Music: An Art and a Language

Published: 1920
Language: English
Wordcount: 111,717 / 180 pg
Flesch-Kincaid Reading Ease: 52.8
LoC Category: ML
Downloads: 970
Added to site: 2009.11.29
mnybks.net#: 25906
Origin: gutenberg.org
Genre: Music
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Excerpt

ulty of this process of recreation, as applied to music, is that we have, derived from our ordinary daily experiences, so little to help us. Anyone can begin, at least, to understand a work of architecture; it must have doors and windows, and should conform to practical ideas of structure. In like manner, a painting, either a portrait or a landscape, must show some correspondence with nature herself, and so we have definite standards to help our imagination. But music has worked out its own laws which are those of pure fancy, having little to do with other forms of thought; and unless we know something of the constructive principles, instead of recreating the work before us, we are simply lost--"drowned in a sea of sound"--often rudely shaken up by the rhythms, but far from understanding what the music is really saying. As the well-known critic, Santayana, wittily says, "To most people music is a drowsy revery relieved by nervous thrills."

Notwithstanding, however, the peculiar nature of music and the

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