrevocably, commenting on the Wilson note is almost finally, absolutely the last time? The weakunanimously one of unqualified praise-praise ness of America's position to-day is due to the so high and so unanimous that the citation of
fact that no one takes its threats seriously and more than a few examples would be cloying.
that in foreign countries, and especially in Ger“ Simple, strong words of a statesman," is
many, Mr. Wilson's notes do not make the the characterization pronounced by that dis
impression of earnestness and determination
needed to give them force. tinguished French journalist and eminent patriot Georges Clemenceau, in his news
But, on the whole, the neutral press is paper, “ L'Homme Libre.”
preponderantly in agreement with the press • The right,” goes on M. Clemenceau,
of South America, as voiced, for example, "the august, imprescriptible right, which the
by the “ Journal do Commercio," of Rio Pilgrim Fathers of the Mayflower brought
Janeiro ; “ La Nacion," of Buenos Aires ; from Europe, their sons are bringing back to
and “ El Mercurio,” of Santiago, Chile. us under a shield of iron, forged by their own
El Mercurio," believing that a rupture strong hands.
between Germany and the United States is “What the Kaiser may decide to do is un
imminent, praises the American Government important. Withdrawal or bombast-it will for realizing that “not only the interests of all be the same in the end."
Europe are at stake, but also the universal “ Le Temps,” of Paris, agrees that the principles of humanity and civilization, which President's note is a real ultimatum, and demand that respect for them be exacted summarizes succinctly: “Germany must
from Germany.” The “ Journal do Comeither yield or break relations. America's
says: honor can no longer be satisfied by vain The United States, profoundly impressed by words.”
the responsibility it assumed in the American In the same spirit says the London " Daily
Daily continent by the proclamation, adoption, and News :"
preservation of the Monroe Doctrine, feels The note takes high ground worthy of a great
clearly that if Germany is victorious sooner or nation whose moral and material forces are
later she will turn against the United States the behind the demand. There remains for Ger
powerful weapons which will have conquered many only a straight and rapid choice between
the great strength of the Allies... The submission and war.
action of President Wilson yesterday will be a By all the signs her
forward-march signal to the mighty American choice will be war, and the interval is likely to
Nation. be short and quickly bridged. The Daily Telegraph " says:
And - La Vacion " declares : It can now be said that to-day the civilized
The United States is the one great neutral Powers of the earth are virtually as one. The
Power. Consequently its voice must carry the people of the United States of America have greatest weight, not because of the Nation's spoken through their Chief Magistrate, and the army and navy, but because of its civilization, voice of the Nation is clear, decisive, and firm.
its democracy, and its economic capacity. All The unexpectedly downright, sweeping charac
American republics participate in the same senter of the note will come upon the German peo
timents and greet with profound political symple with a tremendous shock.
pathy the constant desire of President Wilson
to render less grievous the effects of the war and Similarly the London “Graphic” declares
enforce respect for neutrals. The work makes that "Germany is brought to bay in the for solidarity of civilization and Christian brothcharacter of a criminal among nations." erhood.