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Title: Music: An Art and a Language

Author: Walter Raymond Spalding

Release date: November 28, 2009 [eBook #30560]
Most recently updated: January 5, 2021

Language: English

Credits: Produced by Adam Buchbinder, Linda Cantoni, and the Online
Distributed Proofreading Team at (This
book was produced from scanned images of public domain
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by Linda Cantoni.


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Price $2.50 net


120 Boylston Street
8 West 40th Street

Copyright, 1920, by The Arthur P. Schmidt Co.
International Copyright Secured

A.P.S. 11788




William Clifford Heilman, Edward Burlingame Hill,
Archibald Thompson Davison, Edward Ballantine




Vols. I & II now ready

(Schmidt's Educational Series No. 257-a, b)

Price $1.00 each volume


ALTHOUGH "of the making of books there is no end," this book, on so human a subject as music, we believe should justify itself. A twenty-years' experience in teaching the Appreciation of Music at Harvard University and Radcliffe College has convinced the author that a knowledge of musical grammar and structure does enable us, as the saying is, to get more out of music. This conviction is further strengthened by the statement of numerous students who testify that after analyzing certain standard compositions their attitude towards music has changed and their love for it greatly increased.

In the illustrations (published in a Supplementary Volume) no concessions have been made to so-called "popular taste"; people have an instinctive liking for the best when it is fairly put before them. We are not providing a musical digest, since music requires active coöperation by the hearer, nor are we trying to interpret music in terms of the other arts. Music is itself. For those who may be interested in speculating as to the connection between music and art, numerous books are available—some of them excellent from their point of view.

This book concerns itself with music as music. It is assumed that, if anyone really loves this art, he is willing and glad to do serious work to quicken his sense of hearing, to broaden his imagination, and to strengthen his memory so that he may become intelligent in appreciation rather than merely absorbed in honeyed sounds. Music is of such power and glory that we should be ready to devote to its study as much time as to a foreign language. In the creed of the music-lover the first and last article is familiarity. When we thoroughly know a composition so that its themes sing in our memory and we feel at home in the structure, the music will speak to us directly, and all books and analytical comments will be of secondary importance—those of the present writer not excepted. Special effort has been made to select illustrations of musical worth, and upon these the real emphasis in study should be laid.

The material of the book is based on lectures, often of an informal nature, in the Appreciation Course at Harvard University and lays no claim to original research. The difficulty in establishing points of approach makes it far more baffling to speak or write about music than about the other arts. Music is sufficient unto itself. Endowed with the insight of a Ruskin or a Pater, one may say something worth while about painting. But in music the line between mere statistical analysis and sentimental rhapsody must be drawn with exceeding care. If the subject matter be clearly presented and the analyses true—allowance being made for honest difference of opinion—every hope will be realized.

The author's gratitude is herewith expressed to Mr. Percy Lee Atherton for his critical revision of the text and to Professor William C. Heilman for valuable assistance in selecting and preparing the musical illustrations.


Cambridge, Massachusetts
June, 1919


I.Preliminary Considerations1
II.The Folk-Song19
III.Polyphonic Music; Sebastian Bach, the Fugue33
IV.The Musical Sentence50
V.The Two-Part and Three-Part Forms69
VI.The Classical and the Modern Suite73
VII.The Rondo Form81
VIII.The Variation Form85
IX.The Sonata-Form and Its FoundersEmmanuel Bach and Haydn91
X.Mozart. The Perfection of Classic Structure and Style108
XI.Beethoven, the Tone-Poet122
XII.The Romantic Composers. Schubert, Weber160
XIII.Schumann and Mendelssohn172
XIV.Chopin and Pianoforte Style188
XV.Berlioz and Liszt. Program Music202
XVII.César Franck255
XVIII.The Modern French Schoold'Indy and Debussy280
XIX.National SchoolsRussian, Bohemian and Scandinavian300
XX.The Varied Tendencies of Modern Music326


List of Compositions

Music is the universal language of mankind.


Music can noble hints impart,
Engender fury, kindle love;
With unsuspected eloquence can move
And manage all the man with secret art.


Music is the sound of the circulation in nature's veins. It is the flux which melts nature. Men dance to it, glasses ring and vibrate, and the fields seem to undulate. The healthy ear always hears it, nearer or more remote.


To strike all this life dead,
Run mercury into a mold like lead,
And henceforth have the plain result to show—
How we Feel hard and fast, and what we Know—
This were the prize, and is the puzzle!—which
Music essays to solve.


All music is what awakes from you when you are reminded by the instruments.



Music: an Art and a Language



IN approaching the study of any subject we may fairly expect that this subject shall be defined, although some one has ironically remarked that every definition is a misfortune. Music-lovers, however, will rejoice that their favorite art is spared such a misfortune, for it can not be defined. We know the factors of which music is constituted, rhythm and sound; and we can trace the historic steps by which methods of presentation and of style have been so perfected that by means of this twofold material the emotions and aspirations of human beings may be expressed and permanently recorded. We realize, and with our inborn equipment can appreciate, the moving power of music; but to define, in the usual sense of the term definition, what music really is, will be forever impossible. The fact indeed that music—like love, electricity and other elemental forces—cannot be defined is its special glory. It is a peculiar, mysterious power;[1] quite in a class by itself, although with certain aspects which it shares with the other arts. The writings of all the great poets, such as Milton, Shakespeare, Browning and Whitman, abound in eloquent tributes to the power and influence of music, but it is noticeable that no one attempts to define it. The mystery of music must be approached with reverence and music must be loved for itself with perfect sincerity.

Some insight, however, may be gained into the nature of music by a clear recognition of what it is not, and by a comparison with the more definite and familiar arts. Music consists of the intangible and elusive factors of rhythm and sound; in this way differing fundamentally from the concrete static arts such as architecture, sculpture and painting. Furthermore, instrumental music, i.e., music freed from a dependence on words, is not an exact language like prose and poetry.2 It speaks to our feelings and imaginations, as it were by suggestion; reaching for this very reason depths of our being quite beyond the power of mere words. No one can define rhythm except by saying that rhythm, in the sense of motion, is the fundamental fact in the universe and in all life, both physical and human. Everything in the heavens above and in the earth beneath is in ceaseless motion and change; nothing remains the same for two consecutive seconds. Even the component parts of material—such as stone and wood, which we ordinarily speak of as concrete and stationary—are whirling about with ceaseless energy, and often in perfect rhythm. Thus we see how natural and vital is the art of music, for it is inseparably connected with life itself.

As for the other factor, sound is one of the most elemental and mysterious of all physical phenomena.[2] When the air is set in motion by the vibration of certain bodies of wood, metal and other material, we know that sound waves, striking upon the tympanum of the ear, penetrate to the brain and imagination. Sound is a reciprocal phenomenon; for, even if there were systematic activity of vibrating bodies, there could be no sound without some one to hear it.[3] Good musicians are known for their power of keen and discriminating hearing; and the ear,[4] as Saint-Saëns says, is the sole avenue of approach to the musical sense. The first ambition for one who would appreciate music should be to cultivate this power of hearing. It is quite possible to be stone-deaf outwardly and yet hear most beautiful sounds within the brain. This was approximately the case with Beethoven after his thirtieth year. On the other hand, many people have a perfect outward apparatus for hearing but nothing is registered within.

Combarieu, the French aesthetician, defines music as "the art of thinking in tones."[5] There is food for thought in this statement, but it seems to leave out one very important factor—namely, the emotional. Every great musical composition reveals a carefully3 planned and perfect balance between the emotional and intellectual elements. And yet the basic impulse for the creation of music is an emotional one; and, of all the arts, music makes the most direct appeal to the emotions and to those shadowy, but real portions of our being called the imagination and the soul. Emotion is as indispensable to music as love to religion. Just as there can be no really great art without passion, so we can not imagine music without all the emotions of mankind: their loves, joys, sorrows, hatreds, ideals and subtle fancies. Music, in fact, is a presentation of emotional experience, fashioned and controlled by an overruling intellectual power.

We can now foresee, though at first dimly, what is to be our line of approach to this mystery. One of the peculiar characteristics of music is that it is both the most natural and least artificial of the arts, and as well the most complicated and subtle. On the one hand it is the most natural and direct, because the materials of which it is constituted—that is, sound and rhythm—make an instinctive appeal to every normally equipped human being.[6] Every one likes to listen to beautiful sounds merely for their sensuous effect, just as everyone likes to look at the blue sky, the green grass and the changing hues of a sunset; so the rhythm of music, akin to the human heart-beat and to the ceaseless change and motion, which is the basic fact in all life, appeals at once to our own physical vitality. This fact may be observed at a symphony concert where so many people are wagging their heads, beating time with their hands or even tapping on the floor with their feet; a habit which shows a rudimentary love of music but which for obvious reasons is not to be commended. On the other hand, music is the most complicated of all the arts from the nature of its constituent parts—intangible, evanescent sounds and rhythms—and from the subtle grammar and structure by which these factors are used as means of personal communication. This grammar of music, i.e., its methods of structure and of presentation, has been worked out through centuries of free experimentation on the part of some of the best minds in the world, and thus any great musical composition is an intellectual achievement of high rank. Behind the sensuous factors, sound and rhythm, lies always the personal message of the composer, and if we are to grasp this and4 to make it our own, we must go with him hand in hand so that the music actually lives again in our minds and imaginations. The practical inference from this dual nature of the art we are considering is clear; everyone can derive a large amount of genuine pleasure and even spiritual exaltation, can feel himself under the influence of a strong tonic force, merely by putting himself in contact with music, by opening his ears and drinking in the sounds and rhythms in their marvellous variety. The all-sufficient reason for the lack of a complete appreciation of music is that so many people stop at this point, i.e. for them music is a sensuous art and nothing more. Wagner himself, in fact, is on record in a letter to Liszt as saying, in regard to the appreciation of his operas: "I require nothing from the public but healthy senses and a human heart." Although this may be particularly true of opera, which is a composite form of art, making so varied an appeal to the participant that everyone can get something from its picture of life—historical, legendary, even fictitious—as well as from the actors, the costumes and the story, the statement is certainly not applicable to what is called absolute music, where music is disassociated from the guiding help of words, and expressed by the media of orchestra, string quartet, pianoforte, and various ensemble groups. For in addition to its sensuous appeal, music is a language used as a means of personal expression; sometimes in the nature of an intimate soliloquy, but far more often as a direct means of communication between the mind and soul of the composer and of the listener. To say that we understand the message expressed in this language just because we happen to like beautiful sounds and stimulating rhythms is surely to be our own dupes. We might as well say that because we enjoy hearing Italians or Frenchmen speak their own beautiful languages we are understanding what they say. The question, therefore, faces us: how shall we learn this mysterious language so as readily to understand it? And the answer is equally inevitable: by learning something of the material of which it is composed, and above all, the fundamental principles of its structure.

In attempting to carry out this simple direction, however, we are confronted by another of the peculiar characteristics of music. Music, in distinction from the static, concrete and imitative arts, is always in motion, and to follow it requires an intensity of concentration and an accuracy of memory which can be acquired, but for which, like most good things, we have to work. We all know the adage that "beauty is in the eye of the beholder" and that any work of art must5 be recreated in the imagination of the participant. The difficulty 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 difficulty of gaining logical impressions as the sounds and rhythms flood in upon us, there is one simple form of coöperation which solves most of the difficulties; that is, familiarity. It is the duty of the composer so to express himself, to make his meaning so clear, that we can receive it with a minimum of mental friction if we can only get to know the music. All really good music corresponds to such a standard; that is, if it is needlessly involved, abstruse, diffuse, or turgid, it is in so far not music of the highest artistic worth. In this connection we must always remember that music does not "stay put," like a picture on the wall. We cannot walk through it, as is the case with a cathedral; turn back, as in a book; touch it, as with a statue. It is not the expression of more or less definite ideas, such as we find in prose and poetry. On the other hand, it rushes upon us with the impassioned spirit of an eloquent orator, and what we get from it depends almost entirely upon our own intensity of application and upon our knowledge of the themes and of the general purpose of the work. Only with increased familiarity does the architecture stand revealed. Beethoven, it is said, when once asked the meaning of a sonata of his, played it over again and replied, "It means that." Music is itself. The question for every music-lover is: can I equip myself in such a way as to feel at home in this language, to receive the message as directly as possible, and finally with perfect ease and satisfaction? This equipment demands a strong, accurate memory, a keen power of discrimination and a sympathetic, open mind.6

Another paradoxical characteristic of music on which it is interesting to reflect is this: Music is the oldest as well as the youngest of the arts, i.e., it has always[7] existed generically, and all human beings born, as they are, with a musical instrument—the voice—are ipso facto musicians; and yet in boundless scope of possibilities it is just in its infancy. For who can limit the combinations of sound and rhythm, or forecast the range of the human imagination? The creative fancy of the composer is always in advance of contemporary taste and criticism. Hence, in listening to new music, we should beware of reckless assertions of personal preference. The first question, in the presence of an elaborate work of music, should never be, "Do I like it or not?" but "Do I understand it?" "Is the music conveying a logical message to me, or is it merely a sea of sound?" The first and last article in the music-lover's creed, I repeat, should be familiarity. When we thoroughly know a symphony, symphonic poem or sonata so that, for example, we can sing the themes to ourselves, the music will reveal itself. The difference between the trained listener and the person of merely general musical tendencies is that the former gains a definite meaning from the music often at a first hearing; whereas, to the latter, many hearings are necessary before he can make head or tail of the composition. Since the creative composer of music is a thinker in tones, our perceptions must be so trained that, as we listen, we make sense of the fabric of sounds and rhythms.

It is evident from the foregoing observations that our approach to the subject is to be on the intellectual side. Music, to be sure, is an emotional art and so appeals to our emotions, but these will take care of themselves. We all have a reasonable supply of emotion and practically no human being is entirely deficient in the capacity for being moved by music. We can, however, sharpen our wits and strengthen our musical memories; for it is obvious that if we cannot recognize a theme or remember it whenever it appears, often in an amplified or even subtly disguised form, we are in no condition to follow and appreciate the logical growth and development of the themes themselves which, in a work of music, are just as real beings as the "dramatis personae" in a play. The would-be appreciator should early recognize the fact that listening to music is by no means passive, a means of light amusement or to pass the time, but demands7 coöperation of an active nature. Whether or not we have the emotional capacity of a creator of music may remain an open question; but by systematic mental application we can, as we listen to it, get from the music that sense which the composer meant to convey. Music—more than the other arts—demands, to use a happy expression of D.G. Mason, that we "mentally organize our sensations and ideas"; for the language of music has no such fixed grammar as verbal modes of expression, and the message, even when received, is suggestive rather than definite. In this way only can the composition be recreated in our imaginations. For acquiring this habit of mind, this alertness and concentration, the start, as always, is more than half the battle. Schumann's good advice to young composers may be transferred to the listener: "Be sure that you invent a thoroughly vital theme; the rest will grow of itself from this." Likewise in listening to music, one should be sure to grasp the opening theme, the fundamental motive, in order to follow it intelligently and to enjoy its subsequent growth into the complete work.[8]

Every piece of music, with the exception of intentionally rhapsodic utterances, begins with some group of notes of distinct rhythmic and melodic interest, which is the germ—the generative force—of the whole, and which is comparable to the text of a sermon or the subject of a drama. This introductory group of notes is called, technically, a motive or moving force and may be defined as the simplest unit of imaginative life in terms of rhythm and sound, which instantly impresses itself upon our consciousness and, when heard several times, cannot be forgotten or confused with any other motive. A musical theme—a longer sweep of thought (to be explained later)—may consist of several motives of which the first is generally the most important. Just here lies the difference between the Heaven-born themes of a truly creative composer and the bundle of notes put forth by lesser men. These living themes pierce our imaginations and sing in our memories, sometimes for years, whereas the inept and flabby tunes of certain so-called composers make no strong impression and are forgotten almost as soon as heard. Motives8 obviously differ from each other in regard to the intervals of the tones composing them, i.e., the up and down relationship in pitch, the duration of the tones and their grouping into metric schemes. But a real motive is always terse, concise, characteristic and pregnant with unrevealed meaning. The chief glory of such creative tone-poets as Beethoven, Wagner, Brahms and Franck is that their imaginations could give birth to musical offspring that live for ever and are loved like life itself. The first step, then, in the progress of the appreciator of music is the recognition of the chief motive or motives of a composition and the development of power to follow them in their organic growth. This ability is particularly necessary in modern music: for frequently all four movements of a symphony or string-quartet are based upon a motive which keeps appearing—often in altered form and in relationships which imply a dramatic or suggestive meaning. A few of such motives are cited herewith, taken from works with which, as we proceed, we shall become familiar.

César Franck: Symphony in D minor


[Listen] [MusicXML]

Brahms: First Symphony in C minor


[Listen] [MusicXML]

Tchaikowsky: 5th Symphony


[Listen] [MusicXML]


Dvořák: Symphony From the New World


[Listen] [MusicXML]

It is now necessary for the student to know something about the constructive principles by which large works of music are fashioned; not so much that he could compose these works himself, even if he had the inspiration, but to know enough, so that the reception of the music is not a haphazard activity but an intellectual achievement, second only to that of the original creator. Every genuine work of art in whatever medium, stone, color, word or tone, must exhibit unity of general effect with variety of detail. That is, the material must hold together, be coherent and convince the participant of the logical design of the artist; not fall apart as might a bad building, or be diffuse as a poorly written essay. And yet, with this coherence, there must always be stimulating and refreshing variety; for a too constant insistence on the main material produces intolerable monotony, such as the "damnable iteration" of a mediocre prose work or the harping away on one theme by the hack composer. In no art more than music is this dual standard of greater importance, and in no art more difficult to attain. For the raw material of music, fleeting rhythms and waves of sound, is in its very nature most incoherent. Here we are not dealing with the concrete, tangible and definite material which is available for all the other arts, but with something intangible and elusive. We know from the historical record[9] of musical development, that, only after centuries of experimentation conducted by some of the best intellects in Europe, was sufficient coherence gained so that there could be composed music which would compare with the simplest modern hymn-tune or part-song. And this was long after each of the other arts—architecture, sculpture, painting and literature—had reached points of attainment which, in many respects, have never since been equalled.

Before carrying our inquiries further, something must be said about the two main lines of musical development which led up to10 music as we know it to-day. These tendencies are designated by the terms Homophonic and Polyphonic. By homophonic,[10] from Greek words signifying a "single voice," is meant music consisting of a single melodic line, as in the whole field of folk-songs (which originally were always unaccompanied) or in the unison chants of the Greeks and the Gregorian tones of the early church, in which there is one melody though many voices may unite in singing it. Later we shall see what important principles for the growth of instrumental music were borrowed from the instinctive practise associated with the folk-song and folk-dance. But history makes clear that the fundamental principles of musical coherence were worked out in the field of music known as the Polyphonic. By this term, as the derivation implies, is meant music the fabric of which is made by the interweaving of several independent melodies. For many centuries the most reliable instrument was the human voice and the only art-music, i.e., music which was the result of conscious mental and artistic endeavor, was vocal music for groups of unaccompanied voices in the liturgy of the church. About the tenth century, musicians tried the crude experiment,[11] called Organum, of making two groups of singers move in parallel fifths e.g.,


Tu Patris sempiternus es Filius.

[Listen] [MusicXML]

but during the 13th and 14th centuries a method was worked out by which the introductory tune was made to generate its own subsequent tissue. It was found that a body of singers could announce a melody of a certain type and that, after they had proceeded so far, a second set of singers could repeat the opening melodic phrase—and so likewise often a third and a fourth set—and that all the voices could be made to blend together in a fairly harmonious whole.[12]11 A piece of music of this systematic structure is called a Round because the singers take up the melody in rotation and at regular rhythmic periods.[13] The earliest specimen of a Round is the famous one "Sumer is icumen in" circa 1225 (see Supplement of musical Examples No. 1), which shows to what a high point of perfection—considering those early days—musicians had brought their art. For, at any rate, by these systematic, imitative repetitions they had secured the first requisite of all music, coherence. This principle, once it was sanctioned by growing musical instinct, and approved by convention, was developed into such well-known types of polyphonic music as the Canon, the Invention and the Fugue; terms which will be fully explained later on. It is of more than passing interest to realize that these structural principles of music were worked out in the same locality—Northern France and the Netherlands, and by kindred intellects—as witnessed the growth of Gothic architecture; and there is a fundamental affinity between the interweavings of polyphonic or, as it is often called, contrapuntal[14] music and the stone traceries in medieval cathedrals. During the 13th and 14th centuries northern France, with Paris as its centre, was the most cultivated part of Europe, and the Flemish cities of Cambrai, Tournai, Louvain and Antwerp will always be renowned in the history of art, as the birthplace of Gothic architecture, of modern painting and of polyphonic music.[15] A great deal of the impetus towards the systematic repetition of the voice parts must have been caused by practical necessity (thus justifying the old adage); for, before the days of printed music, or even of a well-established tradition—when everything had to be laboriously written out or transmitted orally—whole compositions could be rendered by the singers through the simple device of remembering the introductory theme and joining in from memory whenever their turn came. Compositions in fact were often12 so recorded.[16] The following old English round (circa 1609) shows clearly how the voices entered in rotation.


1 Three blind mice, three blind mice
2 ran around thrice, ran around thrice; The
3 miller and his merry old wife ne'er laugh'd so much in all their life.

[Listen] [MusicXML]

For a Round in strict canonic imitation by the famous English composer William Byrd (1542-1623) see the Supplement, Example No. 2. In due time singers of that period became likewise very proficient in improvising free parts about a given melody or cantus firmus, a practice indicated by the term "musica ficta" which was beneficial in stimulating the imagination to a genuine musical activity.

We can now begin to realize the importance of polyphonic music. In fact, it is not too much to assert that systematic repetition in some form or other (several aspects of which we shall describe in due season) is the most important constructive principle in music, necessitated by the very nature of the material. This statement can be corroborated by a glance at almost any page of music considered merely as a pattern, quite regardless how the notes sound. We observe at once that some portions of the page look much or exactly like other portions. Frequently whole movements or long parts of a work are based entirely upon some terse and characteristic motive. Famous examples of this practise are the first movement of Beethoven's Fifth Symphony in C minor which, with certain subsidiary themes to afford contrast, is entirely based on the motive:


[Listen] [MusicXML]

the Finale of Wagner's opera The Valkyrie (see Supplement, Example No. 3) the chief motive of which


[Listen] [MusicXML]


is presented in every phase of modulatory and rhythmic development, and the middle portion of the Reconnaissance from Schumann's Carnaval (see Supplement, Example No. 4.)

Music, just because its substance is so elusive and requires such alert attention on the part of the listener, cannot continually present new material[17] without becoming diffuse; but instead, must make its impression by varied emphasis upon the main thought. Otherwise it would become so discursive that one could not possibly follow it. From these historical facts as to the structure of music certain inferences may be drawn; the vital importance of which to the listener can hardly be exaggerated. As polyphonic treatment (the imitation and interweaving of independent melodic lines) is the foundation of any large work of music, be it symphony, symphonic poem or string quartet, so the listener must acquire what may be called a polyphonic ear. For with the majority of listeners, the whole difficulty and the cause of their dissatisfaction with so-called "classic music" is merely lack of equipment. Everyone can hear the tune in the soprano or upper voice, for the intensity of pitch makes it stand out with telling effect; and, as a fact, many of the best tunes in musical literature are so placed. But how about the tune when it is in the bass as is the case so frequently in Beethoven's Symphonies or in Wagner's Operas? Some of the most eloquent parts of the musical message are, indeed, often in the bass, the foundation voice, and yet these are entirely ignored by the average listener. Then what of the inner voices; and what—most important of all—when there are beautiful melodies in all parts of the musical fabric, often sounding simultaneously, as in such well-known works as César Franck's Symphony in D minor and Wagner's Prelude to the Mastersingers! As we face these questions squarely the need for the listener of special training in alertness and concentration is self-evident. A very small proportion of those who attend a symphony concert begin to get their money's worth—to put the matter on a perfectly practical plane—for at least 50% of the musical structure is presented to ears without capacity for receiving it. In regard to any work of large dimensions the final test is this: can we sing all the themes and follow them in their polyphonic development? Then only are we really acquainted with the work; then only, in regard to personal like or dislike, have we any right to pass judgment upon it. The14 absurd attitude, far too common, of hasty, ill-considered criticism is illustrated by the fact that while Brahms is said to have worked for ten years on that Titanic creation, his First Symphony, yet persons will hear it once and have the audacity to say they do not like it. As well stroll through Chartres Cathedral and say they did not think much of it!

We must now speak of the two other manifestations of the principle of repetition. Fundamentally, to be sure, they are not connected with polyphonic music; the third type, in fact,—restatement after contrast—being instinctively worked out in the Folk-Song (as will be made plain later) and definitely ratified as a structural principle by the Italian opera composer Alessandro Scarlatti in the well-known Aria da capo. These further applications of the principle of imitation are Transposition, i.e., the repetition of the melodic outline, and often of the whole harmonic fabric, by shifting it up or down the scale; and the Restatement of the original melody after an intervening part in contrast, thus making a piece of music, the formula for which may be indicated by A, B, Á. Anyone at all familiar with musical literature must have observed both of these devices for securing coherence and organic unity; in fact, the principle of restatement after contrast is at the foundation of any large work, and supplies the connecting link between the structure of the Folk-Song and that of the most elaborate modern music. A convincing illustration of the use of Transposition may be found in Schumann's Arabesque,




[Listen] [MusicXML]

and in the opening theme of Beethoven's Waldstein Sonata, op. 53.


[Listen] [MusicXML]

It was a favorite device of Beethoven to impress the main theme upon the hearer by definite repetitions on various degrees of the scale.[18] For an elaborate example of Transposition nothing can surpass the opening movement of César Franck's D Minor Symphony, the entire first part of which consists of a literal repetition in F minor of what has been previously announced in D minor.


Pieces of music which embody the principle of Restatement after Contrast are so numerous that the question is merely one of selecting the clearest examples. In the Folk-Songs of every nation, as soon as they had passed beyond the stage of a monotonous reiteration of some phrase which pleased the fancy, e.g.

ad infinitum!

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we find hardly one in which there is not a similarity between the closing measures and something which had gone before. (See Supplement, Example No. 5.) For the most elementary artistic experience would establish the fact that the only way to avoid a monotonous repetition of the same theme is to change to a different one. And the next step is equally axiomatic—that, presupposing the first theme gives pleasure on its initial appearance, it will be heard with heightened pleasure at its reappearance after intervening contrast. A psychological principle is herein involved which cannot be proved but which is self-justified by its own reasonableness and is further exemplified by many experiences in daily life. Sweet things taste the sweeter after a contrast with something acid; we like to revisit old scenes and to return home after a vacation. No delight is keener than the renewal of some aesthetic experience after its temporary effacement through a change of appeal.[19] This practice is associated with the inherent demand, spoken of above, for Variety in Unity. No theme is of sufficient import to bear constant repetition; in fact, the more eloquent it is, the more sated should we become if it were continued overlong. Monotony, furthermore, is less tolerable in music than in the other arts because music cuts deeper, because the ear is so sensitive an organ and because we have no way of shutting off sound. If a particular sight or scene displeases, we can close our eyelids; but the ear is entirely unprotected and the only way to escape annoying sounds is to take to flight.[20] We inevitably crave contrast, change of sensation; and nothing gives more organic unity than a return to whatever impressed us at the outset. This cyclic form of musical expression, early discovered through17 free experimentation, has remained the leading principle in all modern works, and—because derived directly from life and nature—must be permanent. We return whence we came; everything goes in circles. We can now understand still more the need of a strong and accurate memory; for if we do not know whether or not we have ever heard a theme, obviously the keen pleasure of welcoming it anew is lost to us. Furthermore, this principle of Restatement has in modern music some very subtle uses, and presupposes the acquisition of a real power of reminiscence. For example, Wagner's tone-drama of Tristan and Isolde begins with this haunting motive


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which, with its dual melodic lines, typifies the passionate love of the two chief characters in the story. After three hours or more of tragic action and musical development this motive is again introduced in the very closing measures of the drama, to show that even in the presence of transfiguring death this love is still their guiding power.




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For those who can appreciate the significance of such treatment, this reminiscence is one of the most sublime touches in all musical drama. The fascinating orchestral Scherzo of Richard Strauss's Till Eulenspiegel's Merry Pranks likewise begins with a characteristic motto,


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which says, in the language of music—I now have a story to tell you of a certain freakish character; and then we are regaled with the musical portrayal of a series of Till's pranks. As an Epilogue, Strauss improvises on this opening theme as much as to say—you have listened to my musical story, now let us indulge in some reflections as to the fate of poor Till, for after all he was a good fellow. (See Supplement, Example No. 6.)

It is evident, therefore, from the foregoing examples that the basic principles of musical structure are coherence, refreshing variety and such unity of general impression as may be gained chiefly by a restatement, after contrast, of themes previously heard. Our subsequent study will simply illustrate these natural laws of music in their wider application.




IN the preceding chapter we made some general inquiries into the nature of music and of those methods by which emotion and thought are expressed. We shall assume therefore that the following facts are established: that in music, by reason of the intangibility and elusiveness of the material, sound and rhythm, the principle of Unity in Variety is of paramount importance; and that the hearer, if he would grasp the message expressed by these sounds and rhythms, must make a conscious effort of coöperation and not be content with mere dreamy apathy. Furthermore, that Unity and Coherence are gained in music by applying the principle of systematic Repetition or Imitation. (We shall see, as we continue, how Variety has been secured by contrasting themes, by episodical passages and by various devices of rhythmic and harmonic development.)

We may now investigate the growth of musical structure and expression, as manifested in the fields of the Folk-Song and of Polyphonic music, beginning with the Folk-Song—historically the older and more elemental in its appeal. We cannot imagine the time when human beings did not use their voices in some form of emotional outpouring; and, as far back as there are any historical records, we find traces of such activity. For many centuries these rude cries of savage races were far removed from anything like artistic design, but the advance towards coherence and symmetry was always the result of free experimentation—hence vitally connected with the emotions and mental processes of all human effort. One of the most significant of the many sayings attributed to Daniel Webster is that "Sovereignty rests with the people"; and it is an interesting inquiry to see what wider application may be made of this statement in the field of art. For it is a fact that there has seldom been an important school of music, so-called—in any given place and period—which was not founded on the emotional traits, the aspirations and the ideals of the people. Surely one of the distinct by-products of the Great War is to be the emancipation of the art of music, along with that of all the other arts. Such a realization of its nature and powers will result that it shall no longer20 be a mere exotic amusement of the leisure and wealthy classes, but shall be brought into direct touch with the rank and file of the people; even, if you will, with the so-called "lower classes"—that part of humanity from which, indeed, it sprung and with which it really belongs—just human beings, just people. So in music also we may assert that "Sovereignty rests with the people." Although all art reflects popular sentiment to a certain extent, in no one of the arts—as painting, sculpture and architecture—is there such a vital record of the emotions and artistic instincts of humanity as we find in the realm of folk-song.[21] During the early period of Church music, while theorists and scholars were struggling with the intricate problems of polyphonic style, the people in their daily secular life were finding an outlet for their emotions, for their joys and sorrows, in song and in dance. This instinct for musical expression is universal, and just because the products of such activity were unfettered by rules, they exercised in process of time much influence upon the development of modern style. Folk-songs are characterized by a freshness and simplicity, a directness of utterance, which are seldom attained by the conscious efforts of genius. "Listen carefully to all folk-songs," says Schumann. "They are a storehouse of beautiful melody, and unfold to the mind the innate character of the different peoples." They are like wild flowers blooming unheeded by the wayside, the product of the race rather than the individual, and for centuries were only slightly known to cultivated musicians. It should be understood that words and music were inextricably bound together and that, with both, dancing was naturally associated; the very essence of a people's life being expressed by this tripartite activity. Tonal variety is a marked feature in folk-songs, many of them being in the old Gregorian modes, while others show a decided inclination to our modern major and minor scales. Great is the historical importance of Folk-music, because in it we see a dawning recognition of the principles of instrumental form, i.e., the need of balanced phrases, caused in the songs by the metrical structure of the words, and in the dances by the symmetrical movements of the body; a recognition above all, of the application of a definite system of tonal-centres, and of repetition after contrast. In fact, as we look back it is evident that the outlines of our most important design, that known as the Sonata Form are—in a rudimentary state—found in folk-music. Folk-melodies and21 rhythms play a large part in the music of Haydn, Schubert, Chopin, Liszt, Brahms, Grieg, Tchaikowsky and Dvořák. It seems as if modern composers were doing for music what Luther Burbank has done for plant life; for by grafting modern thought and feeling on to the parent stock of popular music, they have secured a vigor attainable in no other way. Thus some of the noblest melodies of Brahms, Grieg, and Tchaikowsky are actual folk-tunes with slight variation or original melodies conceived in a folk-song spirit.[22]

As music, unlike the other arts, lacks any model in the realm of nature, it has had to work out its own laws, and its spontaneity and directness are the result. It has not become imitative, utilitarian or bound by arbitrary conventions. As Berlioz says in the Grotesques de la Musique: "Music exists by itself; it has no need of poetry, and if every human language were to perish, it would be none the less the most poetic, the grandest and the freest of all the arts." When we reach the centuries in which definite records are available, we find a wealth of folk-songs from the Continental nations: Irish, Scotch, English, French, German, Italian, Spanish, Russian, etc.[23] In these we can trace the transition from the old modes to our modern major and minor scales; the principles of tonality and of rudimentary modulation, the dividing of the musical thought into periodic lengths by means of cadential endings, the instinct for contrast and for the unity gained by restatement. No better definition of Folk-songs can be given than that of Parry in his Evolution of the Art of Music where he calls them "the first essays made by man in distributing his notes so as to express his feelings in terms of design." In folk-tunes this design has been dominated by the metrical phraseology of the poetic stanzas with which they were associated; for between the structure of melody and that of poetry there is always a close correspondence. In Folk-songs, therefore, we find a growing instinct for balanced musical expression and, above all, an application of the principle of Restatement after Contrast. The following example drawn from Irish22 Folk-music[24]—which, for emotional depth, is justly considered the finest in the world—will make the point clear.



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The statement is sometimes made that the principles of our modern system of tonality and of modulation are derived from Folk-music. This is only partially true, for pure Folk-songs always developed under the influence of the old medieval modes, long before the establishment of our fixed major and minor scales. Furthermore, as these were single unaccompanied melodies, they showed slight connection with modulation or change of key in the modern sense of the term—which implies a system of harmonization in several voices. It is true that there was an instinctive and growing recognition of the importance of the three chief tonal centres: the Tonic or Keynote, the Dominant (a perfect fifth above) and the Subdominant (a perfect fifth below) and at times the relative minor. All these changes are illustrated in the melody just cited; e.g., in the fourth measure[25] there is an implication of E minor, in measures23 seven and eight there is a distinct modulation to D major, the Dominant, and in the ninth measure to C major, the Subdominant. This acceptance of other tonal centres—distant a fifth from the main key-note—doubtless arose from their simplicity and naturalness, and was later sanctioned by acoustical law; the interval of a perfect fifth having one of the simplest ratios (2-3), and being familiar to people as the first overtone (after the octave) struck off by any sounding body—such as a bell or an organ pipe. The Venetian composers, notably Willaert, had also quite fully developed this principle of Tonic, Dominant and Subdominant harmony in order to give homogeneity to their antiphonal choruses. Even to-day these tonal centres are still used; for they are elemental, like the primitive colors of the spectroscope. But modulation, in the modern sense of a free shifting of the centre of gravity to any one of the twelve semitones of our chromatic scale, was not developed and accepted until after the acoustical reforms of Rameau, and the system of tuning keyed instruments embodied in that work called the Well-tempered Clavichord of Sebastian Bach. Both these men published their discoveries about the year 1720.

As we have just used the term modal, and since many Folk-songs in the old modes sound peculiar or even wrong (hence the preposterous emendations of modern editors!) because our ears can listen only in terms of the fixed major and minor scales, a few words of explanation concerning the nature of the medieval modes should here be given. Their essential peculiarity is the freer relationship of tones and semitones than is found in the definite pattern of our modern scales. It is of great importance that the music-lover should train himself to think naturally in these modes; for there has been a significant return to their freedom and variety on the part of such modern composers as Brahms, Tchaikowsky, Dvořák, d'Indy, Debussy and others, and some of their most individual effects are gained through the introduction of modal types of expression. The following modes are those most commonly employed in the formation of Folk-songs.



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The Dorian mode, at the outset, is identical with our modern minor scale; its peculiarity lies in the semitone between the 6th and 7th degrees and the whole tone between the 7th and 8th. An excellent example of a modern adaptation of this mode may be found in Guilmant's March for organ (see Supplement, Example No. 7). The mysterious opening measures of Debussy's opera Pelléas et Mélisande also owe their atmosphere to this mode, e.g.


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The Phrygian mode is one of the most individual to our modern ears with its first step a semitone and with the whole tone between the 7th and 8th degrees. Under the influence of harmonic development there was worked out a cadence, known as Phrygian, which is often found in modern music, e.g.25


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The opening measures of the slow movement of Brahms's Fourth Symphony are an excellent example of a melody in the Phrygian mode, e.g.


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The contrast between these measures, with their archaic flavor, and the sudden change in measure four to the modern tonality of E major, is very striking. Bach's well-known choral, O Sacred Head now wounded also begins in the Phrygian mode, e.g.


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For a beautiful modern example of this Phrygian mode see the introduction to F.S. Converse's Dramatic Poem Job, for voices and orchestra.

The Lydian mode is identical with our major scale except for the semitone between the 4th and 5th degrees. That this change, however, gives a very characteristic effect may be seen in the passage by Beethoven from his String-Quartet op. 132—Song of Thanksgiving in the Lydian mode (see Supplement Ex. No. 8). The Mixolydian mode is also identical with our modern major scale except for the whole tone between the 7th and 8th degrees. This mode has had very slight usage in modern music; because, with the development of harmony,[26] the instinct became so strong for a leading tone (the 7th degree)—only a semitone distant from the upper tonic—that the original whole tone has gradually disappeared. The Aeolian Mode, mainly identical with our customary minor scale, has the characteristic whole tone between the 7th and 8th degrees. Examples of this mode abound in modern literature; two excellent instances being the first theme of the Finale of Dvořák's New World Symphony, e.g.,


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and the following passage from the Legend for à capella voices of Tchaikowsky, e.g.


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The Ionian mode corresponds exactly with our modern major scale, and the common people among all nations early showed a strong predilection for its use. The Church, in fact, because of this popularity with the people, named it the "modus lascivus" and prohibited its use in the ecclesiastical liturgy. One of the very earliest Folk-tunes extant—"Sumer is icumen in" (already referred to)—is in the Ionian mode and, according to Cecil Sharp,[27] the majority of English Folk-tunes are in this same mode.

We now cite a few typical folk-songs (taken from national sources) which, in their structure, show a natural instinct for balance of phrase and oftentimes for that organic unity of effect gained by restatement after contrast.


Old English


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The pattern of this song, in the Aeolian mode, is A, A, A, B. Unity is secured by the three-fold appearance of the first phrase; and a certain balance, by having the second phrase B twice as long (four measures) as A.


Old English




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The formula of this characteristic song in the Dorian mode is A, A, B, A; merely an extension, through repetition, of the simple type A, B, A which, in turn, is the basis of the fundamental structure known as the three-part form. This will later be studied in detail. It is evident to the musical sense how complete a feeling of coherence is gained by the return to A after the intervening contrast of the phrase B; evident, also, that this song is a perfect example of the principle of unity combined with variety.

We further cite a few examples from Scottish, Irish, French, Hungarian and Russian sources. They all illustrate quaint melodic intervals and an instinct for balance and symmetry.



Here awa', there awa', Wanderin' Willie,
Here awa', there awa', haud awa' hame.
Come to my bosom, my ain only dearie,
O tell me thou bring'st me my Willie the same.

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This song[28] expresses that note of pathos often found in Scottish29 folk-music and is noteworthy also because the lyric poet, Robert Burns, wrote for it words of which we give the first stanza.



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This Irish tune[29] is certainly one of the most perfect that can be imagined, remarkable alike for its organic unity, gained by the frequent use of the first ascending motive, and for the manner in which the successive crises are reached. Note in particular the intensity of the final climax, in measure 13, attained by a repetition of the preceding phrase.



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This charming song[30] from Lorraine exemplifies that rhythmic vivacity and lightness of touch so characteristic of the French.

Observe the piquant effect, in the final phrase, produced by the elision of a measure; there being in the whole song 31 measures instead of the normal 32 (16 + 16).

Old Hungarian Folk-song


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Hungarian folk-music[31] is noted for its syncopated rhythm and its peculiar metric groupings. It is also often highly embroidered with chromatic notes; the Hungarian scale, with two augmented intervals, being an intensification of our minor mode, e.g.


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Russia is fortunate in her musical inheritance; for not only has she a wealth of folk-songs, but her famous composers, Balakireff, Borodin and Rimsky-Korsakoff—who are men of letters as well—have published remarkable editions of these national melodies. The Russian folk-songs express, in general, a mood of sombreness or even depression—typical of the vast, bleak expanses of that country, and of its downtrodden people. These songs are usually in the minor mode—often with sudden changes of rhythm—and based on the old ecclesiastical modes, the Russian liturgy being very ancient and having an historical connection with that of the Greek church. The folk-music of no nation is more endowed with individuality and depth of emotion. Five characteristic examples are herewith cited:31


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III Harmonized by Rimsky-Korsakoff



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This last melody is of particular significance, because Tchaikowsky has used it so prominently in the Finale of his Fourth Symphony.

The growing interest in folk-music in America is a tendency concerning which the progressive student should inform himself. For a national basis of creative work, our country has always been at a disadvantage in comparison with nations which, as their birthright, have much music in their blood. Moreover, with the exception of the tunes of the aboriginal Indians and the plantation melodies of the Negroes, it has been asserted that America could boast no folk-songs. Recent investigations have shown, however, that this is not entirely true. Cecil Sharp, Henry Gilbert, Arthur Farwell and other musical scholars have proved that there are several regions of our country, settled by colonists from England, Ireland and Scotland, where folk-songs exist practically in the condition in which they were first brought over. One of the best collections of such material is the set of so-called Lonesome Tunes from the Kentucky Mountains, taken down by Miss Lorraine Wyman and Mr. Howard Brockway directly from the mountaineers and other dwellers in that region. These melodies have great individuality, directness and no little poetic charm. It is certainly encouraging to feel that, in this industrial age, there are still places where people express their emotions and ideals in song; for a nation that has not learned to sing—or has forgotten how—can never create music that endures.



WE have traced, in the preceding chapter, some of the fundamental principles of design in musical expression, as they were manifested in the Folk-music of the different nations. All music of this type was homophonic, i.e., a single melodic line, either entirely unaccompanied or with a slight amount of instrumental support. Hence however perfect in itself, it was necessarily limited in scope34 and in opportunity for organic development. Before music could become an independent art, set free from reliance on poetry, and could attain to a breadth of expression commensurate with the growth in other fields of art, there had to be established some principle of development, far more extensive than could be found in Folk-music. This principle[32] of "Thematic Development"—the chief idiom of instrumental music—by which a motive or a theme is expanded into a large symphonic movement, was worked out in that type of music known as the Polyphonic or many-voiced; and Polyphonic music became, in turn, the point of departure for our modern system of harmony, with its methods of key relationship and of modulation. As we have stated in Chapter I, the principle of systematic repetition or imitation—first discovered and partially applied by the musicians[33] of the early French School and by the Netherland masters—finally culminated in the celebrated vocal works (à capella or unaccompanied) composed by Palestrina and his contemporaries for the Roman Catholic Liturgy. Up to this point the whole texture of music had been conceived in connection with voices; but with the development of the organ, so admirably suited for polyphonic style, and the perfection of the family of stringed instruments, the principles of polyphony were carried over and applied to instrumental treatment. The composer who, through his constructive genius, most fully embodied these principles[34] was John Sebastian Bach (1685-1750). We are now prepared to explain the characteristics of polyphonic music and then to analyze some typical examples from Bach and other polyphonic composers. The essential difference between homophonic and polyphonic style is implied by the terms35 themselves. When there is but one melody, the skill of the composer and the attention of the listener are concentrated upon this single melodic line; and even if there be an accompaniment, it is so planned that the chief melody stands out in relief against it. The pre-eminence of this chief melody is seldom usurped, although the accompaniment often has interesting features of its own. As soon as we have more than one melody (whether there be two, three or still others) all these voice-parts may be of coequal importance, and the musical fabric becomes an interwoven texture of a number of strands. The genius and skill of the composer is now expended on securing life and interest for each of these voices—soprano, alto, tenor, bass—which seem to be braided together; and thus a much more comprehensive attention is required of the listener. For instead of the single melody in the soprano, or upper voice, of the Folk-song, we now must listen consciously to the bass and to both of the inner voices.[35] Too much emphasis cannot be laid upon the recommendation that, in appreciating music, the first task is to train the ear to a wide range of listening. These differences in style are often apparent just as a pattern of design—to be seen from the following examples:

Homophonic Style. Irish Folk-Song


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Polyphonic Style. Bach: Fugue in C Minor


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In the latter example it is evident that there is an interweaving of three distinct melodic lines.

The polyphonic instrumental works of Bach and his contemporaries were called by such names as Preludes, Fugues, Canons, Inventions, Toccatas and Fantasies; but since a complete account of all these forms would lead too far afield, we shall confine ourselves to a description of the Canon, the Invention and the Fugue. A Canon (from the Greek Κανών, meaning a strict rule or law) is a composition in which there is a literal systematic imitation, carried out to the end, between two or more of the voices (often with subsidiary voices filling in), and may be considered a kind of musical dialogue in which the second, or answering, part reënforces the message previously uttered by the leading voice. This imitation may take place at any degree of separation; and Canons are in existence at the interval of the second, third, fourth, fifth, etc. The most effective Canons, however, are those in which the answering voice is an octave away from the leading one. Although the Canon is not a form employed frequently by modern composers for an entire composition, Canonic imitation appears so often in all large works for orchestra, string quartet or ensemble combinations, that the music-lover should acquire a certain ease in listening to a structure of this type. The Canon, moreover, is an integral factor in the style of César Franck, d'Indy and Brahms; and illustrations of its use abound in their works. The organ is particularly well suited to the rendition of Canons; since, by its facilities for tone-color, the two voices may be clearly contrasted. Those interested in organ literature should become acquainted with the following excellent examples: The Canon in B-flat major, op. 40, by Guilmant; the 4th movement of the Fifth Organ Symphony by Widor; the Canon in B minor, op. 54, by Schumann; the Canon in F-sharp major, op. 30, by Merkel, and the set of Ten Canonic studies, op. 12, by G.W. Chadwick. In other fields of composition the following should be cited: The set of Piano37forte Pieces in Canon form, op. 35, by Jadassohn; a like set by Rheinberger, op. 180; the Canonic Vocal Trios, op. 156, by Reinecke and the famous Canon from the first act of Beethoven's opera Fidelio. There is also a beautiful bit of Canonic imitation between two of the upper voices in the introduction of Berlioz's Carnaval Romain Overture for orchestra. One of the most appealing Canons in modern literature is the setting for soprano and barytone, by Henschel, of the poem Oh that we two were Maying by Charles Kingsley. This example alone would sufficiently corroborate the statement that the firmness of structure inherent in the canonic form is perfectly compatible with genuine freedom and poetry of inspiration. In the first movement of César Frank's Symphony in D minor, at the recapitulation (page 39 of the full score) may be found a magnificent example of the intensity of effect gained by a canonic imitation of the main theme—in this instance between the lower and upper voices. Possibly the finest example of canonic writing in all literature is the Finale of César Franck's Sonata in A major for Violin and Pianoforte in which, for several pages, there is an eloquent dialogue between the two contrasting instruments. The movement is too long for citation but it should certainly be procured and studied. In the Trio of the Scherzo in Beethoven's Seventh Sonata for Violin and Pianoforte there is a free use of canonic imitation which will repay investigation. Lastly, the Aria with 30 Variations—the so-called Goldberg Variations of Bach—is a perfect storehouse of every conceivable canonic device.

A few standard examples are to be found in the Supplement. These should be played over and studied until they are thoroughly familiar—not only for the pleasure to be derived, but for the indispensable training afforded in polyphonic listening.

Ex. No. 9 Canon by Thomas Tallys (1510-1585).

Ex. No. 10 Canonic Variation by Schumann from the Études Symphoniques.

Ex. No. 11 of Bach's Goldberg Variations.

Ex. No. 12 Canon in B-flat minor, op. 38, Grieg.

Ex. No. 13 Canon in F-sharp major, op. 35, Jadassohn.

One of the most simple and direct types of polyphonic composition is the form known as the Invention in which, as the term implies, the composer—through his inventive genius and by means of the polyphonic devices of imitation and transposition—develops to a logical conclusion some short and characteristic motive. We are fortunate in having from Bach himself, that consummate master38 of polyphony, two sets of such Inventions: fifteen for two voices, and fifteen for three. These flights of fancy—in which art so subtly conceals art—though originally composed for the clavichord and harpsichord (the precursors of the pianoforte), are very effective on our modern instrument and should be in the possession of every music-student.[36] A brief analysis is now given of the first one in the set for two voices, and Nos. 4, 8 and 10 in this set are particularly recommended for study; also Nos. 2, 6 and 14 among those for three voices. The opening motive


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is the foundation of the entire composition and is at once imitated, canonically, in the lower voice. Then the two voices play about, with figures clearly derived from the motive, until we reach, in measures three and four, a systematic downward transposition of the material. Such transpositions or shiftings up or down in pitch are called Sequences. They are very frequent in all polyphonic composition, give a strong sense of unity to melodic progression and are generally carried out in groups of three, i.e., the original figure and two repetitions. After the sequence the music naturally works toward the most nearly related key (the dominant) and in the seventh measure reaches in that key its first objective. These Inventions of Bach, as well as the Dance forms soon to be studied, are almost invariably in what is known as Two-part form, i.e., the music consists of two main divisions, clearly marked off by cadences[37]; the first of which modulates to the dominant or some related key while the second part, starting in this key, works back to a final close in the home key. In Inventions it early became customary in the second part to begin with the same motive as the first—but in the opposite voice. Thus we see, in the Invention now being discussed, that the seventh measure begins with the original motive in the bass which, in turn, is imitated by the Soprano—a process just the reverse of that in the opening measures.



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In pieces in this Two-part form the second portion is generally longer than the first; for the composer, by the time he has reached this second part, may consider the material sufficiently familiar to be expanded and varied by excursions into more remote keys, and by more intricate manipulations of the chief motive. In measure 11 we find a modulation to D minor and then, after some free treatment of the motive, we reach—in measure 15—a cadence in A minor. A long sequential passage brings us, through a modulation to the subdominant key of F major (in measures 18 and 19), to a strong closing cadence in the home key. It should be noticed that in this Invention and in some of the dance forms there is shown a strong leaning towards a tripartite division of the material as is indicated by the three cadences in measures 7, 15 and 22. Since, however, the middle part is lacking in any strong contrast—which is such an essential factor in the fully developed three-part form—it seems better to consider this piece, and others like it, as a tendency rather than as a complete embodiment of tripartite arrangement. It is expected that the music lover will take these Inventions for what they really are and not search in them for those notes of intense subjectivity and dramatic power so prevalent in modern music. They are merely little pieces—a "tour de force" in polyphonic ingenuity; music rejoicing in its own inherent vitality. Accepted in this spirit they are invigorating and charming.

The form in which polyphonic skill reaches its highest possibilities is the Fugue; and the immortal examples of this form are the Fugues of John Sebastian Bach, found in his Well-tempered Clavichord and in his mighty works for the organ. The fundamental structure of a fugue is implied in the term itself (from the Latin "fuga"—flight); that is, in a fugue the main theme or subject is always announced in a single voice, and the remaining voices, appearing successively in accordance with definite principles of key-relationship, seem to chase each other about and to flee from pursuit. The several stratified entrances of the subject are relieved by intermediate passages called "Episodes." An Episode, as shown by the derivation (ἰπί ὁδός, by40 the way), is something off the beaten path—a digression; and it is in these episodical portions of a fugue rather than in the formalistic portions that the genius of the composer shines forth. This is especially true of Bach, for almost any well-trained musician can invent a subject which will allow of satisfactory fugal treatment according to accepted usage; but no one save Bach has ever invented such free and fanciful episodes—so daring in scope and yet so closely connected with the main thought. The general effect of a fugue is cumulative: a massing and piling up of voices that lead to a carefully designed conclusion which, in some of Bach's organ fugues, is positively overwhelming. A fugue may be called a mighty crescendo, like the sound of many waters. There is a popular conception, or rather misconception, that a fugue is a labored, dull or even "dry" form of composition, meant only as an exhibition of pedantic skill, and quite beyond the reach of ordinary musical appreciation. Nothing is farther from the truth, as a slight examination of musical literature will show. For we see that the fugal form has been used to express well-nigh every form of human emotion, the sublime, the tragic, the romantic; very often the humorous and the fantastic. When we recall the irresistible sparkle and dash of Mozart's Magic Flute Overture, of the Overture to the Bartered Bride by Smetana, of the Finale of Mozart's Jupiter Symphony, and of many of the fugues in the Well-tempered Clavichord, it is evident that to call a fugue "dry" is an utter abuse of language. It is true that there are weak, artificial and dull fugues, where the composer—frankly—had nothing to say and merely filled out the form; but the same may be said of every type of composition, i.e., among them all are examples inspired and—less inspired. This, however, is no indictment of the fugue per se, against which the only thing to be said is that it requires on the part of the listener an exceeding concentration. Some of the masterpieces of the world being wholly or partially in the fugal form, it is the duty of those listening to polyphonic music to train their powers to the same seriousness of attention expected and freely given in the appreciation of an oration, a drama or a cathedral. These latter manifestations of artistic expression, to be sure, are less abstract than the fugue and more closely related to daily life. Yet no effort is more repaying than the mental and emotional energy expended in listening to the interweavings of a good fugue; for, conscious of missing the periodic divisions of the Folk-song, we have to listen to more than one melody at a time. A fugue being a composition, as the French say, of41 "longue haleine," our attention, in order to follow its structure, must be on the "qui vive" every moment. The fugue, in fact, is an example of the intricate and yet organic complexity found in all the higher forms of life itself; and whenever a composer has wished to dwell with emphasis on a particular theme, he almost invariably resorts to some form of fugal treatment, strict or free. The most effective media for rendering fugues are the chorus of mixed voices, the organ (by reason of its pedal key-board always making the subject in the bass stand out majestically) and the stringed orchestra which, with the "bite" of the strings, brings out—with peculiar sharpness—the different entrances of the subject. The student should become familiar with standard examples in each of these classes and should, above all, seek opportunity to hear some of the organ fugues of Bach performed on a really fine instrument. A few well-known fugues are herewith cited in order to stimulate the student to some investigation of his own. In all the Oratorios of Handel and in the choral works of Bach, such as the B minor Mass, may be found magnificent fugues—as free and vital in their rhythmic swing as the ocean itself. Particular attention should be called to the fugue in the Messiah "And by His stripes we were healed." One of the most impressive fugues in modern literature is the à capella chorus Urbs Syon Unica from H.W. Parker's Hora Novissima. From among the organ works of Bach everyone should know the Fugues in G minor, in A minor, in D major[38] and the Toccata and Fugue in D minor. These have all been transcribed for the pianoforte by Liszt and so are readily available; they are often played at pianoforte recitals by Paderewski and other virtuosi. In hearing one of these masterpieces no one can remain unmoved or can fail to reverence the constructive genius which fashioned such cathedrals in tone. For orchestra we have the Prelude to Puccini's opera Madama Butterfly, and the beginning of the Prelude to the third act of Wagner's Mastersingers. There are striking fugal passages in Beethoven's Symphonies, e.g., the first movement of the Heroic Symphony and the rollicking Trio of the Scherzo in the Fifth Symphony. In more modern literature there is the fugal Finale to Arthur Foote's Suite for Orchestra and in Chadwick's Vagrom Ballad a humorous quotation of the theme from Bach's G minor Fugue for organ. One of the most superb fugues in free style is the last movement of César Franck's Prelude, Choral and Fugue in B minor for Pianoforte. This42 movement alone would refute all charges of dullness or dryness brought against the fugue by the unthinking or the unenlightened. A good fugue, in fact, is so full of vitality and demands such active comprehension[39] on the part of the listener that it is not difficult to imagine where the dullness and dryness are generally found.

At this point by an analysis of a fugue from the Well-tempered Clavichord, let us explain some of the technical features in fugal structure. We shall then be in a position to understand the more subtle devices of fugal treatment and to appreciate more enthusiastically some additional comments upon Bach's style in general.

Fugue in E-flat Major, No. VII, in the First Book.


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This fugue in three voices begins with a graceful subject, announced in the upper voice. In the third measure this is answered by an imitation of the subject in the alto; while the opening voice continues with a contrasting part called the counter-subject.[40] As the whole subsequent fabric is organically derived from these two motives, both subject and counter-subject should be played frequently and so committed to memory. Observe also the contrasts in rhythm and melo43dic outline between the subject and counter-subject. In measures 4 and 5 we have a short sequential passage leading, in measure 6, to the third entry of the subject in the bass. Then after another sequential passage, which includes an emphatic assertion of the subject in the soprano (measures 11 and 12), we enter upon a long episode which leads, at measure 17, to our first objective point of rest—a cadence in C minor. With the entry, in this measure, of the subject in the alto we have an interesting example of what is termed "shifted rhythm;" the subject beginning on the third beat instead of the first, as at the outset. In the middle portion of the fugue we have two appearances of the subject in the related keys of C minor (measures 17 and 18) and G minor (measures 20 and 21). Then, following two very vigorous sequences, a modulatory return is made to the subject in the home key, and with its normal rhythm at measure 26. A repetition, in more brilliant form, of one of the previous episodes, in measures 31 and 32, gives a strong impression of unity; leading in measures 34 and 35 to a last appearance of the subject, with a beautiful change in one of the intervals (E-flat-G-flat). The closing measures establish the main tonality of E-flat major, rendered still more expressive by the counterpoint associated with the last chord. As to the general structure of this fugue, it is evidently tripartite, the first part A presenting the material, the second part B affording variety by modulating into different keys, and the third part A´ reasserting the material of A and bringing the composition to a logical close in the home key. (See Supplement Ex. No. 15.)

We should now acquaint ourselves with the more subtle devices of fugal treatment; although but one of these is employed in the fugue just studied, which is comparatively simple in structure. I. Inversion; the melodic outline is turned upside down while identity is retained by means of the rhythm, e.g.

Bach: 3rd English Suite


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An excellent example from an orchestral work is the theme of the third movement of Brahms's C minor Symphony, the second phrase of which is an Inversion of the opening measures, e.g.


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II. Augmentation and Diminution; the length of the notes is doubled or halved while their metrical relativity is maintained, e.g.

Bach: Fugue No. 8, Book I


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Bach: Fugue No. IX, Book II


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Augmentation is very frequent in modern literature when a composer, by lengthening out the phraseology of a theme, wishes to gain for it additional emphasis. Excellent examples are the closing measures of Schumann's Arabesque, in which the reminiscence of the original motto is most haunting, e.g.,


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Motto augmented

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the Finale of Liszt's Faust Symphony, where the love theme of the Gretchen movement is carried over and intoned by a solo baritone with impressive effect, e.g.


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In augmentation



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Das ewig Weibliche

III. Shifted Rhythm; the position of the subject in the measure is so changed that the accents fall on different beats, e.g.

Bach: Fugue No. V, Book II


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IV. Stretto; (from the Italian verb "stringere," to draw close) that portion of a fugue, often the climax, where the entrances are crowded together, i.e., the imitating voice enters before the leading voice has finished, e.g.

Fuga giocosa, J.K. Paine, op. 41


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The effect is obviously one of great concentration and dramatic intensity—with a sense of impending climax—and its use is by no means limited to fugal composition; being frequently found in all large symphonic works of the classic and modern school. For a magnificent example of the climactic effect produced by a Stretto, witness the last part of Bach's Fugue in G major (see Supplement, Ex. No. 16).47

Although there is considerable complexity in any complete fugue, and although it requires great concentration on the part of the listener, we should avoid thinking of the form as mechanical in any derogatory sense, but rather as a means to a definite artistic end. Certainly no greater mistake can be made than that of considering Bach, the supreme master of polyphonic writing, as too austere, too involved, for the delight and edification of every-day mortals. Bach means brook, and the name[41] is most appropriate; for Bach is a never ceasing stream of musical life, the fountain-head from which spring the leading tendencies of modern music. In these days when stress is laid on the romantic element in music, on warm emotional appeal, it is well to consider the quality so prevalent in Bach of spiritual vitality. Exactly because the romantic element represents the human side of music, it is subject to the whims of fashion and is liable to change and decay. Bach carries us into the realm of universal ideas, inexhaustible and changeless in their power to exalt. Schumann says that "Music owes to Bach what a religion owes to its founder"; and it is true that a knowledge of Bach is the beginning of musical wisdom. By some, Bach is considered dry or too reserved for companionship with ordinary human beings. Others carelessly assert that he has no melody. Nothing can be further from the truth than these two misconceptions. Bach surely is not dry, because his work abounds in such vitality of rhythm. As Parry says, in his biography, "No composer ever attained to anything approaching the spontaneity, freshness, and winsomeness of his dances, such as the gavottes, bourrées, passepieds and gigues in the suites; while many of his great choruses and instrumental fugues are inspired with a force of rhythmic movement which thrills the hearer with a feeling of being swept into space out of the range of common things." The charge of a lack of melody is the same which used to be brought against Wagner. Instead of there being no melody, it is all melody, so that the partially musical, who lack the power of sustained attention, are drowned in the flood of melodic outpouring. A strong claim, in fact, may be made for Bach as a popular composer in the best sense of the term. Many of his colossal works, to be sure, are heard but seldom, for they require the most highly trained executive ability. But if the average music-lover will become familiar with the French and English Suites, with the48 Preludes and Fugues of the Well-tempered Clavichord, with some of the Violin Sonatas, he will find for his imagination and mental machinery a food which, once enjoyed, becomes indispensable. For his music has that greatest of qualities in art as in human relationships—it wears well and lasts. We all know that books which reveal everything at a first reading are soon thrown aside, and that people whose depth of character and sweetness of disposition we discern but slowly, often become our life-long friends. Music which is too easily heard is identical with that which is immediately forgotten. The first impulse created by any great work of art is our longing to know it better. Its next attribute is its power to arouse and hold our steady affection. These observations may be applied literally to Bach's music, which can be heard for a lifetime, never losing its appeal but continually unfolding new beauties. Furthermore, in Bach, we feel the force of a great character even more than the artistic skill with which the personality is revealed. In this respect Bach in music is quite on a par with Shakespeare in literature and Michael Angelo in plastic art. With many musicians, there is so disconcerting and inexplicable a discrepancy between their deeds as men and the artistic thoughts for which they seem to be the unconscious media, that it is inspiring to come into touch with one who rings true as a man whatever demands are made upon him; whose music is free from morbidity or carnal blemish, as pure as the winter wind, as elemental as the ocean, as uplifting as the stars. In Bach let us always remember the noble human traits; for the universal regard in which his work is held could never have come merely from profound skill in workmanship, but is due chiefly to the manly sincerity and emotional depth which are found therein. The revival of his works, for which the world owes to Mendelssohn such a debt, has been the single strongest factor in the development of music during the 19th century; and their influence[42] is by no means yet at an end, as may be seen from the glowing tributes paid to him by such modern composers as Franck, d'Indy and Debussy.[43]

Two additional fugues are now given in the Supplement (see Nos. 17 and 18) for the consideration of the student: the Cat-Fugue of Domenico Scarlatti, with its fantastic subject (said to have been49 suggested by the walking of a favorite cat on the key-board) and the Fuga Giocosa of John Knowles Paine, (the subject of which is the well-known street-tune "Rafferty's lost his pig"). This latter example is not only a brilliant piece of fugal writing but a typical manifestation of American humor.

Several eulogies of the fugue are to be found in literature; three of the most famous are herewith appended.

"Hist, but a word, fair and soft!
Forth and be judged, Master Hugues!
Answer the question I've put you so oft:
What do you mean by your mountainous fugues?
See, we're alone in the loft."

—Browning, Master Hugues of Saxe-Gotha.

Throughout, a most fantastic description of fugal style.

"Whence the sound
Of instruments, that made melodious chime,
Was heard, of harp and organ; and who mov'd
Their stops and chords was seen; his volant touch
Instinct through all proportions, low and high,
Fled and pursued transverse the resonant fugue."

—Milton, Paradise Lost, Book XI.

"Then rose the agitation, spreading through the infinite cathedral to its agony; then was completed the passion of the mighty fugue. The golden tubes of the organ which as yet had but sobbed and muttered at intervals—gleaming amongst clouds and surges of incense—threw up, as from fountains unfathomable, columns of heart-shattering music. Choir and antichoir were filling fast with unknown voices. Thou also, Dying Trumpeter! with thy love which was victorious, and thy anguish that was finishing, didst enter the tumult; trumpet and echo—farewell love and farewell anguish—rang through the dreadful Sanctus."

—From De Quincey's Dream Fugue in the "Vision of Sudden Death."

Truly a marvellous picture of the effect of a fugue in a great medieval cathedral!




BEFORE passing on to an explanation of the fundamental types of musical structure, we must give some idea of the constituent parts of the Period in music. Every art has its units of expression: the straight line, the curve, the arch, the poetic stanza and the prose sentence. Just as poetry and prose are a series of stanzas or sentences, so a musical composition is a succession of definitely organized portions of thought and emotion, in terms of rhythm and sound. In the heart of a composition, to be sure, we often find a great freedom in the phraseology, comparable to blank verse or to a rhapsodic kind of prose; but with few exceptions, such as a Fantasie, every composition always begins with one or two periods which, in regard to subdivision, balance and directness of statement, are carefully planned and are complete in themselves. Before it is possible to follow intelligently the structure of a musical sentence we must gain a clear idea of what is meant by the frequently used terms Tonality and Modulation. Since the evolution and acceptance of our three modern scales:[44] the major, the minor and the chromatic—which gained their sanction chiefly through the investigations and compositions of Bach and Rameau—every melody and the accompanying harmony are said to be in a certain "tonality" (or "key") which takes its name from the first tone of the scale in question, e.g., C, E-flat, F sharp, etc. Hence this first tone is called the Tonic or chief tone and from it ascend the other tones of the scale. That is, a melody in E-flat major will employ only those tones found in the scale of E-flat major, and is said to be in that "key," or "tonality." The same would be true of the harmony involved, i.e., the chords would consist of combinations of the different tones of this scale. When a melody, as is often the case, employs tones not found in the scale in question, these51 are called chromatic[45] changes, and may or may not effect a "modulation" or departure into another key, e.g.


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The most important means of gaining unity and coherence in a composition is to have it written in a clearly defined tonality, especially at the outset. This definite tonality is the "centre of gravity," so to speak, about which the whole composition revolves. If this tonal centre were uncertain or wandering, we should have a feeling of vagueness and perplexity which, except for special dramatic effect, is never found in works of the great composers. Thus we speak of a Symphony in C minor, of a Quartet in F major and of a Sonata in B-flat minor;[46] this foundation key being comparable to the basic color-scheme of a painting. There is also a particular aesthetic effect and color-appeal associated with each key; and the listener should train himself to be sensitive to the brilliance of such keys as D major and E major, the richness of B major, the dignity of E-flat major, the almost cloying sweetness of D-flat major and of G-flat major and the tragic depth of B minor and G minor. No piece, however, should remain for long in the same key; for music cuts so deeply into the consciousness that there would result an intolerable monotony.[47] Even in the simplest folk-songs, therefore, we often find manifested an instinct for those changes of tonal centre which are technically called "Modulations." All the keys founded on the twelve semitones of the chromatic scale are related—though in varying degrees of closeness; and in modern music, no matter how complex the modulations often sound, we may be sure that the composer plans them as carefully as the painter adjusts his color-scheme. For definite acoustical[48] and harmonic reasons,52 however, the keys most closely related to a given tonal centre are those situated a perfect fifth above—the Dominant; a perfect fifth below—the Subdominant; and the Relative Minor, the key-note of which is a minor third below, e.g., A minor in relation to C major, C minor to E-flat major. The relative minors of the Dominant and Subdominant also bear a close relationship to a given tonic; and into these five keys is made a large majority of the modulations in any piece of music.[49]

Subdominant Tonic Dominant Relative Minor

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Beginning with Beethoven, a modulation into what are known as the mediant keys became frequent; and is, in fact, a favorite change in all modern music—the mediant keys being those situated half-way between a Tonic and Dominant or a Tonic and Subdominant, e.g.

Sub-mediant Mediant

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Anyone at all familiar with Beethoven's style will remember how often his second theme, instead of following the more conventional line of dominant relationship, is in a mediant key. Good examples may be found in the first movement of the Waldstein Sonata and in the first and last movements of the 8th Symphony. A little thought will make clear that the relationships just set forth include nearly all the possible ones save those of 2nds and 7ths. Even into these apparently distant keys, e.g., to D-flat major or to B major from C major, modulations may easily be made by means of the "enharmonic"[50] relationship found in that frequently used modern chord—the Augmented Sixth, e.g.53

C major B major C major D-flat major

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Next to rhythm, modulation is the most stimulating and enchanting element in music. No composition of any scope can be considered truly great unless it abounds in beautiful modulations. Certain composers, to be sure, have in this respect more genius than others—notably Schubert, Chopin, Wagner and Franck whose music seems to waft us along on a magic carpet of delight. But just as Unity depends upon a definite basic tonality, so Variety is gained by this very freedom of modulation. Without it is monotony; with too much modulation, an irritating restlessness. By the perfect balance in his works of these two related elements a genius may be definitely recognized.

The simplest and on the whole most frequent type of musical sentence or period consists of eight measures, subdivided into two balancing phrases of four measures[51] each—the component parts plainly indicated by various cadences and endings soon to be explained. These four-measure phrases are often, though not invariably, still further subdivided into two sections of two measures each. Let us now corroborate these statements by an examination of the opening sentence of the Scherzo of Beethoven's Second Sonata for Pianoforte. This concise sentence is an epitome of the chief principles of organic musical expression. At the outset[52] we see the leading motive, which consists of an ascending broken chord twice repeated. We see also


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the first phrase of 4 measures and the second phrase[53] of similar length, alike subdivided into two sections of 2 measures each. In the third measure we find a modulation into the dominant key (indicated by the D-sharp) and in the fourth measure a cadence with a feminine ending in this key. The second—or after—phrase corresponds exactly to what has gone before: we have the same repetition of the motive in a different part of the scale; and finally, in the 8th measure, a cadence in the home key, also with feminine ending.


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When the sentence is played, it is evident how unsatisfactory would be the effect if a complete stop were attempted at the 4th measure; and how symmetrical and convincing is the impression when the eight measures are considered an unbroken sweep of musical thought.[54] There are, in fact, a few complete compositions in musical literature which contain but a single sentence of eight measures. As an example may be cited the song from Schumann's Lieder Album für Jugend, op. 79, No. 1. (See Supplement No. 19.) For purposes of practical55 appreciation[55] it is enough to state that a cadence is an accepted combination of chords (generally the tonic, dominant and subdominant) which indicates that some objective, either temporary or final, has been reached. When the dominant chord or any dominant harmony is immediately followed by the tonic the cadence is called perfect or final, and may be compared to a period in punctuation, e.g.

  César Franck
music music
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A reversal of this order produces what is called the half-cadence, akin to the semicolon, e.g.


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The union of the subdominant and tonic chords is known as the Plagal Cadence, e.g.,


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and always gives a feeling of religious dignity and impressiveness. Magnificent examples may be found in the closing measures of Wagner's Overture to the Mastersingers and of Brahms' First Symphony in C minor. In the final cadence of Debussy's humorous piece for pianoforte, Minstrels, the effect is burlesqued, e.g.56


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When dominant harmony is followed by some unexpected chord we have the so-called Deceptive Cadence, which is not unlike the mark of interrogation (?) or even exclamation (!) e.g.

Wagner: Overture to the Mastersingers


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Tchaikowsky: 5th Symphony


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This last cadence gives an effect of dramatic surprise—certainly an exclamation of great force. One of the glories of modern music is the daring novelty of cadential effect which has been achieved by such composers as Franck, Debussy and Ravel; the student should try to become more and more familiar with such harmonic combinations. A beautiful example[56] is cited from César Franck's Sonata for Violin and Pianoforte.



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The two endings for phrases are classified as Masculine and Feminine and they correspond exactly to the same effects in the metre of a poetic stanza. When the second chord of the cadence, whatever it may be, coincides with a strong beat, i.e., the first beat of the measure, the ending is Masculine, e.g.


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When the chord is carried over to a weak beat of the measure the ending is Feminine, e.g.58


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We now give two more examples of the eight measure Sentence which clearly exemplify the principles just stated, e.g.

Beethoven: 3rd Sonata


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In this vigorous and clear-cut sentence we find in the 4th measure an effect of surprise and suspense; for the chord on the first beat is an inverted position of the dominant chord in the dominant key. Both the endings are masculine, i.e., the chords which end the phrases coincide with the strong beats.

Beethoven: 1st Sonata




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This graceful sentence is noteworthy for the clear division of the first phrase into two contrasting sections; whereas, in the second phrase, a climactic effect is gained by having no marked subdivision. In the fourth measure occurs a good example of a half-cadence. All the endings are feminine, i.e., the cadential chord occurs on a weak beat of the measure.[57]

Music, however, would be very rigid and would seem measured off with a yard-stick if the sentences were equally of eight measures. The "sing-song" effect of much so-called popular music is due to the stereotyped metrical pattern. You can always tell just where and how you are coming out. In order to gain a free and elastic phraseology, composers early began to combine three four-measure phrases into a twelve measure sentence. It is obvious that with three phrases there can be more subtle effects of contrast and balance than with two, as the following chart makes plain:60


Beethoven: 6th Sonata


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In this sentence it is evident that we cannot stop at the 8th measure and that our first definite conclusion is in measure 12. Let the student observe the varied melodic outline in the three phrases, and question himself as to the types of cadence and ending.

Minuetto of Beethoven’s First Sonata.[58]

In this beautifully constructed twelve-measure sentence we have the main motive of the entire movement set forth in measures 1 and61 2; then a contrasting secondary motive in measures 3 and 4. The second four-measure phrase, i.e., measures 5, 6, 7 and 8, repeats the material exactly, but with a modulation into the relative major. In measures 9 and 10 we find the secondary motive appearing in the alto voice (which should be brought out in performance), and in measures 11 and 12 a free ending in the relative major. The closing measures, 13 and 14, give an echo-like effect, which will be explained when we come to extended sentences. Such a sentence is not to be considered as one of 14 measures, although the literal counting gives that number; for the first complete cadence occurs in the 12th measure at the end of the third four-measure phrase; the remaining measures being supplementary.[59]

The last type of simple, normal sentence is that of 16 measures, divided into 4 phrases of 4 measures each. A clear distinction must be drawn between two successive sentences of 8 measures and the long sweep of a genuine 16 measure sentence. In the latter case there is no complete and satisfactory stop until we reach the cadence in the 16th measure.

First Sentence of the First Movement of the Twelfth Sonata.

No difficulty will be found in following the cadences and endings of this sentence, the long-drawn out lines of which give an impression of repose and tranquillity. Two more excellent examples of 16 measure sentences may be found in the Adagio of the Fifth Sonata, and in the Scherzo of the Third; the latter movement is remarkable for the polyphonic treatment of the opening motive.

Although the three types of sentence just studied, i.e., of 8, 12 and 16 measures are the normal ones, and would include a majority of all sentences—especially in smaller works—in large compositions there would be an unendurable monotony and rigidity were there invariably to be cadential pauses at every 4th measure. We all know the deadening effect of poetry which has too great uniformity of metric pattern; and verses of "The boy stood on the burning-deck" type are considered thoroughly "sing-song." It is obvious that elasticity may be gained, without disturbing the normal balance, by expanding a sentence through the addition of extra62 measures, or contracting it by the logical omission of certain measures or by the overlapping of phrases.

The simplest and most common means of enlarging a sentence is by the extension, or repetition, of the final cadence—that effect which is so frequent in the chamber and symphonic music of Haydn, and which has its comic manifestation in the so-called "crescendo" of the Rossini Operatic Overture.[60]

Haydn: Quartet, op. 74, No. 2


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As Haydn was an important pioneer in freeing instrumental structure from dependence on the metre of words, his periods are always clearly organized; the closing measures of this example seem, as it were, to display a flag, telling the listener that the first breathing-place is reached. Very often both the fore-phrase and the after-phrase have cadential prolongations, an example of which may be found in Haydn's Quartet, op. 71, No. 3. The two following illustrations (the first movement of Beethoven's Fifth Sonata and the third movement of the Fourth) furnish remarkable examples of extended 16 measure sentences; each sentence being normal and symmetrical at the outset and then, as the fancy of the composer catches fire, expanding in a most dramatic fashion. Sometimes the additional measures, in an extended sentence, are found at the start; a clear example of this is the first sentence (with its repeated opening measure) of the Largo of the Seventh Sonata. Sentences are also often expanded by the insertion of one or more measures in the middle of the phrase, e.g., the beginning of the first movement of the Seventh Sonata and the corresponding place in the Fourth. In the former sentence the first phrase is perfectly regular, but as we reach our final cadence only in the tenth measure, we must account for some additional measures. The polyphonic imitation of the descending motive of measure 5 makes clear that this measure has two repetitions. In the latter case we reach the end of the sentence in the 17th measure and careful counting, and consideration of the melodic outline, will convince us that the 9th measure, emphasized by the sf mark, is repeated.

When an extra measure is systematically introduced into each phrase of 4 measures we have what is known as "five-bar rhythm"—so prevalent in the works of Schubert and Brahms.

Schubert: Sonata in E♭ major




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Brahms: Ballade in G minor


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As everyone is familiar with the latter composition, only the melody is cited. This propulsion of the mind forward beyond the accustomed point of rest always produces a stimulating rhythmic effect.[61]

The normal phraseology of four and eight measures is altered at times by the omission of certain measures. This often takes place at the beginning of the sentence, as may be seen from the structure of the so-called Anglican chant, familiar to all Protestants, e.g.



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The beginning of Mozart's Overture to Figaro is also well known, e.g.


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The elision of a measure often takes place in the middle of a phrase as may be seen from the theme of Mendelssohn's familiar Spring-Song.


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Just as in the case of the systematic insertion of an extra measure, which produces "five-bar rhythm," so when a measure is omitted in each phrase which would usually consist of four measures, we have "three-bar rhythm." This gives an effect of great concentration and intensity and is a prevalent feature in Scottish and Hungarian folk-music, e.g.



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Additional examples of three-bar rhythm may be found in the Scherzo of Beethoven's Tenth Sonata and in the Minuet of Mozart's G minor Symphony—the latter, one of the most striking examples in literature.

When a measure is systematically omitted from the normal structure of the 8 measure sentence we have "seven-bar rhythm"; of which beautiful examples may be found in the Scherzo of Beethoven's Sonata in B-flat major, op. 106, and in Mozart's Quartet in F major, No. 23. As these examples are readily accessible they are not quoted. The humorous effect produced, in the Beethoven example, by the unexpected elision of the 7th measure is very marked.

Flexibility in the structure of a sentence is often gained by what is known as "overlapping"[62] of phrases, i.e., where the closing measure of a sentence, the 8th or 12th for example, is identical with the first measure of the following phrase. A clear example is this passage from the first movement of Beethoven's Third Sonata, e.g.


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As the principles of sentence-formation are closely involved with the general subject of rhythm, something must be known about the number of beats within the measure itself. While it is true that we Anglo-Saxons tend to think in terms of 2 and 3 or their multiples, i.e., our customary measures consist of 2 or 4 beats or of 3, 6, 9 and 12,67 in modern music—particularly that of other races (the Slavs, Hungarians, etc.)—we often find measures with 5 and 7 beats and even phrases containing a mixture of rhythms. Three excellent examples of compositions with measures of 5 beats each are the Slow Movement of Chopin's Sonata in C minor, op. 4, the F-sharp major portion of d'Indy's Symphonic Variations, Istar, and the second movement of Tchaikowsky Sixth Symphony, e.g.


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A delightful example of a melody with 7 beats a measure is the Andante Grazioso of Brahms's Trio in C minor, op. 101—the result undoubtedly of his well-known fondness for Hungarian music, e.g.


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The following theme from Tchaikowsky's Quartet in F major, notwithstanding the time signature, certainly gives the effect of a long, seven-beat measure, e.g.68


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Those who wish to do a little investigating of their own in the field of modern music will find interesting examples of 5/4 and 7/4 metres in Ravel's Daphnis and Chloe, in d'Indy's Sonata for Violin and Pianoforte and in the Ballet music of Stravinsky.

We even find passages where, for special effect, the usual beats are elided or extra beats inserted. Schumann was one of the most daring experimenters in this respect and such fantastic effects are frequent in his pianoforte works—notably in the Carnaval, op. 9, and in the Phantasiestücke, op. 12, e.g.

Schumann: Carnaval


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With reference to all the foregoing principles and comments the music-lover is cautioned against the assumption that music, from the standpoint of the composer or the listener, is merely a matter of mechanical counting; or that the "swing" of music is as regular as that of a sewing-machine. But, as order is Heaven's first law, it is true that music tends to move in definite, symmetrical groups; and where departure is made from this practise the effect is one most carefully planned. The matter deserves earnest consideration, for,69 in what is known as the "rhythmical sense," Americans—as a people, in comparison with foreign nations—are still woefully deficient. As rhythm is the basic element in all music, there is nothing in which the listener should more definitely train his faculties than in intelligent coöperation with the freedom of the composer.



NOW that a clear insight has been gained into the formation of the normal sentence, we are in a position to understand how sentences may be combined to make complete compositions. The simplest and most primitive structure is that which contains two complete sentences; dividing itself naturally into two parts and hence known as the Two-Part Form. This form by reason of its simplicity and directness is often found in the short pianoforte pieces of Schumann, Tchaikowsky, Brahms, Grieg and Debussy. For a long period there was no attempt at differentiation between vocal and instrumental style; music, in fact, during the 15th and 16th centuries was often entitled "buon da cantare ou suonare," i.e., equally well suited for voices or instruments. When instrumental players were in search of pieces, they simply transferred to their instruments the voice-parts of the Madrigals and Canzonas which were then so fashionable.[63] With the development of instruments—especially of the Violin family—and with the desire for an instrumental style which should be independent of words, principles of coherent design had to be evolved; and they were suggested by the definite metre in the stanzas of the Folk-song and, above all, by the symmetrical phrases of the Folk-dance, used to accompany the rhythmical motions of the body. By a utilization of these principles of balanced phrases, of contrasted keys and of periodic themes, instrumental music gradually worked out70 a structure of its own,[64] of which we find examples in National dances and in the compositions of such pioneers of instrumental style as the Italians Corelli and Vivaldi, the Frenchmen Lully, Couperin and Rameau, and the Englishman Purcell.


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Viens dans ce bocage belle Aminte,
Sans contrainte L'on y forme des vœux;
Viens, Viens dans ce bocage belle Aminte,
Il est fait pour les plaisirs et les jeux.


In this rhythmic and sprightly dance of exactly 8 measures (an old French Tambourin taken from Weckerlin's Echos du Temps Passé) we see clearly the influence of the metrical stanza of words and of the balanced phrases in the instrumental part, necessary to accompany the steps of the dancers. The melody of the accompaniment was played on a flute or some simple kind of pipe, and the bass on a Tambour de Basque—a rude form of drum, which repeated continually the tonic and dominant of the key; the same effect which we associate with the Bagpipe and Hurdy-gurdy.

Purcell: Jig.


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In this Jig, which was a favorite type with the English peasantry—divided into three sentences of exactly 8 measures each—the dance rhythm is very sharply defined. From various dance-patterns a structural type was gradually evolved, of which the chief features will now be indicated. The music was divided into two distinct halves and it became the convention to gain length by repeating each half—in the early days of the form, literally (with a double bar and sign of repeat); later, as composers gained freedom, with considerable amplification. Each half presented the same material (it was a one-theme form) but the two halves were contrasted in tonality, i.e., the first72 part, beginning in the home-key, would modulate to some related key—generally the dominant; the second part, starting out in this key, gradually modulated back to a final cadence in the original key, and often—especially in Haydn and Mozart—repeated the entire main sentence of the first part. The general effect of such a form has been wittily described[65] as resembling the actions of "the King of France who, with twenty thousand men, marched up the hill and then marched down again"—but he surely had no exciting adventures in between! It is evident that this form, while favorable to coherence and unity, is lacking in scope and in opportunity for variety and contrast. It did, however, emphasize the principle of recapitulation; in fact it became the convention (as we shall see in the dances of the Suite) for the closing measures of the second part to be an exact duplicate in the home-key of that which had been presented at the end of part one. We shall observe, as we continue our studies, that the trend of musical composition gradually swung over to the Three-part form, the essential feature of which is restatement after intervening contrast.

For illustrations of the Two-part Form see the Supplement Nos. 20, 21, 22, 23, 24.

Only in such comparatively simple examples as those just cited is found this perfect balance in the length of the two parts. We often observe extended sentences in the first part; and it became the custom for the second part to be considerably lengthened, to include modulations into more remote keys and even to display certain developments of the main material. For a striking example of a movement which, although definitely in Two-part form, (i.e., it is in two clear divisions and has but one theme) is yet of considerable scope and variety, see the Allegretto of Beethoven's Fourth Sonata. It was, in fact, this instinct for contrasting variety in the second part[66] which (as can be shown from historical examples)[67] gradually led to the developing and establishment of the Three-part form.

The essentials of this structure, so frequent in all pianoforte literature, are the existence of three distinct parts—hence the name: a clause of assertion in the home-key; a second clause, affording a genuine contrast to the first part in regard to key,73 melodic outline and general treatment, and a third clause of reassertion, which shall repeat—either literally or in varied form—the material of part one.[68] In the Three-part form, as employed in the classic Minuet and Scherzo, each of the three parts taken by itself is in complete Two-part form; and as the third part was generally a literal repetition of part one, it was not written out, but at the end of the middle part (called the Trio, because it was originally written in three-voiced harmony) we find the direction "Minuet or Scherzo da capo," meaning a return to the first part. A coda or tail-piece is often added to round out the form. As the student will become thoroughly familiar with the Three-part form, in connection with the classic Symphonies soon to be studied (each Minuet, Scherzo or Trio being an example), our illustrations show the use of this form in independent pieces and are chiefly taken from modern literature; the object being so to interest the student in the beauty of these compositions as to convince him that in all good music content and design go hand is hand. For examples[69] see Supplement Nos. 25, 26, 27.



NO sooner had the Two-and Three-part forms become accepted as definite means of instrumental expression, than composers were eager to try their skill in combining dance-movements in such forms into larger groups. These compositions—known in France as Ordres, in Germany as Suites and Partitas and in England as Lessons—though all the movements were in the same key, yet showed considerable variety by reason of the contrast in the dance rhythms. They were, moreover, simple, direct and easily under74stood of the people.[70] This development was furthered by the perfecting of two groups of instruments: The violins, by the great Italian masters; and those precursors of our modern pianoforte, the harpsichord, clavichord and spinet. We find, consequently, the Italians—of whom Corelli was most prominent—combining these dances into groups called Sonate da Ballo: and the French composers Couperin and Rameau, developing the possibilities of keyed stringed instruments in graceful pieces to which fantastic titles, such as La Poule, Le Rappel des Oiseaux, etc., were often given. The greatest master of instrumental style in these early days was the Italian, Domenico Scarlatti (1685-1757). He was famous both as composer and performer—the first, in fact, of the long line of key-board virtuosi—and in his compositions in dance form and in those of a more abstract type there is a sparkling fancy and an adjustment of the thought to his instrument, which will keep them forever immortal.[71]

The grouping together of dance forms reached its highest development through the genius of Sebastian Bach in the so-called French and English Suites.[72] In these compositions—in the Partitas and in the orchestral Suite in D major, which contains the well-known Aria, often played in transcription for Violin solo—the dance-forms are not employed literally but are made a vehicle for the expression of varied types of human emotion and sentiment. Nor should we overlook the twelve Harpsichord Lessons of Handel—especially the superb Fugue in E minor in the Fourth Suite—which are noteworthy for their vigor, though, in freshness and delicacy of invention, not to be compared with Bach's.

We now give a tabulated list of the customary dance forms, both as found in the Classic and the modern Suite or used as independent pieces; and we shall then analyze those which have the most characteristic rhythmic pattern.75


AllemandeSuabian4/4Two-partModerately quick; flowing, with a rather rich harmonic texture.
3/4, 3/2Two-partRunning, lively; the 2/2 type always with a change of meter at the cadences.
SarabandeSpanish3/2, 3/4Two-partStately, dignified; often noble and even dramatically pathetic.
HornpipeEnglish4/4Two-partRapid, merry, energetic.
Italian giga, an early violin6/8, 12/8, 4/8Two-partVery lively, rollicking, even jocose.
GavotteFrench4/4, 2/2Two-partModerately fast; well-marked rhythm, often stately.
BourréeFrench4/4Two-partLively, vigorous.
MinuetFrench3/4, 3/8Two-partModerately fast; dainty, graceful, courtly.
PassepiedFrench3/4Two-partLight, delicately animated.
LoureFrench6/4, 4/4Two-partRather slow, stately.
PavaneItalian2/4Two-partSolemn, impressive.
GalliardItalian3/2, 2/2Two-partLively, merry.
4/4, 3/4Two-partLively, with great abandon.
PolonaisePolish3/4VariedDignified and courtly, but with life.
MazurkaPolish3/4VariedGreat range of speed and effect; at times sustained and pathetic, often bright and lively.
PolkaBohemian2/4Generally three-partMerry, animated.
FuriantBohemian3/4VariedVery lively, even frenzied.
WaltzGerman3/4Two-part or three-partGraceful; varied in effect; at times lively, often slow.
BoléroSpanish3/4Three-partBrisk, well-marked rhythm.
TarantellaItalian6/8VariedVery lively, impassioned.
SaltarelloItalian6/8, 3/4VariedWith quick, jumping rhythm.
RigaudonFrench2/4, 4/4VariedLively, gay.
MarchFound in every nation4/4VariedStately, with marked rhythm.76
CsárdásHungarian3/4, 2/4VariedImpassioned; with great variety of effect.
HallingScandinavian2/4VariedFresh, vigorous, out-of-doors atmosphere.
TangoMexicanVariedVariedWith reckless abandon.
HabañeraSpanish2/4VariedGraceful; with characteristic rhythm.
SeguidillaSpanish3/4, 3/8VariedFantastic; sometimes stately, sometimes gay and lively.
Jota, often Jota AragonesaSpanish3/4FreeA kind of waltz, but with more freedom in the dancing, and of a vigorous and fiery nature.
MalagueñaSpanish3/8In couplet formA dance of moderate movement, accompanied by guitar and castanets; languorous and sensual in mood.
SicilianoSicilian6/8, 12/8Two-part, three-part, often a RondoGraceful; of a Pastorale nature.

The four indispensable movements of the classic or 18th century Suite were the Allemande, the Courante, the Sarabande and the Gigue; and, between the last two, it became customary to insert an optional number of other dances—the most usual being the Gavotte, Bourrée, Minuet and Passepied. In effect, the Suite was a kind of "international Potpourri" of the dances most in vogue, and affords us a vivid reflection of the manners and customs of the period. Many of the English Suites begin with an elaborate polyphonic Prelude. We shall not give a detailed analysis of all these dance movements; for the main characteristics the tabulated list will suffice, and in the book of Supplementary examples (see No. 35) will be found the 6th French Suite complete. It will be more useful to center attention on those dances which, in rhythmic pattern, are especially typical and are most frequently employed in modern music; and we shall select, as examples drawn from various sources, those dances which make a direct appeal. The most characteristic of the dances are the Sarabande, the Gavotte, the Minuet and the77 Gigue; and with the last, as exemplifying the same spirit, may be grouped the Rigaudon, Furiant, Tarantella and Saltarello.

The Sarabande is a slow, stately dance; always in triple meter indicated by 3/2 or 3/4. Its striking features are the frequent occurrence of the rhythmic pattern

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in which it is evident that there is a strong accent on the weak beats; and the prevalence of feminine endings in the cadences. The Sarabande always displays great depth of emotion—often of a tragic and impassioned kind; and, in the Suite, seems to have served the composer for the same outpouring of feeling which we associate with the slow movement in the later Sonata or Symphony. The example cited in the Supplement (See No. 28)—taken from one of Bach's Sonatas for 'cello—is considered one of the most beautiful in existence. Other eloquent Sarabandes may be found in the Second and Third English Suites and in Handel's noble Air "Lascia ch'io pianga" from the opera of Rinaldo. Two fine modern examples of this dance are the second number in Paderewski's Humoresques de Concert, op. 14, and the second number in the set of pieces by Debussy, Pour le PianoPrélude, Sarabande, Toccata. Composers sometimes employ the Sarabande rhythm for its inherent beauty, or for dramatic purposes without indication of the fact. Examples are the theme for variations in Beethoven's Sonata, op. 109, and the opening measures of the Egmont Overture where, by means of the characteristic Spanish dance-rhythm, an atmosphere of oppression and dejection is established, e.g.


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The Gavotte is an energetic yet dignified dance in duple rhythm (it is almost always played too fast)—the characteristics of which are its beginning on the half-measure and its strongly marked cadences. One of the most stirring examples is that cited from the78 Third English Suite (See Supplement No. 29) which, with its subdued middle portion, La Musette,[73] is an early example of tripartite arrangement. Other gavottes[74] are the favorite one from the Fifth French Suite, that from Handel's opera Ottone (so often played in organ or pianoforte transcriptions) and, from modern literature, the charming one in d'Albert's Suite for Pianoforte, op. 1.

The Minuet is of particular interest, not alone because of the many beautiful examples of its use but because it is the only dance which, carried over from the Suite, has remained an integral movement of Symphonic compositions. The Minuet, in its older form, was a stately dance; the derivation of the term (French menu) referring to the dainty steps of the dancers, always in 3/8 or 3/4 metre and beginning on the first beat of the measure. By Haydn the character of the Minuet was considerably changed; the tempo becomes much faster, the music begins on the third beat of the measure instead of the first and the mood is one of playful humor—at times even of downright jollity. In the Minuets of Mozart the peculiar characteristics are grace and tenderness rather than rollicking fun, e.g., the charming examples in the E-flat major and G minor Symphonies. Concerning the transformation by Beethoven of the Minuet into the Scherzo, with its fantastic and freakish atmosphere, we shall speak more fully in connection with his Symphonies. Of the examples cited in the Supplement (see Nos. 30 and 31) the former, from the first Finale of Mozart's opera Don Giovanni, remains one of the most famous minuets in existence; and the two from Rameau's opera, Castor and Pollux, are of inimitable spontaneity and rhythmic grace. They are grouped in contrasting, tripartite arrangement. In modern literature every one knows of the melodious example for Pianoforte by Paderewski (No. 1 of the Humoresques de Concert) and the Menuet Italien by Mrs. Beach; that in the last scene of Verdi's Falstaff is also well worth acquaintance.

The last of the particularly characteristic dances is the Gigue with its counterparts mentioned above. This is a rapid, animated dance in 6/8, 3/8, 12/8, 12/16 (sometimes 4/4) with marked rhythm; the term being derived from giga (German, geige)—an early name for79 fiddle—on account of the power of accent associated with the violin family. The Gigue is always the closing number of Bach's Suites, in order to give a final impression of irrepressible vitality and gaiety, and is treated with considerable polyphonic complexity; in fact, his gigues often begin like a complete Fugue. They are all in clear-cut Two-part form; and it became the convention for the second part to treat the motive in inverted form. The example cited from Bach's Fifth French Suite (see Supplement No. 32) is unsurpassed for rhythmic energy; the closing measures sound as if all the bells of heaven were ringing. The example of Mozart (see Supplement No. 33) is noteworthy for its daring use of the dissonant element and for its free modulations. Of the counterparts of the gigue the following are excellent examples: The Rigaudon—the Finale of Grieg's Holberg Suite, the vigorous one from Rameau's opera Dardanus, and MacDowell's independent piece in this form, op. 49, No. 2; the Furiant—the Finale of Dvořák's Suite for Small Orchestra, op. 30 (accessible in an effective pianoforte arrangement for four hands); the Tarantelle—Chopin's independent piece in this rhythm, op. 43, and the brilliant Finale of Rheinberger's Pianoforte Sonata for four hands, op. 122; the Saltarello—the last movement of Mendelssohn's Italian Symphony and the main portion of Berlioz's Carnaval Romain Overture. One additional example is cited (see Supplement No. 34), a Courante by D. Scarlatti, to give an example of his pianoforte style. In connection with these dances, especially the Sarabande, Gavotte, Loure, Pavane, Polonaise and Tarantelle, there should be read the articles treating of each dance in Grove's Dictionary; for these dances are so closely connected with human activity that a knowledge of their development broadens our horizon in many matters pertaining to social life and civilization in general. As to specific examples of the less usual dances, many of the quaintest are found in the works of the early English composers: Byrd, Bull, etc., in the Fitzwilliam Virginal Book, e.g., The Lord of Salisbury his Pavan. An excellent example of the Loure is the well-known arrangement from Bach's third 'Cello sonata. Chopin, in his works, has glorified both the Polonaise and the Mazurka; Bizet, in his opera Carmen, has used the Habañera and the Seguidilla, and there is a wonderful use of the Habañera rhythm in Debussy's descriptive piece Soirée dans Grenade. The French composer Ravel in his pianoforte piece Pavane pour un enfant defunt has used with remarkable effect the stately rhythm of that dance. The Spanish80 composers, Albeniz and Granados, frequently employ national dance rhythms in their pieces. The French composer Chabrier's Bourrée Fantasque is a dazzling modernization of the old form; and his España for full orchestra fairly intoxicates us with its dashing rhythms based upon the Jota and the Malagueña.[75] Debussy's well-known piece Hommage à Rameau is in the style of the Sarabande. The allusions in literature to these dances are so frequent that only a few can be cited. The very spirit of the Jig is given in Pope's line "Make the soul dance upon a jig to Heaven." In speaking of the antics of Sir Andrew Aguecheek in Twelfth Night, Shakespeare remarks—"I did think by the excellent constitution of thy leg that it was formed under the star of a Galliard." One of the most remarkable works of the English composer John Dowland (born 1562) is entitled Lachrymae, or Seven Teares, figured in seven passionate Pavans.

The Suite, by reason of its freedom in combining different rhythms and moods, has appealed vividly to modern composers; and the literature of our times contains a number of Suites which should be known to the music-lover. In these modern Suites no attempt is made to conform to the old conventional grouping of dances. The movements are in different keys, are often based on rhythms of an exotic or ultra-nationalistic type—as in Tchaikowsky and Dvořák, or may employ any material suggested by the fantastic imagination of the composer—as in Debussy and Ravel. Among the most attractive modern Suites may be cited: The Peer Gynt (put together from incidental music to Ibsen's play) and the Holberg by Grieg; the two L'Arlésienne Suites by Bizet (written to illustrate Daudet's romantic story)—the first, with its dainty Minuet and brilliant Carillons (Peal of bells); Dvořák's Suite for Small Orchestra, op. 39, with its sprightly Polka and impassioned Furiant; Tchaikowsky's five Orchestral Suites of which the best known are the Casse-Noisette with its exotic rhythms and novel orchestral effects, the Mozartiana and the third which closes with a brilliant Polonaise; Brahms's Serenades for orchestra; Charpentier's Impressions of Italy in which there is an effective use of Italian rhythm and color; MacDowell's Indian Suite, with several of the themes based on native tunes; the fascinating orchestral Suite Adventures in a Perambulator by John Alden Carpenter; Arthur Whiting's Suite Moderne for pianoforte; Stevensoniana, (based on stanzas from Stevenson's Child's Garden of81 Verses) an orchestral Suite in four movements by Edward B. Hill; Debussy's Suite Bergamasque in which is found the oft-played Clair de Lune; Ravel's[76] Mother Goose, a delightful work—and by the same composer the Daphnis and Chloe Suite, the material drawn from an opera of the same name. In modern literature easily the most celebrated and brilliant example of this type is the Scheherazade Suite (based on the Arabian Nights) for full orchestra by Rimsky-Korsakoff. This work in the genuine poetic quality of its themes, in its marvellous descriptive power and in the boldness of its orchestral effect remains unsurpassed.



ONE of the earliest instrumental forms to be worked out[77] was the Rondo, which is merely an extension of the three-part principle of "restatement after contrast" and which, by reason of its logical appeal, has retained its place to this day. Originally the Rondo was a combination of dance and song; that is, the performers sang and danced in a circle—holding one another's hands. The music would begin with a chorus in which all joined, one of the dancers would then sing a solo, after which all would dance about and repeat the chorus; other solos would follow, the chorus being repeated after each. The characteristic feature, then, of this structure is the continual recurrence to a principal motive after intervening contrasts—hence the name Rondo (French, Rondeau); exemplifying a principle found not only in primitive folk-songs and dances but in literature, e.g., many of the songs of Burns and the Rondeaux of Austin Dobson. For it is obvious that the form answers to the simplest requirements of unity and contrast. Frequent examples of the Rondo are found in all early instrumental composers: Bach, e.g., the charming one in C minor in his third Partita; Couperin, Rameau, Haydn and Mozart. It is found also in vocal works, e.g., Purcell's well-known song "I Attempt from Love's Sickness to Fly." From the standpoint of modern taste, however, Beethoven was—with few exceptions—the first to treat the form with real genius; and so our illustrations82 are taken chiefly from his works and from those of his successors. Although there need be no arbitrary limit to the alternation of the chief part with the subsidiary portions—in fact, Beethoven's humorous Rondo Capriccio, On a Lost Farthing has as many as eleven sections—it gradually became conventional for the form to consist of five parts: a first presentation and two repetitions of the main theme together with two contrasting portions called Episodes, to which a free Coda was often added. The form would then be A, b, A´, c, A´´, Coda—A´ and A´´ indicating that the repetition need not be literal, but often varied rhythmically and harmonically; not, however, so as to obliterate the original outline. For in a well-constructed Rondo the main theme must be one of such direct appeal that we look forward to hearing it again; and the successive repetitions must be so planned that we can easily enjoy this pleasure of reminiscence. It also became customary not to block off the sections with rigid cadences but often to insert modulatory passages, thus securing a continuous flow of thought. This practise we see particularly in Beethoven and Schumann. The form which we are discussing is the so-called Older Rondo Form, clearly derived from the dance described above. Beginning[78] with Beethoven, however, we find numerous examples of a different kind of rondo treatment which developed in connection with the Sonata Form—to be explained later. The Rondo-Sonata Form, as it is generally called, is in fact a hybrid type, with certain features derived from rondo structure and certain from the pure sonata form. The Finales to Beethoven's Sonatas, when entitled Rondos, are—with few exceptions—of this Rondo-Sonata type. An excellent example, which should be well known, is the Finale of the Sonata Pathétique. Although there are many cases of free treatment of the rondo principle, they are all based on one or the other of these two fundamental types. Schumann was extremely fond of this Older Rondo Form, as may be seen from his frequent practice of writing two Trios to the Scherzos of his Symphonies. A moment's thought will make clear that a Scherzo with two Trios and the customary repetitions will conform exactly to the pattern given above, i.e., A, b, A´, c, A´´ Coda, e.g., Scherzo, First Trio = First Episode, First return, Second Trio = Second Episode, Final return and Coda—five portions in all, or six when there is a Coda. For convincing examples see the Scherzos83 of the First and Second Symphonies. Schumann's well-known Arabesque for pianoforte, op. 18, is a beautiful, clear-cut example of the form; with an interpolated modulatory passage between the first episode and first return, and a poetic Coda which has, for its closing measures, the chief motive in augmentation (already referred to on p. 45). To show Schumann's partiality for this form the student may be referred to Nos. 2 and 8 of the Kreisleriana (op. 16) and to Nos. 1, 2 and 3 of the "Nachtstücke" (op. 23). The third of the Romances (op. 28)—a remarkably free example in the grouping of the material and in the key-relationship—is cited in the Supplement (No. 37). An excellent example (readily accessible), popular by reason of its freedom of treatment, as well as for its inherent sparkle and dash, is the Finale of Weber's Sonata in C major, op. 24—the so-called Moto Perpetuo. The most famous example of this form in classical literature is undoubtedly the Finale of Beethoven's Waldstein Sonata, op. 53, with its melodious and easily remembered first subject, e.g.




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its two episodes in A minor and C minor (which afford most dramatic contrasts to the lyric quality of the main subject) and its glorious, long-extended Coda of about three pages.[79]

As stated above, the Older Rondo-Form has not become obsolete; indeed, by reason of its possibilities for emphasis and contrast it has commended itself to modern composers. Striking examples may be found in the Finale of Brahms's Pianoforte Sonata in F minor, in the Finale of Tchaikowsky's Fourth Symphony and, above all, in the Symphonic Poems of Strauss, Don Juan and Till Eulenspiegel, in which the form is admirably adapted to the dramatic needs of these descriptive works. Additional examples, which can be readily procured, are the Slow Movement of the Sonata Pathétique, op. 13, Beethoven's well-known Andante in F major—remarkable for its brilliant Coda—and his Rondo, already cited, On the Lost Farthing. (See Supplement No. 38). Although there is a certain stiffness in this form these examples afford the student excellent rudimentary practise in ease of listening.



MONOTONY, as previously suggested, is more unendurable in music than in any of the other arts. We should therefore expect to find musicians inventing new devices to vary their thoughts so that the interest of the hearer might be continually sustained and refreshed. Thus there gradually grew up the form known as the Varied Air—a term meaning the presentation of the same musical material under different aspects. As far back as we can trace the development of instrumental structure, there appears this instinct for varying a simple tune by embellishments of a rhythmical and melodic nature. Examples abound in the works of the early Italian masters, in the harpsichord pieces of the English composers Byrd and Bull[80] and in the music of Couperin and Rameau. But all these86 Variations, however interesting from a historical point[81] of view, are very labored and lack any real poetic growth. They are, moreover, often prolonged to an interminable length—one example, as late as Handel, consisting of an Air with sixty-two Variations; prolixity or "damnable iteration" being as bad a blemish in music as in any of the other arts. In the early days of instrumental composition, about all that composers could do was "to put the theme through its paces." That is, there was no unfolding of the poetic possibilities of the melody. The successive variations were all in the same key; the harmonic basis was practically unchanged and the treatment consisted of dressing up the theme with stereotyped embellishment-figures and of systematic rhythmic animation—produced by the addition of more and more notes to each time unit. A standard illustration of this type of Variations is the so-called Harmonious Blacksmith of Handel from his Suite in E Major. This piece owes whatever popularity it may have preserved to the sturdy swing of the main theme and to the fact that it makes no demand on the attention of the most untrained listener. In fairness we should state that on the harpsichord—with its contrasting stops and key-boards—for which the piece was composed, there is possible more variety of effect than on the modern pianoforte.

Three collateral early forms deserve a passing mention because, notwithstanding a certain rigidity of structure, they have been used by the great masters for the expression of sublime thoughts. These are the Ground Bass (or, as it is sometimes called, the Basso Ostinato), the Chaconne and the Passacaglia[82] which, in modern literature, is well represented by the magnificent "tour de force" that serves as the Finale to Brahms's Fourth Symphony. By a Ground Bass is meant a theme, continually repeated, in the lowest voice, each time with varied upper parts. An excellent example (see Supplement No. 39) is the Aria "When I am laid in earth" from Purcell's Opera Dido and Aeneas. It is evident that the persistent iteration of a striking phrase in the bass gives an effect of dramatic intensity, as may be seen in the sublime "Crucifixion" of Bach's Mass in B minor.[83] The87 Chaconne and Passacaglia are old dance forms (examples of the former being found in Gluck's Ballet Music) and are closely related to the Ground Bass; since, in the majority of cases, we find the same procedure in the announcement of the theme and in its subsequent treatment. Two examples of the Chaconne from standard literature are the famous one of Bach in D minor for solo violin and Beethoven's thirty-two Variations in C minor for Pianoforte. The Passacaglia is of importance as shown by the striking example for organ in C minor by Bach on the following theme:


[Listen] [MusicXML]

Whoever has heard this majestic theme, which seems to bear the sorrows of the world on its shoulders, announced on the deep-sounding pedals will gain a lasting impression of the grandeur of Bach's style.

By the time of Haydn, the technical skill of composers had improved sufficiently so that we find in his works some genuinely interesting examples of the Variation form, e.g., the set on the well-known Austrian hymn from the Kaiser Quartet in C major—in which each of the five variations has a real individuality—and the Variations in F minor for Pianoforte: remarkable as an early example of the varied treatment of two themes.

Most of Mozart's Variations are based upon popular themes and, in general, may be considered as virtuoso pieces to show off the agility of the performer. We find occasional examples, as in the Clarinet Quintette and in the Sonata in D major, which are of more intrinsic worth.

The genius of Beethoven first revealed the full possibilities of the form. In fact, so remarkable was his work that such creative composers as César Franck and d'Indy consider the basic principles for our modern development of music to be found in the Fugue of Bach and the Varied Air of Beethoven. For, deadly dull as is the Variation form when treated in a stereotyped manner, by very reason of its freedom from arbitrary rules it may be a most elastic medium for the expression of poetic genius. The composer has but to invent a striking characteristic theme, rich in potential development, and then to let it develop for as long as he can retain the interest of his hearers. Likewise for a great orator the simple rule is to state a theme on which88 something worth while may be said and then by presenting it in new lights and with copious illustrations to drive the truth home. The principal and significant changes which we owe to Beethoven are the following: complete freedom in variety of key, so that at times (as in his op. 34) each variation is in a new key; a frequent omission of the rigid stops at the end of each variation, e.g., the Slow movement of the Fifth Symphony and the third movement of the Trio, op. 96, so that a continuous flow of thought is preserved; the practice, so often followed in modern literature, of founding variations on a double theme—of which the Finale of the Heroic Symphony is a striking example. But the chief advance in Beethoven is the entirely new conception of what variations should be; not, according to him, mere mechanical manipulations of the subject matter, but vital products of the imagination, as varied as the members of a human family having the same mother. Beethoven's variations, in fact, often seem like a series of character-pieces, each with its own individuality and yet retaining an organic relationship to the main thought. His fondness for the form and his mastery over it is seen by the frequency of its use in the last Sonatas and String-Quartets. Every composer since Beethoven has written one or more works in the Variation form; but we can mention only the most beautiful examples and then pass on to the daring conceptions of the modern school. The Variations by Schubert in his String-Quartet in D minor on the Song, Death and the Maiden, will amply repay study, and so will the Variations Sérieuses, op. 54, for the pianoforte by Mendelssohn. As for Schumann, he was very happy in the use of this form, and his Symphonic Études, op. 13—in wealth of fancy and freedom of treatment—are quite unparalleled. His Variations for two pianofortes, op. 46, deserve also to be known. Among the finest examples since Beethoven are the numerous sets by Brahms, remarkable alike for emotional power, for free and yet logical treatment of the material and for solidity of workmanship. They include the Variations on a theme from Handel for pianoforte, op. 24; the set for orchestra, op. 56a, on the St. Anthony Choral of Haydn; and the two sets, op. 35, on themes from Paganini—universally conceded to be the most brilliant examples for the pianoforte in recent literature.

To speak now particularly of the modern school, there are five compositions in this form which, for their daring novelty and sustained eloquence, should be familiar to every music-lover and heard as often as possible. For they are elaborate works which89 must be thoroughly known to be understood and loved. (1), There is the set in Tchaikowsky's Pianoforte Trio in A minor, op. 50; noteworthy for freedom of modulation and for the striking individuality given to the different transformations of the theme—two of the changes being to a Waltz and a Mazurka. (2), The Symphonic Variations for Pianoforte and Orchestra of César Franck, based on two contrasting themes, one in the minor mode and one with modulations to the major. The variations are not numbered and there are no rigid stops; throughout the work Franck's marvellous power of modulation and rich harmonic texture are eloquently manifested. (3), The Istar Variations for orchestra by d'Indy is one of the most original works in the whole field; in that, for dramatic reasons connected with the subject, the usual order is reversed and the variations come first, gradually becoming more and more simple until we reach the theme itself, pure and unadorned. (4), The Symphonic Poem, Don Quixote, of R. Strauss, a complex set of Variations on three themes which typify respectively the characters of Cervantes' story; the Knight, his attendant, Sancho Panza and Dulcinea. The variations are not confined to a merely abstract or formal treatment of the material but set before us a picture of the attributes of the characters and a description of some of their spectacular adventures. (5), Lastly the Enigma Variations for orchestra by Elgar, so-called because the identity of the basic theme is not revealed. The variations are character-pieces which for individuality and charm are a lasting glory to the genius of the composer.[84]

We shall now analyze, with suggestive comments, two[85] of the well-known sets of Beethoven: the first movement of the Sonata, op. 26, and the Six Variations on an original theme, op. 34. The variations from the Sonata are an early work; but, although definitely sectionalized and with only one change of tonality, they clearly reveal Beethoven's freedom of conception and his aversion to stereotyped treatment. The theme itself is a suave, appealing melody, already cited as an example of a sixteen-measure sentence, and admirably suited for variation purposes, since it arouses at once the expectation90 of the listener.[86] The first variation is a kind of shadowy, mysterious outline of the theme just presented, as if the composer were musing upon the latent possibilities of his material. There is a quickening of interest in the second variation which, with the theme in the bass, may be likened to a 'cello solo of a mildly bravura nature. (Note the fantastic accents on weak beats in measures 18, 22, 23, and 24.) In the third variation comes a complete contrast in mood; the key is changed to A-flat minor and the theme is transformed into an elegy, all its joy crushed out. The movement abounds in impassioned dissonances, always emphasized by sf marks, and the throbbing pulsations of the bass—in the second phrase—give a tragic intensity of feeling. With the fourth variation there enters that spirit of playfulness so characteristic of Beethoven—the movement being, in fact, a miniature Scherzo. The fifth and last variation is an idyllic revery in which the composer reviews and amplifies the many beautiful fancies which his imagination has conceived, and closes with a coda, based on the motive of the main theme, of tranquillity and satisfaction.

The set in F major, op. 34, is a striking illustration of Beethoven's fondness for mediant relationship, since no two variations are in the same key; the tonic of each being a third below that of the preceding. The Key-scheme is F, D, B-flat, G, E-flat, C minor; and then, through the descent of a fifth, back to the home-key, or in actual notes:


[Listen] [MusicXML]

The first variation is a highly embellished treatment of the opening theme; the melodic outline being merely hinted at in unimportant parts of the phraseology, e.g.

original theme

[Listen] [MusicXML]


1st Variation

[Listen] [MusicXML]

Written in the old ornate style, it is of interest chiefly for the pianistic effect. In the second Variation we have a change both of time and key; the impression being that of a distant march for men's voices or for soft trombones. The third Variation, again with change of time and key, illustrates Beethoven's fondness for a subtle outlining of the theme. In the fourth Variation the theme is transformed into a Minuet of graceful swing; and in the next Variation a strong contrast is afforded by the Funeral March, the minor mode being used for the first time. The last Variation—in the home-key—gives a brilliant summing up of the characteristic features of the theme. Note especially the reminiscent effect of the closing measures.



WE have now set forth, with representative illustrations, all the fundamental forms of instrumental music, i.e., the Canon, Fugue and Invention, the Two and Three-part forms, the Rondo and the Varied Air. Through the perfecting of these means of expression music became a living language of communication, ready for that development which, through the genius of the Classic and92 Romantic masters, it was destined to show. The essential feature of all the above forms is the emphasis laid on one theme. This is strictly true of the polyphonic forms, the Canon, Fugue[87] and Invention and of the Two-part form; and although in the Three-part form we have a second theme, this is merely for contrast and is often of rather slight import. The same comment holds true of the Rondo where, notwithstanding the new contrasting themes of the episodes, the centre of attraction is the single main theme, to which constant recurrence is made. Obviously the Varied Air is the expansion of a single theme. But the principal characteristic of the Sonata-Form, now to be studied, is that we find therein two themes of coequal importance, which may well be compared to the hero and heroine of a novel or the two leading characters in a drama. It is true that a composer will often in the creations of his imagination show a marked preference for one theme over the other; just as, in the family group to which the child owes its life, either the man or the woman is likely to be the stronger character. But as there can be no child without two parents, so the organism of the Sonata-Form derives its vitality from the presence and interaction of two living musical personalities, the first and second themes. The first theme is so called because it is the one first presented and because it generally furnishes the prevailing rhythmic pulse of the movement. Yet the second theme,—exactly as important in its own way, is often of a greater beauty; its title of "second theme" implying nothing of a secondary nature, but merely its position in order of appearance. No greater step was ever taken in the growth of musical structure than this introduction of a second coequal theme; for the principle of duality, of action and reaction between two forces, runs throughout nature both human and physical, as is seen from the import of the terms: man and woman, active and passive, positive and negative, heat and cold, light and darkness. The first theme, in fact, often resembles, in its vigor and directness, a masculine personality; while the second theme, in grace and tenderness, resembles the feminine. As long as music confined itself to the presentation of but one main theme it was hampered by the same limitations which beset the early Greek tragedians, in whose primitive plays[88] we find but one chief actor. The93 introduction of a second theme can not be attributed to any single man; indeed it resulted from a tendency of the times, the demand of which was for more homophonic melodies rather than for an elaborate polyphonic treatment of a single one. Embryonic traces of a second theme we find in D. Scarlatti (see Supplement No. 40) and in Sebastian Bach himself.[89] Scarlatti,[90] in fact, was often hovering close to the Sonata-Form and in the example just cited actually achieved it. The systematic employment of the second-theme principle, however, is commonly attributed to Emmanuel Bach (1714-1788), although an undue amount of praise, by certain German scholars, has been given his achievements to the exclusion of musicians from other nations who were working along the same lines. Any fair historical account of the development of the Sonata-Form should recognize the Italians, Sammartini and Galuppi; the gifted Belgian Gossec, who exercised such a marked influence in Paris, and above all, the Bohemian Johann Stamitz (1717-1757), the leader of the famous Mannheim Orchestra, of whom we shall speak further when we come to the orchestra as a medium. In many of Stamitz's Symphonies we find the essential first-movement structure (i.e., tripartite grouping with a clear second theme) and, as Riemann says in his Handbuch der Musikgeschichte, "Their sincere phraseology, their boldness of conception and the masterly thematic development give Stamitz's works lasting value. Haydn and Mozart rest absolutely upon his shoulders."[91]

The other marked characteristic of the Sonata-Form is the second part which is known as the Development Section; for, as we shall soon explain, the structure as a whole is tripartite. In this portion of the movement the composer has an opportunity to improvise, as it were, with his material, using one theme or both as already presented. Dry and labored development sections may, of course, be found in certain Sonatas and Symphonies, but in the great works of such masters as Beethoven, Brahms, Tchaikowsky and d'Indy the development is the most exciting part of the movement. The hearer94 is conducted through a musical excursion; every device of rhythmic variety, of modulatory change and polyphonic imitation being employed to enhance the beauty of the themes and to reveal their latent possibilities.

Before going further, it is well to point out a confusion which often arises between the terms Sonata and Sonata-Form. When we speak of Sonata-Form we mean invariably the structural treatment as to number of themes, key-relationship, etc., of any single movement within a series.[92] By the term Sonata is meant a composition generally in three or four movements, e.g., First Movement, Slow Movement, Minuet or Scherzo and Finale; of which, in most examples of the classic school, the First Movement—and often the last—were in Sonata-Form. An alternative name, indeed, for Sonata-Form is First Movement Form. Beginning with Beethoven, however, composers began to exhibit great freedom in the application of the Sonata-Form. We find Sonatas of Beethoven, notably the set op. 31, in which every movement (even the Scherzo) is in Sonata Form or a modification thereof; on the other hand, there are compositions, entitled Sonatas, in which not a single movement is in pure Sonata-Form, e.g., Beethoven's Twelfth Sonata, op. 26. These comments apply equally to many other large instrumental works. For a symphony is merely a Sonata for Orchestra, a String-Quartet a composition—of the same general type—for four solo instruments[93] and there is, furthermore, a large group of ensemble compositions: Sonatas for Violin (or any solo-instrument) and Pianoforte; Trios, often for unusual combinations, e.g., Brahms's Trio for Violin, Horn and Pianoforte; Quintets and even Septets—in all of which the distinction must be made between the terms Sonata and Sonata-Form. Nor is there any rigid rule in regard to number of movements or the moods expressed therein. The classic Sonata, Symphony or Quartet, as we have stated above, generally contained three or four movements, of which the first would be direct and vigorous in nature—a summons to attention—cast in sonata-form, with a wealth of material organically treated, and requiring from the listener concentrated attention. The second movement was generally much simpler in form, affording relief after the tension of the preceding movement—its themes of a lyric nature, often with great depth of emotion, sometimes even of95 tragic import. The third movement, Minuet or Scherzo, would portray the light, humorous side of life; and the Finale, joyful and optimistic—its themes often bearing strongly the sense of finality—would close the work with a general feeling of satisfaction. It was Beethoven who first modified these principles to suit his own poetic needs. Thus we find some of his Sonatas with only two movements; some have three, some have four. One of Schumann's Symphonies contains five movements and Rubinstein's Ocean Symphony seven! When we reach the modern school, we shall see further freedom as to number, order and type of movements.

We are now prepared to sum up the essential characteristics of the Sonata-Form; for there is no structure in which it is more important for the music-lover to acquire the art of listening easily, naturally and with a minimum of friction. The Sonata-Form is the instrumental form "par excellence"—the Gothic Cathedral[94] of music—and has retained its place, not because of any slavish regard for form as such, but because it has been worked out, perfected and utilized by the greatest of the composers. Any form with a beginning, a middle and an ending, i.e., presenting material worthy of consideration, which allows this material to grow and realize its inherent possibilities and then sums the matter up in a convincing, objective close; which, furthermore, exemplifies the great principle of Duality, i.e., reveals two musical personalities, has as little need for argumentative sanction as a tree or a human being. The Sonata-Form—often, to be sure, with free modifications—predominates in all the large instrumental compositions of the Classic, Romantic and Modern Composers, notably of such men as Beethoven, Schumann, Brahms, César Franck, Tchaikowsky, d'Indy and Sibelius. Anyone unable readily to follow movements in this form, if he thinks he is receiving the complete message of the music, is his own dupe. It would be as logical to expect to enjoy the beauties of architecture without perceiving the difference between a nave and a bowling-alley. The obvious way to understand the meaning of a language is to know something of the principles of structure and expression in that language. Music is in very truth a language; and far too many people get from it nothing save the appeal which comes from its emotional power. This exciting experience is important, we may frankly acknowledge, but there are no reasons, save apathy and indifference,96 why the hearer should not have all this and more too. There is no conflict between warm emotions and an intelligent, well-trained mind. They should go hand in hand; and in any complete artistic appreciation each is indispensable.[95]

The three main divisions of the Sonata-Form, with their essential features, are the following: (1) the Exposition, in which two themes in different tonalities are announced for the consideration—and, as the composer hopes, the pleasure—of the hearer. In the works of Haydn and Mozart this contrast of key was invariably that of Tonic and Dominant, e.g., C major and G major, or of major and relative minor, e.g., A-flat major and F minor. Beginning, however, with Beethoven great emphasis has been laid on mediant relationship, e.g., C major and E major or C major and A-flat major; and in modern composers[96] this more stimulating change has largely superseded the former tonic and dominant grouping, e.g., Brahms's Third Symphony. We thus see that the harmonic feature of the Exposition is Duality of Key-relationship. Between these two main themes there is always a modulatory connection or Bridge Passage which, in the time of Haydn, was generally of a very perfunctory, stereotyped character. Wagner once sarcastically remarked that Haydn's transitions reminded him of the clatter of dishes between courses at a royal feast. In Mozart we find the bridge-passage more deftly planned, more organically connected with what precedes and follows; but it was Beethoven who, in this portion of the movement, first revealed its possibilities. Throughout his works the bridge-passage is never a mere mechanical modulation or a floundering about until the introduction of the second theme, but is so conceived that the interest of the hearer is increasingly aroused until, at the entrance of the second theme, he is in the highest state of expectancy.[97] A bridge-passage of this kind often has a subsidiary theme of its own, or even several melodic phrases, and is planned as carefully as the action by which a dramatist leads up to the entrance of his heroine. After the second97 theme we generally find a closing theme to round out the Exposition as a whole. This practice dates from Haydn and has been much expanded by modern composers. Witness the glorious climactic effect in César Franck's Symphony and in Brahms's D major Symphony of the closing themes in the Expositions of the first movements. For many years it was the invariable custom to repeat the Exposition, and in Classic Symphonies we always find a double bar with marks of repeat and two endings. This practice was not an integral part of the form but was adopted so that the hearer, by going over the themes of the Exposition twice, might follow more intelligently their growth in the Development. With the advance in public appreciation this repeating of the Exposition has been largely abandoned; for there is no doubt that to begin all over again, when a certain objective point has been reached, breaks the continuous flow of the movement.[98]

(2) The Development, for which the Germans have the happy name of "Freie Phantasie," or free phantasy; the composer thus giving rein to his imagination and doing whatever he pleases, so long as he holds the interest of his hearers and neither becomes verbose nor indulges in mere mechanical manipulation. There are, alas! developments in which the composer exhausts his themes and his hearers too;[99] but on work of this kind, since it is not real development but labored jugglery, no powder need be wasted. Beethoven began the practice, in his Developments, of not confining himself to the themes of the Exposition but of introducing an entirely new theme, whenever the main material had fulfilled its purpose. The single most exciting factor in a good development is the freedom and wealth of modulation revealed by the daring genius of the creator; the effect being Plurality of Key-relationship, in distinction from the two closely related keys of the Exposition. It would often seem as if we were taken up into high mountains or borne away to distant seas. For illustrations of this "free phantasy" note the end of the Development in the first movement of Beethoven's Second Symphony where, after great stress has been laid in the Exposition on the two basic keys of D major and A major, we are left in the distant tonality of C-sharp major and are then whirled back, by a dramatic change, into the home-key98 of the third part. One of the most interesting studies in the workings of a great mind is to observe how Beethoven, in his developments, allows the excitement to subside and yet never entirely die out, and how deftly he leads the hearer onward to the summing up of the main themes of the exposition.

(3) The Recapitulation or Résumé, in which both the themes of the Exposition are reasserted, each in the home key—a strong final emphasis thus being laid on Unity of Tonality. The bridge-passage has to be correspondingly changed, for now the modulation is between two themes both in the same key. To achieve such a modulation is quite a "tour de force" as every musician knows, and often taxed the ingenuity even of the great Beethoven. The skill by which he always made the second theme sound fresh and vital is astounding. For a case of "academic fumbling"—mere treading of water—in this adjustment of key relationship, see the Recapitulation of the first movement of Brahms's Second Symphony. To secure unbroken continuity and to avoid vain repetitions[100] there is no portion of the Sonata-Form which has been more modified by the inventive genius of modern composers and by the tendency exemplified in the Symphonic Poem (to be explained in due season). The general validity of Restatement, as shown in the Recapitulation of the Sonata-Form, cannot be questioned; for that depends, as so often pointed out, upon the human craving to enjoy once more, after intervening contrast, something which has originally given pleasure. Furthermore this sound psychological principle finds an analogy in our own life: with its early years of striving, its middle period of development and its closing years of climactic retrospect and satisfaction. There is a corresponding structural treatment in the dénoûment of a drama. In the classic composers, the Recapitulation is almost always a literal repetition of the Exposition, although Beethoven began to be freer, e.g., in the climax of the Coriolanus overture, where he modifies the form to meet the dramatic needs of the subject.[101] Modern composers, however, have felt that much of this repetition was superfluous; and when they do repeat both themes, one or the other is freely varied and made still more eloquent. For examples, see the résumé of the first movements of Franck's Symphony, of Brahms's First99 Symphony and of Tchaikowsky's Sixth. The Recapitulation is often abridged by omitting the first theme altogether and dwelling exclusively on the second; as for example, in the Finale of Schumann's Fourth Symphony and in Sinigaglia's Overture, Le Baruffe Chiozzotte.[102]

It remains to speak of the beginning and end of the Sonata-Form. With Haydn it became the custom, not necessarily invariable, to introduce the body of the movement by a Prelude which, in early days, was of slight texture and import—often a mere preliminary "flourish of trumpets," a presenting of arms. In Mozart we find some examples of more artistic treatment, notably in the Overture to the Magic Flute and in the prelude to the C major Quartet with its stimulating dissonances. But in this case, as in so many others, it was Beethoven who first showed what a Prelude should be: a subtle means of arousing the interest and expectancy of the hearer; the effect as carefully planned as the portico leading to a temple. To usher in the theme of the Exposition in a truly exciting manner every means of modulation and rhythm is employed; famous illustrations being the introductions to the first movements of the Second, Fourth and Seventh symphonies; and, in modern literature, those of the first movements of Brahms's First Symphony and of Tchaikowsky's Fifth. It also became customary to prolong the end of the movement by what is termed a Coda; the same tendency being operative that is found in the peroration to a speech or in the spire of a cathedral, i.e., the human instinct to end whatever we attempt as impressively and completely as possible. This Coda, which, in Haydn and Mozart, was often a mere iteration of trite chords—a ceasing to go—was so expanded by Beethoven that it was the real glory of the whole movement. In fact so many eloquent treatments of the main material were reserved for the Coda that it often became a second development; and such was its scope that the form may be considered to have four parts instead of three, i.e., 1, Exposition, 2, Development, 3, Recapitulation, 4, Coda; parts 4 and 2 balancing each other in the same way as 3 and 1. For two of the most famous examples in all Beethoven literature see the Codas to the First movement of the Third Symphony and to the Finale of the Eighth.

We now present a tabular view of the Sonata-Form summing up the features just commented upon.100



Introduction (optional)

First Theme

Modulatory bridge-passage

Second Theme

Closing Theme

(Duality of Key-relationship)
Free treatment and expansion, especially modulatory and rhythmic, of the themes already presented

Sometimes new material introduced

(Plurality of Key)
First Theme, connecting passage leading to

Second Theme (often in home-key, but not always)

Closing Theme


(Special stress laid on the main tonality. Unity of Key)

For actual musical examples it seems best to begin with the works of Haydn. This exclusion of Philip Emmanuel Bach is not meant to minimize what we owe him for his preliminary efforts in formulating the tripartite Sonata structure, with its two themes and its Development portion. Haydn is on record as saying that it was his study of six Sonatas of Emmanuel Bach which laid the foundations for his own instrumental style. But on the whole, the compositions of Emmanuel Bach are of interest rather from a historical point of view than from one purely artistic. The object of this book, furthermore, is not to give a complete account of the evolution[103] of the Sonata-Form; but, accepting the existence of standard works which employ this form, to enable the student to gain a more complete appreciation of those works. P.E. Bach wrote in the so-called "galant style"[104] of the period which has, for our modern ears, too much embellishment and too many meaningless, rhapsodic passages. He made a sincere effort to invent pure instrumental melody, i.e., musical expression suited to various instruments that should be unhampered by the too definite balance of the dance forms, by polyphonic complexities or by the conventional artifices of operatic style. But though he wrote skilfully for his instrument and though his style has a certain quaint charm, on the whole it is lacking in genuine melodic warmth and feeling. These qualities alone keep works immortal.[105]


In Josef Haydn (1782-1809) we are face to face with a musician of a different type. Haydn is popularly known as the father of the Sonata, the Symphony and the String-Quartet; but, according to Edward Dickinson,[106] this estimate is something of an exaggeration, for "it overlooks the fact that a large number of composers were struggling with the same problem and working along similar lines. Haydn was simply the greatest in genius of the instrumental writers of his day. His works have lived by virtue of the superiority, i.e., the greater spontaneity and vitality, of their contents. He should be called the 'foster-father,' rather than the father of the symphony and quartet for he raised them from feebleness to strength and authority." To him must be given the honor of establishing the types of instrumental composition which became the foundations of modern music. Haydn, moreover, was the first musician since Sebastian Bach who had a real personality which may be felt in his works. To speak of a piece of music as "Haydnish" conveys as distinct a meaning as to refer to a poetic stanza as "Miltonic." When Haydn arrived on the scene, music—through the labors of many earnest workers—had become a language of definite expression, with a logical grammar and with principles of structure. The time was ripe for the use of this language in a more artistic way, i.e., for a more intense personal expression and for more subtle treatment of the material. The composer could count upon the public following his points; and with Haydn, whose heart beat in sympathy with the common people, music begins to be a truly popular art.

The striking features in Haydn's works are three: (1) The wealth of spontaneous and sparkling melodies, for he was born with this lyric gift and never had to cudgel his wits for a tune. That instrumental melody could make such sudden progress as we find between the dryness of Emmanuel Bach and the freshness of Haydn, was long a puzzle to scholars, and only recently has the proof been submitted that Haydn was largely of Croatian ancestry. Now the Croatians of Southern Austria are one of the most musical races in the world, with a wealth of folk-songs and dances. Haydn therefore did not have to "invent" melodies in the ordinary sense of the term; they were his birthright. Many of his melodies are adaptations of actual folk-songs[107] or original melodies coming from an imagination102 saturated with the folk-song spirit.[108] For this reason they seem like wild flowers in their perennial freshness and charm. (2) The precision and clarity with which his ideas are presented. These qualities were due to his well-balanced and logical intellect that impressed everyone with whom he came in contact. His style, moreover, was the result of indefatigable labor, for he was largely self-taught. If the balance of his phrases and the general symmetry of his style seem to our modern taste a bit excessive, we must remember that he was a pioneer and could run no risks in the way of non-acceptance of his message through puzzling complexities. Everything must be so clear that the ordinary mind could at once accept it. Nor is the "sing-song," "square-toed" element so prevalent in Haydn as is commonly supposed. In his melody a distinct feature—no doubt of racial origin—is his fondness for odd rhythms of three, five and seven measures, of which examples abound in the Quartets. In his Minuets and Finales there is a rollicking effect of high spirits which could never have been attained by mere labored pedantry. In his mature works we find a pervading spontaneity which is one of the outstanding examples in all literature of "art concealing art." Never do these works smell of the lamp, and let us remember it is far easier to criticize them than to create them.[109]

(3) The skillful and eloquent manner in which Haydn adapted his ideas to his favorite media of expression: the orchestra and the string-quartet. Although he wrote a number of pianoforte sonatas, these works, on the whole, do not represent his best thought. For they were composed in the transitional period between the waning influence of the harpsichord and the advent of the pianoforte, not yet come to its own. But as for the orchestra, Haydn established[110] the grouping of the three so-called choirs of strings, wood-wind and brass; to which were gradually added the instruments of percussion. In his works we begin to enjoy orchestral effect for its own sake: the dashing vivacity of the strings, the mellowness of the wood-wind,103 the sonority and grandeur of the brass. Instrumental works had formerly been composed in black and white, but now we have the interplay of orchestral colors. No less paramount was Haydn's influence in the handling of the four solo instruments known as the String Quartet. In his Quartets the voices are so highly individualized that it seems as if four intelligent and witty persons were holding a musical conversation. Such melodic and rhythmic freedom were hitherto unknown and his style became the point of departure for modern practice.[111] Both Mozart and Beethoven, those great masters of the String-Quartet, acknowledged their debt of gratitude to Haydn. His success in establishing the formation of the orchestra and the string-quartet was chiefly due to the inestimable advantage he enjoyed of being, for so many years, chapel-master to those celebrated patrons of music the Princes Paul and Nicholas Esterhazy, at whose country-seat of Esterhaz he had at his disposal, for free experimentation, a fine body of players.[112] Here Haydn worked from 1762 until 1790; and, to quote his own words, "could, as conductor of an orchestra, make experiments, observe what produced an effect and be as bold as I pleased. I was cut off from the world, there was no one to confuse or torment me and I was forced to become original."[113]

As to the formal side of Haydn's work, he is responsible for several distinct improvements. The different divisions of the movement are more clearly defined—sometimes perhaps, as we look back, a bit rigidly—but no more so than was necessary for a public just beginning to follow easily the main outlines of the form. Haydn leads up to his objective points in a clear-cut, logical way and there is little of "running off into the sand" or of those otherwise aimless passages so prevalent in Emmanuel Bach. In his best works, notably in many of the Quartets, there is also more individuality secured for the second theme;[114] although for highly personified and moving second themes we have to await the greater genius of Mozart and Beethoven.104 Whenever we are inclined to call Haydn's style old-fashioned we must remember that he wrote before the note of intense personal expression—the so-called subjective element, prominent in Beethoven—had come to the fore. The time just prior to Haydn had been called the "Pig-tail period" (Zopf-Periode) in reference to the stiff and precise dress and manners which had their counterpart in formality of artistic expression. Only towards the end of his career do we feel that breath of freedom in life and art which was generated by the French Revolution (beginning in 1791) and by the many political and social changes of that stirring period. From Haydn on, much more attention should be paid to the content and meaning of the music than to the formal handling of the material. In all worthy music, in fact, the chief point of interest is the music itself which speaks to us in its own language of sound and rhythm. A knowledge of form is but a means to an end: for the composer, that he may express himself clearly and convincingly, and for the listener, that he may readily receive the message set forth. In Haydn's music we find the expression of a real personality—though of an artless, child-like type, without great depth of emotion or the tragic intensity of a Beethoven. Haydn was not a philosopher, or a man of broad vision. During his epoch, artists hardly dared to be introspective. His imagination gave birth to music, simple though it was, as freely as the earth puts forth flowers; but, although he wore a wig, he had a heart which was in good working operation even in his sixty-fourth year when, during his London visit, he fell in love with a charming widow, Madame Schroeter, whom he would have married had not his wife been still alive.

We should acquire the catholic taste to enjoy every composer for what he really was and not criticise him for what he was not—a state which would imply necessarily different conditions. In criticism there is no worse error, or one more often made, than that of blaming Haydn because he was not Beethoven; or, in our times, Tchaikowsky because his music does not resemble that of Brahms. Blasé pedants often call Haydn's music "tame"; we might as well apply that adjective to the antics of a sportive kitten. As for the "amiable prattle" of his style we do not speak in a derogatory way of the fresh, innocent voices of children, though we need not listen to them continually. Haydn, in short, is Haydn,[115] and the vitality and sincerity of his105 works will always keep them immortal. In these feverish days we may dwell upon the simplicity of "Papa Haydn," as he was affectionately called; who would kneel down before beginning work, and who inscribed his scores "In nomine Domini." His modest estimate of his own powers cannot fail to touch our hearts. "I know," he said, "that God has bestowed a talent upon me, and I thank him for it. I think I have done my duty, and been of use in my generation by my works; let others do the same."

We shall now make a few comments on the illustrations in the Supplement (see Exs. No. 41 and 42): the Finale of the Sonata for Pianoforte in E-flat major and the first movement of the so-called Surprise Symphony in G major. Haydn, of all composers, needs little verbal elucidation; his music speaks for itself and everyone must be sensitive to its vitality and charm. We regret that it is not practical to give examples from the Quartets which, in many respects—especially in the Minuets with their inexhaustible invention[116] and their bubbling spirits—represent Haydn at his best. But the real effect of his Quartets is so bound up with idiomatic treatment of the strings that in any transcription for pianoforte the music suffers grievously. It is through the score, however, that everyone should become familiar, with the contents of the Quartets in C major, op. 76, and D major, op. 64; the Finale of the latter being one of the supreme examples in all chamber literature[117] of rhythmic vitality.

The Finale of the E-flat sonata, in strict Sonata-form, begins with a lively eight-measure phrase which is at once repeated a tone higher. The extension of the sentence shows Haydn's freedom in phraseology; for, beginning with measure 17, we should have to count the measures 1, 2, 3, 3a, 4, 5, 6, 6a, 7, 7a, 8, 8a. In the second theme, which begins in the 44th measure, note the piquant dissonances[118] coupled with sforzando accents. Haydn surely liked spice as well as anyone! The rest of the Exposition is taken up with closing passages which accentuate the tonality of the second theme—B-flat major.106 The Development needs no comment, as the correspondence between the original material and Haydn's treatment is perfectly clear. The Recapitulation is a literal repetition of the Exposition, with the two themes as usual in the tonic key. The movement may be considered an example of Sonata-form in its clearest manifestation, hence an excellent one for preliminary analytical study.

In the first movement of the Surprise Symphony, before the body of the work begins, we have an early example of the Prelude. This slow Prelude, short though it be, is most carefully planned; with its crescendo from pp to a sf forte and its free modulation it arouses a genuine feeling of expectancy. The first theme of the Exposition (Vivace Assai) is a happy illustration of Haydn's sparkling rhythm, and as tossed off by the violins is of irresistible gaiety. The reader is asked to remember that the comments on this symphony—and on all subsequent symphonic works—are based upon the orchestral score; also that the composition, when separated from its orchestral dress, necessarily loses much of its real eloquence. Thus the first theme, of a folk-dance character, is a typical violin melody; only strings—with their incisiveness and power of subtle phrasing—can fully express its piquancy. For private study or for class-room work, a practical version is that for four hands; or better still, when possible, the arrangement for two pianofortes.[119] The second phrase of the first theme is considerably expanded by repetition, as if unable to stop from sheer exuberance, but finally reaches a cadence in the dominant key in the 32nd measure. We are at once taken back, however, to the home-key of G major; and, in measure 40, the first theme is repeated, this time delicately embellished with phrases on the flute. From now on, by reason of the emphasis laid on the key of D major, it is evident that we are in the transitional passage and are heading towards the announcement of the second theme. It must be said that Haydn does not drive very straight at his mark; though it is a pleasant touch of variety in measures 55-57 to introduce the main theme in the minor mode, and though the fiery violin passages in the following measures give an air of considerable excitement. What stands for the second theme begins in measure 67. This portion of the movement has no theme with genuine individuality, but consists107 of running passages—based exclusively on tonic and dominant harmonies in the new key, and of little import save one of general vivacity. It is, however, decidedly alive—not stagnant or flabby—and in the orchestra it all "comes off." We are rewarded, finally, by a clear-cut closing theme of jaunty rhythm, e.g.,


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which Haydn liked so much that it is presented twice, the second time slightly embellished. The Exposition closes with the conventional insistence upon a strong cadence in the key of the second theme. The Development begins with some rather fragmentary treatment of the first theme; then, after some fugitive modulation into flat keys, contents itself with running passages and a series of iterated notes. Of organic and sustained development, such as Haydn indeed sometimes attained, there is little trace. Even so we must be chary of sweeping condemnation; for there are well-planned dynamic contrasts and the instruments are used in such a natural way—especially the figure in the double basses (measures 149-153)—that the scene is one of animation, though perhaps no more than one of aimless gambols. There is sufficient modulation, so that the principle of Plurality of key is carried out. We are suddenly but gracefully led back, in measure 155, to the repetition of the first theme, thus beginning the Recapitulation. This portion, with certain abbreviations, is an almost exact duplication of the first part and emphasizes the main tonality of G major. That Haydn was not forced to this literal repetition through any lack of fancy is shown by the skilful amplification of the first theme, in measures 177-184. The whole movement sparkles with sunshine; and those ponderous "heavy-weights" who criticise it because it is not deep or "soulful" are looking for qualities which the music does not pretend to contain. It is the work of a wholesome, cheerful-hearted man expressing through his favorite language his joy in life. In listening to the music we have the same delight as in wandering by the side of a rippling brook. The three108 remaining movements of the Symphony require little comment; being readily accessible they are not given in the Supplement. The second movement, a set of stereotyped variations, contains the explosive chord which gave to the work its descriptive title. Needless to say that this chord does not "surprise" our modern ears to any great extent. The Minuet is one of Haydn's best—full of queer antics in rhythm and modulation. The Finale (Allegro di molto), in the Rondo Sonata form, is the acme of Haydn's vivacity and is a "tour de force" of brilliant writing for the strings. In many passages they seem fairly to burn.

Haydn's position in the development of music is of the first importance. Whatever his works may "mean," they contain a rhythmic vitality which will keep them alive for ever, and their "child-like cheerfulness and drollery" will charm away care and sorrow as long as the world shall last.



ALTHOUGH Mozart, Wolfgang Amadeus[120] (1756-1791), was, in regard to art problems, no more of a broad thinker than Haydn (Mozart and Schubert being pre-eminently men whose whole nature centered in music), yet on hearing his works we are aware that aspects of form and content have certainly changed for the better. In the first place he was more highly gifted than Haydn; he had from his infancy the advantage of a broad cosmopolitan experience, and he was dimly conscious of the expanding possibilities of musical expression. It is a perfectly fair distinction to consider Haydn an able, even brilliant prose-writer, and Mozart a poet. Haydn we can account for, but Mozart is the genius "born, not made"—defying classification—and his inspired works seem to fall straight from the blue of Heaven. Whereas Haydn, Beethoven and Schubert were all of very lowly109 parentage[121] (their mothers being cooks—a blessing on their heads!), Mozart's father and mother were people of considerable general cultivation, and in particular the father, Leopold Mozart, was an educated man and somewhat of a composer himself, who since 1743 had been in the service of the Archbishop of Salzburg, as director of his private orchestra. An excellent violinist, he had written and published a treatise on violin playing, which for many years was the standard work on the subject. Both parents were noted for their good looks, were, moreover, of strong character and highly respectable in every way. Among their several children two early exhibited unusual precocity—Maria Anna, born in 1751, and Wolfgang, still more highly gifted. The stories of the boy's skill and general delicacy of perception may be exaggerated, but we have sufficient valid evidence to convince us that he was a phenomenon absolutely "sui generis." Thus, he began to improvise between three and four, actually to compose little pieces (which we have), when he was five, and to perform in public when he was six! In that very year and continuing for nineteen years (until Mozart had reached the age of twenty-five) began the memorable series of concert tours—eleven in all—comprising Vienna, all the chief cities of Italy and Germany, even Paris and London. These tours the father planned and carried through with the utmost solicitude and self-sacrifice—not to exploit the talented children, but to give them a comprehensive education and artistic experience, and eventually to secure for his son some distinguished post worthy his abilities. It is quite impossible to rehearse all the details of these trips. For one who wishes to investigate for himself they truly make fascinating reading. A single incident, however, will show how clearly defined were the two personalities which made up the complete Mozart; and of which one or the other was in the ascendant throughout his life. As a man, Mozart was light-hearted, witty—even volatile—fond of society, dancing, and a110 good time generally; not of the strongest intellectual power, judged by modern standards, but, as shown by his marvellous dramatic insight, by no means the debonair light-weight he is often represented. Yet whenever music was under consideration he was a changed being; he became instantly serious, and would suffer no disrespect to himself or to his art. During the last sad years of his career in Vienna, when he was in actual want for the bare necessities of life, a publisher once said to him, "Write in a more popular style, or I will not print a note of your music or give you a kreutzer." "Then, my good sir," replied Mozart, "I have only to resign myself and die of hunger."

In Mozart's works, in distinction from the unconscious, naïve folk-song type of Haydn, we find highly wrought instrumental melodies; although such was his inborn spontaneity of expression that we are never aware of the labor expended. His works are quite as clear as those of Haydn, but they show a more conscious individuality of style. They are not so artless, and the phraseology is more elastic—less cut and dried. There is a higher imaginative vitality; trite, mechanical repetitions are in general avoided, climaxes are led up to in a more subtle manner, and a great gain is made in real organic development. For Mozart, as a master of polyphonic treatment, is second only to Bach. The most striking single feature in his work is the ceaseless flow of expressive melody, notably those wondrous tunes found in his operas, such as "Voi che sapete," "Batti, batti" and numerous others. He had travelled so widely, so keen was his power of assimilation that his melodic style embodied and enhanced the best qualities of contemporary Italian, French and German practice. And yet his innate genius was of sufficient strength to achieve this result without lapsing into formal eclecticism. Whatever suggestions he took he made wholly his own; and his music is nothing if not individual in its inimitable charm and freshness. Whereas Haydn's music often smacks too prominently of the soil, with Mozart we have the fine flower of a broad artistic culture. In his best symphonies and string quartets the art of music made a distinct advance and began to be capable of expressing the universal emotions and aspirations of mankind.

The reactive influence—each upon the other—of Haydn (1732-1809) and Mozart (1756-1791) is a most interesting feature of the period.[122] By the time Mozart was ripe for his best work Haydn had formulated and exemplified the main lines of instrumental structure.111 From this preparatory work Mozart reaped such an advantage that in his last compositions there is a spontaneous flowering of genius—a union of individual content with perfect clarity of style—which has kept them alive to this day. Haydn's last symphonies, the two Salomon sets composed for his London tours, show in their turn abundant signs of the stimulating influence of the younger man. The perennial importance of form and style cannot be better understood than by recognizing the fact that both Tchaikowsky and Richard Strauss, two of the most fearlessly independent of modern composers, have considered Mozart as their ideal. But even if in Mozart's best works we are not beyond the preponderating influence of form over substance, they must be judged on their own intrinsic merits and not with reference to progress made since—of which, nevertheless, they were an important foundation. His technique was quite sufficient to express what he had to say. We seldom feel that the contents are bursting through the form, that the spirit is too great for the body. Purity of conception and faultlessness of workmanship were still the desiderata of music. The world had to wait for a Beethoven before the hearer should be shaken out of himself by a spiritual power, of which the music at best was often an inadequate expression. This statement is meant to contain no disparagement. Because Beethoven was more elemental we must never belittle the genius of his predecessor. Any familiarity with Mozart's works will convince us of the gratitude we owe him for his original harmonies, for the stimulating contrapuntal texture and for the perfect finish and care for detail found therein. Could we be forever content with "abstract music"—that which justifies itself by a fulfilment of its own inherent laws—Mozart's music would remain the acme of the art. His fame to-day rests upon his string quartets, his three principal symphonies, and—above all—the operas, of which Don Giovanni and the Marriage of Figaro are noted examples. For consummate character-drawing (so that, as Rubinstein remarks, "Each acting personage has become an immortal type"), for interest sustained by unflagging musical vitality, for a combination of humor and seriousness and for ingenious and characteristic handling of the orchestral forces, these works were unequalled until the advent of Wagner and even to-day in their own field remain unsurpassed. The real charm of Mozart—that sunny radiance, at times shot through with a haunting pathos—eludes verbal description. As well attempt to put into words the fragrance and charm of a violet. Hazlitt's fine phrase, apropos of performance,112 says much in a few words. "Mozart's music seems to come from the air and should return to it," and the ecstatic eulogy of Goethe, to whom genius meant Mozart, should be familiar to all. "What else is genius than that productive power through which deeds arise, worthy of standing in the presence of God and of Nature, and which, for this reason, bear results and are lasting? All the creations of Mozart are of this class; within them there is a generative force which is transplanted from age to age, and is not likely soon to be exhausted or devoured."

In studying Mozart's works the special points to be noticed are these: the wider sweep and freer rhythmic variety of the melodic curve; the more organic fusion of the different portions of a movement—Mozart's lines of demarcation being perfectly clear but not so rigid as in Haydn; the much greater richness of the whole musical fabric, due to Mozart's marvellous skill in polyphony. The time had not yet come when the composer could pique the fancy of the hearer by unexpected structural devices or even lead him off on a false trail as was so often done by Beethoven. Both Haydn and Mozart are homophonic composers, i.e., the outpouring of individual melodies is the chief factor in their works; but whereas in Haydn the tune is almost invariably in the upper voice, in Mozart we find the melody appearing in any one of the voices and often accompanied with fascinating imitations. See, in corroboration, any of the first three movements of the G minor Symphony or the slow movement of the E-flat major Symphony. In the structure of music Mozart made slight changes; the forms were still fresh—having just been established by Haydn—and Mozart with his genius filled them to overflowing. His one important contribution to the development of instrumental form was the Pianoforte Concerto; but, as a consideration of this would lead us too far afield, the student is referred to the life of Mozart in Grove's Dictionary and to the Oxford History, Vol. V. The literature[123] about Mozart and his works is voluminous. Our113 chief attention nevertheless should be centered on the works themselves rather than on what anyone else writes about them. Certain of these criticisms, however, are so suggestive and illuminating that the student should become familiar with them.

As illustrations[124] for comment we select the F major Sonata for Pianoforte, the G minor Symphony, the Magic Flute Overture for Orchestra and the little known but most characteristic Adagio in B minor for Pianoforte. Here again, as in the case of Haydn, we must regret that it is impracticable to give examples from the chamber music: the String Quartets, the Quintet in G minor or from the entrancing Clarinet Quintet. Any familiarity with Mozart's genius is very incomplete which does not comprise the C major Quartet, especially its heavenly Andante Cantabile; likewise the E-flat major Quartet in the slow movement of which are the following poignant dissonances—a striking anticipation of Tristan and Isolde.


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The F major Sonata is selected to illustrate Mozart's pianoforte style because it bubbles over with typical Mozartian melody and because the Sonata-form is the basis of all three movements; in the first and last strictly employed and in the slow movement somewhat modified.114 The structure, while just as clear and easy to follow as that of Haydn, represents an advance in the sustained interest of the transitional passages and in the organic treatment of the Development—this being particularly true of the Finale—the middle portion of the first movement being not so significant. The Sonata, without prelude, begins with a soaring, lyric melody in which the customary eight measure formation is expanded to twelve measures. This expansion is brought about by an imitative treatment of the fifth measure and is a convincing example of the flexible phraseology so prominent a feature in Mozart's style. A balancing sentence of eight measures, with an extended cadence, brings us to the transition which is to introduce the second theme. Observe the increasing animation of the rhythm and how the fresh entry of the second theme (in C major) is enhanced by the insistence on the contrasting tonality of C minor. In measure 41 there begins the second theme, a graceful melody that is repeated with heightened fervour and then expanded by means of various modulatory and rhythmic devices—the interest, for a number of measures, being in the bass. In measure 71 we have a piquant closing theme which ends in the "good old way" with some rather formal groups of cadential chords. The Development is short and, save for the dynamic contrasts in the middle part, not of particular import. But though a bit naïve it is neither labored nor dull. The Recapitulation with the necessary adjustments of key (both themes appearing in F major) corresponds exactly to the Exposition. In the opening melody of the Slow movement—a dreamy, sustained Adagio—we see the beautiful use Mozart made of the "turn," e.g.,


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employing it not as meaningless embroidery or to cover up deficiencies in the instrument but as an integral factor in the melodic line, thus anticipating Chopin and Wagner with his "essential turn." The movement is in abridged[125] Sonata-form, i.e., there is a regular Exposition with two themes in the tonic and dominant and a corresponding115 Recapitulation, but the Development is entirely omitted and in its place we find merely two modulatory measures which take us back to the third part. Such a form arose from the feeling that the Slow Movement should be one of direct melodic and emotional appeal and should not concern itself with protracted discussion of the material. The two closing measures are of a wondrous serenity, peculiar to Mozart. The Finale, Allegro assai, in complete and elaborate Sonata-form, is one of superb vigor and dash, the happiest example possible of Mozart's "joie de vivre." It begins with a brilliant running theme in free phraseology, and then, after a cadence in measure 14, is at once followed by an out and out Waltz tune of a very seductive swing.[126] This is developed to a brilliant climax and then closes pp in a delicate, wistful manner. The transition, with some canonic imitations and stimulating sequences, leads us to the second theme at measure 50. This—one of Mozart's loveliest melodies—is rather exceptionally in the dominant minor (i.e., C minor) and with its mood of pathetic revery affords a wonderful contrast to the headlong dash of the first theme. This melody alone would prove that Mozart had his moments of deep emotion. In measure 65 begins a long closing portion which resumes the exuberant mood characteristic of the Exposition as a whole. The Development at first is based upon modulatory changes in the first theme; and then, towards the middle, occurs a passage which seems to be a counterpart of the second theme, save that it is in the major mode. We are now carried onward through a series of passages, with pungent dissonances and imitative phrases, to a fortissimo dominant chord; thence through a descending cadenza-like passage we are whirled back to the Recapitulation. In material and treatment this corresponds exactly to the Exposition and has the same pianissimo ending. Such an effect was a touch of genuine originality and was a delightful contrast to the conventional flourish of trumpets with which the Finale of the period was expected to end. Music is often most impressive when most subdued.

The G minor Symphony is universally acknowledged to be the highest achievement of 18th century instrumental music and is also premonitory of that subjective spirit peculiar to the 19th century. It will remain immortal so long as human beings are capable of being touched by a sincere revelation of emotion combined with a perfection of utterance which seems fairly Divine. This delicate treatment and116 this exquisite finish are two prominent characteristics of Mozart's style. Truly the Symphony is the quintessence of Mozart in terms of sound and rhythm, and we need but to listen to his message and receive it with grateful appreciation. The work contains the four customary movements, all of them (save the three-part Minuet and Trio) in complete Sonata-form. The first movement begins at once with a gracefully poised theme sung by the violins, a theme which may be likened in its outlines to the purity of a Greek statue. The entrancing effect of this melody cannot be realized except on the orchestra, for it seems to float on the gently pulsating chords of the violas like a beautiful flower. Everyone who hears the work is at once arrested by this highly original treatment, e.g.


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The transition is short but leads us in a happy state of expectancy through a change of rhythm from the graceful outlines of the first theme to the vigorous phrase


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and by a bold run, thrice repeated, to the entrance of the second theme in measure 43. This theme, in the customary relative major (B-flat), illustrates Mozart's fondness for the chromatic element which gives to many of his melodies such a haunting appeal. The closing portion, beginning at measure 71, is an example of Mozart's spontaneous skill in polyphonic writing. It is based entirely on the motive of the main theme in delightful imitations tossed about by different sections of the orchestra. The second part is a genuine Development, since the musical life never flags in its contrapuntal vitality; the theme appears in all parts of the texture—upper, inner and lower voices—and we are carried vigorously onward by the daring modulations. Just at the close of the Development we see Mozart's constructive skill in the fusion of this part with the subsequent Recapitulation. A series of drifting chromatic chords in the flutes and oboes, like light fleecy clouds, keeps us in a state of suspended wonder when quietly there emerges the first theme and the return home has begun. It is one of the truly poetic touches in musical literature and has been often imitated—especially by Tchaikowsky in his Fifth and Sixth Symphonies.[127] The Recapitulation corresponds exactly with the Exposition, but an added pathos is given to the second theme by its appearance in the tonic key of G minor. Observe the impassioned intensity of the climax in measures 13-19 (counting back from the end). The mood of dreamy contemplation with which the Slow Movement begins cannot be translated into words; why attempt it? We have the music which, coming from the divinely gifted imagination of the composer, reveals in its own language a message of pathetic longing and ideal aspiration. The movement is very concise but in complete Sonata-form, and with an orchestration felicitous in the treatment of the horns and the wood-wind instruments. The Minuet, noteworthy for the three-measure rhythm of the opening phrase,


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shows clearly the new life which Mozart infused into the old form by his remarkable polyphonic skill. Note at the outset of the second part the vigorous effect of the theme in the bass and the frequency118 of biting dissonances. The charming grace and simplicity of the Trio are indescribable; here again we find an eloquent use of the wood-wind group. The Finale, in complete Sonata-form, begins with a perfectly balanced periodic theme, presented in Two-part form, i.e., two sentences of eight measures, each repeated. If from our present standpoint we feel that the tone of this movement is a bit light to follow the serious thoughts of the preceding movements, let us remember that it was composed when the Finale was meant merely to "top off" a work; and that, if it radiated a general atmosphere of sunshine and satisfaction, its purpose was fulfilled. For the Finale, which, like the glorious splendor of an autumn day, is the crowning objective towards which the other movements have been striving, we must wait for Beethoven and his modern successors. In fact we may express the general trend of a Haydn or a Mozart Symphony by a decrescendo, thus decrescendo symbol i.e., the real genius of the composer is shown in the first three movements; whereas, beginning with Beethoven, we find an organic climactic effect[128] from the first movement to the last, thus crescendo symbol. But to carry such criticisms too far is ungracious and unjust. Mozart's themes, both the first and the second (beginning in measure 55), with their tripping contredance rhythms, fill our hearts with life and carry us irresistibly onward. And the Development has some surprises in store, for now the dramatic genius of Mozart asserts itself. Note the bold leaps and daring modulations of the opening measures. Nothing trite or formal here! The strong polyphonic treatment of the first theme, beginning in measure 120 and sustained with unflagging energy for seventy measures, makes this one of the most stimulating developments in symphonic literature, not excepting Beethoven himself. The Recapitulation, in subject matter, is an exact duplication of the Exposition and allows us to recover gradually from our excitement and to return to the ordinary world of men and events. The presentation of the second theme, however, shows Mozart's mastery of melodic variation. The substance is the same, but the import of the melody is intensified, e.g.




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The Overtures to Mozart's three operas: The Marriage of Figaro, Don Giovanni and the Magic Flute are of particular interest, not only for the beauty of their contents but because they are our earliest examples of the Overture fashioned in complete Sonata form. Originally the Overture had been a prelude to the opening of a play, a prelude of the lightest and most meagre nature. Examples, beginning with Monteverde, abound in all the early Italian opera composers.[129] Lully of the French school and Alessandro Scarlatti of the Italian were the first to amplify these beginnings and to establish a definite standard of structure. In both schools this standard represented an application of the Three-part form principle; the French arranging their contrasts, slow, fast, slow (the so-called French overture—of which we have an example in Handel's Messiah) and the Italians, fast, slow, fast (the so-called Italian Overture). Although Gluck (1714-1787) did much to establish a more dramatic connection between the overture and the play, even the best of his Overtures, Iphigenia in Aulis, is a rather loosely expanded tripartite structure with a good many meaningless passages. But Mozart, coming after Haydn's definite establishment of the Sonata-form and with the growing interest of the public in instrumental music for its own sake as an120 incentive, could take advantage of these circumstances to display his genius and to delight his hearers with a piece of genuine music. This he did and his operatic overtures are of such distinct import and self-sufficiency that they are often detached from the opera itself and played as concert numbers. The Magic Flute Overture is also noteworthy because of the polyphonic treatment of the first theme which is a definite fugal presentation in four voices. The second theme, beginning in measure 64, and soon repeated, is light and winning, meant to supplement rather than to contrast strongly with the first theme, which indeed keeps up at the same time, in the inner voices, its rhythmic impetuosity. The Exposition ends with a graceful closing phrase, e.g.,


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and the usual cadence in the dominant key. It is considered that the Adagio chords for the trombones, interpolated between the Exposition and the Development, are suggestive of the religious element in the play that is to follow. The Development is remarkable for the spirited imitative treatment of the first theme, for the bold way in which the voices cut into each other and for the fusion of its closing measures with the Recapitulation. The chief feature in this brilliant passage is a piling up of the theme in stretto form (see measures 148-153). The Recapitulation is somewhat shortened and the melodic outline of the second theme is slightly changed; otherwise it corresponds with the Exposition. After the closing phrase we have some pungent dissonances, e.g.


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Rossini, it is said, was never tired of eulogizing this Overture and certainly for spontaneity and vigor it is unrivalled.[130]

The last illustration from Mozart is his Adagio in B minor (see Supplement No. 43) an independent piece, far too little known, in complete Sonata-form. The haunting pathos in the theme, the exquisite loveliness in the whole fabric instantly reach the hearer's heart. Analytical comment seems quite unnecessary; a child can "follow" the music, but only he with a ripe knowledge of human life can begin to fathom its deep mystery.[131] When we see such modern passages as the following, e.g.


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Tchaikowsky's love for Mozart's music is readily understood. Indeed, we cannot refrain from urging everyone to cultivate such a love himself; for in the works of Mozart are found a purity, a sanity and a delight in creation which keep them alive and make them in very truth "things of beauty and a joy forever."




AS Beethoven was such an intensely subjective composer, a knowledge of his personality and environment is indispensable for a complete appreciation of his works.[132]

Beethoven, Ludwig van (1770-1827), born at Bonn on the Rhine, though his active career is associated with Vienna, may be called the first thinker in music; for at last the art is brought into correlation with man's other powers and becomes a living reflex of the tendencies and activities of the period. Notwithstanding the prodigious vitality of Bach's work, we feel that his musical sense operated abstractly like a law of Nature and that he was an unconscious embodiment, as it were, of the deep religious sentiment of his time and of the sturdy independence of his race. At any period and in any place Bach would have been Bach. Beethoven's music, however, in its intense personality and as a vivid expression of the ideals of his fellow men, was different from any the world had heard before. There were three paramount advantages in his equipment: first, Beethoven was a strong character who only happened to find in music his most suitable means of self-expression. The full import of his works cannot be understood unless he is recognized, great creative artist that he was, as first and foremost a unique personality. Had he not written a note of music we should have sufficient historical evidence to assure ourselves of the vigor of his intellect and the elevation of his ideals. Whereas Haydn and Mozart are to be judged purely as musicians, in Beethoven it is always something underlying the musical symbols which claims our allegiance. Furthermore he had the inestimable advantage of finding the mechanical structure of instrumental music carefully formulated by his predecessors. The stone had been quarried, the rough cutting done and the blocks lay ready for a genius to use in the erection of his own poetically conceived edifice. And these forms were still fresh and vigorous; they had not yet hardened into formalism. In Beethoven's works we123 rarely find form employed for its own sake, as a mere "tour de force" of skilful workmanship, rather is it made to adapt itself to the individual needs of the composer. Finally Beethoven's career coincided with momentous changes and upheavals in the social, political and artistic world. He is the embodiment of that spirit of individualism, of human freedom and self-respect which found its expression in the French Revolution, in our American War of Independence and in the entire alteration of social standards. Beethoven at all costs resolved to be himself. With him music ceases to be a mere "concourse of sweet sounds"; it must always bring some message to the brooding human soul, and be something more than a skilful example of abstract ingenuity. These personal tendencies of Beethoven were fostered by the spirit of the times, and his music became in turn a vital expression of revolt against existing conditions and of passionate aspiration towards something better. He was the first musician to free himself from the enervating influence of having to write exclusively for aristocratic patronage. Such was the social emancipation of the period that he could address himself at first hand to a musical public eagerly receptive and constantly growing. His representative works could never have been composed in the time of Haydn and Mozart; for though in formal structure the logical development of preceding methods—Beethoven being no reckless iconoclast—in individual content they reveal a freedom of utterance which took its rise in tendencies hitherto unknown. Beethoven's mighty personality and far-reaching influence can not be stated in a few formulae. An extensive library covering his life and times is accessible to the interested layman, and a thorough appreciation of his masterpieces is a spiritual possession which everyone must gain individually. Since Beethoven's works compel a man to think for himself, the constructive power of the creator must be met with an analogous activity on the part of the receptive hearer. The symphonies, for example, are more than cunningly contrived works of musical art; they are human documents of undying power to quicken and exalt the soul which will submit itself to their influence. Beethoven's great instrumental compositions are few in number in comparison with the voluminous and uneven output of his predecessors. Thus from Haydn we have 125 symphonies, from Mozart about 40, from Beethoven 9. Of Haydn's symphonies possibly a half dozen have permanent vitality; of Mozart's four; of Beethoven's all, with the possible exception of the experimental first. Condensation of124 subject matter, conciseness of style, a ceaseless exaltation of quality above quantity are the prominent features in Beethoven's work. All adipose tissue is relentlessly excised, and the finished creation resembles a human being in perfect physical condition—the outward mechanical organism subservient to the spirit within.

Beethoven's life is of supreme interest and importance, for his music is the direct expression of himself, of his joys and sorrows. His ancestry raises many perplexing questions as to the influence of heredity and the sources of genius. In the first place Beethoven was not a pure-blooded German, but partly Flemish on his father's side. His paternal grandfather, Ludwig van[133] Beethoven, was a man of strong character and of a certain musical aptitude, who had migrated from the neighborhood of Antwerp to Bonn where he served as court musician to the Elector of Cologne. The paternal grandmother early developed a passion for drink and ended her days confined in a convent. The son of this couple, Johann (the father of the composer) was a tenor singer in the court chapel at Bonn and soon became a confirmed drunkard. He seems to be a mere intermediary between grandfather and grandson. In 1767 he married a young widow, Maria Keverich, a woman of warm affections and depth of sentiment, whose life was bound up in the care of her gifted son. The tender love between Beethoven and his mother was a bright spot in his early years, in many ways so sordid and unhappy. Unfortunately she was delicate, of consumptive tendencies, and died when Ludwig was but seventeen. "She has been to me a good and loving mother," he writes, "and my best friend." As we ponder on such facts and then consider for what Beethoven stands, we can only exclaim, "God works in a mysterious way, his wonders to perform." It was early seen that the young Beethoven had unusual ability, and so the shiftless father, with the example of Mozart's precocity before him, submitted the boy to a deal of enforced drudgery in the way of harpsichord and violin practice. He had one good teacher however, Neefe, who records that the boy of thirteen played the harpsichord with energetic skill and had mastered the Preludes and Fugues of the Well-Tempered Clavichord. Beethoven's general education was sadly neglected, and when he was thirteen practically ceased. These deficiencies were a source of mortification all his life. He spelled atrociously, was never sure of his addition and subtraction and so was often involved in altercations with landlords and washerwomen. By nature Beethoven was of125 strong, eager intellect. He became an omnivorous reader, and later in life acquired a working facility in Latin, French, Italian and English. The first period of his life ends with his departure in 1792 for Vienna, whither he was sent by the Elector to study with Haydn. In summing up its special incidents we are struck first by the vivid and lasting impression which Beethoven, in spite of his lowly origin and deficiencies in education and cultivation, made upon wealthy and refined people of distinction, simply through his extraordinary personality and unmistakable sincerity. Two of these friends were the von Breuning family, including the charming daughter Eleanore—one of Beethoven's early loves—and the cultivated and influential Count Waldstein, in whose companionship he became acquainted with the German poets and with the dramas of Shakespeare. For a vivid picture of these boyish years the student is recommended to the Romance, Jean Christophe (by Romain Rolland) which, though somewhat idealized, is mainly on a historical basis. Two of Beethoven's most unique characteristics date from this period. First, his constant habit of drawing inspiration directly from Nature, of which he was a passionate and persistent lover. He says of himself "No one can love the country as I love it. Here alone can I learn wisdom. Every tree exclaims to me 'Holy, Holy, Holy.'" In long walks through wood and field he would allow his thoughts to germinate, giving himself up utterly to creative emotion. When in this state of mind Madame von Breuning used to say that he was in his "raptus." Consequently, in comparison with the works of previous composers, which often have a note of primness and artificial restraint—they smell a bit of the lamp and the study—those of Beethoven have the elemental power of Nature herself, especially shown in the vigor and variety of the rhythm. Second, he would always carry sketch books in which to jot down ideas as they came to him. These he would polish and improve—sometimes for years—before they took final shape. Many of these sketch books[134] have been preserved and edited, and they illustrate, most vividly, Beethoven's method of composing: slow, cautious, but invincible in its final effect; an idea frequently being altered as many as twenty times. At the age of twenty-two he was chiefly known as a pianist with wonderful facility in improvisation; his compositions had been insignificant. The next eight years—up to 1800, when Beethoven was thirty—were spent in acquainting himself with the Viennese aristocracy and in building126 up a public clientèle. Then follows the marvellous period until 1815 in which his power of inspiration was at its height, and which gave to the world a body of work for magnitude and variety never surpassed: all the symphonies except the Ninth, the first twenty-seven pianoforte Sonatas, five concertos for pianoforte and orchestra, the opera of Fidelio, several Overtures, numerous string quartets and ensemble chamber music. We realize even more vividly the heroic and sublime character of Beethoven when we learn that, as early as 1798, there began the signs of that deafness which altered his whole life. By nature he was hypersensitive, proud and high-strung, and these qualities were so aggravated by his malady that he became suspicious, at times morose, and his subsequent career was checkered with the violent altercations, and equally spasmodic renewals of friendship, which took place between him and his best friends. His courage was extraordinary. Thus we find him writing: "Though at times I shall be the most miserable of God's creatures, I will grapple with Fate, it shall never pull me down." On the artistic side this affliction had its compensations in that it isolated the composer from outer distractions, and allowed him to lay entire stress on the spiritual inner side of his art; certainly this is one of the strongest notes in his music—the pure fancy manifested therein. As a deaf musician he is comparable to the blind seer who penetrates more deeply into the mysteries of life than those whose physical eyesight is perfect. Beethoven's closing years form a period of manifold complications, caused by the care of his scapegrace nephew, by his settled deafness and precarious financial position. Yet he grimly continued to compose, his last works being of titanic dimensions such as the Choral symphony, the Mass in D and the last Quartets and Pianoforte Sonatas. Beethoven died on March 26, 1827; nature most appropriately giving a dramatic setting to the event by a terrific storm of hail and snow, lightning and thunder. It would take too long to dwell on the many characteristics of the man Beethoven. Power, individuality and sincerity were stamped upon him, and his music is just what we should expect from his nature. He embodied all the longings, the joys and sorrows of humanity, and gave them such burning utterance that the world has listened ever since.

To touch now upon a few of the formal aspects of Beethoven's work, as far as verbal analysis can help, it may be asserted that he is the acknowledged master of the Sonata Form as Bach was of the Fugue, and in his hands this form, and also the Air with Variations, were127 raised to a potency the influence of which is felt even to-day. From beginning to end every portion of the Sonata Form was made over and vitalized. Instead of the perfunctory "flourish of trumpets" which served previous composers for an introduction, this portion with Beethoven deftly leads on the hearer to a contemplation of the main work, and is as carefully planned as the porch of a great Cathedral. For examples, witness the continually growing excitement generated in the introductions to the Second and Seventh Symphonies, the breathless suspense of the introduction to the Fourth, and the primeval, mysterious beginning of the Ninth. And then what a difference in the character and emotional suggestiveness of the themes, that with Beethoven are actual human voices, dramatic characters, which once met can never be forgotten. As Lavoix says of the Fifth Symphony, "Is not this a drama in its purity, where passion is no longer the attribute of a theatrical work, but the expression of our own individual feelings?" No longer are the transitions mere mechanical connections, but a portion of the structure which, though subsidiary, is yet organically developed from that which precedes and inevitably related to that which follows. In the development section we find the real Beethoven. Here his marvellous freshness of invention found full play. Such inexhaustible fancy, such coherence of structure, such subtlety of transformation were unknown in former times, when development was often as lifeless as the perfunctory motions of an automaton. Beethoven's developments are no mere juggling with tones; they are vast tonal edifices, examples of what the imagination of man controlled by intellect can achieve. Possibly Beethoven's greatest skill as a musical architect was shown in his treatment of the Coda, which became the crowning climax of a movement, a last driving home with all possible eloquence of the message heretofore presented. The end of previous compositions had too often been a mere ceasing to go, a running down, but in Beethoven there is usually a strong objective point towards which everything converges.

Fully conscious as he was of the throbbing human message it was his mission to reveal, we may be sure that Beethoven spared no effort to enhance the expressive capabilities of music as a language. Certain aspects of his style in this respect are strikingly noticeable in every one of his representative works. First, the marvellous rhythmic vitality. Note the absence of the former sing-song rhythm of Haydn; in its stead we hear the heart-beat, now fast, now slow, of a living128 human being. No longer can the hearer in dreamy apathy beat time with his foot. Second, his use of the fiercest dissonances to express the heights and depths of our stormy human existence. In listening to contemporary works nothing should persuade us more strongly to a sympathetic tolerance, or at any rate to a suspension of judgment, than the fact that many of Beethoven's most individual cries (surely in his case the outward expression of what he heard within, those very outbursts which to-day ring longest in our consciousness) were considered at the time of their creation as the ravings of a mad-man. Dissonances, both acoustically and psychologically, are a vital principle in music. In no respect was his music more original than in his Promethean boldness in their use. One of his favorite conceptions was that music should strike fire from the soul of man; it was not meant to lull the hearer into a drowsy revery, but to awaken his spiritual consciousness with a shock at times positively galvanic. A third feature is his subtlety in expression, as is shown by the minute indications in which every page of his work abounds. The crescendos, often leading to a sudden drop to pianissimo, the long stretches of hushed suspense, the violent sforzandos on unimportant beats, the plasticity of periodic formation, all these workings of a rich imagination first gave music its place as the supreme art of human expression.

A word must be spoken concerning two forms which we owe to Beethoven's constructive genius. In place of the former naïve Minuet, so characteristic of the formal manners of its time, he substituted a movement with a characteristic name—the Scherzo, which opened up entirely new possibilities. No mere literary distinction between wit and humor[135] can explain the power of Beethoven's Scherzos; only through his own experience of life can the hearer fathom their secrets. The expression of real humor, akin to that spirit which is found in Cervantes, Swift, Mark Twain and Abraham Lincoln, was a genuine contribution of Beethoven. Deep thinkers alone are capable of humor which, to quote a recent writer, is "that faculty of imagination so humane and sympathetic in its nature that it can perceive at the same time serious and jocose things. It can feel the pathos of a scene on life's stage and yet have an eye for the incongruities of the actors. It is imagination, the feel of kinship with the universal human soul." Beethoven's Scherzos are as varied as life itself. Who can forget the boisterous vitality of this movement in the Eroica, which quite sweeps129 us off our feet, the haunting mystery of the Scherzo of the Fifth Symphony, or listen unmoved to the grim seriousness, alternating with touching pathos, in the Scherzo of the Ninth? Secondly, his conception of the Air and Variations was so different from anything previously known that he may fairly be called its creator. With him variations became poetic transformations, and the notable works in this form of Brahms, Tchaikowsky, Franck and d'Indy are only freer manifestations of Beethoven's method. Upon two last features, his use of titles and his individualizing of the orchestral instruments, we cannot dwell in detail. Although program music in its literal sense dates back several centuries, Beethoven—far more than was customary before—used external suggestions or incidents, often intimate subjective experiences, as the quickening impulse to his imagination. We know from his own words that, while composing, he generally had some mental picture before him. Very often we are not given the clue to his thoughts, but the titles, familiar to every one, which he did use, such as the Heroic and Pastoral Symphonies, the Coriolanus and Egmont Overtures, those to several of the Sonatas, are full of import and show clearly that he was engaged in no mere abstract music making for its own sake. These works are the point of departure for the significant development of modern music along this path. With Beethoven the orchestra began to assume its present importance, and the instruments are no longer treated as mere producers of sound and rhythm, but often as living beings. How eloquent is the message of the Horns in the Trio to the Scherzo of the Heroic! Berlioz compares the double basses in the Fifth Symphony to the gambols of sportive elephants, and instances might be multiplied. But words are futile in describing the wonders of Beethoven. A striking tribute is that of Professor John K. Paine. "In instrumental music Beethoven is pre-eminent, from all points of view, formally, aesthetically and spiritually. Like Shakespeare's, his creations are distinguished by great diversity of character; each is a type by itself. Beethoven is the least of a mannerist of all composers. His compositions are genuine poems, which tell their meaning to the true listener clearly and unmistakably in the language of tones, a language however which cannot be translated into mere words."

We are now in a position to approach intelligently, enthusiastically and reverently the mighty works of Beethoven which, though built upon the foundations of Haydn and Mozart, yet take us into an entirely new world of power and fancy. For illustrations we se130lect the first movement of the Third or Heroic Symphony; the Seventh Sonata in D major for Pianoforte; the Fifth Symphony in C minor (entire) and the Coriolanus Overture. In regard to the symphonies it is understood that the emphasis on certain ones and the omission of others implies no ultra-critical attitude. Each of Beethoven's symphonies has its characteristic attributes and each is the work of a genius. But just as in Nature some mountains are more majestic than others, so concerning the nine symphonies we may say that their order of excellence as endorsed by the consensus of mankind would be as follows. The First Symphony is somewhat experimental, composed when Beethoven was working out his technique of expression. It is closely modeled on the style of Haydn and, though showing certain daring touches and though perfectly direct and sincere, is not of marked individuality. In the Second Symphony a long advance is made, for we find numerous traits which are thoroughly distinctive of the genius of Beethoven: the exciting Prelude to the first movement; the heavenly Larghetto, one of the first slow movements of real emotional power; the rollicking Scherzo (note the fantastic touches in the Trio) and the splendor of the last pages of the Finale, which can only be compared to a sunset with its slowly fading colors and its last burst of glory. The general style of the Second Symphony however is that of Haydn and Mozart, though raised to the highest pitch of eloquence. In the Third Symphony the complete Beethoven steps forth. It was his declaration of independence, and in this work, as he himself said, he began a completely new line of activity; it was also his own favorite among the symphonies.[136] Heretofore there had been no such impassioned utterance as is revealed in the first movement of this Third Symphony and there have been few, if any, to equal it since. The Fourth Symphony is an entrancing work and shows Beethoven's inexhaustible variety of mood; since, save for the "grand manner" peculiar to all his works, it differs strikingly from the Third and the Fifth. It was composed during the happiest period of Beethoven's life and is related in its whole character to his emotions and aspirations at that time.[137] The slow movement is the most sublime love-song in music. The Fifth Symphony is undoubtedly the most popular of them all, in the true sense of the term.[138] The reason131 for this verdict is the unparalleled combination in a single work of the emotional intensity found in the first movement, the touching appeal of the slow movement, the mystery, followed by the reckless display of spirit, in the Scherzo and the paean of rejoicing which rings through the Finale. The Sixth or Pastoral, Beethoven's one excursion into the realm of tone-painting based on natural phenomena, is of interest more as a point of departure for the work of his successors than for its intrinsic message. The conception of the possibilities of musical description has so widened since Beethoven, and the facilities for orchestral color so increased, that this symphony, though it has many characteristic beauties, sounds a bit old-fashioned. The Seventh is one of the most original of them all, incomparable for its rhythmic vitality—the Apotheosis of the Dance, as Wagner called it.[139] If rhythm be the basis of music and of life itself, this symphony is thoroughly alive from start to finish, hence immortal. The Eighth is the embodiment of Beethoven's (possibly) most individual trait—his abounding humor. Never before had symphonic music played such pranks as are found here, especially in the Finale. The Symphony is in fact a prolonged Scherzo[140]—the third movement (a Minuetto) being merely for contrast. The Ninth Symphony, composed in the philosophic period of Beethoven's life, when he was attempting still greater heights, is a vast work, the first three movements purely instrumental, and the Finale, for the first time in symphonic literature, a union of solo voices and chorus with the instrumental forces. The text was taken from Schiller's "Ode to Joy." The spirit of the poem made a strong appeal to Beethoven's humanitarian and democratic aspirations and there is no question of the grandeur of his conception. But it is not carping criticism to say that his thoughts were too heaven-soaring for a perfect realization through any earthly means. Beethoven moreover was seldom happy in writing for the human voice—he thought in terms of the instru132ments—and it is not to be denied that there are several passages in the Finale which consist of mere boisterous shouting. No one save believers in plenary inspiration can give to this Finale the whole-hearted admiration that is paid to the three instrumental movements which are pure gold; especially the seraphic Adagio and the Gargantuan Scherzo with its demoniacal rhythmic energy. To sum up the foregoing estimates, if the student is forced to select and cannot become equally familiar with all of the nine symphonies, a reasonable order of study would be the following: the Fifth, the Third, the Seventh, the Eighth, the Fourth, the Ninth, the Second, the Sixth and the First. See Supplement No. 44.

We shall now make a few comments[141] on the first movement of the Third or Heroic Symphony, merely to stimulate the hearer's interest, for the music may be trusted to make its own direct appeal. After two short, sonorous chords, which summon us to attention, the first theme, allegro con brio, with its elemental, swinging rhythm, is announced by the 'cellos. It is often glibly asserted that these notes of the tonic triad are the whole of the first theme. This is a great misconception, for although the motive in the first four measures is the generative basis for the entire movement, the arresting, dramatic note of the theme is the C-sharp in measure five. This theme in fact is a typical example of Beethoven's broad sweeps of thought; for prolonged with secondary melodic phrases in the first violins and flutes, its real close does not come until the 13th measure, e.g.




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After a varied repetition of the first motive of the theme, there occurs a passage (measures 23-33)[142] which illustrates one of the most characteristic features in all Beethoven's work, i.e., those sharp dislocations of the rhythm, indicated by the sforzando accents (sf) on beats usually unaccented and often coupled with strong dissonances. Although the basic rhythm is triple, the beats for several measures are in groups of two quarter notes or their equivalent, one half note, e.g.


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No longer can we drift along in dreamy apathy; our vitality is quickened as by the gusts of a tornado. There have been those who for the first time in their lives were jarred from the even tenor of their way134 by these impassioned onslaughts. When Beethoven's Symphonies were first played in Paris, it is reported that the operatic composer Boieldieu was much disconcerted, because, as he said, he liked "musique qui me berce." The transition (measures 43-81) is a remarkable example of Beethoven's power of creating ever more and more excitement and expectancy. It contains three subsidiary melodic phrases, each of increasing rhythmic animation, e.g.,


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and fairly whirls us into the beautiful contemplative theme at measure 81. This theme embodies some entrancing modulations into remote keys, and then, after one of Beethoven's typical passages of hushed pianissimo (beginning in measure 97) we are led through a series of sforzandos, crescendos and titanic ejaculations to the overpowering dissonances in measure 145, which with the tonic chord close the Exposition in the dominant key. The Development (measures 164-396) is extremely long and varied, but a perfect manifestation of spontaneous, organic treatment—each portion growing inevitably135 from what has preceded and marching irresistibly onward to its objective goal. Every modulatory, rhythmic and polyphonic device is employed to vary and intensify the message; yet, notwithstanding the diversity of the material, we are held spellbound by the directness and coherence of the thought. Such is Beethoven's passionate insistence on the right to speak out just what he felt that in one stupendous passage (measures 246-277) it seems as if the very Heavens were falling about our heads. At measure 282 a theme of ideal repose is interpolated—just the contrast needed after the preceding cataclysm. The Development proper is renewed in measure 298 and after a repetition of the interpolated theme in measures 320-335 the rhythm of the first theme asserts itself in all its majesty, carrying us upward to a veritable table-land of sublimity. From this we are brought down through a series of decrescendo, modulatory chords, like drifting mists, to an almost complete cessation of musical life—nothing but a pianissimo tremolo on the strings. From this hush there floats in upon us the rhythmic motive of the first theme; then, with a ff chord of the dominant, we are suddenly brought back into the sunshine of the main theme, and the Recapitulation has begun. This portion with certain happy changes in modulation—note the beautiful variant on the horn in measures 406-414, e.g.,


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—preserves the customary emphasis on the main tonality of E-flat major, ending in measures 549-550 with the same dissonances which closed the Exposition. Then are declaimed by the full orchestra those two dramatic outbursts which usher in the Coda and which may be likened to "Stop! Listen! the best is yet to come." The blunt, intentional disjunction of the harmony adds weight to the assertion, e.g.




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Here we have a convincing illustration of Beethoven's individual conception that the Coda should be a second and final development; special points of interest and treatment being held in store, so that it becomes a truly crowning piece of eloquence. Observe how the reappearance of the interpolated theme balances the Coda with the Development proper and how the various rhythms of the Exposition are concentrated in the last page. Finally a series of bold, vibrato leaps in the first violins—based on the dominant chord—brings this impassioned movement to a close.

A lack of space prevents the inclusion in the Supplement of the rest of the Symphony, but the student is urged to make himself familiar with the three remaining movements: the Marcia Funèbre, the Scherzo and the Finale. The Funeral March is justly ranked with that of Chopin in his B-flat minor Sonata and that of Wagner in the last act of the Götterdämmerung as one of the most eloquent in existence, and contains melodies so touching that they could have come only from the very soul of Beethoven. Especially noteworthy is the aspiring melody of the middle, contrasting portion (Maggiore) where the spirit, freed from earthly dross, seems to mount to the skies in a chariot of fire. The third part, where the minor mode is resumed, abounds in dramatic touches; especially that fugal passage, where the ecclesiastical tone, combined with pealing trumpets, brings before us some funeral pageant in a vast, medieval cathedral. The Coda, beginning in A-flat major, with an impressive mood of resignation, illustrates at its close a psychological use of programmistic effect; for the first theme, treated as a real person, disintegrates before our very eyes—becoming, as it were, a disembodied spirit. Nothing can show more clearly than this passage the widening of the expressive powers of music which we owe to the genius of Beethoven. The same effect with a slightly different dramatic purpose is found at the end of the Coriolanus Overture.

The Scherzo, allegro vivace, in triple time, but marked one beat a measure = 116 (almost two measures per second!), is unsurpassed137 for sustained brilliancy and daring rhythmic changes. It is so idiomatically conceived for orchestra that only the barest idea can be gained from a pianoforte transcription. The prevailing background is a mass of shimmering strings, marked by Beethoven "sempre pp e staccato" and against this stands out a buoyant, folk-song type of melody on the oboe. After some mysterious and fantastic modulations a ff climax is reached which leads to the famous syncopated passage where the orchestra seems to hurl itself headlong into space, e.g.


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The Trio, with its three hunting horns, gives a fresh, woodland note typifying Beethoven's love of nature. Some mysterious modulations lead us back from the dim recesses of the forest to the sparkling animation of the Scherzo. In this part of the movement Beethoven plays one of his characteristic practical jokes; for, just where we expect the same syncopated effect as before, the time is changed from 3/4 to 2/2, the duration of the measure remaining the same, e.g.




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This effect may be likened to the uproarious guffaws of a giant. The Coda has a clear reminiscence of the dramatic C-sharp in the main theme of the first movement, e.g.[143]


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Such an organic connection between movements begins to be very frequent in Beethoven's works.

The Finale, Allegro molto, has caused considerable difficulty to the commentators for reasons known only to themselves. Different forms are assigned to it by different critics; one regrets the falling off of inspiration, another asserts that the movement "does not fulfill the requirements which the human mind makes of art; it leaves us confused." Poor Beethoven! But why all this pother? If the inner evidence of the music itself be any justification for structural classification, this wonderful, inspired Finale is a series of free Variations[144] on a double theme of which the parts are related to each other as Soprano and Bass, e.g.139


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By beginning the first two variations with the less important of the two melodies (i.e., the bass) Beethoven is simply indulging in his fondness for piquing the fancy of the hearer by starting him on a false trail—not giving away, as it were, his real purpose too soon. Yet from the first announcement of the leading melody in the Third Variation it assumes increasing importance, through successive appearances in E-flat major, B minor, D major and C major, until after a long fugal development we reach the inspired passage (Poco Andante con espressione), e.g.,


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in which the main theme is stated first in its noble simplicity and then enhanced by an obligato melody on the oboe. It is one of the most eloquent passages in all symphonic literature. At its last appearance the real theme comes fully to its own—for the first time in the bass, that fundamental voice—where it is declaimed ff in gorgeous splendor by all the lower instruments of the orchestra. It is evident that not even the most inspired genius can sustain such a flight for ever, and after this magnificent paean the workings of Beethoven's imagi140nation resemble those of Nature herself. Following a tranquil intermediary passage in A-flat major we enter upon one of those long, mysterious periods of hushed suspense which may be compared to a long expanse of open country or to the fading lights on the sea at sunset. The last page, beginning with the Presto, is sheer orchestral jubilation of the most intoxicating kind. We may picture an enthusiastic gathering, with hats thrown aloft and shouts of triumph ringing from every throat. It is of historical interest to know that the theme of this Finale must have been a favorite with Beethoven, for he had used it in three former works: a Contre-dance, as the basis for a set of Pianoforte Variations and in the Ballet Music to Prometheus. It may not be too fanciful to trace a dramatic relationship between its use in portraying the daring spirit who first stole fire from Heaven and as the crowning message of a work meant to glorify all heroic endeavor. A thorough familiarity with this movement will repay the student not only as exemplifying Beethoven's freedom of expression but indeed as a point of departure for so many modern works in free variation form. See Supplement No. 45.

To illustrate Beethoven's Pianoforte compositions we shall now analyze the Seventh Sonata in D major, op. 10, No. 3. Only wholesale hero-worshipers consider all of the thirty-two Sonatas of equal significance. It is true that, taken as a whole, they are a storehouse of creative vitality and that in each there is something, somewhere, which strikes a spark; for everything which Beethoven wrote was stamped with his dominating personality. But the fire of genius burns more steadily in some of the Sonatas than in others. It is the very essence of genius to have its transcendent moments; only mediocrity preserves a dead level. It is therefore no spirit of fault finding which leads us to centre our attention upon those Sonatas which have best stood the test of time and which never fail to convince us of their "raison d'être": the Appassionata, the Waldstein, the C-sharp minor, the Pathétique, the Sonata in G major, op. 14, No. 2, and all the last five, especially the glorious one in A-flat major, op. 119. It is futile to deny that some of the early sonatas are experimental and that certain others do not represent Beethoven at his best, being more the result of his constructive power than of an impelling message which had to be expressed. The D major Sonata has been selected for study because, though composed in Beethoven's first period, it is thoroughly characteristic, and because its performance is within141 the powers of the average intelligent amateur. The full beauty of the later Sonatas can be realized only by great virtuosi who devote to them years of study. The work is in four movements: the first, complete Sonata-form; the second, modified Sonata-form; the third, Three-part; the Finale, a freely treated Rondo-Sonata-form. The first movement, Presto, begins with a vigorous presentation of the main theme which ends in measure 22 with the last of three ff octaves. The unusually long transition, containing a subsidiary theme in B minor, is remarkable for its onrushing excitement and for the playful false leads which usher in the second theme. After a brilliant cadence in the dominant key, one would suppose this theme might be announced in measure 53, but not so; after three measures of cantabile melody, progress is interrupted by a group of descending octave leaps. A second attempt is now made, this time in A minor, only to be thwarted by a still more capricious octave descent. This time, however, after a dramatic pause, we are rewarded with a clear-cut, periodic melody beginning in measure 66, against which the rhythm of the first theme keeps up a gentle undercurrent. Some interesting modulations develop into a series of descending octaves which, accompanied by sf chords, lead to the closing portion. This brilliant passage accentuates the dominant key of the second theme. After a short tranquillo phrase and some free imitations of the main theme we repeat the Exposition, or go on to the Development ushered in by a bold change to the mediant key of B-flat major. After several appearances of the main theme in the bass, Beethoven takes a leaf out of D. Scarlatti's book and revels in some crossing of the hands and some wide leaps. The Recapitulation corresponds exactly with the first part until we reach the Coda in measure 298, which affords a striking example of Beethoven's power of climax. After a long period of suspense an imitative treatment of the first theme, with kettle-drum effect in the bass, leads to a stringendo ascending passage which closes with two crashing dissonances and two peculiarly grouped chords, e.g.


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They have a hard, cutting brilliance all their own and give just the touch of color needed to finish this dazzling movement.[145]

In the Slow Movement, Largo e Mesto, there is a depth of emotion quite unparalleled in the early history of music.[146] Certainly no composer since Bach had uttered such a message. As soon as the movement begins we are convinced that it represents the outpouring of a soul capable of deep meditations upon life and its mysteries, and with the eloquence at its command to impress these thoughts upon the hearer. The number of themes and their key relationship are those of Sonata-form, but instead of the usual development we have a new contrasting theme of great pathos in the major mode. Observe the poignancy of the dissonances, e.g.,


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in the second theme of the Exposition which begins in measure 17, and the passionate outcries in measures 35 and 37 of the middle portion. Just before the Recapitulation, in measures 41-43, is an early example of Beethoven's fondness for instrumental recitative—music speaking with a more intimate appeal than words. The movement ends with an impassioned Coda which, beginning with the main theme in the bass and working up, more and more agitato, to a powerful climax, dies away with mysterious fragments of the opening measures. The dissonant element so characteristic of the whole movement is retained to the end, e.g.143


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The growing importance of dissonance may be seen from a comparison of this movement with the average slow movements of Haydn and Mozart These, although they have serenity and grace, beauty and finish of form, and are sincere manifestations of the genius of their creators, are yet lacking in passion. This placid mood and amiability of style is shown by the comparatively slight employment of dissonances. By unthinking and uncultivated persons dissonances[147] are often considered as something harsh, repellant—hence to be avoided. But dissonances contain the real life and progress of music. They arouse, even take by storm our imaginations and shake us out of our equanimity. Consonant chords represent stability, satisfaction and, when over-used, inertia. The genius of the composer is shown in establishing just the right proportion between these two elements; but if there is to be any disproportion let us have too much rather than too little dissonance, for then, at any rate, the music is alive. Since Beethoven the whole development of music as a human language shows the preponderating stress laid on dissonance; to this fact a knowledge of the works of Schumann, Chopin, Wagner, Debussy and Franck will amply testify.[148] The same analogy holds equally in all realms of life, human and physical. The truest development of character depends on the warring elements of good and evil. Honest discontent is the first step to progress. Dissonance is the yeast of music and should be welcomed for its invigorating influence.


The third movement, Minuetto, may be taken as a reply to Haydn's well-known wish "Oh! that some one would write us a new Minuet." Well, here it is—with all the grace and charm of the 18th century type and yet with more import, especially in the Coda with its haunting retrospect. The rhythmic formation of the opening sentence would be clearer if two measures had been thrown into one, for the swing is clearly that of a 6/4 measure. The Trio, with its Scarlatti-like crossing of the hands, is a playful bit of badinage, affording a delightful contrast to the Minuetto. Such genuine variety in mood makes the Three-part Form of lasting worth.

The Finale, Allegro, with its capricious fortissimo outbursts and unexpected sforzandos is a characteristic example of Beethoven's freedom of utterance. Any cast-iron conception of form was entirely foreign to his nature; instead, he made form the servant of the freest flights of fancy. The movement begins as if it were to be worked out in the so-called Rondo Sonata-form—a hybrid, tripartite structure related to the Sonata-form in that it has two themes in the first and last portions, and to the Rondo in that the middle portion is a free Episode instead of the customary development of former material. The salient feature by which this form may always be recognized is that the Exposition closes with a definite return to the first theme—thus emphasizing the Rondo aspect—instead of with an expanded cadence based upon the second theme. As we have stated before (see Chapter IX), many of Beethoven's Finales are in this mixed form, clear examples of which may be found in the last movements of the Fourth, Eighth and Twelfth Sonatas. The Finale of the Twelfth Sonata has been included in the Supplement in order to make this important form familiar to the student. To return now to the Finale of the sonata we are studying. Its first two portions correspond exactly to the usual practice in the Rondo-Sonata form just explained; i.e., we find in the Exposition a first theme, a modulatory transition, a second theme (beginning in measure 17) and a definite repetition of the first theme, in measures 25-32. Then, after two measures of bold modulation, begins the middle, episodical passage which, closing with a whimsical cadenza-like passage, leads back to the beginning of the third part. After a complete, slightly varied appearance of the first theme, Beethoven does not repeat the second theme, as we should expect, but allows his fancy to indulge in a series of brilliant passages, exciting modulations and dynamic contrasts. All this freedom is held together by insistence on the fundamental145 rhythmic motive (measures 72-83). A final embellished statement of the first theme ushers in the fiery Coda, in measure 92, which ends with a long running passage; beneath, we hear reminiscences of the main theme. It is often stated that Beethoven's Sonatas are lacking in pianistic effect, and it is true that his pianoforte works do not bring out the possibilities of color and sonority as we find them, for example, in Chopin and Debussy—the orchestra and the string-quartet being indeed his favorite media of expression. Yet during his entire early career Beethoven was famous as a performer and improviser on the pianoforte and some, at any rate, of his deepest thoughts have been confided to that instrument. That he was not at all insensible to the beauty of pianistic effect for its own sake is shown by the syncopated, shadowy chords in measures 101-105, the whole justification for which lies in their enchanting sound.[149]

Symphony No. 5[150]

The Fifth Symphony in C minor, op. 67, is deservedly popular because it is so human; a translation, in fact, of life itself into the glowing language of music. Beethoven's emotional power was so deep and true that, in expressing himself, he spoke, like every great philosopher, poet or artist, for all mankind. Which one of us in his own experience, has not felt the same protests against relentless Fate that find such uncontrollable utterance in the first movement? Who, again, is untouched by that angelic message, set before us in the second movement, of hope and aspiration, of heroic and even warlike[151] resolution, mingled with the resignation which only great souls know? The third movement (Allegro)—in reality a Scherzo of the most146 fantastic type, though not so marked—might well typify the riddle of the Universe. We indeed "see through a glass darkly," and yet there is no note of despair. Amid the sinister mutterings of the basses there ring out, on the horns and trumpets, clarion calls to action. While we are in this world we must live its life; a living death is unendurable. The Finale, Allegro maestoso, is a majestic declaration of unconquerable faith and optimism—the intense expression of Beethoven's own words, "I will grapple with Fate, it shall never pull me down"—to be compared only with Browning's "God's in his heaven, all's right with the world," and the peroration to Whitman's Mystic Trumpeter, "Joy, joy, over all joy!" No adequate attempt could be made to translate the music into words. The Symphony is extremely subjective; indeed, autobiographic. For all historical details as to its composition, the reader is referred to the Grove essay,[152] and for eulogistic rhapsodies nothing can surpass the essay of Berlioz, that prince of critics. We shall content ourselves with a few comments of a structural nature and then trust the student to seek a performance of the work by a good orchestra. Of the first movement (Allegro con brio)[153] the dominant characteristics, especially in comparison with the wealth of material in the Heroic, are conciseness and intensity. It starts at once, without prelude, with the motive—one of the tersest in music—from which is developed, polyphonically, the first theme, e.g.[A]


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Everything is concentrated in the highest degree and the assault upon our consciousness is of corresponding power. A tempestuous transition leads to two short sf chords and then in measure 59, announced ff by the horns, appears the first phrase of the second theme, based on the same motive as the first, but in the relative major (E-flat), e.g.


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It is answered by a second phrase of marked simplicity and loveliness—a mood, indeed, of resignation. This is only momentary, however, for the relentless rhythm of the chief motive continues to assert itself in the basses until, as it gathers headway after a short closing phrase (95-99), it is thundered out ff by the full orchestra in a series of descending groups. The Development continues the same resistless impetuosity. Note the grim effect of the empty fifths and fourths in measures 126-127. Once only is there a slackening of the titanic, elemental drive—in the mysterious passage (212-239) where the pent-up fury of the composer seems to have exhausted itself. It is only, however, a lull in the storm which breaks forth with renewed energy in the Recapitulation and Coda. Observe the pathetic commentary which the solo oboe makes upon the main theme at the outset of the third part (268)—a flower growing out of the débris of the avalanche. The Coda begins, at measure 374, with a passionate insistence upon the fundamental rhythm, driven home with sharp hammer-blows and, as in all Beethoven's symphonic movements, furnishes an overpowering climax, not a mere perfunctory close. The second Movement, in A-flat major, is a series of free[154] Variations (five in number) based on a theme, Andante con moto,[155] of great rhythmic vitality, peculiarly rich and suave—announced, as it is, by 'celli and violas in unison, e.g.148


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The first two presentations of the theme are in each case followed by a passage of martial character which bursts triumphantly into C major. There is an orchestral touch of great beauty and originality in the first and second variations (beginning in measures 49 and 98 respectively), where a solo clarinet—later a flute, oboe and bassoon—prolongs a single tone which seems to float above the melody like a guiding star.[156] A passage of special significance is that in measures 123-146, where Beethoven indulges in a touching soliloquy upon his main theme. It is mysteriously introduced by the repetition, eight times, pp, of the dominant chord (the simplest medium of suspense) which seems to say "Hush, I have something most intimate reveal." The Coda (Più Moto) begins with a mood of wistful reverie, but the clouds are soon dispelled and the movement ends in radiant sunshine.

The salient structural feature in the last two movements[157] is that they are merged together; there is no pause after the Scherzo; and the149 movements are further interlocked by an interpolation, in the middle of the Finale, of a portion of the preceding Scherzo—a kind of inter-quotation or cross reference. This composite movement is a striking example of the organic relationship which Beethoven succeeded in establishing—between the different movements of the symphony. Prior to him, it is fair to say—to use a homely simile—that a sonata or a symphony resembled a train of different cars merely linked together, one after the other; whereas the modern work, as foreshadowed by Beethoven, is a vestibuled train: one indivisible whole from beginning to end.[158] But before the Fifth Symphony there had been no such systematic unification; for it is not too much to say that the whole work is based upon the persistent iteration of a single note in varied rhythmic groups. Thus in the first movement we find continually the rhythm music; in the second, in several places music; in the Scherzo music; and in the Finale music. Furthermore a C, repeated by the kettle-drums for fifty measures, is the chief factor in the connecting link between the Scherzo and the Finale. We shall observe this tendency to interconnection still further developed by Schumann in his Fourth Symphony, by Liszt in the Symphonic Poem[159] (to be treated later), and a climax of attainment reached in such highly unified works as César Franck's D minor Symphony and Tchaikowsky's Fifth. To return to the Scherzo, well worthy of note is the Trio, in free fugal form (its theme announced by the ponderous double basses), because it is such a convincing illustration of the humorous possibilities inherent in fugal style. The way in which the voices150 chase each other about—compared by Berlioz[160] with the gambols of a delighted elephant—and their spasmodic attempts at assertion, produce an effect irresistibly droll. The humour is as broad as that of Aristophanes or Rabelais. Words are powerless to describe the thrill of the last fifty measures which launch us into the Finale. We may merely observe that this long passage, pp throughout until the last molto crescendo, and with the rhythmic element reduced to a minimum, makes more of an impact upon our imagination than that of the loudest orchestral forces ever conceived. We are reminded of the effect of the "still, small voice" after the thunders on Sinai. The Finale, with its majestic opening theme in fanfare, contains a wealth of material and is conceived throughout in the utmost spirit of optimistic joy and freedom.[161] The Exposition has a subsidiary theme of its own, beginning at measure 26, which reappears with rhythmic modification (diminution), and most eloquently announced by the bassoons, in the first section of the final Coda. After the brilliant second theme (45-63) there is an impressive closing theme (with some biting fp dissonances) which forms the basis of the Presto portion of the Coda. The Development is a marvellous treatment of the second theme, in imitation, modulation and climactic growth; the rhythm music, so vitally connected with the whole work, persisting with stupendous energy. In the final measures it would seem as if Beethoven were storming the very heavens. Here occurs the quotation from the preceding Scherzo which binds the movements together and serves as a point of departure for a still greater climax. It seems unreasonable to expect a higher flight, but the genius of Beethoven is equal to the effort. If, before, we have reached the heavens, now we pierce them. The brilliant Coda—note the ascending runs for the piccolo—is in three sections, the first based on the subsidiary theme, e.g.,


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the second on the closing theme in quickened tempo, e.g.,[B]151


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and the third, a canonic treatment of the opening fanfare, e.g.,


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in which the orchestra seems to tumble head over heels in a paroxysm of delight. The movement closes with prolonged shouts of victory and exultation.[162]


The Coriolanus Overture

This dramatic work is of great importance, not only for its emotional power and eloquence, but because it represents a type of Program music, i.e., music with a suggestive title, which Beethoven was the first to conceive and to establish. From the inherent connection between the materials of music (sound and rhythm) and certain natural phenomena (the sound and rhythm of wind, wave and storm, the call of birds, etc.) it is evident that the possibility for Program—or descriptive—music has always existed.[163] That is, the imagination of musicians has continually been influenced by external sights, sounds and events; and to their translation into music suggestive titles have been given, as a guide to the hearer. Thus we find Jannequin, a French composer of the 16th century, writing two pieces—for voices!—entitled "Les cris de Paris" and "La Bataille—défaite des Suisses à la journée de Marignan;" in the former of which are introduced the varied cries of street venders and in the latter, imitations of fifes, drums, cannon and all the bustle and noises of war. In the Fitzwilliam Virginal Book there is a Fantasie by John Mundy of the English school, in which such natural phenomena as thunder, lightning and fair weather are delineated. There is a curious similarity between the musical portrayal of lightning in this piece[164] of Mundy and that of Wagner in the Valkyrie. In the Bible Sonatas of the German composer Kuhnau (1660-1722) we have a musical description of the combat between David and Goliath. Anyone at all familiar with the music of Couperin and Rameau will recall the variety of fantastic titles assigned to their charming pieces for the claveçin—almost always drawn from the field of nature: birds, bees, butterflies, hens, windmills, even an eel! It is but fair to state that we also find attempts at character drawing, even in those early days, as is indicated by such titles as La Prude, La Diligente, La Séduisante.[165] Haydn's portrayal of Chaos, in the Prelude to the Creation, is a remarkable153 mood-picture and shows a trend in quite a different direction. All these instances corroborate the statement that, in general, composers were influenced by external phenomena and that their program music was of an imitative and often frankly literal kind. From what we know of Beethoven's nature and genius, however, we should imagine that he would be far more interested in the emotions and struggles of the soul and we find that such indeed is the case. With the exception of the Pastoral Symphony with its bird-calls and thunderstorm and the Egmont Overture with its graphic description of a returning victorious army, his program music invariably aims at the description of character and the manner in which it is influenced by events—not, be it understood, at a musical portrayal of the events themselves. This difference in type is generally indicated by the terms subjective and objective, i.e., program music is subjective, when it deals with the emotions and moods of real or historical persons; objective, when it is based upon incidents or objects of the actual world. It is evident that in subjective program music an adjustment must be made, for the dramatic needs of the subject are to be considered as well as the inherent laws of music itself. We may state that the widening of the conception of form, so marked in modern music, has been caused by the need of such an adjustment; for as composers became more cultivated, more in touch with life and of more richly endowed imagination, the arbitrary conventions of strict form had perforce to yield to the demands of dramatic treatment. This implies not that program music is without a definite structure, only that the form is different—modified by the needs of the subject. As there is no other point in aesthetics which has caused more loose thinking, a few further comments may be pertinent. Some critics go so far as to deny the right of existence to all program music.[166] Of course there is good as well as bad program music, but to condemn it per se is simply to fly in the face of facts, for a large proportion of the music since Beethoven is on a poetic basis and has descriptive titles. Others claim that they cannot understand it. But that is their loss, not the fault of the music; the composer writes it and it is for us to acquire the state of mind to appreciate it. Another misleading allegation, often heard, is that a piece of program music should be so clear and self-sufficient that the hearer needs to know nothing of the title to derive the fullest enjoyment. But this simply begs the question. As well say that in listening to a song we need to154 know nothing of the meaning of the text. It is true that in listening to Beethoven's Coriolanus, for example, any sensitive hearer will be impressed by the vitality of the rhythm and the sheer beauty of orchestral sound. But to hold that such a hearer gets as much from the work as he who knows the underlying drama and can follow sympathetically the correspondence between the characters and their musical treatment is to indulge in reckless assertion. The true relationship between composer and hearer is this: when works are entitled Coriolanus, Melpomene, Francesca da Rimini, Sakuntala, L'après-midi d'un Faune, The Mystic Trumpeter, L'apprenti Sorcier, and the composers reveal therein the influence such subjects have had upon their imagination, they are paying a tacit compliment to the hearer whose breadth of intelligence and cultivation they expect to be on a par with their own. If such be not the case, the fault is not the composer's; the burden of proof is on the listener.[167] Let us now trace certain relationships between the drama of Coriolanus and the musical characterization of Beethoven. The Overture was composed as an introduction to a tragedy by the German playwright von Collin, but as the play is obsolete and as both von Collin and Shakespeare went to Plutarch for their sources, a familiarity—which should be taken for granted[168]—with the English drama will furnish sufficient background for an appreciation of the music. The scene before the city gates is evidently that in which Volumnia and Virgilia plead with the victorious warrior to refrain from his fell purpose of destruction. The work is in Sonata-form, since the great Sonata principle of duality of theme exactly harmonizes with the two main influences of the drama—the masculine and the feminine. It is of particular interest to observe how the usual methods of Sonata-form procedure are modified to suit the dramatic logic of the subject. The work begins Allegro con brio, with three sustained Cs—as if someone were stamping with heavy foot—followed by a series of assertive ff chords for full orchestra (note the piercing dissonance in the 7th measure),155 which at once establishes an atmosphere of headstrong defiance. The first theme, beginning in measure 15 with its restless rhythm, is not meant to be beautiful in the ordinary sense of the term—"a concourse of sweet sounds"; rather is it a dramatic characterization, a picture in terms of music, of the reckless energy and the fierce threats which we naturally associate with Coriolanus. The theme is repeated and then the transition develops this masculine mood in an impassioned manner—observe the frequency of sf accents and the crashing dissonances[169]—until a sustained note on the violins, followed by a descending cantabile phrase, brings us to the second theme, e.g.


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This theme, in distinction from the first, typifies the appeal for mercy made by the women in the drama. No contrast could be stronger than that between these two themes—the first, impulsive, staccato, of sweeping range, and in the minor; the second, suave, legato, restrained and in the major. They show indeed how powerfully Beethoven's imagination was impressed by the subject. After an eloquent expansion of the second theme there follow several stormy measures (the deprecations of the women are at first of no avail) that lead through a crescendo to a closing theme, at measure 83, in which the mood of defiant assertion is strongly marked. The exposition closes in this mood, in measure 100, and the following Development accentuates it through several successions of restless, crescendo passages until a ff descent sweeps us back to the Recapitulation, in measure 151. It is now evident that the furious intentions of the warrior have raged themselves out, for not only is the theme which represents him much shortened but it loses somewhat of its former fiery intensity. From here on, the trend of the music is largely modified by the dramatic demands of the subject. That the appeals of the women are beginning to prevail is evident from the emphasis laid on the second theme, which gives its message no less than three times, instead of the single appearance which we should expect in the usual Recapitulation. The third appeal, in measures 247-253, is rendered most pathetic by being expressed in the minor mode. In156 the Coda there are fitful flare-ups of the relentless purpose, but that the stubborn will has been softened is evident from the slowing down of the rhythm, in measures 285-294. Finally, in the wonderful closing passage, we have a picture of broken resolves and ruined hopes. The theme disintegrates and fades away—a lifeless vision. Although much of the structure in this overture is identical with that which prevails in absolute music—for, after all, the composer must be true to the laws of his medium of expression—there is enough purely dramatic treatment to justify the foregoing analysis. Beethoven, at any rate, called the overture Coriolanus, and we may be sure he meant it to represent Coriolanus and to be something more than a skillful combination of sounds and rhythms.

We now add a few last words on the quality of Beethoven's themes in his moments of supreme inspiration. The unshaken hold which his music has upon the affections of mankind is due chiefly to two striking characteristics: first, the way in which he dramatized everything—themes, instruments, even single notes, i.e., treating them as actual factors in life itself rather than as artistic abstractions; second, the spirituality and sublimity in his immortal message. The first quality is exemplified in a number of passages, notably in the first movement of the Violin Concerto and in the Finale of the Eighth Symphony. In the opening measures of the Concerto the use of the single note D-sharp, and the entry pp of the F natural in the following passage—in each case, entirely disconnected from the normal rules of musical grammar—are most dramatic, e.g.




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At the mysterious entrance of the F natural in this passage it would seem as if some mighty spirit were suddenly looking over our shoulder. In the Finale of the Eighth Symphony what can be more startling than the sudden explosive entrance of the unrelated C-sharp—before the orchestra continues its mad career—which can be compared only to the uproarious laughter of Rabelais himself, e.g.


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There are numerous examples in Beethoven showing his dramatic use of such orchestral instruments as the bassoons, horns, kettle-drums and double basses. Possibly the most striking[170] is the Slow Movement of the G major Pianoforte Concerto—that inspired158 dialogue, as it has been eloquently called, "between Destiny and the human soul," in which the touching appeals of the solo instrument are constantly interrupted by the sinister mutterings and forebodings of the strings. Observe especially the closing measures where the basses, alone are heard pp, e.g.


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A spiritual quality escapes verbal definition; but just as we can feel it in certain characters, and just as we recognize the sublime in nature and in such works of art as a cathedral or a Shakespearian Drama, so we may find it in the following specific examples from his works: the Trio of the second movement of the Seventh Symphony; the Slow Movement theme of the B-flat major Trio and the Slow Movement of the Sonata op. 109. (See Supplement Nos. 47, 48, 49.) Anyone who allows these themes to sink into his consciousness is carried into a realm of ideality where he begins to recognize the truth159 that "the things which are unseen are eternal." Music of this transporting power is far above that which merely excites, amuses or even fascinates; and of such music Beethoven is the poet for all time.

We have referred above to the voluminous literature extant concerning Beethoven. Several scholars, in fact—notably Alexander Thayer and Sir George Grove—have devoted a large part of their lives to finding out all there is to be known about his life and works. Obviously the layman cannot be expected to become familiar with this entire mass of historical and critical writing. The following books, however, may be considered indispensable aids to those who would become cultivated appreciators of Beethoven's masterpieces: the Life of Beethoven by Alexander Thayer—a great glory to American scholarship; the life in Grove's Dictionary; the illuminating Biography by d'Indy (in French and in English); Beethoven and his Nine Symphonies by Grove; the Oxford History of Music, Vol. V; and the essay by Mason in his Beethoven and his Forerunners.[171] We cite, in closing, a eulogy[172] by Dannreuther—in our opinion the most eloquent ever written on Beethoven's genius:

"While listening," says Mr. Dannreuther, "to such works as the Overture to Leonora, the Sinfonia Eroica, or the Ninth Symphony, we feel that we are in the presence of something far wider and higher than the mere development of musical themes. The execution in detail of each movement and each succeeding work is modified more and more by the prevailing sentiment. A religious passion and elevation are present in the utterances. The mental and moral horizon of the music grows upon us with each renewed hearing. The different movements—like the different particles of each movement—have as close a connection with one another as the acts of a tragedy, and a characteristic significance to be understood only in relation to the whole; each work is in the full sense of the word a revelation. Beethoven speaks a language no one has spoken before, and treats of things no one has dreamt of before: yet it seems as though he were speaking of matters long familiar, in one's mother tongue;160 as though he touched upon emotions one had lived through in some former existence.... The warmth and depth of his ethical sentiment is now felt all the world over, and it will ere long be universally recognised that he has leavened and widened the sphere of men's emotions in a manner akin to that in which the conceptions of great philosophers and poets have widened the sphere of men's intellectual activity."



DURING the latter part of Beethoven's life—he died in 1827—new currents were setting in, which were to influence profoundly the trend of modern music. Two important, though in some respects unconscious, representatives of these tendencies were actually working contemporaneously with Beethoven, von Weber (1786-1826) and Schubert (1797-1828). Beethoven himself is felt to be a dual personality in that he summed up and ratified all that was best in his predecessors, and pointed the way for most of the tendencies operative since his time. For the designation of these two contrasting, though not exclusive, ideals, the currently accepted terms are Classic and Romantic. So many shades of meaning have unfortunately been associated with the word Romantic that confusion of thought has arisen. It is also true that the so-called Romanticists, including poets and painters as well as musicians, in their endeavors to break loose from the formality of the Classic period, have indulged in many irritating idiosyncracies. We are beginning to see clearly that a too violent expression of individuality destroys a most vital factor in music—universality of appeal. Yet the Romantic School cannot be ignored. To its representatives we owe many of our finest works, and they were the prime movers in those strivings toward freedom and ideality which have made the modern world what it is. The term Romantic is perfectly clear in its application to literature, from which music borrowed it. It refers to the movement begun about the year 1796 among such German poets as Tieck, the two Schlegels and Novalis, to restore the poetic legends of the middle ages, written in the Romance dialects, and to embody in their own161 works the fantastic spirit of this medieval poetry.[173] In reference to music, however, the terms Classic and Romantic are often vague and misleading, and have had extreme interpretations put upon them.[174] Thus, to many, "romantic" implies ultra-sentimental, mawkish or grotesque, while everything "classic" is dry, uninspired and academic. How often we hear the expression, "I am not up to classic music; let me hear something modern and romantic." Many scholars show little respect for the terms and some would abolish them altogether. Everything, however, hinges upon a reasonable definition. Pater's well-known saying that "Romanticism is the addition of strangeness to beauty" is fair; and yet, since strangeness in art can result only from imaginative conception, it amounts to nothing more than the truism that romantic art is imbued with personality. Hence Stendhal is right in saying that "All good art was Romantic in its day"; i.e., it exhibited as much warmth and individuality as the spirit of its times would allow. Surely Bach, Haydn and Mozart were real characters, notwithstanding the restraint which the artificialities of the period often put upon their utterance. On the other hand, work at first pronounced to be romantic establishes, by a universal recognition of its merit, the claim to be considered classic, or set apart; what is romantic to-day thus growing to be classic[175] tomorrow. It is evident, therefore, that the terms interlock and are not mutually exclusive. It is a mistaken attitude to set one school off against the other, or to prove that one style is greater than the other; they are simply different. Compositions of lasting worth always manifest such a happy union of qualities that, in a broad sense, they may be called both romantic and classic, i.e., they combine personal emotion and imagination with breadth of meaning and solidity of structure.


Beginning, however, with Schubert and Weber—the two first representatives of the romantic group—there is a marked novelty of content and style; and if we drop the terms and confine ourselves to the inner evidence of the music itself, we note a difference which may be felt and to a certain extent formulated. To take extreme types for the sake of vivid contrast, let us compare the compositions of Haydn and Mozart with those of Berlioz and Liszt. In the former there is repose, restraint and a perfect finish in the structural presentation; a feeling of serenity comes over us as we listen. In the latter, a peculiar intensity of expression, an attempt to fascinate the listener by the most intimate kinds of appeal, especially to the senses and fancy, regardless of any liberties taken with former modes of treatment. The purely classical composer is always master of his subject, whereas the romanticist is often carried away by it. Classical works are objectively beautiful, commending themselves to everyone like works of nature, or, let us say, like decorative patterns in pure design. Romantic works are subjective, charged with individuality and demand a sensitive and sympathetic appreciation on the part of the hearer. It is evident that many of these tendencies are found clearly outlined in the works of Beethoven. In fact, as has been said, he was not only the climax of the classical school, but the founder of the new era—opening a door, as it were, into the possibilities of a more intense, specialized form of emotional utterance and a freer conception of form. These special characteristics were so fully developed by Beethoven's successors, Schubert, Weber, Schumann, Chopin, etc. that they are always grouped together as the Romantic School. A striking feature in this whole Romantic group is the early flowering of their genius and the shortness of their lives—Weber, forty years, Schubert, thirty-one, Schumann, forty-six, Mendelssohn, thirty-eight, Chopin, forty. In the case of all the composers we have hitherto studied, with the exception of Mozart, their masterpieces have been the result of long years of patient, technical study and hence show that finish and maturity of style which come only with time. But the precocity of the Romanticists is astounding! Many of Schubert's famous pieces were composed in his earliest manhood; Mendelssohn's Midsummer Night's Dream Overture dates from his sixteenth year; Schumann's best pianoforte works were composed before he was thirty. The irresistible spontaneity and vigor of all these works largely atone for any blemishes in treatment. We feel somewhat163 the same in the case of Keats and Shelley in comparison with Milton, and are reminded of Wordsworth's lines, "Bliss was it in that hour to be alive, but to be young was very Heaven."[176] Why expect senatorial wisdom and the fancy of youth in any one person!

A most important distinction between a classical and a romantic composer is the knowledge and love of literature shown by the latter. Although Haydn kept a note-book on his London tours, and although we have a fair number of letters from Mozart, in neither of these men do we find any appreciation of general currents of thought and life. In many of Beethoven's works we have seen how close was the connection between literature and musical expression. All the Romantic composers, with the exception of Schubert, were broadly cultivated, and several could express themselves artistically in words as well as in notes. They may not have been on this account any better composers, as far as sheer creative vitality is concerned, but it is evident that their imaginations were nourished in quite a different way and hence a novel product was to be expected. Romantic music has been defined as a reflex of poetry expressed in musical terms, at times fairly trembling on the verge of speech. Music can not, to be sure, describe matters of fact, but the Romantic composers have brought it to a high degree of poetical suggestiveness. Thus the horn-calls of Weber and Schubert remind us of "the horns of Elfland faintly blowing" and much romantic music arouses our imaginations and enchants our senses in the same way as the lines of Keats where he tells of "Magic casements opening on the foam of perilous seas in fairy lands forlorn," the chief glory of which is not any precise intellectual idea they convey, but the fascinating picture which carries us from the land of hard and fast events into the realm of fancy. Schumann claimed that his object in writing music was so to influence the imagination of the listeners that they could go on dreaming for themselves. A second characteristic is the freedom of form. Considering that a free rein to their fancy was incompatible with strict adherence to traditional rules, the Romantic spirits refused164 to be bound by forms felt to be inadequate. Although this attitude sometimes resulted in diffuseness and obscurity, on the whole (as Goethe says of romantic literature) "a wider and more varied subject matter and a freer form has been attained." The chief aim of romantic art being to arouse the imagination, we find a predilection for the use of solo wood-wind instruments, which are capable of such warmth and variety of tone-color. Whereas in the classical masters, and even generally in Beethoven, the melodies are likely to be the upper voice of a harmonic mass, or assigned to groups of instruments, Weber and Schubert in particular showed the eloquence to be gained by the use of such warm-blooded solo instruments as the horn, the oboe and the clarinet. Schubert fairly conjures with the horn, often holding us spellbound with its haunting appeal, e.g., in the well-known second movement of the C major Symphony, the calls of which, as Schumann said, "seem to come from another world." Schubert was anything but a thinker, and reflected unconsciously the tendencies which were in the air; but his wonderful gift of lyric melody was thoroughly in keeping with the individual expression for which Romanticism stood. He said himself that his compositions were the direct result of his inmost sorrows. He was steeped in romantic poetry and the glowing fancy in his best work leads us to condone the occasional prolixity referred to by Schumann as "heavenly length." Schubert was well named by Liszt the most poetic of musicians, i.e., a creator of pure beauty which enthralls the imagination of the hearer. Why expect the work of any one composer to manifest all possible merits? If we crave dynamic power of emotion or sublimity of thought we may have recourse to Bach and Beethoven; but the spontaneous charm of Schubert never grows old; and it is not without interest to note that his music fulfils the definition of one of the most poetic composers of our time, Debussy, who claims that music is chiefly meant "to give pleasure."

We note these same tendencies in Weber as shown in the overtures to his three Romantic operas, Der Freischütz, Euryanthe and Oberon, which are the foundations of the modern art of dramatic orchestration, i.e., the intensification of certain ideas and situations by the special tone color and register of solo-instruments or by a novel use of customary means, e.g., the divided violins in the mysterious passage of the Euryanthe overture. Another favorite means of arresting the attention was by modulation; not used in a constructive sense, simply to pass from one point to another, or to connect themes165 in different keys, but to furnish the ear with a purely sensuous delight, corresponding to that which the eye derives from the kaleidoscopic colors of a sunset. The works of Schubert, Chopin and to a lesser degree of Schumann abound in these shifting harmonies by which we seem to be wafted along on a magic carpet. A final characteristic, shared by all the Romantic composers, is the prevalence of titles—the logical result of the close connection between music, literature and the world of outward events,—thus Mendelssohn's Overture to the Midsummer Night's Dream with its romantic opening chords, his Hebrides Overture, the musical record of a trip to Scotland, and Schumann's Manfred, from Byron. Liszt even went so far as to draw inspiration from a painting, as in his Battle of the Huns, and again from a beautiful vase in Orpheus.

We shall now make a few specific comments on the style of Schubert and Weber and then analyze some of their representative works. Schubert was a born composer of songs, and though his works for Pianoforte, String quartet and Orchestra were of marked significance and have proved of lasting value, the instinct for highly individualized, lyric melody predominates, and all his instrumental compositions may fairly be called "Songs without words."[177] It is evident that the solo-song, unencumbered by structural considerations, is one of the best media for expressing the Romantic spirit, and many of its fairest fruits are found in this field. Schubert's songs are often tone-dramas in which the expressive powers of music are most eloquently employed.[178] Note the poetic touches of character-drawing and of description in the Young Nun (see Supplement No. 50). Schubert's pianoforte compositions are miniature tone-poems, mood-pictures—their titles: Impromptus and Moments Musicaux, speak for themselves—making no pretense to the scope and elaborate structure of movements in Sonata-form,[179] yet of great import not only for their166 intrinsic beauty but as the prototypes of the numerous lyric and descriptive pieces of Schumann, Brahms, Grieg, Debussy and others. Their charm lies in the heart-felt melodies and surprising modulations. While neither sublime nor deeply introspective, they make the simple, direct appeal of a lovely flower. In the development of music they are as important as the modern short story in the field of literature; which, in distinction to the old "three-decker" novel, often really says more and says it so concisely that our interest never flags. This tendency to the short, independent piece had been begun by Beethoven in his Bagatelles (French "trifles"); but these, as has been aptly said, were "mere chips from the work-shop" whereas in a short piece of Schubert we find the quintessence of his genius. He was a prolific composer in the field of chamber music, and the Trios for Violin, 'Cello and Pianoforte, the A minor Quartet, the C major Quintet and, above all, the posthumous Quartet in D minor, which contains the entrancing Variations on the song Death and the Maiden, are still as fresh as when they were composed. In these works we do not look for architectonic power—we must admit, in fact, at the risk of seeming ungracious, that Schubert is diffuse at times—but our senses are so enthralled by the imaginative freedom and by the splendor of color, that all purely intellectual judgment is suspended. The magician works his wonders; it is for us to enjoy. We have from Schubert seven complete Symphonies and the so-called Unfinished in B minor, i.e., the first two movements and the fragment of a Scherzo. Of these the Fourth (Tragic), composed in 1816, foreshadows the real Schubert and is occasionally heard to-day. But the immortal ones are the B minor and the C major, the latter composed in 1828 (the last year of his life) and never heard by its author.[180] Of this work Schumann said that "a tenth Muse had been added to the nine of Beethoven." This symphony is specially characterized by the incorporation of Hungarian types of melody, particularly in the first and in the last movement. It is indeed a storehouse of beauty, but the "high moments" are in the last two movements—the fairly intoxicating Trio of the Scherzo, which seems as if Nature herself were singing to us, and the gorgeous Finale with its throbbing rhythms. The first movement is laid out on a vast scale and holds the attention throughout, but the second movement, notwithstanding its wondrous theme, suffers from a lack of concentration; the sweetness is so long-drawn out that we become sated.


As examples[181] for analytical comment we select the Menuetto in B minor from the Fantasia for Pianoforte, op. 78; the fourth Impromptu in A-flat major from the set, op. 90, and the B minor Symphony for orchestra. The Menuetto, though one of Schubert's simpler pieces—the first part in an idealized Mozartian vein—yet exemplifies in the Trio one of the composer's most characteristic traits, the predilection for those bewitching alternations,[182] like sunlight and shadow, between the major and the minor mode.

The Impromptu in A-flat major, one of several equally fine ones, is notable for the wealth of its iridescent modulations and for the note of genuine pathos and passion in the middle portion in the minor mode. Schubert might well say that his most inspired music came from his sorrows.

The Unfinished Symphony requires less comment and elucidation than perhaps any other symphonic composition. The two movements are in definite Sonata-form—the first, strict, the second, with modifications; but the quality of the themes is quite different from that to which we have been accustomed in classical treatment. Instead of the terse, characteristic motive which, often at first uncompromisingly bare, impresses us as its latent possibilities are revealed, we have a series of lyric, periodic melodies which make their instant appeal. In Schubert everything sings; thus in the first part of the Exposition of the Allegro we have three distinct melodies: the introductory phrase, the accompaniment figure which has a melodic line of its own, and the first theme proper. In any consideration of this work from a pianoforte version we must always remember how much the beauty and eloquence of the themes depend upon the solo instruments to which they are assigned. For Schubert was one of the first, as well as one of the greatest, of "Colorists." By the use of this pictorial term in music we mean that the tone-quality of certain instruments—the mellow, far-echoing effect of the horn,168 the tang of the oboe, the passionate warmth of the clarinet[183]—appeals to our sense of hearing in the same way in which beautiful colors—the green grass, the blue sky, the hues of a sunset—delight our sight. A striking example of Schubert's genius in utilizing tone-color to suit structural needs is found in the transition beginning at measure 38. This is a single tone on the horn (with a modulatory ending) announced forte and then allowed to die away, i.e., sf decrescendo symbol. So powerful is the horn in evoking a spirit of suspense and revery that this tone introduces the beautiful, swaying second theme more impressively than a whole series of routine modulations. The Development speaks for itself. Though there is little polyphonic treatment, it holds our interest by reason of the harmonic variety and the dramatic touches of orchestration. In Schubert we do not look for the development of a complicated plot but give ourselves up unreservedly to the enjoyment of pure melodic line, couched in terms of sensuously delightful tone-color. The transitional passage of the Recapitulation (measures 231-253) illustrates Schubert's fondness for modulation just for its own sake; we care not what the objective point of the music may be—enthralled, as we are, by the magical shifts of scene. In the Second Movement, likewise, the chief beauty—especially of the second theme—consists in the lyric quality, in the color of the solo instruments, the oboe, clarinet and horn, and in the enharmonic changes, e.g., where, in measures 80-95, the theme modulates from C-sharp minor to D-flat major. Note in the orchestral score the charming dialogue in this passage between the clarinet, oboe and flute. The Development, based upon the second theme, with some effective canonic treatment, shows that Schubert was by no means entirely lacking in polyphonic skill. At any rate he can work wonders with the horn, for at the close of the Development (measures 134-142) by the simple device of an octave leap, ppp, he veritably transports the listener, e.g.




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The Coda has a dream-like quality all its own.

Weber's permanent contribution to musical literature has proved to be his operas—a form of art not treated in this book. But the whole nature of his genius was so closely related to the Romantic spirit, as shown in the intimate connection between literature and music, in his descriptive powers and his development of the orchestra, that for the sake of comprehensiveness some familiarity should be gained with the essential features of his style. Of Weber it may be said with conviction that there is hardly a composer of acknowledged rank in whom style, i.e., the way and the medium by which musical thought is presented, so prevails over the substance of the thought itself. There are few if any of Weber's melodies which are notable for creative power, and as a harmonist he was lamentably weak. It has been scathingly said, though with considerable truth, that all his melodies are based upon an alternation of tonic and dominant chords![184] But when we consider what his themes are meant to describe, the pictures they evoke and their orchestral dress, we must acknowledge in Weber the touch of real poetic genius. To quote Runciman[185]

"If you look, and look rightly, for the right thing in Weber's music, disappointment is impossible, though I admit that the man who professes to find there the great qualities he finds in Mozart, Beethoven, or any of the giants, must be in a very sad case. Grandeur, pure beauty, and high expressiveness are alike wanting. Weber's claim to a place amongst the composers is supported in a lesser de170gree by the gifts which he shared, even if his share was small, with the greater masters of music, than by his miraculous power of vividly drawing and painting in music the things that kindled his imagination. Being a factor of the Romantic movement, that mighty rebellion against the tyranny of a world of footrules and ledgers, he lived in a world where two and two might make five or seven or any number you pleased, and where footrules were unknown; he took small interest in drama taken out of the lives of ordinary men and enacted amidst every-day surroundings; his imagination lit up only when he thought of haunted glens and ghouls and evil spirits, the fantastic world and life that goes on underneath the ocean, or of men or women held by ghastly spells."

Weber's present-day fame rests upon the Overtures to his three operas of Der Freischütz, Euryanthe and Oberon, which are often played in detached concert form and hold their own for their romantic glow and for the brilliancy of orchestral effect. By employing for his thematic material the leading melodies of the operas themselves Weber has created what may be called epitomized dramas which, if we have any knowledge of what the titles imply, present us with realistic pictures. For the use of special tone-color to enhance the dramatic situation Weber is the precursor of that type of orchestration which has reached such heights in Wagner and other moderns. From the above comments it is evident that only the barest idea of the Overtures can be gained from a pianoforte version; we have selected Oberon[186] because it suffers less than either of the others. Everyone, however, should become familiar with the mysterious, boding passage in the introduction to Der Freischütz (taken from the scene in the Wolf's Glen) and the Intermezzo from Euryanthe for muted, divided strings,[187] which accompanies the apparition of the ghost. This is genuine descriptive music for it really sounds ghostly. (See Supplement No. 51.)

The Oberon Overture in D major, begins with the intoning of the motto of Oberon's magic horn, and then follows a passage for muted strings (piano e adagio sostenuto) and for delicate combinations of the wood-wind instruments, which gives us a picture of the moonlit glens of fairyland, peopled with airy spirits. The vision is dispelled171 by a sudden ff chord for full orchestra which, from its setting, is one of the loudest effects in music, thoroughly characteristic of Weber's penchant for dramatic contrast. The main body of the work (allegro con fuoco) opens with a dashing theme for the strings of great brilliancy, most typical of Weber. Though we may feel that it has little substance (note the tonic and dominant foundation of the harmony) we cannot be insensible to its abounding vigor. It is not alone the ponderous things which should move our imaginations; even a soap-bubble is a wonderful phenomenon. The theme is expanded to a climax, in measure 28 (counting from the allegro), of great sonority and considerable harmonic boldness. After some reminiscent appearances of the introductory horn-call, a long-sustained dominant note introduces the second theme which seems a bit cloying, to be sure, but is just suited to the melting tone-color of the clarinet. The closing theme borders on triviality; the Exposition ends, however, with some exceedingly brilliant improvisations on the rhythmic figure of the main theme. The following Development is rather flimsy and we need expend upon it no critical powder. Weber was a great colorist but not a great architect. These qualities are united only too seldom. In the Recapitulation, which is shortened by the omission of the second theme—rather overworked in the Development—he is once more on his own ground of rhythmic life and dazzling orchestral color. At the close we are convinced that the overture has accomplished its purpose of graphically depicting the revels of Fairy-land.

Although they are seldom[188] played to-day, no account of Weber would be complete which entirely passed over his compositions for the Pianoforte, i.e., the four Sonatas, the concert piece in F minor and the originally conceived Invitation to the Dance, often played in the orchestral version of Berlioz which is so much better than the inflated, bombastic one by Weingartner. Weber is classed as one of the founders of the "brilliant school" of pianoforte playing which, chiefly through the genius of Franz Liszt, has done so much to enlarge the sonorous and coloristic possibilities of the instrument. Here again Weber's fame rests more upon his influence than upon lasting achievement; as to the importance of this influence, however, there can be no doubt.


The student will be repaid for informing[189] himself as fully as possible concerning Weber's career and artistic ideals, for he was a genuine though early exponent of Romantic tendencies. Of marked versatility, of no mean literary skill and of such social magnetism and charm that he might properly be considered a man of the world, as well as an artist, Weber was thus enabled to do pioneer work in raising the standard of musicianship and in bringing the art of music and ordinary, daily life into closer touch.



IN distinction from pioneers like Schubert, slightly tinged with Romanticism, and Weber who, though versatile, was somewhat lacking in creative vigor, Schumann (1810-1856) stands forth as the definite, conscious spokesman of the Romantic movement in German art just as Berlioz was for art in France. He was endowed with literary gifts of a high order, had a keen critical and historical sense and wrote freely and convincingly in support of his own views and in generous recognition of the ideals of his contemporaries. Many of his swans, to be sure, proved later to be geese, and it is debatable how much good was done by his rhapsodic praise to young Brahms; whether in fact he did not set before the youngster a chimerical ideal impossible of attainment. Schumann early came under the influence of Jean Paul Richter, that incarnation of German Romanticism, whom he placed on the same high plane as Shakespeare and Beethoven. An intimate appreciation of much that is fantastic and whimsical in Schumann is possible only through acquaintance with the work of this Jean Paul. Schumann's first compositions were for the pianoforte—in fact his original ambition[190] was to be a pianoforte virtuoso—and to-day his permanent significance depends on the spontaneity in conception and the freedom of form manifested in these piano173forte works and in his romantic songs. Here we have the "ipsissimus Schumann," as von Bülow so well remarks. Schumann's pianoforte style is compounded of two factors: first, his intensely subjective and varied imagination which, nourished by the love of Romantic literature, craved an individual mode of expression; second, a power of concentration and of organic structure which was largely derived from a study of Bach and of the later works of Beethoven. Schumann saw that the regularity of abstract form, found in the purely classical writers, was not suited to the full expression of his moods and so he worked out a style of his own, although in many cases this was simply a logical amplification or modification of former practice. In his pianoforte compositions, then, we find a striking freedom in the choice of subject, which is generally indicated by some poetically descriptive title, e.g., Waldscenen, Nachtstücke, Fantasiestücke, Novelletten, Kreisleriana, Humoreske, etc. The danger in this form of subject matter is that it often degenerates into sentimentality coupled with a corresponding spinelessness of structure. This danger Schumann avoids by a style noticeable for terseness and structural solidity. His effort was to give significance to every note; all verbiage, meaningless scale passages and monotonous arpeggios were swept away, while the imagination was aroused by the bold use of dissonances and by the variety of tone-color. A thoroughly novel feature was the flexibility of the rhythm, which breaks from the old "sing-song" metres and abounds in syncopations, in contrasted accents, and in subtle combinations of metrical groups; every effort being made to avoid the tyranny of the bar-line.

Schumann's career was peculiar in that, beginning as a pianoforte composer, he tried successively every other form as well—the song, chamber music, works for orchestra, and for orchestra with solo voices and chorus—and won distinction to a greater or less degree in every field save that of the opera. Notwithstanding the beauty of poetic inspiration enshrined in the four symphonies, a grave defect is the quality of orchestral tone which greets the ear, especially the modern ear accustomed to the many-hued sonority of Wagner, Tchaikowsky, Debussy and others. These symphonies have been called "huge pieces for four hands" which were afterwards orchestrated, and the allegation is not without truth, as real orchestral glow and brilliancy is so often lacking. Each one, however, has notable features, e.g., the sublime Adagio of the 2d, and the touching Romanza of the 4th, and each is worthy of study; for Schumann in174 certain aspects furnishes the best avenue of approach to the modern school. In the Fourth Symphony he obliterates the pauses between the movements and fuses them all together; calling it a Symphony "in einem Satze" and anticipating the very same procedure that Schönberg follows in his String Quartet which has had recent vogue. Schumann's chief contribution to the development of the German Song lay in the pianoforte part, which with Schubert and Mendelssohn might properly be called an accompaniment, however rich and varied. But in Schumann the pianoforte attains to a real independence of style, intensifying in the most subtle and delicate way every shade of poetic feeling in the text. In fact, it is often used to reveal some deep meaning beyond the expressive power of words. This is seen in the closing measures of "Moonlight" where the voice ceases in suspense, and the instrument completes the eloquence of the message. Schumann's great achievement as a literary man was his founding, in 1834, of the Neue Zeitschrift für Musik, to which he himself contributed many stimulating and suggestive essays, opposing with might and main the Philistinism which so pervaded the music of his time. He even established an imaginary club, called the Davidsbund, to storm the citadel of Philistia.

The best eulogy of Schumann is the recognition that many of the tendencies in modern music, which we now take for granted, date from him: the exaltation of freedom and fancy over mere formal presentation, the union of broad culture with musical technique, and the recognition of music as the art closest in touch with the aspirations of humanity. He was an idealist with such perseverance and clearness of aim that his more characteristic work can never die.

Des Abends.

The Fantasiestücke[191], op. 12, of which this piece is the first, amply justify their title, for they abound in soaring thoughts, in fantastic, whimsical imaginings and in novel modes of utterance and structure. Every number of the set is a gem, In der Nacht being perhaps the most poetic of Schumann's short pieces for the pianoforte. They are thoroughly pianistic and evoke from the instrument all its possibilities of sonority and color. In point of texture they illustrate that happy combination, which Schumann worked out, of lyric melo175dies on a firmly knit polyphonic basis. They are also programmistic in so far as Schumann believed in music of that type. There is no attempt to tell a detailed story or to have the music correspond literally to definite incidents. The titles merely afford a verbal clue to the general import and atmosphere of the music. Thus in regard to the piece under consideration, the mere mention of eventide is supposed to be enough to stimulate thought in any one with a sensitive imagination, and the music is a suggestive expression of Schumann's own intimate reveries. The piece is in extended two-part form—each part repeated—and rounded out with an eloquent Coda. The rhythmic scheme is of particular significance for it illustrates not only the composer's fondness for inventing new combinations, but, as well, suggests most delicately the mood of the piece. It would evidently be false art to write a piece, entitled Evening, in a vigorous, arousing rhythm, such as might be associated with a noon-day sun, when we often see the heat-waves dancing over the fields. On the other hand Schumann, by a subtle blending of triple time in the main upper melody and duple time in the lower, suggests that hazy indefiniteness appropriate to the time of day when the life of Nature seems momentarily subsiding and everything sinking to rest, e.g.


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In many measures of the second part (i.e., 21-24) the accent is so disguised that it seems as if we were in a twilight revery, quite apart from matters of time and space.


This piece is a happy illustration of the intensity of meaning and the conciseness of structure which Schumann gained by the application of polyphonic imitation. It is difficult to say exactly what Warum signifies. It was characteristic of the Romantic unrest of the German mind to question everything—especially "Why am I not more176 happy in love?" The motto may be considered a Carlyle-like "everlasting why." At any rate the composition is an example of music speaking more plainly than words; for no one can fail to recognize the haunting appeal in the theme with its long-drawn out final note after the upward leap. It is a real musical question, e.g.


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Grillen, the next piece in the set, deserves careful study. It is too long to present as a whole, but we cite the middle part (See Supplement No. 52) as it is such a convincing example of syncopated effect (i.e., the persistent placing of the accent on weak beats), and of elasticity in the metric scheme.

Novellette in E major.

This piece illustrates the vigor and massiveness of Schumann's pianoforte style. Note the sonority gained by the use of widely spaced chords. For the brilliant effect demanded, there should be a liberal use of the damper pedal.[192] We likewise find, beginning with the third brace, some characteristic polyphonic imitations which give to the movement a remarkable concentration. In the middle contrasting portion it seems as if Schumann had taken a leaf out of Chopin's book—a beautiful, lyric melody floating on an undercurrent of sonorous, arpeggio chords. The theme is presented in dialogue form, first in the upper voice, next in an inner voice and finally in the bass. (See Supplement No. 53.)

Song, Mondnacht.

No estimate of Schumann would be fair or comprehensive without some mention of his songs; upon which, together with his pianoforte compositions, his immortality tends more and more to rest. Notwithstanding the many poetic and dramatic touches in Schubert's accompaniments, those of Schumann are on the whole more finely wrought; for he had the advantage of Schubert in being, himself, a pianist of high attainment, thoroughly versed in pianistic effects. His imagination was also more sensitive to subtle shades of meaning in the text and he was inspired by the wonderful lyrics of Heine, Eichendorff and Chamisso who in Schubert's day had written very177 little. Special features of Schumann's songs are the instrumental preludes and postludes, the prelude establishing just the right setting for the import of the words and the postlude commenting on the beautiful message which the voice has just delivered. In Mondnacht, for example, (as previously mentioned), note how the voice stops in suspense and in what an eloquent revery the accompaniment completes the picture. (See Supplement No. 54.)

Overture to Manfred.

This Overture, the first of a set of incidental numbers which Schumann composed to illustrate Byron's dramatic poem, represents some of his most typical inspiration, and so is well worthy of our study. The music is labored at times, especially in the Development, and the orchestration is often dry and stereotyped. But the conception was a powerful one, and there is a genuine correspondence between the nature of the music and the spirit of the poem. It is evident that the subject made a deep impression on Schumann, whose own imagination, addicted to mysterious and even morbid broodings, was strongly akin to that of Byron's fictitious character. The composition is program music of the subjective order, comparable to Beethoven's Coriolanus, i.e., the themes are dramatic characterizations: the first typifying the stormy nature of Manfred; the second, with its note of pleading, the mysterious influence over the recluse of the spirit of Astarte. As in all works of this kind the music cannot be readily appreciated without a knowledge of the poem which it illustrates.[193] As for the structure, Schumann clings too closely to the Sonata-form. The music is eloquent just in proportion as he gives his fancy free rein; where he tries to force the themes into an arbitrary mould, the result is unsatisfactory—especially the development, which is neither very dramatic nor interesting from a purely musical point of view. The work opens with three spasmodic syncopated[194] chords, and then follow twenty-four measures (lento and at first pianissimo) of a preludial nature with suggestions of the Manfred theme. The movement becomes gradually faster and more impassioned until, in measure 26, we reach the presentation of the first theme (allegro agitato) which, with its frequent syncopations,178 is characteristic of Manfred's restless nature. The transition begins in measure 39; at first with a repetition of the main theme, which soon modulates to F-sharp minor, in which key the second theme enters, in measure 51. This theme—in three portions—seems to embody different aspects of the feminine influence of Astarte. The first portion, measures 51-61, with its undulating, chromatic outline, may be said to typify the haunting apparition so real to Manfred's imagination and yet so intangible; the second, 62-67, contains a note of impassioned protest, and the third, 68-77, is a love message of tender consolation. If this interpretation seem too subjective, a careful reading of the drama where Astarte appears (pp. 284-285 in the Everyman's Edition) will, we believe, corroborate it. The rest of the Exposition consists in a treatment of the Astarte motive, primarily of a musical nature; though there is a real dramatic intensity in measures 96-103, which are an expansion of the love message with its characteristic "appoggiatura." The Development, beginning in measure 132, is a striking example of how difficult it was—even for an exponent of freedom in musical expression like Schumann—to break loose from the shackles of arbitrary form. The musical thought is kept in motion, to be sure, but that is about all; for the treatment is often very labored, and nothing is added to the dramatic picture. The world had to await the work of Tchaikowsky, and Strauss for a satisfactory adjustment[195] between the demands of dramatic fitness and the needs of musical structure. In the Coda, beginning measure 258, Schumann—now that he is free from considerations of structure—gains a dramatic effect of truly impressive power. The horns, supported by trumpets and trombones, intone a funeral dirge of touching solemnity (evidently suggested by the closing death scene of the drama) while, above, hover portions of the Astarte motive, as if even in his death her influence was paramount in Manfred's imagination, e.g.




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Notwithstanding certain blemishes, this Overture at the time of its composition was a landmark in the development of program music, and if to our modern tastes it seems a bit antiquated, this is largely because of the great progress which has since been made.[196]

Symphony in D Minor.

This Symphony is selected from Schumann's four, both for the peculiar romantic beauty of its themes and because the form in which it is cast makes it an important connecting link between the freedom of structure, instituted by Beethoven, and the Symphonic Poem of Liszt and other modern composers. All of Schumann's symphonies contain genuine beauties and should be familiar to the cultivated musician. Perhaps the first in B-flat major is the most sustained, and it has a freshness and buoyancy summed up in its title, the Spring, by which it is popularly known. The exuberance of the Finale is pure Schumann and is expressed with an orchestral eloquence in which he was frequently lacking.[197] The Second Symphony is notable for its sublime Adagio, Schumann's love-song—comparable to the slow movement of Beethoven's Fourth. At some future day, conductors will have the courage to play this movement by itself like a magnificent Torso, for indubitably the other movements have aged beyond recall. The Third Symphony, known as the Rhenish (composed when Schumann was living at Düsseldorf on the Rhine) is significant for its incorporation of popular melodies from the Rhineland, and for the movement, scored chiefly for trombones and other brass instruments, which gives a picture of some ceremonial occasion in the Cologne Cathedral.


The Fourth Symphony is an uneven work, for there are many places where Schumann's constructive power was unequal to his ideal conceptions. We often can see the joints, and the structure—in places—resembles a rag-carpet rather than the organic texture of an oriental rug. But the spontaneous outpouring of melody touches our emotions and well-nigh disarms criticism. Schumann had constantly been striving for a closer relationship[198] between the conventional movements of the symphony; and his purpose, in the structural treatment adopted, is indicated by the statement published in the full score—"Introduction, Allegro, Romanze, Scherzo und Finale in einem Satze" i.e., the work is to be considered as a continuous whole and not broken up into arbitrary movements with rigid pauses between. The long drawn-out Introduction,[199] with its mysterious harmonies, leads us into the land of romance, and a portion of this introduction is happily carried over and repeated in the Romanze. The First movement proper, from Lebhaft, seems at first as if it were to be in the customary Sonata-form; the Exposition beginning with two themes in the normal relationship of minor and relative major, though to be sure the second theme is more of a supplementary expansion of the first than one which provides a strong contrast. But after the double bar and repeat, this first theme is developed in a free preludial manner as if it were continually leading up to a climax. We are finally rewarded by a new theme of great warmth which amply makes up for any lack of individuality in the second theme proper, e.g.


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The rest of the movement consists of additional improvisations, rather too rigidly sectionalized, on the first theme and a second appearance of the interpolated theme. This theme, with rhythmic modifications, serves also as the basis for the brilliant Coda; for there is no Recapitulation proper, and it is evident that the movement is181 an extended prelude for what is to come—a first portion of the work as a whole. After a dramatic pause,[200] which enhances the feeling of expectancy (so prominent in the first movement) followed by a sustained modulatory chord, the Romanze begins with a plaintive theme in A minor. The mood is that of an idealized serenade, and in the original score the accompaniment for the oboe melody was given to the guitar[201] to secure the appropriate atmosphere. After the first statement of the theme there is an interpolated quotation of the characteristic passage from the introduction, which serves to bind the movements together both in structure and in relationship of mood. The movement is in clear-cut three-part form and the middle contrasting section in the major mode reveals a sustained descending melody played by the body of strings, which is delicately embellished by an obligato variant given to a solo violin, e.g.


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At first the 'cellos, also, re-enforce this melody.




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The effect is that of an ethereal voice commenting on the beauty of the main theme. This obligato part is of special significance, since with rhythmic change it forms the chief theme of the Trio in the following movement. The Romanze closes with a simple return to the plaintive oboe melody, this time in D minor. The tonality is purposely indefinite to accentuate the wistful feeling of the movement—the last chords having the suspense of a dominant ending. After a short pause we are at once whirled into the dashing Scherzo which seems to represent the playful badinage of a Romantic lover. The Trio affords a delightful reminiscence of the Romanze and, from a structural point of view, is an early example of the principle of "transformation of theme"[202] which plays so important a role in the works of Liszt, Franck, Tchaikowsky and Dvořák. For the melody, e.g.,


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is a rhythmic variant of the former obligato of the solo violin, and has this characteristic, which gives a peculiar note of surprise, that it always begins on the third beat of the measure. Following a repetition of the Scherzo the movement ends eloquently with a coda-like return to the Trio which, after some modulatory changes, is183 broken up into detached fragments, seeming to vanish into thin air. There is no pause between the end of the Scherzo and the introduction, based on the theme of the first movement, which ushers in the Finale. This movement is in Sonata-form with a modified Recapitulation—i.e., the first theme is not repeated—and with a passionate closing theme, e.g.,


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which atones for the intentional incompleteness with which the first movement ends. The main theme is a compound of a vigorous march-like motive, closely related to one of the subsidiary phrases of the first movement, and a running figure in the bass—the derivation of which is obvious. After a rather labored transition[203]—surely the most mechanical passage in the whole work—we are rewarded by a melody of great buoyancy and rhythmic life, e.g.


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The free Fantasie begins with a contrapuntal working-out of a figure taken from the first theme, but it suffers from a persistent emphasis on what, after all, is an uninteresting rhythm music; there is, furthermore, a rigid grouping of the phrases in twos and fours. Schumann's instinct was a wise one in omitting the main theme of the Recapitulation and in leading, as soon as possible, to the repetition of the delightful second theme—the gem of the movement—which now makes its orthodox appearance in the tonic. After some ejaculatory measures, which remind us of the beginning of the Development, we have the impassioned closing theme, referred to above, which ushers in the free and brilliant Coda, worked up contrapuntally with ever increasing speed. The movement ends with184 Schumannesque syncopations. The D minor Symphony, thus, although not a perfect work of art, is a significant one and repays intimate study. A long life may safely be predicted for it by reason of the fervor and charm of its melodies. An important historical status it will always hold, for it is the honorable ancestor of such great symphonies as César Franck's in D minor and Tchaikowsky's in E minor, in which we find the same freedom of form and the same fusion of material attempted by Schumann's daring spirit.[204]

Closely connected with Schumann, chronologically and also by certain executive associations, e.g., the Leipsic Conservatory, is the career of Mendelssohn (1809-1847). There was much in common between the two; they both were extremely versatile, of strong literary bent and naturally drawn to the same media of expression: pianoforte, solo voices and orchestra. And yet, so dissimilar were the underlying strains in their temperaments that their compositions, as an expression of their personalities, show little in common. Schumann, as we have seen, was fantastic, mystical, a bold, independent thinker, the quintessence of the Romantic spirit. Mendelssohn, on the other hand, though not lacking in poetic fancy and warmth, was cautious—a born conservative; and his early classical training, together with the opulent circumstances of his life, served as a natural check upon the freedom of genius. His dazzling precocity—witness the Midsummer Night's Dream Overture, composed while he was in his seventeenth year—and a great popular success were surely not the best stimuli to make him delve into the depths of his imagination. Undoubtedly he did a valuable service, in his day, in uniting the leading tendencies of the two schools: the exuberant fancy of the Romantic, and the reserve and finish of the Classic. He has been aptly called a "Romanticist with a classical equipment." If any appraisement be necessary to the detriment of one or the other, it must be conceded that Schumann was the greater genius. A just estimate of Mendelssohn's work is difficult, for his career was so meteoric and in his life he was so overvalued that now, with the opposite swing of the pendulum, he is as often underrated. He was assuredly a great artist, for what he had to say was beautifully expressed; the question hinges on the actual worth of the message. With perfect finish there often goes a lack of power and objective185 energy; somewhat the same difference that we feel between skillful gardening and the free vitality of Nature. Although Mendelssohn's music delights and charms there is a prevailing lack of that deep emotion which alone can move the soul. And yet a composer whom Wagner called "the greatest of landscape painters" and whose best works have stood the test of time can by no means be scorned. His descriptive Overtures for orchestra: the Hebrides, the Midsummer Night's Dream and the Fair Melusine; his Variations Sérieuses for Pianoforte and some of the Songs without Words[205] contain a genuinely poetic message, flawlessly expressed. As for the pianoforte music, when the Songs without Words are called "hackneyed" we must remember that only compositions of truly popular appeal ever have sufficient vogue to warrant the application of this opprobrious term. In the pianoforte Scherzos and in the Rondo Capriccioso in E major there is without doubt a vitality and a play of fancy easier to criticize than to create. The prevalent mood in Mendelssohn's music is one of sunny-hearted lightness and emotional satisfaction; and if this be a one-sided presentation of life, it is no more so, as Pratt well says in his History of Music, than the picture of gloom and sorrow which certain other composers continually emphasize. The fact that his descriptive Overtures, just mentioned, have been surpassed—owing to the recent expansion in orchestral possibilities of tone-color—must not blind us to the beauty of their content, or make us forget the impetus they have given to modern composers. No one could possibly find in the Hebrides Overture that subtle descriptive fancy or that wealth of orchestral coloring which exists in Debussy's marvellous Sea Pieces; and yet the Mendelssohn composition is a genuine reflection of nature in terms of music and can still be heard with sustained attention. Wagner[206] praises highly its orchestral effects; and a modern scholar, Cecil Forsyth,[207] considers the tone-painting quite irresistible. A sincere tribute of admiration should also be paid to Mendelssohn's Concerto for Violin and Orchestra. Written in the most idiomatic style for the solo instrument and containing186 real violin melodies it is still one of the few great works in its class. Any final critical estimate of Mendelssohn—no matter how earnest the effort to be absolutely fair—is inevitably involved with personal prejudices. If his music appeals to any one, it is liked extremely and no one need be ashamed of enjoying it, for it is sincerely felt and beautifully expressed. Mendelssohn, himself, doubtless knew perfectly well that he was not Bach, Beethoven or Schubert. For those whose natures crave a more robust message, more fire and a deeper passion, there are the works of those other composers to which they may turn.

Let us now analyze the Midsummer Night's Dream Overture,[208] "his first and highest flight" to quote Schumann. In this work we do not find a characterization by musical means of the emotions of the dramatis personae, as in the Coriolanus Overture; and there is little specific correspondence between the type of theme and definite incidents, except possibly at the beginning of the Recapitulation, where the low tones of the Bass Tuba[209] may be thought to represent the snores of Bottom, as the fairies hover about him. Anyone familiar with Shakespeare's play—and such a knowledge is indispensible for a complete enjoyment of the music—will see that Mendelssohn's object was to give a broad, general picture of the fairy world and to intensify, by his music, the fancy and humor found in the play. The introductory sustained chords, pianissimo, are a happy illustration of his deftness in tone-painting; for, assigned to the ethereal flutes and clarinets, they constitute, as Niecks ingeniously expresses it, a "magic formula" which ushers us into the moonlit realm of fairyland. The first theme in E minor (Allegro di molto: throughout pp and staccato), announced by the strings, is a graphic representation of the playful antics of the nimble elves and fairies. Its course is twice interrupted by a peculiar, prolonged chord which seems to say, "Hush! you are listening to the activities of beings not of this every-day, humdrum world." The first theme has a second part in E major (beginning at measure 62) of a pompous, march-like nature, which may be thought to represent the dignity of Duke Theseus and his train. The Overture being in complete Sonata-form,187 there occurs at this point a short transition based on the rhythm of the first theme; followed by a lovely cantabile melody—the second theme proper—that typifies the romantic love pervading the play. This theme also is expanded into several sections; the first of which may portray the clownish Athenian tradespeople, and the second, the brays of Bottom after he has been transformed into an ass, e.g.


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The free fantasia, an improvisation on the first theme—although containing a few perfunctory manipulations—sustains interest, as a whole, by its modulations and by the suggestive orchestral effects. The closing measures, where the pizzicato 'cellos and double basses seem to imitate the light, tripping footsteps of the elves, is genuinely realistic. The Recapitulation, which begins with the same chords as the Introduction, is an illustration of bondage to classic practise; for here they have no dramatic significance and are merely a concession to routine procedure.[210] The first theme and the transition, however, are effectively abridged so that the second theme, by far the most appealing in the whole work, stands out in greater prominence. Then follows a brilliant expansion of the closing portions of the second theme, until we reach the Coda. This begins with a reminiscence of the first theme which fades away into a modified presentation of the Duke Theseus theme, followed by four long-drawn out Amens.[211] These may signify the blessing which, in the play, the elves bestow upon the Ducal house. The Introductory chords dissolve the dream which the music has evoked, and we are back once more in the world of reality.


To suggest the attitude which we of to-day should take towards Mendelssohn—he may justly be admired as a musician of great natural gifts, of high ideals and of unusually finished technique in many branches of composition. It is ungracious to censure him because he lacks the gripping emotional power of a Beethoven or a Wagner. Those who indulge in such narrow criticism condemn only themselves.



ALTHOUGH Chopin (1809-1849) was less aggressively romantic than others of the group we have been considering, in many respects his music represents the romantic spirit in its fairest bloom. Not even yet has full justice been done him—although his fame is growing—since he is often considered as a composer of mere "salon-pieces" which, though captivating, are too gossamer-like to merit serious attention. Chopin was a life-long student of Bach; and much of his music, in its closeness of texture, shows unmistakably the influence of that master. Together with Schumann, he broke away from the strict formality of the old classic forms and instituted the reign of freely conceived tone-poems for the pianoforte: the form being conditioned by the poetic feelings of the composer. As far as fundamental principles of architecture are concerned, his pieces are generally simple, modeled as they are on the two and three-part form and that of the rondo. When he attempted works of large scope, where varied material had to be held together, he was lamentably deficient, e.g., in his Sonatas. In fact, even in such pieces as the Études and Scherzos, in the presentation of the material we find occasional blemishes. But there are so many other wonderful qualities that this weakness may be overlooked. In spite of a certain deficiency in form, Chopin is indisputably a great genius. Far too much stress has been laid on the delicacy of his style to the exclusion of the intensity and bold dramatic power that characterize much of his music189 to a marked degree. Though of frail physique,[212] and though living in an environment which tended to overdevelop his fastidious nature, Chopin had a fiery soul, which would assert itself with unmistakable force. His music by no means consists solely of melting moods or languorous sighs; he had a keen instinct for the dissonant element (witness passages in the G minor Ballade); he was a daring harmonic innovator; and much of his music is surcharged with tragic significance. A born stylist, he nevertheless did not avoid incessant labor to secure the acme of finish. So perfect in his works is the balance between substance and treatment, that they make a direct appeal to music-lovers of every nation. In listening to Chopin we are never conscious of turgidity, of diffuseness, of labored treatment of material. All is direct, pellucid; poetic thoughts are presented in a convincingly beautiful manner. He was a great colorist as well, and in his work we must recognize the fact that color in music is as distinct an achievement of the imagination as profound thought or beauty of line. Chopin's position in regard to program music is an interesting subject for speculation. Few of his works bear specifically descriptive titles; and it is well known that he had little sympathy with the extreme tendencies of Berlioz and Liszt. Yet there is, in general, something more than an abstract presentation of musical material, however beautiful. The varied moods aroused by the Ballades and Nocturnes, the actual pictures we see in the Polonaises, must have had their counterpart in definite subjective experiences in the life of the composer, and so from a broad psychological standpoint—even in the absence of explanatory titles—we may call Chopin a thoroughly romantic tone-poet; indeed, as Balzac says, "a soul which rendered itself audible."

As Chopin composed so idiomatically for his chosen instrument, the pianoforte, to which he devoted himself exclusively,[213] no understanding or adequate appreciation of the subtleties of his style is possible without some knowledge of the nature and attributes of190 this instrument which, in our time, has become the universal medium for the rendering of music. All of Chopin's works were not only published for the pianoforte but were conceived in terms of the pianoforte; his style in this respect being quite unique in the history of musical art. For there are noble and poetically inspired thoughts of many composers which may be satisfactorily presented through a number of media: pianoforte, organ, string-quartet or voices. This fact has been the cause of many so-called transcriptions of orchestral or string-quartet music for the organ. A composer, furthermore, often publishes a work for a certain instrument when the inner evidence shows that, during the period of creation, he actually had some other medium in mind. Beethoven's Sonatas abound[214] in effects which, for their complete realization, require an orchestra; so that, notwithstanding the beauty of the thought, his style is often anything but pianistic. In certain of César Franck's pianoforte works we are conscious of his predilection for the organ, as the spirit of the music demands a sustained volume of sound which the organ, with its powerful lungs, alone can give. But if the full beauty of Chopin's conception is to be gained, his music must be played on the pianoforte and on nothing else. The pianoforte has, to be sure, several limitations; it is not per se a loud instrument in comparison with a trumpet or an organ, and the whole nature of its tone is evanescent—that is, as soon as the tone is produced, it begins to fade away, decrescendo symbol. This latter apparent limitation, however, is in fact one of its most suggestive beauties; for nothing is more stimulating to the imagination than the dying away of a beautiful sound, as may be felt in the striking of a clear-toned bell, or in the wonderful diminuendo of the horn. This effect, inherent in pianoforte tone, should be more utilized rather than deplored, especially since dwelling on a delightful harmony or a single dramatic note is a definite characteristic of "tempo rubato"—that peculiar feature of Chopin's rhythm. The pianoforte can neither steadily sustain a tone sustaining symbol nor increase it crescendo symbol; achievements for which the strings and the wind instruments are so valued. On the other hand, the instrument has the merits of great sonority and marvellous coloristic possibilities; and when music is composed for the pianoforte by one who understands its secrets and, furthermore,191 when it is properly played, it is quite the finest[215] instrument ever yet brought under the control of a single performer. Again, the pianoforte is not meant for great rapidity of utterance, such as, for instance, we associate with the violin, the flute or the clarinet. It is, in fact, often played too fast, sounding like a pianola or a machine rather than an instrument with a soul. If there be no lingering over the notes, beautiful effects have no opportunity to be heard. Rapidity and brilliance on the pianoforte do not depend on so many notes per second but on vitality and precision of accent. These admirable qualities of the instrument are due to the great number of vibrating metal strings (in a modern concert-grand, about two hundred and thirty, i.e., three strings to each of the twelve notes of the seven octaves, save for a few of the lowest bass notes); to the large sounding board (about twenty-four square feet, on the largest model), and above all to the damper pedal which Rubinstein—so appropriately—calls the soul of the pianoforte. The very term Pianoforte implies a wealth of meaning; for a special glory of the instrument is its power of shading, its flexibility of utterance, from piano to forte or vice versa. The limits themselves, to be sure, are not so striking as in certain other instruments, e.g., the pianoforte cannot produce the almost ghostly whisper of which the clarinet is capable, nor can it equal the trumpet or the trombone in intensity or volume. But it can produce a very beautiful pianissimo; and if a sense of relativity be kept, and soft effects begun quietly enough, it can be made to sound with remarkable brilliancy. The pianoforte should always be played with a keen regard for this power of shading, of nuance; the tones should undulate like the winds or the waves. Anything like the steady sostenuto level for which the organ shows itself so fitted is, except for special effects, entirely foreign to the nature of the pianoforte. Nor should we ever attempt to make it, per se, a loud, overpowering instrument. Its forte and its brilliancy are purely relative; and, when forced to do something unsuited to its real nature, it protests with a hard, unmelodious tone.


Likewise the two pedals,[216] when their technical names are understood, imply their own meaning, just as their popular designations hint at the way in which they are often abused. The pedal employed by the right foot, properly called the "damper pedal," is so named because, by its action, all the dampers of the key-board may be raised simultaneously. This allows the strings to vibrate together and to send forth great waves of colored sound like those produced by an Aeolian harp; an effect similar to that heard when a sea-shell is held to the ear. The pianoforte, in fact, has aptly been called "a harp laid on its back" to which the action of keys has been applied. Accordingly an open, flowing style (arpeggio) is one of the idioms best suited to its nature. To secure proper contrast, a massive, chordal style is sometimes employed by such composers as Schumann, Brahms and Franck—even at times by Chopin himself; but that the extended arpeggio (often merely two voices, with the body of tone secured by the pedal) is the norm may be seen from almost any page of Chopin's compositions. The resonance and carrying power of these waves are intensified by raising the lid[217] of the pianoforte; for then they are brought to a focus and projected into space. The effect produced by raising the dampers is appropriate and beautiful, not alone with consonant chords but, at times, equally with chords that are unrelated; which, were they sustained for long by an organ, would be intolerably harsh. But the tone of the pianoforte is so fleeting that such a mixture ensures great brilliance and warmth without undue jargon, and is thus akin to the blending of strange colors by modern painters. Many people, in fact, play the pianoforte with too little, rather than too much, pedal; or with too much pedal used the wrong way! A definite attempt should be made to cultivate a feeling for color and warmth of tone; a hard, colorless tone on the pianoforte being a great blemish as it is so unnecessary. The following passage illustrates the above points.


Chopin: Barcarolle


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There is really no such thing on the pianoforte as a "pure" single tone. It is an acoustical law that no tone exists by itself, but always generates a whole series of overtones[218] or "upper partials," as they are called, e.g.


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Even what we call the perfectly consonant chord of C major, e.g., music [Listen] [MusicXML] would be slightly qualified and colored by the B-flat, and this effect has actually been utilized by Chopin in the final cadence of his Prelude in F major, No. 23, e.g.




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In this example the E-flat must be very delicately accented and both pedals freely used.

Let it be clearly understood, therefore, that the damper pedal—popularly but erroneously called the "loud pedal"—has nothing to do with "noise" as such. Its purpose is to amplify and color the waves of sound and these waves may vary all the way from pp to ff. The dynamic gradation of pianoforte tone is caused by the amount of force with which the hammer strikes the wires; and this power is applied by the attack and pressure of the fingers. The damper pedal will, to be sure, reinforce fortissimo effects, but logically it is only a means of reinforcement and should never be used so that a mere "roar of sound" is produced. The normal pianoforte tone, however, is that brought forth in connection with the damper pedal, and only to gain an effect of intentional coolness and dryness do we see in pianoforte literature the direction "senza pedal"; passages so marked being often most appropriate as a strong contrast to highly colored ones.[219]

An important adjunct of the instrument, though even less intelligently used, is the pedal employed by the left foot; that popularly known as the "soft pedal," but of which the technical name is the "una corda" pedal. By this device on a grand pianoforte the whole key-board is shifted from left to right, so that the hammers strike but two wires in each group of three, and the third wire of the set is left free to vibrate sympathetically. Thus a very etherial, magical quality of tone is produced, especially in the upper ranges of the instrument. In the middle register, passages played forte or fortissimo will have a richness comparable to the G string of a violin. The effect is analogous to that of a viol d'amour which has, as is well195 known (stretched underneath the strings, which produce the actual tone) a set of additional strings, freely vibrating. Although this "una corda"[220] pedal may be used in a dynamic sense to reduce, as it were, the size of the instrument, its chief purpose is coloristic, i.e., to make possible a special quality of tone. This statement is proved by directions in pianoforte literature as far back as Beethoven, in whose Sonatas we find the dynamic marks of f and ff coupled with the proscribed use of the una corda pedal. In any case, this left-foot pedal should not be abused; for, just because the tone quality produced thereby is so beautiful and characteristic, it soon becomes, if constantly employed, rather cloying. The dynamic gradation of tone is primarily a matter for the control of the fingers, i.e., the touch. The damper pedal is for sonority and color; the una corda for special shades, and all three factors—touch and the two pedals—are combined in pianistic effects which only a trained technique and artistic judgment can regulate.[221]

Even a slight analysis of Chopin's style proves that it is based upon logical inferences, drawn from the series of overtones as they are generated and reinforced by the very nature of the pianoforte. From the wide spacing of the lower tones of the series Chopin derived the extended grouping of his arpeggios, e.g.,


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Prelude, No. 19


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so that the chord of the 10th, instead of the former grouping within the octave, may be considered the basis of his harmonic scheme. By this means a great gain was made in richness and sonority. Another striking feature of Chopin's style is found in those groups of spray-like, superadded notes with which the melody is embellished. It is evident, in many cases at least, that these tones are not merely embroidery in the ordinary sense. Rather do they represent a reinforcement of the overtones, ideally or actually present, in connection with bass tones and chords used in the lower part of the musical fabric. As a striking example[222] see the long series of descending non-harmonic tones in the Coda of the B major Nocturne, op. 9, No. 3, and note the delicate colors in the closing arpeggio chord (to be played with a free use of both pedals).




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In general, Chopin's style is homophonic—wondrous lyric melodies which seem to float on waves of richly colored sound. But there is also much subtly used polyphony, i.e., delightful phrases in inner198 voices and imitative effects between the different parts. In comparison, however, with Schumann's style (which is largely on a polyphonic basis) Chopin is a decidedly homophonic composer.[223] A great deal of interesting and instructive reading on Chopin is available and the following works are especially recommended: Chopin, the Man and his Music by Huneker; the Life of Chopin by Niecks; the essay on Chopin in Mason's Romantic Composers and in Hadow's Studies in Modern Music; the volume on Chopin by Elié Poirée in the series Les Musiciens Célèbres; and the same by Louis Laloy in the series Les Maîtres de la Musique; the Life by Liszt (well known and most valuable as coming from a contemporary and brother musician); finally a somewhat rhapsodic essay by H.T. Finck in Chopin and Other Essays.

We select, as being thoroughly representative, the following works for comment: the first Prelude, the A-flat major Étude, the F-sharp minor Mazurka, the E-flat minor Polonaise, the Barcarolle and the C-sharp minor Scherzo.[224]

Prelude in C Major, Op. 28, No. 1.

This Prelude, the first of the set of 24, is an excellent example of the sonority Chopin gained from widely extended chords in the bass; by the use—characteristically bold—of dissonances (measures 13-20), and by the sensuous richness of the closing measures, in which a wonderful wave of sound is produced through the damper pedal, in connection with the blending of the tonic, dominant and subdominant chords. The prelude is a kind of intensified Bach and may well be compared with that prelude in the same key which begins the immortal well-tempered Clavichord. All the Preludes, for their poetic import, finished style and pianistic effect, are masterpieces of the first rank. Schumann well says of them: "They are sketches, eagle's feathers, all strangely intermingled. But in every piece we recognize the hand of Frédéric Chopin; he is the boldest, the proudest poet-soul of his time."199

Étude in A-flat Major, Op. 25, No. 1.

This étude, deservedly popular, may be considered the example par excellence of Chopin's style. The lyric beauty of the melody, the fascinating modulations, the shades of color alike justify the following rhapsodic comments of Schumann, "Imagine that an Aeolian harp possessed all the musical scales, and that the hand of an artist were to cause them to intermingle in all sorts of fantastic embellishments, yet in such a way as to leave everywhere audible a deep fundamental tone and a soft, continuously singing upper voice, and you will get about the right idea. But it would be an error to think that Chopin, in playing this étude, permitted every one of the small notes to be distinctly heard. It was rather an undulation of the A-flat major chord, here and there thrown aloft by the pedal. Throughout the harmonies one always heard in great tones a wondrous melody, while once only, in the middle of the piece, besides that chief song, a tenor voice became prominent. After the étude a feeling came over one as of having seen in a dream a beatific picture which, when already half awake, one would gladly once more recall."

Mazurka in F-sharp Minor, Op. 6, No. 1.

As Franz Liszt says in his life of Chopin, "The Mazurka is not only a dance, it is a national poem, and like all poems of conquered nations, is shaped so as to let the blazing flames of patriotic feeling shimmer out through the transparent veil of popular melody." The chief peculiarity of the Mazurka (which is always in triple rhythm, with a latitude in speed from Presto to Mesto) is the scheme of accentuation—the normal accent on the first beat being systematically transferred to the second and third beats. We also find in the Mazurka frequent indications for the use of the so-called "tempo rubato," a proper conception of which is so essential in the performance of Chopin's music. Tempo rubato—so often abused!—literally meaning borrowed time, is simply free rhythm emancipated from rigid, scholastic bonds. As Huneker well says, "Chopin must be played in curves" with emotional freedom; just as the heart, when excited, increases the speed of its pulsations, and in moments of calm and depression slows down. The jerky, really unrhythmical playing of certain performers reminds us of a person suffering from palpitation of the heart. Liszt's description of the rubato is most suggestive: "A wind plays in the leaves, life unfolds and develops beneath them, but the tree remains the same." In Chopin, accordingly, the ground rhythm should always be preserved, though varied with subtle, and yet logical fluctuations.200

Polonaise in E-flat Minor, Op. 26, No. 11.

The Polonaise[225] is the great national dance of the Poles; an impassioned and yet stately pageant in which, as Liszt says, "The noblest traditional feelings of ancient Poland are represented." This dance—or rather, processional march—is always in triple rhythm and based on a definite rhythmic formula: either music or music. The frequent feminine endings are also a characteristic feature, e.g., the cadence in the well known military Polonaise in A major:


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To return to the example being considered,—it is in Three-part form (A, B, A, with Coda) the first part in the minor mode; the second part beautifully contrasted by being in B major—introduced by the implied enharmonic change from E-flat to D-sharp. This first part, remarkable for its passionate, headlong impetuosity, should dispel any idea that Chopin was a weak sentimentalist. Although of a delicate constitution he certainly had a fiery soul. The second part, sotto voce—note the feminine endings—reminds us of the muffled music of a military band as it passes by.

Barcarolle in F-sharp Major, Op. 60.

This composition, in many ways the most wonderful single piece we have from Chopin, is the quintessence of his genius. It seems, in fact, to contain everything: appealing melodies, wealth of harmony, bold dissonances (note in particular the 6th and 7th measures of the Coda), brilliant embellishments; and withal, it is written in a pianistic style which, for richness and warmth of color, is quite unsurpassed. It is also most sincerely conceived, intensifying the suggestiveness of the descriptive title. Would that objective program201 music were always so true to life and to the real nature of music! It is in free three-part form, the first part of a calm nature in which we are rocked on gently undulating waves; a more rhythmic second part where, as Kullak says, the bass seems to suggest the monotonous steadiness of oar-strokes; an interlude, marked "dolce sfogato," introduced by some delightful modulations, as if in a quiet nook the poet were dreaming of the beauties of love and nature; an impassioned return to the chief subject, together with a partial presentation of the middle portion; and finally a long and brilliant coda. The composition is unique in romantic literature for its power to arouse the imagination, or, as Schumann so well says, "to set people romancing for themselves."

Scherzo in C-sharp Minor, Op. 39.

The four Scherzos, for passion and eloquence, rank among Chopin's most characteristic works, though it seems impossible to trace a logical correspondence between the former classic meaning of the term "Scherzo" and the contents revealed to us in these poems; save that they are all in triple rhythm, hence on a dance-form basis. As Niecks well says, "There is in them neither frolicsomeness nor humor"—such, for example, as we find in Beethoven's Scherzos—and he suggests that "Capriccio" might be a less misleading designation. But, however inexplicable the title which Huneker thinks Chopin may have applied in serious jest, there is no doubt of the uncompromising dignity of the utterance, and there is often a grim irony, a wayward scorn, which a liberal interpretation might well consider attributes of humor. These were marked traits in Chopin's nature, and the Scherzos are their revelation in terms of music. Schumann's well-known comment is apropos—"How is gravity to clothe itself if jest goes about in dark veils?" This Scherzo (Presto con fuoco) is in extended three-part form; the dominant note of the first part being one of feverish agitation, which expresses itself in spasmodic outbursts. The second part, with its broad cantabile melody of a hymn-like character, reveals a calmer mood. The last note of each phrase is adorned throughout with lovely coloristic embellishments. After a return to the first theme, the second part is also repeated; this time with striking modulatory changes which strongly resemble the mood of Wotan's Farewell, in the third Act of Wagner's Valkyrie. A long and fiery coda of new thematic material closes the work. The major ending is like a shaft of light dispelling storm-tossed clouds.202

Chopin's works are so instinct with genius and have proved to be so immortal that they may well be considered as ideal witnesses to the triumph of quality over mere quantity or sensational display. To-day, when we suffer from musical bombast, their refined message is of special significance.



THERE is no doubt that Hector Berlioz (1803-1869), however varied the appeal of his music to different temperaments, is an artistic personality to be reckoned with; one not to be ticketed and laid on the shelf. Although a century and more has elapsed since his birth the permanent value of his music is still debated, often amusingly enough, by those who seem unaware that, whatever the theoretical rights of the case, in practice his principles are the reigning ones in modern music. As Berlioz stands as the foremost representative of program music and never wrote anything without a title, it is certain that before his music or influence can be appreciated, the mind must be cleared of prejudice and we must recognize that modern program music is a condition—an artistic fact, not a theory—and that the tendency towards specific, subjective expression (whether manifested in song, opera or symphonic poem) is a dominant one among present day composers. It is true that all music is the expression in tones of the imagination of the composer; true, also, that music must fulfil certain conditions of its own being. But imaginations differ. That of Berlioz, for example, was quite a new phenomenon; and as for the working principles of musical composition, they are as much subject to modification as any other form of human experimentation. Berlioz, himself, says that he never intended to subvert the laws of music, only to make a new and individual use of them. As he was no abstract maker of music, his autobiography—one of the most fascinating in the history of art, only to be compared with that of Benvenuto Cellini—should be familiar to all who would penetrate the secrets of his style. Berlioz's compositions, in fact, are more specifically autobiographic than those of any other notable musician. Both in his music and his literary works are the same notes of passionate insistence on his own point of view, of radical203 dislike for accepting conditions as they were (he says of himself that he loved to make the barriers crack) and of fondness for brilliant outward effect. In considering Berlioz, one is always reminded of Matthew Arnold's lines on Byron, who resembles Berlioz so closely.

"He taught us little; but our soul
Had felt him, like the thunder's roll.
With shivering heart the strife we saw
Of passion with eternal law;
And yet with reverential awe
We watch'd the fount of fiery life
Which served for that Titanic strife."

Only realize that Berlioz's Fantastic Symphony was composed but twenty-one years after Haydn's death, and compare the simple, self-centered Haydn with the restless, wide-visioned Berlioz, of a mentality positively omnivorous; who, in addition to his musical achievements, was a brilliant critic and littérateur, a man of travel and wide acquaintance with the world. Then indeed you will appreciate what an enormous change had come over music. A mere mention of the authors from whom Berlioz drew his subjects: Shakespeare, Goethe, Byron, Scott, Virgil, Hugo, shows the wide range of his reading and the difference in output which would inevitably result. The previous impersonal attitude towards music is shown by the very names of compositions which, broadly speaking (till the beginning of the 19th century) were seldom more than Symphony, Sonata, or Quartet, No. so and so; while the movements, in an equally mechanical way, were known by the designations of tempo: allegro, adagio, andante, etc.—those "senseless terms," as Beethoven himself says. Beginning pre-eminently with Berlioz, composers have had more highly cultivated imaginations, much more to say; and the wider range of emotion resulting therefrom has necessitated differences of form and treatment. A frequent misconception on the part of the layman is that worthy music should be so constructed that the hearer be spared all mental exertion. As long as it was certain that a composer would present just so many themes in a prescribed order and treated in the routine fashion, listening to music was a comparatively easy task. Since Berlioz, music has made ever greater demands on the hearer; who only when his receptivity is of an equal degree of cultivation with the creative power of the composer, can grasp the full meaning of the music. The first step, therefore, toward an appreciation of Berlioz is to recognize the peculiar,204 picturesque power of his imagination, which was of an entirely new order, and may be called musico-poetic in distinction from purely musical activity. This form of double consciousness is equally necessary on the part of the hearer. As Debussy, the modern French composer, so well says, people often do not understand or enjoy new music because it differs from "une musique" i.e., from a conventional and unvarying type which they have in their mind. The real effect of Berlioz's "Carnaval Romain" Overture, to take a simple example, is to complement and intensify the mental picture which any well-read person—or better still, any one who has actually visited Rome—will have of this characteristic incident in Italian life. If the work be considered merely as abstract music, notwithstanding the stimulation and delight caused by the rhythmic vitality and by the orchestral effects, the real poetic purpose of the composer remains unfulfilled. This peculiar quality of Berlioz was partly the result of his fiery excitable temperament and partly the reactive effect of the environment in which he found himself. What an amazing group in Paris (beginning about 1830) was that with which he was associated! De Musset, de Vigny, Liszt, Rossini, Meyerbeer, Balzac, Dumas, Chopin, Heine, Delacroix, Géricault: young men representing every art and several nationalities, all under the lead of Hugo, that prince of Romanticists; their object being—revolt from conventional standards and a complete expression of their own personalities. Hugo, as he says in the famous preface to Cromwell, was tearing down the plaster which hides the facade of the fair temple of art; Dumas had just demolished Racine; Géricault and Delacroix, by their daring conceptions, were founding our modern school of painting. Into this maelstrom of revolution, Berlioz—he of the flaming locks, "that hairy Romantic" as Thackeray calls him—flung himself with temperamental ardor; for he was a born fighter and always in opposition to someone. The audacity and dramatic energy of his compositions are but the natural result of the tendencies of the period. Berlioz's early career is of extreme interest to us English-speaking people, because the first strong stimulus to his imagination came from his acquaintance with the dramas of Shakespeare. In 1827, some of the dramas, (such as Hamlet, and Romeo and Juliet) were played in Paris by an English company, and their effect upon Berlioz was overwhelming. He would wander about the streets raving of Shakespeare; he promptly fell in love with the most beautiful actress in the troupe—Henrietta Smithson, whom he205 later married[226]—and then began the frenzied period of composing and concert giving, which came to a climax in the Fantastic Symphony first performed in 1830. Berlioz's courage and perseverance are shown by his winning the Prix de Rome, after four failures! His two years in Italy (his picture may still be seen at the Villa Medici), replete with amusing and thrilling incidents, were, on the whole the happiest period of his stormy life.

But we must pass to some brief comments upon the characteristics, pro and con, of his style. In the first place it was extremely original; showed little or no connection with former composers; has had no imitators, and cannot be parodied. Berlioz likewise possessed great range of emotion—though he rarely touched the sublime; a power of laying out works on a vast scale, and, in general, of achieving with unerring certainty the effects desired. The poet Heine said that much of Berlioz's music reminded him of "primeval monsters and fabulous empires." And what a master he was of rhythm!—one of the greatest in music! Prior to his work, and that of Schumann among the Germans, the classic rhythms were becoming rather stereotyped; and the vigorous elasticity introduced by these two composers has widened incalculably the range of dramatic effect. But his indisputable claim to lasting recognition is his genius in the treatment of the orchestra. Berlioz had an inborn instinct for sensuous tonal effect for its own sake, and not as the clothing of an abstract idea. With him the art of making that composite instrument, the orchestra, give forth the greatest beauty and variety of sound became an end in itself; and from his ingenious and innovating effects has been evolved the orchestra as we hear it to-day. Berlioz thought, so to speak, in terms of orchestral color. In his melodies we do not feel that the drawing, the contour of the pure line, is the chief thing; but that the assignment of the melody to just the right instrument, and the color-effect thereby produced, are integral parts of the conception. Notwithstanding the fact that some of his effects are extravagant or at times bizarre, he must be credited with revealing possibilities in orchestral shading and color which, still further developed by Wagner, Strauss and Tchaikowsky, have become conventional means of expression. Some of his most celebrated and satisfying works, in addition to those mentioned, are the Harold in Italy Symphony, with its personification by a solo viola of the chief206 character; the Romeo and Juliet Symphony, for both vocal and instrumental forces (of which the ball-scene with its wondrous love-melody and the Queen Mab Scherzo—unequalled for daintiness—represent his highest attainments as a tone-poet) and, most popular of all, the Damnation of Faust based on scenes from Goethe's poem. The bewitching incidental pieces for orchestra alone, such as the Ballet of Sylphs and the Rakoczy March, are often played at symphony concerts, and are familiar to everyone. Certain blemishes in Berlioz's music are obvious and need not be over-emphasized. There is often more style and outward effect than real substance. His works excite, but how seldom do they exalt! For he was frequently deficient in depth of emotion and in latent warmth—qualities quite different from the hectic glow and the feverish passion which his French admirers, Tiersot and Boschot, claim to be genuine attributes of musical inspiration, of power to compel universal attention. We of other nations can only firmly dissent. Without question his work has never succeeded in calling forth the spontaneous love of a large body of admirers.[227] In an eloquent passage the conductor and critic Weingartner sums up the case: "Berlioz will always represent a milestone in the development of music, for he is the real founder of the modern school. He did not approach that ethical depth, that ideal purity which surround Beethoven's name with such unspeakable glory, but no composer since Beethoven, except Wagner, has enriched music with so many new means of expression as this great Frenchman. Berlioz, Liszt and Wagner are the heroes of the last half of the 19th century, just as Haydn, Mozart, Beethoven, Weber and Schubert were of the first."

As Berlioz is, if possible, even more idiomatic for the orchestra than Chopin for the pianoforte, no conception of the real quality of his message can be gained from transcriptions, however good. His works[228] must be studied at first hand in the orchestral score and then207 heard in performance by an excellent orchestra. Some preliminary acquaintance and appreciation, however, of characteristic features in his style is possible from arrangements and so we select for comment the following works and movements: The Fantastic Symphony, the Carnaval Romain Overture, the Ballet des Sylphes and the Feux Follets from the Damnation of Faust, the Pilgrim's March from the Childe Harold Symphony and the Slow Movement from the Romeo and Juliet Symphony.[229] There is much valuable and stimulating reading[230] about Berlioz and his influence; for, as Théophile Gautier acutely remarks, "S'il fut un grand génie, on peut le discuter encore, le monde est livré aux controverses; mais nul ne penserait à nier qu'il fut un grand caractère." The Symphonie[231] fantastique, op. 14, épisode de la vie d'un artiste, in five movements is significant for being the first manifestation of Berlioz's conviction that music should be yet more specifically expressive, since it is founded on a characteristic theme, called l'idée fixe which typifies the heroine, e.g.






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This theme, with modifications appropriate to the changes in the character and the environment, is repeated in each movement. As for the theme itself, frankly it does not amount to much; it certainly fails to take our emotions by storm or sing itself into our hearts. Berlioz's harmonization is very bald, and as to his attempts at development,[232] the less said the better. Of course whatever Berlioz writes for the orchestra sounds well; of that there is no doubt. But this is not enough; any more than we are convinced by a person's statements or arguments merely because he happens to have a beautiful speaking voice. This dramatization of a musical theme was, after all, nothing iconoclastically new and Berlioz is perfectly right in claiming that he was merely extending the possibilities of that same210 type of theme as is found in Beethoven himself, e.g., in the Coriolanus Overture and to a certain extent in the Fifth Symphony. If, furthermore, we look back from the dramatic and highly personified use made of themes in modern music, in the works of Strauss, Tchaikowsky, Franck and even Brahms (e.g., his First Symphony with its motto-theme) we can see that this symphony of Berlioz is an important link in a perfectly logical chain of development. This melody, then, l'idée fixe, appears in each of the five movements; undergoing, however, but slight purely thematic development, being introduced and modified primarily for dramatic purposes. In the second movement,[233] Un Bal, two phrases drawn from it are sung pp by the clarinet as an indication that, amid the gaieties of the dance, the vision of the beloved one is ever present. In the Scène aux Champs it is modified and eloquently declaimed by the flute and oboe, e.g.


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At the close of the movement occurs one of Berlioz's most novel and realistic effects—the imitation of the rumbles of distant thunder produced by four kettle-drums tuned in a very peculiar way (see page 75 of the orchestral score, Breitkopf and Härtel edition). In the fourth movement, Marche au Supplice, four measures of l'idée fixe are introduced just at the moment when the head of the hero is to be chopped off. This is done for purely theatric purposes and certainly makes our flesh creep—as Berlioz no doubt intended. The most spectacular effect, however, is in the last movement, Songe d'une Nuit du Sabbat, where the theme is parodied to typify the degraded appearance which the beloved one takes in the distorted dreams of her lover, e.g.211


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The impression made by the Symphony depends largely upon the attitude of the hearer. In this work we are not to look for the sublimity and emotional depth of a Bach or Beethoven any more than we expect a whimsical comedy of Aristophanes to resemble an epic poem of Milton. But for daring imagination, for rhythmic vitality and certainty of orchestral effect, it was and remains a work[234] of genius.

The Carnaval Romain Overture
(See Supplement No. 57)

This work is one of Berlioz's most brilliant pieces, with an orchestral life and color all its own. The material is taken from his opera Benvenuto Cellini;[235] the checquered career of this artist having made an irresistible appeal to Berlioz's love of the unusual and the spectacular. The body of the work is based on the Italian national dance, the Saltarello; and with this rhythm as a steadying background Berlioz achieves a continuity sometimes lacking in his work. The mere thought of the sights, sounds and colors of that important event in the life of Rome would be enough to inflame his susceptible imagination, and so here we have Berlioz at his very best. The overture begins, allegro assai con fuoco, with a partial announcement of the saltarello theme by the violins and violas, freely imitated by the wood-wind instruments, e.g.212


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After a sudden prolonged silence and some crescendo trills the first periodic melody is introduced, sung by the English horn—the tune taken from an aria of Benvenuto in the first act. The melody is soon repeated in the dominant key by the violas and then, treated canonically, by the 'cellos and violins. The canon really tells and shows that Berlioz, as is often alleged, was not altogether lacking in polyphonic skill. The rhythm is now gradually quickened and leads to the main body of the work, in 6/8 time, based on the Italian folk-dance—the Saltarello which, as its name implies, is of a "skipping" nature. The music is freely developed from the two following themes; there is no second theme proper, e.g.

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Toward the close there is a return to the introductory melody which is treated contrapuntally by the bassoons and other wind-instruments. The saltarello resumes its sway and is worked up to a fiery ending; especially brilliant are the closing chords scored for full brass with trills on the cornets.213

Two of Berlioz's most poetically conceived descriptive pieces are the Menuet des Feux-Follets and the Ballet des Sylphes, incidental orchestral numbers from the Damnation of Faust; for they illustrate convincingly what one means by the claim that Berlioz thought in terms of orchestral color and suggestion. To give a musical picture of such airy and fantastic imaginings by the mere repetition of conventional formulae would obviously be of no avail. Berlioz's genius is equal to the situation; and as we listen to the music we can really see the flickering of the Will o' the Wisps and feel the graceful swaying of the Sylphs as they hover about the sleeping Faust. To suggest the Feux-Follets Berlioz ingeniously gives the theme to two piccolos in thirds, which are supported by a rich but subdued mass of wind instruments, horns and trumpets, e.g.


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With equal felicity does he create the picture of the delicate, graceful Sylphs. Any boisterous rhythmic activity would be quite out of place; and so, above a sustained ground tone on muted 'cellos and214 basses (which continues through the piece), and the slightest suspicion of motion on the second violins and violas, there floats in the first violins one of the most perfectly rounded and exquisite melodies in existence, e.g.


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In the closing measures there is a charming shadowy dialogue between kettle-drums (struck with sponge-headed sticks) and harps, in harmonics, carrying out Berlioz's stage directions—"Les esprits de l'air se balancent quelque temps autour de Faust endormi et disparaissent peu à peu." The piece ends with a chord barely whispered on the clarinets, pppp, which, as Hadow aptly suggests, reminds us of vanishing soap bubbles.

Berlioz's most sustained and perfect work, both in content and treatment, is universally acknowledged to be the Harold en Italie Symphony[236] in four movements for full orchestra and solo viola. There is little actual correspondence between the scenes of Byron's poem and the musical portrayal; and in fact, as Liszt says, "The title clearly shows that the composer wished to render the impression which the magnificent nature of Italy could not fail to make on a soul such as that of Harold languishing in sorrow." The significant features of the work are the melody for solo viola, recurring[237] in each215 movement, which typifies Harold—that "melancholy dreamer," e.g.,


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and the dazzling sensationalism of the Finale (Orgy of Brigands) which, when it was once played "con amore" by a fine orchestra, called forth from Berlioz the following eulogy,—"Sublime! I thank you, gentlemen, and I wonder at you; you are perfect brigands." The finale is also notable in that the opening portion is a reminiscence, a passing in review, of the chief themes of the preceding movements. Berlioz, we may surmise, was following the precedent established by Beethoven in the finale of the Ninth Symphony, and, although his treatment is rather mechanical and lacking in any such dramatic logic as justified Beethoven, a certain organic connection between the movements is undoubtedly secured. A portion of the second movement, March of Pilgrims singing the evening prayer, is cited in the Supplement (See No. 58) chiefly because it is one of Berlioz's noblest inspirations, giving an eloquent picture of a procession approaching, passing by and losing itself in the distance—a long crescendo and diminuendo. At every eighth measure the March melody is interrupted by the muffled chant of the pilgrims, very effectively scored for brass instruments, pianissimo. In the middle of the piece a contrast is gained by the introduction of a religious chant. The closing measures of this movement are of haunting beauty—a mysterious effect being produced by an intentional mixture of tonalities (the sustained B in the flute and oboe being answered by a C on the horns and harp, while beneath are heard fragments of the March theme in the main key on the pizzicato double basses).[238] Berlioz's most pretentious orchestral composition is that called in the full title "Romeo and Juliet, dramatic symphony, with choruses, vocal solos, and a prologue in choral recitative, com216posed after Shakespeare's tragedy." Notwithstanding many touches of genius, it is a very uneven work and is too much a conglomerate of styles—narrative, lyrical, dramatic, theatric and symphonic—for the constructive ability of the author to weld into a living whole. There are several portions which, however noble and glorious may have been Berlioz's conception,[239] and however inspired by Shakespeare's genius, do not "come off." Two of the numbers, on the other hand, are worthy of the highest praise—the Love Scene and the Queen Mab Scherzo. Of the latter Saint-Saëns writes—"The famous Scherzo is worth even more than its reputation. It is a miracle of lightness and gracefulness. Beside such delicacies and transparencies the finesses of Mendelssohn in the Midsummer Night's Dream seem heavy." The main theme is fascinating in its daintiness and sparkle, e.g.


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Berlioz considered the Love Scene his finest inspiration and there are few pieces comparable with it for passionate utterance. The orchestration is wonderful for richness and variety.[240]

After a careful study of the foregoing examples the reader, we hope, is in a position to make a fair estimate of Berlioz's power and to realize his great significance. It should be understood that this music is intensely subjective and so requires a sympathetic and cultivated attitude on the part of the listener. To the writer at least, there remains one vital lack in Berlioz's music,—that of the dissonant element. It often seems as if his conceptions could not be fully realized for want of sheer musical equipment, largely due to217 insufficient early training. For what is music without dissonance? Surely "flat, stale and unprofitable" even if, in Berlioz's case, this deficiency is offset by great rhythmic vitality and gorgeous color. Yet in his best works[241] there is such a strong note of individuality, indeed such real character, that they are deserving of sincere respect and admiration, although by everybody they may not be deeply loved. We should, furthermore, always remember that, if Berlioz's poverty of harmonic effect is sometimes annoying, he never falls into the humdrum ruts of those who have had a stereotyped academic training. His genius was unhampered by any conventional harmonic vocabulary, and hence it could always express itself freely. That he was a real genius no one can fairly doubt.

All the qualities which have been enumerated as typical of the romantic temperament: warmth of sentiment, broad culture, love of color and the sensuous side of music, freedom of form, and stress laid on the orchestra as the most eloquent means of expression, reach their climax in Franz Liszt (1811-1886). Born near Vienna of a Hungarian father and a German mother, but chiefly associated with Paris, Weimar, Budapest and Rome, he is certainly the most picturesque and versatile figure in the music of the 19th century; for he worked and won fame as a pianoforte virtuoso—probably the greatest the world has known—as a prolific composer for pianoforte, orchestra and voice, as a teacher, conductor and man of letters, and withal spent a large part of his time, strength and fortune in helping young artists and in producing works which otherwise might never have seen the light. His life is of constant and varied interest, so spectacular at times that it seems like a fairy tale.[242] As a mere boy he began to receive adulation for his precocity; at the height of his career he was loaded with honors and wealth; in his old age he was a favorite with everyone of distinction and influence in France, Germany, England and Italy. Nevertheless he preserved, throughout, the integrity of his character and the nobility of his disposition. Whatever may be the final estimate of his powers as a creative artist, as a man he has earned nothing but eulogy;[243] for seldom has any one218 been freer from the faults of vanity, petty jealousy and envy which so often mar the artistic temperament. Liszt's generous encouragement and financial support of Wagner in the struggling days of his unpopularity have never been surpassed in the brotherhood of art.

Liszt is akin to Berlioz in many respects; we feel the same natural tendency to derive musical inspiration from external sources, poetic, pictorial or from the realm of Nature. Purely as a musician, however, Liszt was far greater, with a wider vocabulary and more power in thematic development. His work also is somewhat uneven; moments of real beauty alternating with passages which are trivial, bombastic or mere lifeless padding. When we bear in mind Liszt's unparalleled versatility, his output in quantity and variety is so amazing—there being well over 1,000 works of about every kind—that it is unfair to expect the style to be as finely wrought as the original conception is noble. A serious and unbiased study of his best compositions will convince one that Liszt is entitled to high rank as a musician of genuine poetic inspiration. The average music-lover is prone to dwell upon him as the composer of Les Préludes, the Hungarian Rhapsodies, and as the somewhat flashy transcriber of operatic potpourris, such as the Rigoletto Fantasie. But Les Préludes, notwithstanding a certain charm and the clever manner in which the music (without becoming minutely descriptive) supplements the poem of Lamartine, is yet barred from the first rank by its mawkishness of sentiment and by its cloying harmonies. The most significant among the symphonic poems are Orpheus with its characteristic crescendos and diminuendos; Tasso of great nobility and pathos, and Mazeppa, a veritable tour de force of descriptive writing. To hear any one of these masterpieces can not fail to alter the opinion of those who may have considered Liszt as exclusively given over to sensational effects. As for the Hungarian Rhapsodies, which Liszt intended as a kind of national ballade and so, for the basic themes and rhythms, drew largely on Hungarian Folk music, here again the public, with its fondness for being dazzled, has laid exclusive stress on the flashy ones to the detriment of those containing much that is noble and of enduring worth. In his transcriptions of standard songs Liszt did as valuable a public service as any popularizer, and has thereby made familiar the melodies of Schubert and Schumann to hundreds who otherwise would know nothing of them. In considering Liszt's pianoforte works we must remember that he was a born virtuoso with a natural fondness for219 exploiting the possibilities of his instrument, and with an amazing technique as a performer. When the sincerity of a composer is in question there is a great difference as to what should be the standard of judgment, whether the work be for orchestra or for pianoforte. In writing for orchestra the composer naturally centres himself on the pure ideas and their treatment, as the execution is something entirely external to himself. In works for pianoforte, however, the composer who is also a virtuoso will often, and quite justifiably, introduce passages of purely pianistic effect which in other circumstances would amount to a confession of deficient imagination. That Liszt at times abused his facility in decoration need not be gainsaid, and yet how poetic and eloquent are his best pianoforte compositions!—the Études, the Waldesrauschen, the Ballade and, above all, the Sonata in B minor.[244] Much unjust criticism has been expended upon Liszt for treating the pianoforte like an orchestra. As a matter of fact he widened, in a perfectly legitimate way, the possibilities of the instrument as to sonority, wealth and variety of color-effect. According to the testimony of contemporary colleagues, Rubinstein, Taussig and von Bülow who, had they not been convinced of his supremacy, might well have been jealous, Liszt was incontestably the greatest interpreter of Bach, Beethoven and Chopin; and his power as a Beethoven scholar is attested by the poetically annotated edition of the Sonatas. It is often asserted that Liszt lacked spontaneous melodic invention. This is a hard saying unless taken in a relative sense. We may grant that Liszt was neither a Schubert nor a Mozart, and yet recognize in his works some extremely haunting melodies. His creative power was acknowledged by Wagner and in a very practical manner. In fact, after a comparative study of their works, one is amazed at the number of melodies which Wagner borrowed from Liszt and at the generous complaisance of the latter. The reactive influence of Liszt and Wagner, each upon the other, is an interesting chapter in the development of modern art. Liszt was undoubtedly encouraged in his revolutionary aims by Wagner's fiery courage. Wagner, on his side, owed much to Liszt's unselfish generosity; and with his more powerful constructive gifts worked up into enduring form motives which, internal evidence clearly shows, came from Liszt himself.

Just a few closing words as to Liszt's specific contributions to the220 expansion of musical structure. He was an advanced leader in the "program school," being endowed with considerably more constructive power than Berlioz, who often fell between two stools: in that while his subject demanded the freest treatment, he lacked the vigor to break away from the formal routine of his classic models. In Liszt's orchestral works, however, the term "Symphonic Poem"—one of his own invention—is fully justified, i.e., they are symphonic in that they have organic unity, although this is not attained by preserving the classic number and arrangement of themes; and they are also poetic, being not a presentation of abstract tone patterns, but illustrative of some external idea which shapes the course of the music entirely to its own needs.[245] The distinguishing quality of the Symphonic Poem is its unbroken continuity. Although objective points are reached, and while there are broad lines of demarcation with reference to the varied moods of the poem to be illustrated, there are no rigid stops—everything is fused together into a continuous whole. Liszt was an advocate of persistent development, i.e., the music going out into space like a straight line instead of returning on itself. Inner evidence shows, however, that although he avoided many needless and conventional repetitions, he could not entirely throw overboard the cyclical law of restatement; for there is not one of his Symphonic Poems which does not repeat, at the end, thematic material already heard. Liszt carried the principle of theme transformation still further than Berlioz; and, as a German, tended to lay stress rather on the psychological aspects of character than on those outward theatric events which appeal to French taste. The difference is well shown by a comparison of the Damnation of Faust with Liszt's Faust Symphony, considered his most inspired orchestral work. Liszt must not be forgotten as a song-writer, especially for his settings to Goethe's poems; which, as Huneker says, are masterpieces and contain, in essence, all the dramatic lyricism of modern writers, Strauss included. In these songs the instrumental part is of special import; Liszt in pianistic treatment anticipating Hugo Wolf with his "Songs for Voice and Pianoforte," i.e., the voice and the instrument are treated as coequal factors.

The works of Liszt selected for analytical comment are the Symphonic Poem Orpheus, the Faust Symphony and the Pianoforte Étude, Waldesrauschen. The student, however, should become familiar221 with several others[246] of the Symphonic Poems, notably Tasso, Les Préludes and Mazeppa; with the Pianoforte Sonata in B minor in one movement, in which Liszt works on the same plan as Schumann in the Fourth Symphony; with the descriptive pianoforte pieces and études; and with the songs, of which Kennst du das Land, Die Lorelei and Du bist wie eine Blume are beautiful examples.

Symphonic Poem, Orpheus

In this work, as must always be the case in poetically suggestive music, the composer trusts to the general intelligence and insight of the listener. For a mere mention of the name Orpheus may well call up the vision of a majestic, godlike youth proclaiming his message of joy and peace to soften the unruly passions of men and animals.

It is said that Liszt's imagination was kindled by a beautiful representation of Orpheus playing on the lyre, which decorates an Etruscan vase in the Louvre. The aim of the music was thus to intensify and supplement the visual effect. The Poem begins with soft, sustained calls on the horns, creating a mood of expectancy, interspersed with modulatory arpeggios on the harp serving to complete the legendary picture. In these Symphonic Poems, we must always observe how closely the nature of the themes and the whole import of the music are involved with the orchestral dress. For Liszt, though not perhaps so brilliant and sensational as Berlioz, was equally a great master of orchestral coloring and poetic suggestion by means of appropriate instruments; often, too, more delicate and refined. In measure 15 begins for sustained strings the stately march which typifies the gradual approach of Orpheus. The second phrase of the march, beginning in measure 38, has received the compliment of being appropriated, almost literally, by Wagner in the second act of the Valkyrie for the march motive with which Wotan is ushered in. Some beautiful modulatory developments of the march theme, with which the original horn calls are united, lead to the impassioned theme in E major, sung by an English horn, which is the message of Orpheus to the sons of men, e.g.222


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The theme is expanded by means of striking modulations until, in measure 102, it is presented by the full orchestra. Some rather meaningless repetitions, in detached phrases, of the Orpheus theme bring us, in measure 130, to a return of the original march which is finally proclaimed ff with great power and sonority. It seems to typify the triumphant justification of Orpheus's appearance. The dissonant modulations in the following passage, beginning measure 155, (in which the double basses take a dramatic part) have been thought by some to represent realistically the uncouth roars of forest monsters. These outcries finally subside and in the Coda, beginning at measure 180, we have first a beautiful reminiscence of Orpheus's message and then a last announcement of the march theme, which is now presented in the form of a long diminuendo, as if the God-like apparition were slowly withdrawing from our sight. A series of shifting modulations (adagio and pianissimo) seems to bring a cloud before our enraptured senses, and the work closes with a long sustained chord in C major, ppp, giving an elemental idea of peace and satisfaction. From the standpoint of musical structure the work is a crescendo followed by a diminuendo and, poetically considered, is a convincing picture in terms of music of the effect made upon Liszt's imagination by the legend of Orpheus. Observe that, although the composition is free in form, it is not formless.[247] The main lines are the familiar ones of statement, contrast and restatement, i.e., three-part form, and the key-relationship is clear and carefully planned.


The Faust Symphony

This work, although embodying Liszt's favorite ideas of dramatic characterization and transformation of theme as found in the Symphonic Poems, more nearly resembles the ordinary symphony in that it is in three distinct movements—with pauses between—which stand, respectively, for the three chief characters in Goethe's drama: Faust, Gretchen and Mephistopheles. In the Faust Symphony the principle of transformation or metamorphosis of themes is of such importance that it may be defined as their rhythmic, melodic and harmonic modification for the purpose of changing the meaning to correspond with a modification in the characters for which they stand. The first movement sets before us five themes illustrative of the most prominent traits in the complex nature of Faust; the three most important being (a) typical of brooding, speculative inquiry, (b) the longing of love, (c) the enthusiasm and chivalry of Faust, e.g.

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The development of these themes is entirely free, the musical texture being held together by a general application of the principle of contrast and by a logical key-scheme. The second movement has two main themes, e.g.224

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which portray eloquently the sweetness and dreamy ecstacy of Gretchen's nature. In the course of this portrayal there appear several themes from the first movement showing, by their transformation, the effect upon the introspective Faust of the awakening influence of love. Thus the love theme appears as—


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and also later in this form—


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Towards the close of the movement there is a subtle reference to the chivalrous theme, as follows—


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Much of the appeal of the music depends upon the orchestration which throughout is of remarkable beauty.

In the final movement, entitled Mephistopheles, there are a few independent themes which portray the malign influence of the spirit of Evil—the movement is marked Allegro vivace ironico!—but most of the material is a transformation of the Faust themes which are here burlesqued, parodied; as if all the noble aspirations of Faust were being mocked and set at naught. This treatment is a perfectly logical result of the correspondence, for which Liszt was striving, between the music and the spirit of the underlying drama. As for the final impressiveness of his artistic message, the composer may well have felt that the effect would be indefinite without the specific meaning which words alone can give. For the style is very subjective throughout; that is, if the hearer is in a responsive condition, an effect is produced on his imagination—otherwise, not. To close the work, therefore, in the most moving and dignified manner, Liszt, with unerring instinct and following the precedent of Beethoven in the Ninth Symphony, introduces a chorus of men's voices—marked Andante Mistico—which intones the famous stanza "Alles Vergängliche"[248] at the close of the second part of Faust; while, above this chorus, a solo tenor proclaims the motto of the redeeming love of woman, "Das ewig Weibliche"—a sentiment so dear to the German[249] mind226 and one that plays such an important part in the music dramas of Wagner. A dramatic and musical connection between the movements is established by using, for this solo part, the melody (intensified by augmentation) which in the second movement typified the love and charm of Gretchen, e.g.

music: Das ewig Weibliche

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Notwithstanding the ultra sensationalism in some of Liszt's works there is no doubt that, in the closing pages of Faust, he has produced an effect of genuine power and of inspired musical beauty.[250] Faust, in fact, may be called a great work because of the character of its leading melodies, its freedom of structure and expression and its wealth of appropriate orchestral color. For these merits we may overlook certain dreary passages where it would surely seem as if the imagination of the composer were not able to translate into tones all the phases of Goethe's stupendous drama.[251]

In a book such as this, chiefly concerned with broad principles of structure and style, it would be out of place to attempt a detailed account of Liszt's numerous and varied pianoforte compositions. But they can by no means be left out of consideration by anyone who wishes to gain a comprehensive estimate of his influence. For although the fundamental principles of pianoforte style, both in writing for the instrument and in playing upon it, are derived from Chopin and Schumann,[252] Liszt so amplified the work of these men and added so many novel features of his own in pianistic effect and especially in execution that he is rightly considered a genius of the instrument. He certainly brought out of the pianoforte a sonority and wealth of color which heretofore had been associated only with the orchestra. The chief groups of the pianoforte works are (1) the transcriptions of songs, notably of Schubert and Schumann, and of operas, particularly of Wagner. In this group should also be included the re227markable arrangement for solo-pianoforte of all the Beethoven Symphonies. (2) The Études, especially the set entitled "Études d'exécution transcendante"—a description which clearly shows the idea Liszt set before himself and indubitably attained; of this set the one in F minor is particularly fine. (3) The world-famed Hungarian Rhapsodies, fifteen in number, based on national melodies and rhythms. In these Liszt aspired to be the poet of his nation, and they are still among the most important manifestations of the national spirit so prominent in our modern music. Perhaps the most eloquent and celebrated are the 2d, the 12th and the 14th. Even if at times they are overencrusted with effects meant primarily for display, the rhythmic vitality and color of the melodies cannot be withstood.

Concert Étude, Waldesrauschen
(See Supplement No. 59)

This composition begins with a swaying, cantabile theme for the left hand very characteristic of Liszt, which stands out in relief against some beautifully placed arabesque figures in the upper register of the instrument—the whole to be played una corda, dolce con grazia. It really is a poetic picture, in terms of music, of the delicious murmur of the woods. In the 15th measure the theme is transferred to the right hand, in octaves, over sonorous, widely extended groups below. The theme is expanded through a series of striking modulations and then returns, in measure 30, to the left hand in a single melodic line. This middle portion, measures 30-50, is very beautiful in its genuine atmospheric treatment. Towards its close, however, Liszt's fondness for sensational effect rather runs away with him and there is a good deal, in measures 50-60 (marked martellato, strepitoso and fff), which is rather difficult to reconcile with the poetic subject. Perhaps a mighty wind is roaring through the trees! In measure 61 the theme is once more presented in amplified form by the right hand, più mosso and molto appassionata, and worked up to a brilliant climax—ending with an interlocking trill and a long, descending passage of delightful sensuous effect. The closing measures, una corda and dolcissimo, afford a reminiscence of the haunting appeal of the chief melody. All in all, in spite of a certain admixture of alloy, here is a poetic composition, a real tone-picture of the woods and of the effects implied by the title. Certainly a piece which, in its228 picturesque suggestiveness and pianistic treatment, may fairly be called the ancestor of much that is beautiful in such modern composers as Debussy and Ravel.

As a final estimate of Liszt and as a suggestion for the student's attitude we cite from Niecks the following quotation, since, in our opinion, it is true and forcibly expressed:

"Liszt's works are too full of originality and striking expressiveness to deserve permanently the neglect that has been their lot. Be, however, the ultimate fate of these works what it may, there will always remain to Liszt the fame of a daring striver, a fruitful originator and a wide-ranging quickener."



AFTER the novel and brilliant work of the Romanticists had reached its height in the compositions just studied, it seemed as if there were nothing more for music to do. Wagner, with his special dramatic aims and gorgeous coloring, loomed so large on the horizon that for a time all other music was dwarfed. It is, therefore of real significance that just in this interregnum two men, born in the early years of the 19th century, were quietly laying the foundations for eloquent works in absolute or symphonic music. These men were Johannes Brahms (1833-1897) and César Franck (1822-1890). Following a few preliminary remarks about the significance of symphonic style in general, the next chapters will be devoted to an account of their works and influence.

A striking feature in the development of music since 1850 is the number of symphonies produced by the representative composers of the various nations; and the manner in which these works embody certain phases of style and manifest national tendencies is a subject of great interest. Ever since Beethoven, there has been a universal feeling that the symphony is the form in which a composer should express his highest thoughts. If Wagner and Richard Strauss seem to be exceptions, we must remember that their work for orchestra is thoroughly symphonic both in material and in scope. The difference is chiefly one of terms. Wagner claimed that he merely applied to dramatic purposes Beethoven's thematic development; and the tone-229poems of Strauss are symphonies in essence though on a free poetic basis. Every composer has taken up the writing of a symphony with a serious purpose and often comparatively late in life. To be sure, Beethoven's first Symphony, op. 21, was composed in his thirtieth year; but for the works which manifest most strongly his personality, such as the Third, Fifth and Ninth, we have to wait until a later period. Schumann essayed symphonic composition only after his technique had been developed in every other field. Brahms's first Symphony, on which he is said to have worked ten years, is op. 68. César Franck looked forward to a Symphony as the climax of his career. The day has passed when a composer could dash off symphonies by the dozen; quality and genuine personality in each work are the modern requirements. Thus from Brahms we have four symphonies, from Tchaikowsky six, from Bruckner nine—a dangerously large number!—from Sibelius five, from Elgar two, from d'Indy three; and, even if a composer write but a single really inspired and noble symphony—as for example, César Franck—he is in so far immortal. For the symphonic form is the product of too much intense striving (think of Beethoven's agonies of conception!) to be treated lightly. Beginning with the operatic overture of Lully and Scarlatti, called "Sinfonia avanti l'opera," down through the labors of Stamitz, Gossec, Emmanuel Bach, Haydn and Mozart, this form, as we know it to-day, is the result of at least a century and a half of sustained, constructive work. A musician who wishes to compose a symphony is brought face to face with the formidable question, "Have I a real message to utter and the technical skill to present it in communicable form?" There are no accessory appeals to the other senses in the way of a dramatic story, scenic effect, dancing and costumes—as in opera—to cloak poverty of invention and to mollify the judgment of the listener. I grant that the composition of an original opera is a high achievement, but we know how many composers have won success in the operatic field from whom we should never expect a symphony. From comparatively few have we great works in both forms. Consider, furthermore, how complicated a tool is the present orchestra, as a tool, to say nothing of the invention of ideas. Many years of study are required to attain a certainty of calculation in sonority and nuance, and the mere writing out the score of a symphony requires unremitting toil. We all pay homage to life: human life in men, women and children, and the life of nature in animals, birds, trees and flowers. Let us ever remember that the imagination also230 has its products and the themes of a symphony may certainly be considered its children. The public often seems to have slight idea of the sanctity and mystery of a musical idea. Composers are considered people with a kind of "knack" in writing down notes. In reality, a musical idea is as wonderful a thing as we can conceive—a miracle of life and yet intangible, ethereal. The composer apparently creates something out of nothing, pure fancy being wrought into terms of communication. Since the close of the Romantic period proper, the Symphonic composers of universal recognition have been Brahms, Franck, Tchaikowsky, d'Indy, Sibelius, Bruckner, Mahler, Dvořák, Elgar, and a few lesser men of the Russian and French schools. Their works carry still further the principles which can be traced from Beethoven down through the Romantic School, i.e., the chief themes are of a highly subjective nature, often in fact being treated like actual characters in a drama; and great freedom is shown in regard to mood and order of the usual symphonic movements—this being particularly true of Mahler and Bruckner. A distinct feature of interest in the work of Tchaikowsky, Dvořák and Sibelius is the introduction of exotic types of melody and rhythm, drawn from national sources. Thus Tchaikowsky, who said that he wished all his instrumental music to sound like a glorified Russian folk-song, uses rhythms of 5 and (in his chamber music) 7 beats a measure, with frequent touches of old modal harmony. Dvořák founds his harmony and modulations on the exceedingly chromatic scale of the Bohemians; and his piquant and dashing rhythms could come only from a nation which has no less than forty national dances. In listening to Sibelius, we are conscious of the wild sweep of the wind, of unchained forces of nature; and there are the same traits of virile strength and grim dignity which have made the Kalevala, Finland's national poem, one of the great epics of the world. Although Brahms never lets us forget that he is a Teuton, there are frequent traces in his compositions of the Hungarian element—so dear to all the Viennese composers—as well as of German folk-songs; and the most artistic treatment we have of Hungarian rhythms is found in his two sets of Hungarian dances.

It is manifestly beyond the scope of a single book to treat comprehensively each of the symphonists in the list just cited, so I shall dwell chiefly upon the characteristics of Brahms, Franck, Tchaikowsky and d'Indy as probably the greatest, and touch only incidentally upon the others, as of somewhat lesser import; though if anyone231 take issue with this preference in regard to Mahler and Bruckner I shall not combat him. For I believe Mahler to be a real genius; feeling, however, that his wonderful conceptions are sometimes not expressed in the most convincing manner. There is no doubt that Mahler has not yet received his bigger part in due valuation, but his time will surely come. As for Bruckner, we have from him some of the most elemental and powerful ideas in modern music—witness the dirge in the Seventh Symphony with its impressive scoring for trombones and Bayreuth tubas, a movement Beethoven might have signed; although with the virgin gold there is mixed, it must be confessed, a large amount of crude alloy, and there are dreary stretches of waste sand.

Johannes Brahms, like Beethoven, with whom his style has many affinities, was a North-German, born in 1833 in the historic seaport town of Hamburg.[253] Brahms came of lowly though respectable and intelligent parents, his father being a double-bass player in one of the theatre orchestras. That the positiveness of character, so conspicuous in his famous son, was an inherited trait may be seen from the following anecdote. The director of the theatre orchestra once asked father Brahms not to play so loud; whereupon he replied with dignity, "Herr Kapellmeister, this is my double-bass, I want you to understand, and I shall play it as loud as I please." The music of Brahms in its bracing vigor has been appropriately compared to a mixture of sea air and the timbre of this instrument.

Brahms's mother was a deeply religious woman who imbued her son with a seriousness of purpose which runs through all his work. From his earliest years he was trained for music, as a matter of course, and showed marked precocity as a pianist, though it soon became evident that he also was endowed with rare creative gifts. The young student made such progress under Marxsen, a famous teacher of the period, that at the age of fifteen he gave a public concert, on the program of which stood some original pieces of his own. The next few years were spent in diligent study and in the composition of some of his early works, of which the Scherzo op. 4 is the most significant. Brahms was extraordinarily precocious and during these formative years manifested a trait which is noticeable throughout his career—that of knowing exactly what end he had in view and of setting to work quickly and steadily to attain it. Finally in 1853, when he was twenty, he was invited to participate in the memorable232 concert-tour with the Hungarian Violinist Remenyi, which was the cause of his being brought before the public under the auspices of three such sponsors as Schumann, Liszt and Joachim. It seems that, at one of the concerts in a small town, the pianoforte was a semitone too low, whereupon young Brahms transposed at sight a difficult Beethoven Sonata into the requisite higher key. This remarkable feat of musicianship so impressed Joachim, who was in the audience, that he gave Brahms two letters of introduction—one to Liszt at Weimar and one to Schumann at Düsseldorf on the Rhine. Following up these letters, Brahms now spent six weeks at Weimar with Liszt, assimilating important points of method and style. Although the two natures were somewhat unsympathetic, Liszt was so impressed with the creative power and character of Brahms's first compositions, that he tried to adopt him as an adherent of the advanced school of modern music; while Brahms was led, as some would claim, through Liszt's influence to an appreciation of the artistic effects to be found in Hungarian music. Brahms's visit to Schumann in the autumn of 1853 was in its consequences a significant incident. After hearing Brahms's music, Schumann wrote for the "Neue Zeitschrift" an article entitled "Neue Bahnen" ("New Paths") in which the young composer was heralded as the master for whom the world had been waiting, the successor of Beethoven in the symphonic style. Through Schumann's influence, the publishers Breitkopf and Härtel at once brought out Brahms's first works, which were by no means received by the public with general favor; in fact they provoked as bitter discussion as those of Wagner, and made headway slowly. For four years—from 1854 to 1858—Brahms was in the service of the Prince of Lippe-Detmold, a small principality near Hanover, where the court was a quiet one, thus affording ample time for composition and private study. Brahms's strength of purpose and unusual power of self-criticism are shown by the way in which this period was spent. Although he had made a brilliant début, Brahms now imposed upon himself a course of rigorous technical training, appeared seldom before the public and published no compositions; his object being to free himself from a narrow subjectivity and to give scope to his wide human sympathies and to his passion for perfection of utterance. It seemed to him that a plausible originality might degenerate into mere idiosyncrasy, and that universality of appeal should be a musician's highest goal. When he resigned his post and came before the public with his first large work, a concerto for pianoforte and or233chestra, the gain made in increased power and resources was evident. The greatest tribute which can be paid Brahms is that he has summed up and united the classic principles of clearness and solidity of workmanship with the warmth and spontaneity of the Romantic School. In 1862 Brahms settled in Vienna where, for thirty-five years, his career was entirely free from external incidents of note; his time spent in quiet steady work and in the attainment of artistic ideals. His slow logical development is like that of Beethoven, due to the fact that his works were far from numerous, but finished with the greatest care. The standard of creative quality is also very high; comparatively few of Brahms's works are not altogether alive. Matthew Arnold's beautiful lines on labor are applicable to Brahms. "Work which in lasting fruit outgrows far noisier schemes; accomplished in repose; too great for haste; too high for rivalry." Brahms thus described to Mr. Henschel, a former conductor of the Boston Symphony Orchestra, his ideals concerning composing: "There is no real creating without hard work; that which you call invention is simply an inspiration from above, for which I am not responsible, which is no merit of mine." And again, "Whether a composition is beautiful is one consideration, but perfect it must be." The few of his compositions which show connection with outward events are the Deutsches Requiem, his best-known choral work (in commemoration of his mother's death) and the Academic Overture, composed in place of the conventional thesis, when—in 1880—the University of Breslau conferred on him a doctor's degree. This Overture, based on several convivial student songs, is on the whole his most genial composition for orchestra and has won a deserved popularity the world over.[254] For sustained fancy his most beautiful work for chorus and orchestra is the Schicksalslied (Song of Destiny). Symphonic composition, as has been said, came in the latter part of Brahms's career, his first work in that form being op. 68. After that, within a few years, three other symphonies were composed. His last works include the significant pianoforte pieces called Intermezzi—not all equally inspired, but many representing the finest flower of Brahms's genius; four serious songs for bass voice, and one posthumous work, Eleven Choral Preludes for Organ. Brahms died in 1897 and lies buried in Vienna not far from Beethoven and Schubert.

From Brahms we have beautiful works in every branch of com234position save the opera and symphonic poem. (He once said he would risk neither an opera nor getting married!) Very few of his works have titles, and in this respect he stood somewhat aloof from that strong tendency in modern times—the connection between music and poetic and literary sources of inspiration. But he had a right to choose his own line of effort; it is for us to become familiar with his works as they are. They comprise about two hundred songs, three pianoforte sonatas and many lesser pieces, two concertos for pianoforte and orchestra, a wonderfully fine violin concerto, four symphonies—each with a character of its own—and a large group of chamber compositions: string quartets, sonatas for violin and pianoforte, trios, and a number of works for unusual ensemble combinations—the Trio for Violin, Horn and Pianoforte being the best known.

As to the nature of Brahms's music the following comments are submitted for consideration. He was not a colorist or a stylist in the broad sense of those terms, i.e., color and style were not the prime ingredients in his music. There is light and shade in Brahms but seldom that rich and varied glow found, for example, in Rimsky-Korsakoff—that supreme master of orchestral coloring. As for style, it may be said that his work fulfils Matthew Arnold's definition of that desirable quality, "To have something to say and to say it in the most simple and direct manner possible." We sometimes feel, however, that he is thinking more of what he has to say than of outward eloquence of expression. But when there are so many composers[255] in whom there is far more style than substance, we should not carp at Brahms for the "stuff" in his work. The matter might be put in a nut-shell by saying that Brahms is Brahms; you accept him or leave him, as you see fit. The bulk of his music not only has stood the test of time but becomes more potent each year; surely this is the highest possible endorsement. He is rightly considered a great master of pure melodic line and a consummate architect, especially in the conciseness and concentration of certain compositions, e.g., the Third Symphony, and in his superb mastery of the Variation form which is the basis of some of his most famous works for orchestra and for pianoforte. His texture is of marked richness and variety; seldom do we find verbiage or lifeless padding. He has been called the Browning of music—a deep thinker in tones. Genuine appreciation of Brahms presupposes work on the part of235 the music-lover; and the recognition should be more general that the imaginative stimulation gained only through work is one of the blessings music has to bestow.

It is often alleged, indeed, that to enjoy Brahms one has to work. Of course, but what repaying work! This may be said equally of Shakespeare, of Dante, of Browning, of Bach and of every poet with a serious message. The vitality of Brahms's creative power, like that of Beethoven, is seen in his rhythm. He had a highly developed rhythmic sense, and in his fondness for syncopations, for contrasted accents and for complicated metric groups he is the logical successor of Schumann. One of his favorite devices is the altered grouping of the notes in a measure, so that there is a contrast between duple and triple rhythm, e.g., the following passage in the Second Symphony, where an effect of great vigor is produced.


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There are never in Brahms weak or conventional rhythms. He is also one of the great modern song-composers, representing with Strauss, Wolf and Mahler the culmination of the German Lied. In his songs there is a warmth and depth of sentiment as yet unsurpassed, and the accompaniment is always a highly wrought factor in the work. In estimating the value of Brahms's compositions as a whole, it is difficult to hold the balance true. Those to whom he is sympathetic through an affinity of temperament revere him as one of the great geniuses for all time, while to others his message is not of such convincing power. The effect of inborn temperament in the personal appeal made by any composer is vividly shown by the estimate which Tchaikowsky and Brahms had for one another. Each felt respect for the sincerity and artistic skill of his contemporary, at the same time regretfully acknowledging that the essence of the music meant little to him. To Tchaikowsky Brahms seemed cold and lacking in melodic spontaneity; to Brahms, on the other hand, Tchaikowsky seemed superficial, sensational. The gist of the matter is that Brahms was a Teuton and wrote with characteristic Teutonic reserve and dignity. Tchaikowsky, being a Slav, wrote with the impassioned lack of restraint and volatility of mood associated with that people. How could it be otherwise? Each was a genuine artist, expressing his natural feelings with clearness and conviction; and each should be respected for what he did: not one at the expense of the other. In Brahms, however, the question does arise of facility of expression versus worthiness of expression. He had an unparalleled technique in the manipulation of notes but whether there was always an emotional impulse behind what he wrote is debatable. For there are these two contrasting types in every art: works which come from the heart (remember Beethoven's significant inscription at the end of his Mass),[256] and those which come from the head. This brings us face to face with the perplexing question as to the essence of music. To some it is a record of intellectual activity tinged with emotion; to others, an emotional outpouring controlled by intellect. These two types of music will always exist, being the natural expression of the corresponding classes in human nature.

Brahms's music is sometimes called dry, but this is a misuse of terms. To draw an analogy from another sense, we might rejoin that the best champagne is "sec," all the superfluous, cloying sugar237 being removed. There is plenty of saccharine music in the world for those who like it. In Brahms, however, we find a potential energy and a manly tenderness which cannot be ignored even by those who are not profoundly thrilled by his message. He was a sincere idealist and composed to please his own high standards, never thinking of outward effect nor testing the pulse of the fickle public. As a man there is no doubt that he was warm-hearted and vigorous, but his was not the nature to come forward with captivating geniality. On the contrary he expects the hearer to come to him, and is too reserved to meet you more than half-way. That this austerity has proved a bar in the way of a wide-spread fame, while to be regretted, is unavoidable; remove these characteristics from Brahms and he ceases to be Brahms. Those, however, who may think that Brahms is always austere and grim, holding himself aloof from broad human emotion, should remember that he has done more than any other modern composer to idealize the Waltz; and, if the atmosphere of his symphonic style be too rarified, they may well begin their effort in appreciation with those charming Waltzes op. 39 (both for solo pianoforte and for a four-hand arrangement); the Hungarian Dances, and—most beautiful of all—the Liebeslieder Walzer for chorus and pianoforte (four-hands). Anyone who knows these works cannot fail to become a genuine lover of Brahms. To be of the earth and yet to strike the note of sublimity is a paradox. For, in Brahms at his best, we surely find more of the sublime, of true exalted aspiration, than in any other modern composer save César Franck. To strike this note of sublimity is the highest achievement of music—its proper function; a return, as it were, to the abode whence it came. Such music is far beyond that which is merely sensuous, brilliantly descriptive, or even dramatically characteristic. Much of present day music excites and thrills but does not exalt. Brahms, in his great moments, lifts us high above the earth. His universal acceptance is alike hindered by a deficiency which, though as natural as his reserve, may yet justly be cited against him—the occasional monotony of his color scheme. In the symphonies, notwithstanding the dignity and sincerity of thought, we find pages in the style of an engraving which would be more effective as a glowing canvas, e.g., in the slow movement of the Second Symphony and in the last two movements of the Fourth. Many consider, however, that Brahms's orchestral treatment is exactly suited to the seriousness of his ideas; so it comes down to a question of individual taste. That he had his own delicate feeling for238 color and sensuous effect is shown in many pages of the chamber music, especially in those works for unusual combinations, e.g., the Clarinet Quintet, and the Trio for Violin, Horn and Pianoforte. No one in modern times has used more eloquently that romantic instrument, the horn. See, for example, the Coda to the first movement of the D major Symphony and the slow movement of the Third Symphony. We must gratefully acknowledge the lasting quality of his music—without question it wears well. In fact, difficult though it be to comprehend at a first hearing, the more it is heard, the more it is enjoyed. Brahms's[257] music is steadily growing in popularity. His orchestral works and chamber music are applauded to-day, although twenty-five years ago they were received with apathy and scornful indifference.

As a representative work in each of the four fields in which Brahms created such masterpieces we have selected, for detailed analysis, the First Symphony, the Sonata for Violin and Pianoforte in A major, the Ballade in G minor and the Song, Meine Liebe ist grün wie der Fliederbusch. All four of Brahms's symphonies may justly be considered great, each in its own way. For Brahms is not a man with a single message and has not written one large symphony in different sections, as, in a broad sense, may be said of Tchaikowsky. The Second, on account of the spontaneity and direct appeal of its themes, is undoubtedly the most popular. It contains a first movement of a quasi-Mendelssohnian suavity and lyric charm; a slow movement which is a meditation of the profundity of Bach himself; a third movement, allegretto, based on a delightful waltz of the Viennese Ländler type and a Finale of a Mozartian freshness and vigor—the second theme being specially notable for its broad sweep. The whole work is a convincing example of Brahms's vitality and "joie de vivre." The Third symphony is a marvel of conciseness and virile life. The Fourth, though not in all respects so inspired as the others, is famous for its beautiful slow movement—with an impressive introduction239 in the Phrygian mode (Brahms often showing a marked fondness for old modal harmony)—and for the Finale, which is an illustration of his polyphonic skill in modernizing the variation form, the Passacaglia or ground bass. But the First,[258] it seems to us, is the greatest, in scope, in wealth of material, in its remarkable combination of dramatic, epic and lyric elements and in an intensity of feeling and sublimity of thought peculiar to Brahms. It is extremely subjective, of deep ethical value, and sets forth a message of optimism and undying hope. The structural basis is a motto, often recurring in the work, which (whatever it may mean) is evidently—like the theme of the C minor symphony—some fierce protest against fate. The symphony, as a whole, represents a triumphant progress from darkness to light; and this meaning is made evident by the ever-brightening mood of the successive movements, the tone of which is strengthened by the scheme of key-relationship—based on an ascending series of major thirds, e.g.

C Minor, E major, A-flat major, C major.

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The work is somewhat uneven—never weak—but at times a bit labored; as if the composer were consciously wrestling with great thoughts. This, however, is nothing against it, because equally true of large works in other fields of art, e.g., the Agamemnon of Aeschylus or Wagner's Tetralogy. It cannot be understood, much less appreciated, without close attention and earnest thought, for it presents the struggles and aspirations of mankind and is not meant solely to delight or entertain. When the hearer has made it his own it is a priceless possession for all time. The Prelude to the first movement, un poco sostenuto, is of impressive solemnity, developed from the motto, and based on the almost persistent iteration of the pedal notes C and G—the tonic and dominant. It proclaims that a serious meaning is to be revealed, and this meaning is accentuated by the orchestration which with its stratified grouping of melodic lines has a grim strength characteristic of Brahms.240


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The first movement proper, Allegro, in complete sonata-form, begins with a ff announcement of the impassioned, chromatic motto, e.g.


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Note the cutting effect of the dissonant tones F-sharp and A-flat! From this motto grows the melodic part of the first theme in two balancing phrases, e.g.


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Then follow some stormy measures of dissonant chords and warring rhythms until the theme rages itself out, in measure 52. The transition begins with some sharp staccato chords, as if summoning to further attention. It gradually cools down through a series of beautiful modulations and, in measure 84, the second theme—introduced by calls on the horn and sung by the oboe—enters in the relative major key of E-flat. This also is based on the ascending, chromatic line of the motto; still further organic unity being gained by the bass, which has the same melodic figure as the second phrase of the first theme, e.g.241


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Much of the previous fierceness, however, has abated and the remainder of the second theme is of a rare loveliness, with mysterious answering calls between oboes, clarinets and horns. The pp dominant ninth chords at the beginning of the closing portion (measures 120-122) give a positively shuddering effect and then the combat of clashing rhythms is renewed. The development begins with a series of shifting harmonies, at first ff and then pp—a lull before the storm—as if preparing the way for a still more terrific assault upon our emotions. It is tempestuous throughout; based at first on material taken from the preceding codetta and ending with an extended presentation of the motto over an iterated pedal note on the dominant, e.g.


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The fusion of the development with the recapitulation is skillfully handled, and the motto is proclaimed, beginning at measure 298, in a series of ascending strata, with overwhelming force. The third part, with slight abridgment and necessary adjustment of key-relationship, conforms exactly to the exposition. There is the same242 agitato closing portion as before, and then the Coda proper, beginning at measure 421, emphasizes with fiery accents the mood of storm and stress characteristic of the movement as a whole. After the fury has subsided, the dramatic motto asserts itself in the closing measures, poco sostenuto; the problem is still unsolved and the last C major chord is but a ray of light cast on troubled waters.

The second movement, andante sostenuto—in three-part form—begins with a tender melody expressing a mood of deep resignation and religious hope. No sooner has it started, however, than there creeps in the sinister motto, as if to remind us that life is undeniably stern and grim, e.g.


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In measure 17 there enters a closing theme, sung by the oboe, of ineffable beauty which is used in the third part as the climax of the movement. It surely seems to come from another world and is one of the most sublime melodies by Brahms or any one else. Its climax is impressively united with the main theme in the bass, e.g.




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The middle portion, beginning in measure 38, is a meditation—in dialogue form—for solo oboe and clarinet, worked up to an eloquent climax in the key of the relative minor, C-sharp. The third part, beginning measure 66, with the addition of some lovely modulatory changes, corresponds to part one; save that the melody is varied by Brahms's favorite device of three notes to a beat in one voice against two in another. Beginning in measure 90, the wondrous closing theme of the first part is sung by a solo violin, reinforced by oboe and horn. It is finally entrusted, in the home key, to the horn alone, above which the solo violin soars in ecstacy, e.g.


[Listen (MP3)] [MusicXML]

Some diminuendo, descending passages lead to a reminiscent portion of the first theme and then, in measure 116, the grim motto enters, but this time without prevailing; for, in measures 122-124, it is finally exorcised and the movement closes with the seraphic calm of a soft, rich chord in E major, above which is heard a star-like note on the solo violin.

The third movement is an Allegretto; it being Brahms's custom in each[259] of his symphonies to substitute a movement of this type in place of the conventional Scherzo or Minuet. This movement clearly244 in three-part form, is thrown in to furnish relief after the emotional tension of the movement preceding. It has no obvious organic connection with the other movements, but is just the right thing in its surroundings, with a note of vitality which does much to brighten the scene and to prepare the way for the Finale. The opening theme in A-flat major is in two phrases of five measures each—a favorite rhythm with Brahms—given out by the clarinet over a pizzicato bass in the 'cellos. The melodic formation is unusual in that the latter phrase is an inversion of the first, e.g.


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After some descending passages in thirds and sixths—one of the characteristic[260] effects in Brahms's style—the theme is repeated in the violins with richer scoring. The descending passage returns and this time leads to the entrance of a subsidiary theme in F minor. In measures 50-51 occurs one of those cases of melodic germination which entitles Brahms to be called a genuine creative artist. The melody with its dashing, Hungarian zest sounds like something brand-new and yet is logically derived from the main theme by diminution, e.g.


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This is real poetic creation, it being the prime object of a poet to create in music something out of apparent nothing. After these viva245cious developments the first part ends with a slight repetition of the main theme. The middle part, beginning measure 71, in 6/8 time and in the enharmonic key of B major (E-flat = D-sharp) is noteworthy for its rhythmic swing, bold syncopations and contrasted accents; see especially measures 97-107. At the beginning of the third part there is an effective blending of the rhythm which has just prevailed with the graceful lines of the first theme. The fabric is made up of effective changes, modulatory and rhythmic, in the material from the first part. At the Coda, più tranquillo, there is a delightful reminiscence of the rhythm of the middle portion carried out to the very end by the double basses.[261]

The Finale is one of the most thrilling perorations in music; not a perfunctory close, but a veritable Apotheosis of victorious aspiration, giving an irresistible contrast to the first movement. Whereas, before, there was nothing but conflict, now all is triumphant joy. This movement is laid out on a vast scale, with a wealth of material, including a long Prelude with a distinct theme of its own and an extended Coda. The body of the movement is in abridged sonata form, i.e., there is a complete Exposition with first, second and closing themes, and the usual Recapitulation, but no Development proper. This lack is made good by considerable variation and expansion in the first part of the Résumé. The Prelude begins Adagio with some strains which, like smouldering embers, remind us of the sinister motto of the first movement—note the same dissonant tones A-flat and F-sharp. The following measures are of indefinite nature, beginning piano and pizzicato as if a great body were gathering headway slowly. The pace gradually quickens and we are led through a series of impetuous stringendo runs to a ff chord which, accompanied by a ff roll on the kettle-drums, sounds like a clap of thunder and which, as the reverberations die away, ushers in a most moving theme[262]—given out forte and sempre passionato on the horn over a pp muted tremolo on the strings with a background of pp trombones, e.g.246


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This inspired passage[263] has been eloquently described by W.F. Apthorp as follows:

"Amid hushed, tremulous harmonies in the strings, the horn and afterward the flute pour forth an utterly original melody, the character of which ranges from passionate pleading to a sort of wild exultation according to the instrument that plays it. The coloring is enriched by the solemn tones of the trombones, which appear for the first time in this movement. It is ticklish work trying to dive down into a composer's brain, and surmise what special outside source his inspiration may have had; but one cannot help feeling that this whole wonderful episode may have been suggested to Brahms by the tones of the Alpine horn, as it awakens the echoes from mountain after mountain on some of the high passes in the Bernese Oberland. This is certainly what the episode recalls to any one who has ever heard those poetic tones and their echoes. A short, solemn, even ecclesiastical interruption by the trombones and bassoons is of more thematic importance. As the horn-tones gradually die away, and the cloud-like harmonies in the strings sink lower and lower—like mist veiling the landscape—an impressive pause ushers in the Allegro."


After the flute has repeated this theme there is an interpolation of an important choral-like phrase (referred to above), e.g.


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for it is later used as the climax of the Finale—in fact, of the whole work—and its tone of religious fervor, accentuated by the scoring for trombones and bassoons, is a clear indication of the ideal message which Brahms meant to convey. The body of the movement, Allegro non troppo ma con brio, begins with a majestic, sweeping theme[264] of great rhythmic vitality and elasticity announced by the strings, e.g.




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It is at once repeated with richer scoring and then some exciting transitional passages lead, after a slight phrase taken from the chief theme of the prelude, to the second theme, animato, in G major, e.g.


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This has some rhythmical expansion and then a quieter part, dolce e piano, beginning measure 71. Some rushing ff passages bring us, in measure 107, to the brilliant closing theme with its staccato, triplet rhythm. The Exposition ends in E minor, in measure 122, after a series of forte, staccato chords. The Recapitulation begins at once after two modulatory chords, and though sufficient stress is laid on the first theme, there is so much development of previous material that it serves for both the customary second and third parts. A good deal of adverse criticism has been expended on this portion of the movement and it is possible that Brahms's remarkable technique in handling his material ran away with him. But the music is always striving toward some goal, and even if it has to plough through desperate seas, there is no weakness or faltering. This part of the work is not beautiful in the popular sense of the term, but no one can fail to be impressed with its character. A climax is finally reached, in measure 224, with a fortissimo statement of the chief theme of the prelude, and then, after this has cooled down, diminuendo e calando, the second theme enters in the home key. The rest of the recapitulation corresponds closely with the exposition. The Coda begins, in measure 306, with a shadowy outline of modulatory chords, as if slumbering forces were slowly awakening; and, becoming more crescendo and stringendo, reveals its full glory at the Più Allegro. This portion, based on quickened phrases of the first theme, seems charged with superhuman energy, and mounting higher and higher culminates in a majestic proclamation of the choral-like motto of the prelude, e.g.249


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On hearing this it always seems as if the heavens above us really opened. The rest of the Coda is a scene of jubilation with ever more life and light. The dissonant tones of F-sharp and A-flat try to lift their heads but this time are crushed forever by the triumphant fundamental chords of C major, e.g.


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The movement, in keeping with its serious message, ends with a prolonged and brilliant Plagal Cadence in which the double basses and the trombone surge upward with elemental power.250

Sonata for Violin and Pianoforte

Of Brahms's three Sonatas for violin and pianoforte, respectively, in D minor, A major and G major, that in A major has been selected to give some idea of his chamber music, on account of the spontaneous appeal of its melodies and because its performance is possible for fairly well equipped executants. In many respects the D minor Sonata is the greatest of the three, but it is a work exceedingly difficult of execution and interpretation. The A major Sonata needs few comments, as the music speaks for itself. The work is in three movements, the first in complete sonata-form with the two customary themes, each of distinct lyric charm and hence eminently suited to the singing qualities of the violin; the second movement a fusion of the two normal middle ones, and the Finale a Rondo, freely treated. The first movement, Allegro amabile, begins with a suave theme, e.g.,


[Listen] [MusicXML]

the first interval of which, a descending leap from the third to the leading tone, always seems to make a distinct appeal.[265] After the customary transition appears the second theme, announced by the pianoforte in measure 50, e.g.,


[Listen] [MusicXML]


showing Brahms's fondness for contrasted rhythms—three notes to a beat in one hand against two in the other. After a repetition by the violin there is a spirited closing theme in measure 75, of great importance later. The Development, one of Brahms's best, manifests real organic growth; there is nothing labored or perfunctory. It is based on the first theme and the closing theme of the Exposition, e.g.


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The Reprise beginning in measure 158, shows the usual treatment. The Coda, from measure 219, is long and, like codas of Beethoven, has features of a second development. The movement ends with brilliant arpeggios in the pianoforte against octaves and double stops in the violin. In the second movement, Andante tranquillo, in F major, Brahms fuses[266] together the moods usually associated with the slow movement and the scherzo, playing one off against the other; the slow theme appearing three times—at its final appearance with eloquent modulations—and the rapid one twice, with contrast gained the second time through pizzicato effects on the violin. The two themes are as follows:—


[Listen (MP3)] [MusicXML]


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The short, dashing Coda is based on the vivace theme, with sonorous chords on the violin, both pizzicato and arco.

The Finale, Allegretto grazioso, is a convincing example of how252 such a rigid form as the Older Rondo can be freshened up and revitalized by the hand of a master, for the main theme, e.g.


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has such genuine melodic life that we always recur to it with pleasure and yet at each appearance it is so deftly varied that no monotony is felt. The two episodes afford stimulating contrasts and need no comment. The main theme at its third appearance is in the subdominant key, with effective rhythmic modifications. The movement is a remarkable illustration of idiomatic style for each of the instruments: the violin part, sustained and cantabile; the pianoforte part, broken up and of remarkable color and sonority. The last page of the Coda, almost exclusively in double stops for the violin, brings a rousing close to a masterpiece.

Ballade in G minor for Pianoforte
(See Supplement No. 60)

Although the most important factor in Brahms's pianoforte pieces is Brahms himself, a careful examination of his works in this field shows that his style is fashioned from an intelligent, and by no means slavish assimilation of important features in the works of his great predecessors. Thus we find the same melodic warmth as in Schubert, the rhythmic vitality and massive harmony so prominent in Schumann and the extended arpeggios and chords, the color and richness, peculiar to Chopin. From among the numerous and beautiful compositions of Brahms for solo pianoforte we have selected the Ballade in G minor because it represents a somewhat unusual and hence seldom recognized side of his genius—the specifically dramatic. When a composer calls his piece a Ballade, as in the case of compositions so entitled by Chopin and Liszt, we may assume that there is some dramatic or subjective meaning behind the notes; and the hearer is at liberty to give play to his own imagination and to receive the message as something more than music in the ordinary abstract253 or absolute sense. From the inner evidence of this Ballade of Brahms it seems to the writer[267] not too fanciful to consider it a picture of a knight-errant in medieval times setting out on his adventures. Observe the vigorous swing of the opening theme in that five-measure rhythm so dear to Brahms. But in the middle portion, in the romantic key of B major,[268] the woman appears—perhaps some maiden imprisoned in a tower—and she sings to the knight a song of such sweetness that he would fain forsake duty, battle, everything! The contrast of opposing wills[269] is dramatically indicated by an interpolation, after the maiden's first appeal, of the martial theme of the knight, as if he felt he should be off instead of lingering, enchanted by her song. Notwithstanding a still more impassioned repetition of the song, the Knight is firm, tears himself away and continues on his course; how great the wrench, being clearly indicated by the unusual modulations in measures 72-76. The enchanting song, however, still lingers with him and he dwells with fond regret upon bygone scenes and dreams which were unattainable. In this piece is seen Brahms's aristocratic distinction in the treatment of program music. The subject is portrayed broadly—there are no petty details—and the music itself, to anyone with a sensitive imagination, tells the story clearly. Hence a detailed poetic interpretation is out of place, since only to the suggester would it have meaning.

So many of Brahms's pianoforte compositions are of great beauty and significance that, although space is lacking for further comment on definite examples, we urge the music-lover to study the following: the second Intermezzo[270] in B-flat minor of op. 117, perhaps the most254 beautiful single piece Brahms has written—remarkable for its rhythmic texture and for the equalization of both hands, which was one of his chief contributions to pianoforte style; the second Intermezzo of op. 119, the middle part of which is significant for the extended arpeggio grouping for the left hand (Brahms following Chopin's lead in this respect); the sixth Intermezzo of op. 118, a superb piece for sonority and color; the third Intermezzo in op. 119, (grazioso e giocoso) and the B minor Capriccio op. 76—both in Brahms's happiest vein of exuberant vitality; the sixth Intermezzo in op. 116, a beautiful example, in its polyphonic texture, of modernized Schumann; and, above all, the mighty Rhapsodies in E-flat major, op. 112 No. 4 and the one in G minor op. 79—this latter, one of Brahms's most dramatic conceptions, and an example, as well, of complete sonata-form used for an independent composition.

SongMeine Liebe ist grün wie der Fliederbusch
(See Supplement No. 61)

Whatever Brahms is or is not, he is universally recognized as an inspired song-composer and those who do not know his songs are cut off from one of the greatest joys music has to offer. As Huneker so well says, "Although his topmost peaks are tremendously remote, and glitter and gleam in an atmosphere almost too thin for dwellers of the plains, in his songs he was as simple, as manly, as tender as Robert Burns." In Brahms's songs we cannot say which is the most significant factor: the words, the vocal part or the accompaniment; all go together to make up a perfect whole. Brahms had discernment in the selection of texts suited to inspire poetic creation. His melodies are always appropriate to the spirit of the words, yet truly lyric and singable, and the accompaniment catches and intensifies every subtle shade of meaning. If any one factor is of special beauty, however, it is the instrumental part; for here Brahms's great genius in pianoforte style came to the fore and in utilizing every resource of the instrument to glorify the spirit of the text, he is a worthy successor of Schubert, Schumann and Franz. Note how in this song the passionate glow of the poem is reflected in the gorgeous modulations and sonority of the pianoforte part. Especially remarkable is the interlude between the stanzas, with its wealth of dissonances and waves of flashing color. After this surely no one can say that Brahms had no feeling for sensuous effect, at any rate on the pianoforte. Other famous songs of Brahms which should be familiar to the stu255dent are the following: Wie Melodien zieht es mir, Feldeinsamkeit, Minnelied, Von ewiger Liebe, Immer leiser wird mein Schlummer, Sapphische Ode, Vergebliches Ständchen. An excellent essay on Brahms as a song composer will be found in the preface to the Forty Songs of Brahms in the Musician's Library (The Oliver Ditson Company).

The foregoing illustrations have made clear, we trust, the inspiration and power of Brahms's varied message. His music, therefore, must be approached reverently, sympathetically and with an earnest desire for a better understanding, for Brahms is veritably a giant.



BEFORE an appreciation of the significant works and influence of César Franck can be gained, it is necessary to have a broad historical perspective of what had been the trend and the limitations of French music prior to his career. Since the time of Couperin and Rameau, musical composition in France had been devoted almost exclusively to opera—with its two types of grand opera and opéra-comique—and in this field there had been some French musicians of real, though possibly rather slight, genius: Philidor, Méhul, Grétry, Boieldieu, Hérold and Auber. One searches in vain through French literature for great symphonies, string-quartets, violin sonatas or pianoforte compositions of significance. Berlioz, as we have seen, had composed a number of orchestral works; but, from the standpoint of absolute music, even these rather beg the question as they are so extremely programmistic, dramatic or even theatric. This one-sided development of French music was chiefly caused by the people's innate fondness for the drama, and by the national genius for acting, mimicry and dancing.

Prior to the advent of Franck there were two important pioneers in the broadening tendency which finally became noticeable, Saint-Saëns and Lalo. For great assimilative power, for versatility, for clarity of expression and a finish and finesse peculiarly French, Camille Saint-Saëns (1835-still living) is certainly one of the most256 remarkable musicians of the nineteenth century. His works are numerous, always "well-made" and, though lacking in emotional depth, by no means without charm and grace. They comprise ensemble works: trios, etc., several concertos and symphonies and four symphonic poems. Of these, the third concerto for pianoforte, with its Bach-like introduction, the third violin concerto, the two symphonic poems, Le Rouet d'Omphale and Phaëton and, in particular, the third symphony in C minor, still hold their own. Whatever Saint-Saëns has to say is well said; and if the French have modified their previous opinion that the only vehicle for musical expression was the opera, it is largely through the influence of his compositions. This C minor symphony, first performed in London in 1886, shares with Lalo's symphony in G minor (1887) the claim to be, in all French literature, the first instrumental work of large scope free from programmistic tendencies. Saint-Saëns[271] and Lalo fairly popularized the Sonata form and their works are worthy of great respect; since, through them, the public became accustomed to symphonic style and was prepared for the subsequent greater works of Franck, d'Indy and Chausson. Although not so versatile as Saint-Saëns nor so varied in output, Eduard Lalo (1823-1892) should decidedly not be overlooked. He was of Spanish origin and this racial strain is noticeable in the vivacity of his rhythm, in the piquant individuality of his melodies and in his brilliant and picturesque orchestration. His characteristic work is represented by a series of Concertos and Rhapsodies in which he employs Spanish, Russian and Norwegian themes. He did not escape the French predilection for operatic fame and his best work is probably the well-known opera Le Roi d'Ys, from which the dramatic overture is often played separately. His G minor symphony, however, will always be considered an important landmark in the development of French instrumental music.[272]

César Franck (1822-1890) was a composer of such innate spirituality that to analyze and classify him in a formal manner seems well-nigh irreverent. His music once heard is never forgotten, and when257 thoroughly known is loved for all time. Nor is an elaborate biographical account necessary; for Franck, more than any other modern composer, has been fortunate in that his life and works have been sympathetically presented to the world by a distinguished contemporary, his most famous pupil d'Indy—himself a gifted composer and a man of rare literary powers. His biography of César Franck (in French and in English) should certainly be read by all who would keep abreast of modern tendencies. Franck's message, however, is so remarkable and his style so individual, that a few definite comments may be made concerning the structural features of his work and the essential attributes, thereby expressed, of his inspiring personality. Franck was a Belgian born at Liège—one of that long line of musicians who, though born elsewhere, have become thoroughly identified with French thought and standards; and there is much in his music which finds a parallel in the literary qualities of another Belgian artist, Maeterlinck, for in both is that same haunting indefiniteness, that same symbolic aspiration. Nothing in Franck is rigid, square-toed; his music is suggestive of a mystic idealism, the full expression of which, from its very nature is unattainable. Franck's outward life was simple, without excitement or diversion of any kind. When he was not giving lessons or composing, he was active in the service of the Roman Catholic Church, in which he was a devout believer. For a number of years he was organist at Sainte Clotilde, and his style thereby was influenced strongly. A distinct note of religious exaltation runs through much of his music; for Franck was a fine character, of spotless purity of life and of such generosity and elevation of soul that his pupils looked upon him as a real father and always called him "Pater Seraphicus." He was universally acknowledged to be the greatest improviser on the organ since Bach himself. Even Liszt, who heard him in 1866, left the church, lost in amazement; evoking the name of the great Sebastian as the only possible comparison.

Franck's services to the development of music are twofold: 1st, as an inspired composer of varied works, which are more and more becoming understood and loved; 2d, as a truly great teacher, among his notable pupils being d'Indy, Chausson, Duparc, Ropartz, and the gifted but short-lived Lekeu. In Franck's music, fully as remarkable as the content—the worthy expression of his poetic nature—is its organic structure. He was the first composer of the French School to use adequately the great forms of symphonic and chamber music258 which had been worked out hitherto by the Germans: Bach, Haydn, Mozart, Beethoven, etc. If during the last thirty years, composers of the modern French School have put forth a number of instrumental works of large dimensions (chamber music, symphonies, symphonic poems and pianoforte sonatas), it is to Franck more than to any other man, by reason of his own achievements in these fields and his stimulating influence on others, that this significant fact is due. A striking feature of Franck's music is the individual harmonic scheme, fascinating because so elusive. He was a daring innovator in modulations and in chromatic effect; and has, perhaps, added more genuinely new words to our vocabulary than any one since Wagner. The basis of Franck's harmony is the novel use of the so-called augmented harmonies which, in their derivation, are chromatically altered chords. These are resolved by Franck in a manner remarkably free, and are often submitted to still further chromatic change. In revealing new possibilities he has, in fact, done for these chords what Wagner did for the chord of the ninth. Any page of Franck's music will exemplify this statement, and as an illustration we have cited, in the Supplement, the first part of the Prelude in E major. A life-long student of Bach and Beethoven, Franck believed—as a cardinal principle—that great ideas were not enough; they must be welded together with inexorable logic. And so his chief glory as a musical architect is the free use he makes of such organic forms as the Canon, the Fugue and the Varied Air. Franck was likewise a pioneer in establishing in a sonata or symphony a new conception as to the relationship of the movements. This he effected by the use of what may be called "generative motives" which, announced in the first movement of a work, are found with organic growth, modulatory and rhythmic, in all the succeeding portions. Such a method of gaining unity had been hinted at by Beethoven in his Fifth Symphony, was further developed by Schumann and Liszt and, since the example of Franck, has become a recognized principle in all large cyclic works. The following estimate of his music by F. Baldensperger is worthy of citation. "The contemplative character of Franck's music which explains his entire technique is rare at the epoch in which his life was cast, an epoch of realism, generally inspired by a taste for the picturesque and the dramatic. Posterity will place César Franck in a niche similar to that of Puvis de Chavannes, whose inspiration, indifferent to all worldly solicitations, flowed willingly, like that of Franck, into the paths of reverie, and pursued its way like a beautiful river of quiet259 waters, undisturbed by waves or rapids, and reflecting the eternal calm of the sky."

As representative works[273] we have chosen, for analytical comments the D minor Symphony (Franck's only work in this field), the Sonata for violin and pianoforte and the Symphonic Variations for pianoforte and orchestra. Franck has also composed a very beautiful Quintet for strings and pianoforte—considered by some the most sublime chamber work of recent times; a String Quartet, notable for its interrelationship of themes and movements; two elaborate compositions for pianoforte solo, the Prelude, Chorale and Fugue (the fugue showing a masterly combination of strict fugal style and free form) and the Prelude, Aria and Finale; a wealth of organ works—the three Chorales being of special beauty—and several Symphonic Poems of lesser importance. His purely vocal works, oratorios and church music lie outside the province of this book.

The Symphony[274] in D minor is in three movements; the first in complete and elaborate sonata-form, the second a fusion of the two customary middle movements, and the Finale (though fundamentally on a sonata-form basis) an organic summing-up of the chief themes of the entire work. The first movement begins, Lento, with the main theme proper (thesis) the motive[275] of which is the foundation of the whole work, e.g.

Violas, 'Cellos and Double Basses

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The phraseology of the theme is noticeable for its flexibility; since the first phrase is expanded to five measures and the second phrase (antithesis), with a descending motive, to seven, e.g.260


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The harmony of this second phrase illustrates a striking feature in Franck's style, namely the fact that his resolutions seldom come out as expected but, instead, drift imperceptibly into other channels. In measure 13 there begins a long series of modulatory developments of the main theme—of a preludial nature—but not a mere prelude in the ordinary sense. That this entire opening portion is the main261 body of the work is seen by a comparison with what takes place at the beginning of the recapitulation. In measure 29, allegro non troppo, we begin with a presentation of the motive in the usual first-movement mood. The answering phrase, antithesis, is now quite different; and, in measure 48, is developed—with some new contrapuntal voices—to a half cadence in F minor. This whole portion, both the Lento and the Allegro, is now repeated almost literally (the one slight change being in measures 56-57) in this new key, a minor third higher than the original. To begin a first movement in this way, i.e., with such a strong contrast of moods is very novel and striking, but as Franck was a devoted student of Beethoven, it would seem that, by presenting his theme in different strata, he was simply expanding the practise[276] of that master in order to impress his message upon the listener's memory. The repetition of the Allegro part now leads through some rich modulations to the entrance of the second theme, in measure 99. This lovely melody, characteristic of Franck's tenderness,


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is noteworthy for the imitations between the violins and the 'cellos and basses. It shows, furthermore, that peculiar quality in Franck's style which comes from his elusive modulations. In measures 109-110 we are at a loss to tell just what direction the music will take when almost miraculously, in measure 111, we find ourselves in D-flat major262—in which key the whole theme is now repeated. Some stimulating modulations bring us, in measure 129, to a most energetic and aspiring melody, considered by some another part of the second theme, but which certainly has the note of a closing theme and also the structural position of a closing theme, e.g.


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It is developed with great brilliancy through a series of mediant modulations, in which the originality of Franck's harmonic scheme is very apparent. The exposition ends with some dreamy, pianissimo reminiscences of the closing theme in the mediant keys of F, D and B major, delicately scored for the wood-wind instruments and horns. The development begins, in measure 191, with the motive of the closing theme which, combined with other phrases from the exposition, is used persistently in the bass for a number of measures. The material is developed climactically until, in measure 229, we find an impressive treatment of the second descending phrase of the first theme—originally in augmentation and later in diminution, e.g.


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The rest of the development is clearly derivable from material already presented. After a final ff climax there begins, in measure 287, a series of beautiful entries pp of the closing theme for the clarinet, oboe and flute. This is the spot in a sonata-form movement where appears the hand of the master; for the excitement of the free fantasy must cool down without entirely dying out, and there must also be a fresh crescendo of energy for the restatement of themes in the263 part following. Franck handles the situation with convincing skill; and some climactic measures, in which the main theme hints at the return, lead us, in measure 333, to the recapitulation. This is one of the most powerful and eloquent parts of the movement, for the whole first theme is presented canonically—the announcement in the trombones, tuba and basses being answered, a half measure later, by trumpets and cornets. The rest of the recapitulation, with necessary modulations and slight expansion, corresponds closely to the first portion. The coda, beginning after the same echo-effects heard at the close of the exposition, is founded on one of the counterpoints of the first subject, e.g.


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Gathering headway it leads to an imposing assertion fff, in canon form, of the main motto which concludes, with a widely spaced chord, in the brilliant[277] orchestral key of D major.

The second movement begins with a series of subdued, pizzicato chords (for strings and harp) which establish the mood and later furnish the harmonic background for the main theme. This haunting melody, announced—in measure 16—by the English horn and afterwards strengthened by the clarinet and flute, is clearly derived from the motto of the first movement, e.g.


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and is a notable example of the free phraseology and long sweep peculiar to Franck. Although extending 32 measures it never loses its264 continuity, for every measure grows inevitably from what has preceded. It begins with two identical eight-measure phrases; the second of which, with a different harmonic ending, is varied by a cantabile counter theme in the violas—causing thereby, with the upper voice, some delightful dissonant effects. The last eight-measure phrase, also varied by a counterpoint in the 'cellos, ends with a characteristic, Franckian modulation; keeping us in suspense until the last moment, and then debouching unexpectedly into B-flat major. In this key there follows a long-breathed, cantabile melody—at first for strings alone, but scored with increasing richness. It abounds in modulatory changes and expresses, throughout, the note of mystical exaltation so prominent in Franck's nature. It ends in measures 81-86 with an eloquent cadence, largamente and pianissimo, in B-flat major and is followed by a partial restatement of the first theme; thus giving, to this portion of the movement, a feeling of three-part form. Then, after some preliminary phrases, begins the piquant theme in G minor, in triplet rhythm, which takes the place of the conventional Scherzo, e.g.,


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for, as we have stated, the structural feature of this movement is the fusion of the two customary middle movements. This theme, mostly pp (con sordini and vibrato)—daintily scored for strings and light wood-wind chords—closes, in measures 131-134, with a cadence in G minor. The following portion, beginning in E-flat major, but often modulating—its graceful theme sung by the clarinets, dolce espressivo, answered by flutes and oboes—e.g.,


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evidently takes the place of a trio and is one of the most poetic parts of the movement. After some effective development there is a return, in measure 175, to the G minor scherzo-theme in the strings; soon joined, in measure 183, by the slow theme on the English horn—the structural union of the two moods being thus established, e.g.265


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The rest of the movement is a free but perfectly organic improvisation on the chief melodies already presented. It is richly scored, with dialogue effects between the several orchestral choirs; especially beautiful are the two passages in B major, poco più lento, scored pp for the complete wood-wind group and horns. The closing measures have lovely echoes between wood-wind and strings, and the final cadence is one of the most magical in all Franck; holding us off to the very last from our goal and finally reaching it in a chord of unforgettable peace and satisfaction, e.g.


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The Finale in D major, allegro non troppo, is a remarkable example in modern literature of that tendency, growing since Beethoven, not to treat the last movement as an unrelated independent portion but, instead, as an organic summing up of all the leading themes. This cyclic use of themes—transferring them from one movement to another—is one of Franck's important contributions to musical architecture. The movement has two themes of its own, e.g.

1st theme

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2d theme

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and at first proceeds along regular sonata-form lines, i.e., with an exposition, development and recapitulation. After vigorous summons to attention the first theme is given out by the 'cellos and bassoons. It is expanded at some length, repeated ff by the full orchestra, and then after bold modulations leads, in measure 72, to the second theme in B major, happily called by Ropartz the "theme of triumph."[278] After a quieter portion of sombre tone in B minor we reach, in measure 124, an interpolation of the slow movement theme, e.g.,


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sung by the English horn against a triplet accompaniment in the strings; the fundamental beat—the time now changed from 2/2 to 3/4—preserving the same value. Now we begin to foresee that this theme is to be the climax of the whole work. In measure 140 the development proper is resumed; based, at first, on some modulatory and imitative treatment of the first theme and followed by two ff sostenuto announcements of the jubilant second theme. After these have subsided there are a number of measures (più lento) of a shadowy outline, developed from preceding melodic phrases. The pace gradually quickens, the volume of sound increases and we are brought, through a series of pungent dissonances and stimulating syncopations, to a brilliant assertion of the first theme in D major. This again waxes more and more eloquent until it bursts into a truly apocalyptic proclamation of the slow movement theme for full orchestra which, closing in D major, is the real climax of the movement and indeed of the work. Franck, however, still wishes to impress upon us some of his other thoughts—they are really too lovely not to be heard once more—and so, after an intermediary passage consisting entirely of successive ninth chords,[279] there is a reminiscence of the whole closing theme of the first movement now for low strings alone—the violins playing on the G string—later for the wood-wind and finally echoed by the high strings ppp. As this fades away we reach one of the most inspired passages of the whole work—in its mood of mysterious suggestion truly indescribable. Over a slow elemental kind of basso ostinato there appear first the dramatic motto and then other portions of preceding themes, as if struggling to come to the light. A long exciting crescendo leads to a complete statement of the main theme of the Finale, with a canonic treatment of which the work ends, e.g.




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That both the first and last movements end with canons is indeed noteworthy; Franck thus clearly showing his belief that in no other way than by polyphonic imitation could such intensity of utterance be gained.

Sonata for Violin and Pianoforte in A Major

This Sonata ranks with those of Brahms as being among the great works in its class. Some of its lovers, in fact, would risk an unqualified superlative and call it the greatest. It certainly is remarkable for its inspired themes, its bold harmonies, its free and yet organic structure and for that sublime fervor which was the basis of Franck's genius. It is, in two respects, at least, a highly original work: in the unusual moods of the several movements, and in the relationship between the two instruments. For although it is a violin sonata, the emphasis in many respects is laid on the pianoforte part which requires great virtuoso power of performance,—the violin, at times, having the nature more of an obligato. There are four movements, the first in abridged sonata form, i.e., there is no development; the second in complete and elaborate sonata form; the third, a kind of free rhapsody, supplying an intermezzo between the third and fourth movements and organically connected with the Finale. This, in free rondo-form, with a main theme of its own treated canonically, sums up the chief themes which have preceded. The work exemplifies Franck's practise of generative themes; for d'Indy claims[280] that the whole structure is based on three motives, e.g.,


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the rising and falling inflexion of which he typifies by what is called a "torculus" (torculus symbol)! Whether such minute analysis is necessary for the listener may be open to question; but it is true that in hearing269 the work one is struck by the homogeneity of the material. The first movement is an impassioned kind of revery—in a mood more often associated with the slow movement, in character somewhat like the beginning of Beethoven's C-sharp minor Sonata. After some preludial ninth chords the dreamy first theme is given out, molto dolce, by the violin, supported by rich harmonies on the pianoforte, the use of the augmented chords being prominent, e.g.


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Some natural expansion and development lead, in measure 31, to the broad and vigorous second theme, sempre forte e largamente, announced by the pianoforte, e.g.


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This ends in F-sharp minor and is at once followed by a closing portion, i.e., a repetition of the second theme with an elaborate arpeggio accompaniment and some fragmentary phrases of the first theme on the violin. Its last measures[281] are striking for the bold use of augmented chords and for the wide spacing which gives an organ-like sonority. The recapitulation, beginning in measure 63 with still richer harmonization, is almost identical with the exposition; the second theme appearing logically in the home key. The closing measures of the coda, which starts in measure 97, illustrate Franck's genius in the chromatic alteration of chords.

The second movement, in a structural sense the most normal of the four, speaks for itself. It is stormy and dramatic, with a number of passages marked passionato and molto fuoco, and presents a rather unusual side of Franck's quiet nature. The two themes are strong and well contrasted: the first for the pianoforte, the second for the violin, e.g.

1st theme

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2d theme

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The development begins at the quasi lento, measure 80, with the second (b) of the generative motives which is to play an important role in the Fantasia and the Finale. It is rather broken up into sections, but holds the interest through its unflagging rhythmic vigor and daring dissonances. Franck's contrapuntal skill is shown here in the closing measures (130-134) where a phrase from the second theme on the violin, dolcissimo espressivo, is united with a phrase of the first theme on the pianoforte, hinting at the return. The recapitulation, beginning in measure 138, is perfectly normal and leads to a coda which, becoming more and more animated, ends with brilliant bravura effects for each instrument.

The third movement, entitled Recitative-Fantasia, is notable for its long declamations for the violin alone, and for its introduction of a theme from the preceding movement and of one to be repeated in the Finale. Thus the organic relationship between the various movements is shown and is still further emphasized in the Finale. The mood is often very impassioned (once fff) and dramatic, with several passages specifically marked. This music alone, which sounds like nothing before or since, would stamp Franck as an absolutely original genius. In measure 53 appears a long pianissimo meditation by the violin on a phrase—the second generative motive (b)—from the preceding movement, supported by beautifully spaced arpeggio chords on the pianoforte, e.g.


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In measure 71 occurs the first appearance of the bold theme which is to be twice used for episodes in the Finale, e.g.272


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The closing cadence[282] of the movement, one of the most original and truly beautiful in all literature as it seems to the writer, furnishes a marvellous contrast to the stormy measures immediately preceding.

The Finale is perhaps the most spontaneous canon in existence, an imitative dialogue between the two instruments; this form (which is often rigid and mechanical) being used so easily that it seems as if each instrument were naturally commenting upon the message of the other. Observe also the sonorous background provided for the violin melody by the widely spaced chords on the pianoforte, e.g.273


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The first episode, beginning in F-sharp minor at measure 38, is based on the third generative phrase (c) brought over from the Fantasia and embroidered by running passages (delicato) on the violin. This leads to a return of the canonic first theme which, with an interchange of statement and answer and with free modulations, is developed to a brilliant climax—the canon still persisting—in the dominant key of E major. Some transitional modulations, in which the excitement cools down, bring us to the second episode, in B-flat minor. This at first develops the phrase (b) from the middle part of the second movement, e.g.


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and later, also in the bass, a phrase from the main theme, e.g.


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It is soon followed by a bold entrance of the dramatic theme from the Fantasia which, twice presented—the second time grandioso—leads to a thrilling cadence in C major. The third and last refrain is a complete restatement of the original canon and closes in A major with a still more brilliant imitative treatment of the passage formerly in the dominant. The last measures—with the high trill on the violin and cutting dissonances on the pianoforte—are far too exciting for mere verbal description.

Symphonic Variations for Pianoforte and Orchestra

This is one of Franck's most significant works, containing all his individual characteristics: melodic intensity, novel chromatic harmony and freedom of form combined with coherence. Franck always claimed that the variation form, rightly treated, was a perfect medium for free, imaginative expression; surely this work is a manifestation of his belief. A careful study will justify the statement that his style is founded on that of Bach and Beethoven; for the naturalness of these melodic variations can be compared only with the Passacaglia in C minor, and the general structure of the work finds its prototype in the Finale of the Heroic Symphony. It is a set of free variations, or rather organic transformations of two themes; the first sombre, entirely in the minor, the second brighter, with some passing emphasis on the major. The variations are not numbered and there are no rigid stops; though, of course, when objective points are reached, there is natural punctuation. The two themes, as follows—a striking example of Franck's peculiar harmonic scheme—should be carefully studied, e.g.

1st theme



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2d theme



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The work opens with a series of restless dotted notes for the strings ff which diminish and retard to an entrance of the first theme, più lento, for the pianoforte; the two phrases of which are interrupted by a passage, somewhat modified, from the introduction. Some preludial measures, expanding the material presented, bring us at B[283] to a premonitory statement of the second theme pp (in wood-wind and pizzicato strings) over a muffled roll of the kettle-drums on C-sharp, e.g.


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Then follows a long rhapsodic presentation of the first theme for pianoforte solo—the melody in octaves and the accompaniment in the widest arpeggios possible. This passage is one of great sonority and reveals clearly the influence of the organ upon Franck's style. Some further measures of general development, containing at E a reminiscence of the first theme, bring us (after an elaborate half-cadence on the dominant of F-sharp minor) to the entrance of the second theme. Now that all the melodic material has been presented, Franck allows it to grow and blossom. In the first variation at F we have phrases of the second theme broken up into a dialogue between strings, wood-wind and pianoforte; and in the second at G the violas and 'cellos sing the whole second theme accompanied by some ingenious figuration on the pianoforte. This is followed at H by a brilliant amplification for the solo instrument, lightly accom277panied on the orchestra, of phrases already heard and leads at I to a fortissimo orchestral tutti in D major—the next variation—which proclaims a portion of the second theme. This is developed with great power on both instruments and is combined, nine measures after J, with a variant of the first theme. At K there is a bold treatment of the second theme (sostenuto) for oboes and clarinets against rushing octaves on the pianoforte.

At L we have some further development of the second theme, the melody being in the strings with a background of broken triplet chords on the pianoforte. We now reach at M—molto più lento—the most poetic variation of the work. All the 'cellos, dolce e sostenuto, sing the second theme in the rich key of F-sharp major, the closing phrases answered by the wood-wind; while the pianoforte supports them with coloristic, arabesque-like broken chords containing a melodic pattern of their own. At N the 'cellos continue with phrases from the first theme, the accompaniment being in extended arpeggios against a background of sustained strings (ppp con sordino). A climax is gradually reached which ends, smorzando, with a descending chromatic run on the pianoforte, followed by a long trill on C-sharp which ushers in the closing portion of the work. The structure, as a whole, is divided into three main portions: the first preludial, the second sombre and often meditative—largely in the minor—the third entirely in the major and of extraordinary brilliance and vivacity. At the Allegro non troppo after the trill, we find a variant of the first theme for the 'cellos and basses in F-sharp major, e.g.,


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accompanied by broken chords on the pianoforte and wood-wind. This is followed at P by a free treatment for pianoforte, con fuoco, of the first theme which develops at Q into a most pianistic presentation (in the upper register of the instrument) of the phrase just announced by the 'cellos. In the fifth measure after R the basses begin, pizzicato but forte, a modified statement of the second theme, accompanied by a new counter melody on the pianoforte, dolce ma marcato, e.g.278


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This leads into a brilliant climax for orchestra alone based on the first theme which, at the very end, modulates to E-flat major. Then follows an episodical portion of unusual beauty—a long, dreamy passage, dolce rubato, for solo pianoforte, in which the first theme is merely hinted at in shadowy outlines, e.g.


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Abounding in fascinating modulations and coloristic effects it shows Franck's genius equally for real melodic germination with an avoidance of all perfunctory manipulation of his material. This leads, four measures after T, to an entrance pp in the wood-wind, of a variant of the first theme. Due to the effect of contrasted accents the passage is most exciting—two rhythms being treated at once. A climax for full orchestra brings us at V to a repetition of the former pianoforte presentation of the first theme, followed as before, at W by the counter-melody against the second theme, forte, in the basses. The first theme, now in complete control, is here proclaimed most eloquently in antiphonal form between the full orchestra and pianoforte, e.g.279


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The work ends with a rapid iteration, molto crescendo, of the first motive—in diminution. Now that we have reviewed the entire composition, there is one feature worthy of special emphasis. The structure as a whole (as we have stated) is clearly divided into three main parts; but when we examine the third part by itself, we find that it follows the lines of the sonata-form. For there is a first portion, with a main theme in F-sharp major, and a second theme—the new melody—in D major; the passage for pianoforte in E-flats major stands for the development, and the movement concludes with a distinct third portion, both first and second theme being in the home key. Thus the structure represents a carefully planned union of the variation form and the sonata-form which were special favorites of Franck. The work, which, after earnest study, will surely be enjoyed and loved, ranks with the Istar Symphonic Variations by d'Indy and the two sets on themes from Paganini by Brahms as the acme of what the variation form may indeed be when treated by a master.



NOT only as the most distinguished of César Franck's pupils, but by reason of his undoubted musicianship and marked versatility—his works being in well nigh every form—Vincent d'Indy (1851-still living) is rightly considered to be the most representative composer of his branch of the modern French school.[284] Whether history will accord to him the rank of an inspired genius it is as yet too early to decide; but for the sincerity and nobility of his ideas, for his finished workmanship and the influence he has exerted, through his many-sided personality, in elevating public taste and in the education of young musicians, he is worthy of our gratitude. D'Indy is a patriotic Frenchman believing profoundly that French music has an important rôle to bear; who has incarnated this belief in a series of281 works of such distinction that, if not unqualifiedly loved, they at least compel recognition. If he swings a bit too far in his insistence upon the exclusive glories of French genius, let us remember that the modern Germans[285] have been just as one-sided from their point of view—and with even less tangible proof of attainment. For it seems incontestable that, since the era of Wagner and Brahms, the modern French and Russian Schools have contributed to the development of music more than all the other nations combined. It is for us in America who, free from national prejudice, can stand off and take an impartial view, to appreciate the good points in all schools. A detailed account of d'Indy's life and works will not be necessary, for the subject has been admirably and comprehensively treated by D.G. Mason in his set of Essays on Contemporary Composers and in the article by E.B. Hill in the Art of Music, Vol. 3.

D'Indy's compositions, as in the case of Franck, are not numerous, but finely wrought and of distinct and varied individuality. His chief instrumental[286] works comprise a Wallenstein Trilogy (three symphonic poems based on Schiller's drama) notable for descriptive power and orchestral effect; a Symphony for orchestra and pianoforte on a mountain air[287]—one of his best works, because the folk-song basis furnishes a melodic warmth which elsewhere is sometimes lacking; a set of Symphonic Variations on the Assyrian legend of Istar; a remarkable Sonata for violin and pianoforte; a String-Quartet, all the movements of which are based on a motto of four notes, and lastly the Symphony in B-flat major—considered his masterpiece—in which the same process of development from generative motives is followed as in César Franck. All these works contain certain salient characteristics proceeding directly from d'Indy's imagination and intellect. There is always an ideal and noble purpose, a stoutly knit musical fabric and melodies—d'Indy's own melodies, sincerely felt and beautifully presented. Whether they have abounding power to move the heart of the listener is, indeed, the point at issue. Since d'Indy is on record as saying, "There is in art, truly, nothing but the282 heart that can produce beauty," it is evident that he believes in the emotional element in music. That there is a difference of opinion however, as to what makes emotional power is shown by his estimate of Brahms (set forth in his Cours de Composition Musicale, pp. 415-416) in the statement that, though Brahms is a fine workman, his music lacks the power to touch the heart (faire vibrer le coeur). There is no doubt that, in any question of Brahms versus d'Indy, such has not been the verdict of outside opinion. D'Indy is admired and respected, whereas Brahms has won the love of those who know him; and the truth in the saying, "Securus judicat orbis terrarum" is surely difficult to contravene. D'Indy's melodies can always be minutely analysed[288] and they justify the test; but we submit that the great melodies of the world speak to us in more direct fashion. For there is, in his music, a seriousness which at times becomes somewhat austere. He seems so afraid of writing pretty tunes or ear-tickling music, that we often miss a sensuous, emotional warmth. He hates the commonplace, cultivating the ideal and religion of beauty. Bruneau, himself a noted French critic and composer, says, "No one will deny his surprising technique or his unsurpassed gifts as an orchestral writer, but we might easily wish him more spontaneity and less dryness." We cannot, however, miss the dignity and elevation of style found in d'Indy's works or fail to be impressed by their wonderfully planned musical architecture. His music demands study and familiarity and well repays such effort. D'Indy's work, as a teacher, centres about the "Schola Cantorum" so-called, in which several talented American students from Harvard and other Universities have already worked. Here all schools of composition are thoroughly studied, and the rigid and formal methods of the Conservatoire abandoned. D'Indy believes that the materials for the structure of modern music are to be found in the Fugue of Bach, and in the cyclical Sonata Form and the free Air with Variations of Beethoven—these forms, by reason of their inherent logic and simplicity, allowing scope for infinite freedom of treatment. D'Indy is also a thoroughly modern composer in that he is an artist in words as well as in notes. His life of César Franck is a model of biographical style, and he has recently published a life of Beethoven refreshingly different from the stock narratives. In fine, d'Indy is a genius, in whom the intellectual aspects of the art, rather than purely emotional appeal, are clearly in the ascendant.


We shall now comment briefly on one, only, of d'Indy's compositions, the Symphonic Poem, Istar, which is a set of variations[289] treated in a manner as novel as it is convincing; the work beginning with variations which gradually become less elaborate until finally only the theme itself is heard in its simple beauty. This reversal of customary treatment is sanctioned by the nature of the subject, and the correspondence between dramatic logic and musical procedure is admirably planned. The story of the work is that portion of the Assyrian epic Izdubar which describes, to quote Apthorp's translation of the French version, "how Istar, daughter of Sin, bent her steps toward the immutable land, towards the abode of the dead, towards the seven-gated abode where He entered, toward the abode whence there is no return." Then follows a description of the raiment and the jewels of which she is stripped at the entrance to each of the gates. "Istar went into the immutable land, she took and received the waters of life. She presented the sublime Waters, and thus, in the presence of all, set free the Son of Life, her young lover." The structural novelty of the work is that, beginning with complexity—typifying the gorgeously robed Istar—the theme discloses itself little by little, as she is stripped of her jewels, until at last, when she stands forth in the full splendor of nudity, the theme is heard unaccompanied, like Isis unveiled or, to change the figure, like a scientific law which has been disclosed. The work is based on three generative themes; the second, derived from the first and of subsidiary importance, called by d'Indy the motif d'appel. It plays its part, however, since it introduces the work and serves as a connection between the variations, seven in all. These themes are as follows:

1. Principal theme:




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2. Motif d'appel.


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3. Subsidiary theme, in form of a march.


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By following the poem the imaginative listener can readily appreciate the picturesque suggestiveness of the composer. The work opens with a mysterious intoning, by a muted horn, of the motif d'appel, and then follows a triple presentation of the march theme in F minor, scored for wood-wind and low strings—the melody sung at first by the violas and clarinets and later by the bass clarinet and 'cellos. This original scoring establishes just the appropriate atmosphere for an entrance to the abode of captivity.




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The first variation, in F major, employing all the tone-color of the full orchestra, is a gorgeous picture of the Oriental splendor of Istar. It is noteworthy that each variation contains a modulation to a key a semitone higher, thus affording a factor of unity amid the elaborate flowerings of the musical thought. The second variation, in E major scored for strings and wood-wind, is significant for the way in which the original theme is expanded into a flowing melody. The logical derivation of the fabric from the first intervals of the main theme is obvious, e.g.




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The fourth variation, in F-sharp major, scored for pizzicato strings and staccato wood-wind, with light touches on horns, trumpets, cymbals, triangle and harps, introduces the scherzo mood into the work and with its persistent 5/4 rhythm is of fascinating effect.


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The loveliest variation for warmth and emotional appeal is the sixth, in A-flat major (at O in the orchestral score) for strings with the gradual addition of the wood-wind and harps. Its climax certainly does much to atone for any dryness found in d'Indy's other works.287


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In the next variation, at P, the trend of the work becomes increasingly manifest for it is written in only two voices, scored for flute and violins and is a dramatic preparation for the announcement of the complete main theme which is now proclaimed in unison by the full orchestra. The work closes with a transformation of the opening march into F major, its majestic rhythm symbolizing the successful result of Istar's quest (See Supplement No. 62.)

Debussy, Claude Achille, (1862-1918) is certainly the embodiment, as a composer, of Pater's saying that "Romanticism[290] is the addition288 of strangeness to beauty"; for when we listen to his music we are conscious of material and of forms of treatment which we have never heard before. Debussy has listened to the promptings of his own subtle imagination and has evolved a style as novel as it is beautiful. As with all real originators, Debussy at the outset was fiercely challenged, and his music even to-day calls forth intolerant remarks on the part of those who are suspicious of all artistic progress and evolution. In this connection it is worthy of note that the French, notwithstanding their national doctrine of liberty, have been chary of applying this to composers who were departing from the beaten path. Berlioz, whom now they acclaim as one of their greatest artists, was welcomed as he deserved only after his fame had been established among the Germans. Bizet was but slightly appreciated during his life. Franck met with fierce opposition from the routine members of the profession; and Debussy, although the work by which he won the "Prix de Rome" in 1884 was acknowledged to be one of the most interesting which had been heard at the Institute for years, was afterwards severely criticized for the setting made in Rome to Rossetti's Blessed Damozel because, forsooth, he had strayed too far from established and revered tradition. We Americans may have a distinct feeling of pride in the knowledge that the music of Debussy, the strongest note of which is personal freedom—the inherent right of the artist to express in his own way the promptings of his imagination—was widely studied and appreciated in this land of the free before it had begun to have anything like a universal acceptance among the French themselves.

But can any connection with the past be traced in the style of this remarkable[291] composer, and can we discover any sources, in the world of nature, from which he has derived the materials for his novel and fascinating harmonies? When we definitely analyze Debussy's harmonic scheme, we see that he looks both forward and back. Much of his original tone coloring is derived from the old church modes such as the Lydian, the Dorian and the Phrygian; for example, the mysterious opening chords of his opera, and the following passage from La Cathédrale engloutie.



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He is also extremely fond of a scale of whole tones, which had been somewhat anticipated by Liszt and members of the Russian[292] school. In this the normal perfect 4th and 5th and the major 6th become augmented, thus producing a very peculiar but alluring harmonic basis.


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Reflets dans l'eau

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Modern composers have been feeling for some time that harmonic scope was needlessly limited by clinging too closely to the major and minor diatonic scales; and Brahms, Tchaikowsky and Franck have291 all introduced the old modes for special contrasts of color. But no one has used them so subtly as Debussy. In his music they often take the place of our customary scales with their deep-rooted harmonic tendencies and perpetual suggestion of traditional cadences. This return to the greater flexibility and variety of the old modes is a significant feature in modern music and Debussy's example in this respect has been highly beneficial. As to his alleged use of new material, an astute French critic has observed that "a revolution is merely an evolution rendered apparent." By no means all of music can be found in nature, but the basis is there, and it remains for the artistic imagination to select and to amplify. Already many years ago the scientist Helmholtz said, "Our system of scales and of harmonic tissues does not rest upon unalterable natural laws, but is partly at least the result of aesthetic principles of selection, which have already changed, and will change still further with the progressive development of humanity."[293] In other words the limits of receptivity of the human ear cannot be foreseen nor can the workings of the artistic imagination be prescribed. The so-called Chord of Nature,[294] consisting of the overtones struck off by any sounding body, and re-enforced on the pianoforte with its large sounding board, contains in epitome this basic material of music; and the several octaves represent in a striking manner the harmonic combinations used at different periods of development. Thus during the early centuries nothing but triads were in use; only gradually were 7th chords—those of four factors—introduced. Wagner was the first to realize the possibilities of chords of the 9th, 11th, and 13th. In Debussy these combinations are used as freely as triads, e.g.

Pelléas et Mélisande

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La fille aux cheveux de lin

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Reflets dans l'eau

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and he has gone far beyond anything known before in a subtle use of the extreme dissonant elements, his sensitive imagination evidently hearing sounds hitherto unrealized. This surmise is corroborated by Debussy's own statement that, while serving as a young man on garrison duty, he took great delight in listening to the overtones of bugles and of the bells from a nearby convent. This chromatic style had been anticipated by Chopin whose use of the harmonic series in those prismatic, spray-like groups of superadded tones is such a striking feature in his pianoforte works. There is, therefore, nothing outré or bizarre in Debussy's idiom; it is but a logical continuation of former tendencies. His works show great variety and comprise pianoforte pieces, many songs, a remarkable string quartet, some daringly original tone-poems for full orchestra, several cantatas, and—most unique of all—his opera of Pelléas et Mélisande, based on the well-known play by Maeterlinck. A few comments may profitably be made on each of these types. With few exceptions all his pianoforte pieces have suggestive titles, e.g., Reflets dans l'eau, Jardins sous la pluie, La soirée dans Grenade, Poissons d'or, Voiles, Le vent dans la plaine, Bruyères. They are293 mood-pictures in which the composer has tried to imprison certain elusive states of mind—or the impressions made on his susceptible imagination by the phenomena of Nature: the subtly blended hues of a sunset, the changing rhythm of drifting clouds, the indefinite murmur of the sea, the dripping of rain. For Debussy, like Beethoven before him, is a passionate lover of Nature. To quote his own words, he finds his great object lessons of artistic liberty in "the unfolding of the leaves in Spring, in the wavering winds and changing clouds." Again, "It benefits me more to watch a sunrise than to listen to a symphony. Go not to others for advice, but take counsel from the passing breezes, which relate the history of the world to those who listen." Thus we see that Debussy submits himself to the spells of Nature and tries to transmute them into sound. The only analogies to use in a verbal description of his music must be drawn from nature, for in each are the same shadowy pictures, the same melting outlines.[295] Debussy has a close affinity with that school of painters known as impressionists or symbolists—Manet, Monet, Dégas, Whistler—and is doing with novel combinations of sound, with delicate effects of light and shade, what they have done for modern freedom in color. His music has been called a "sonorous impressionism." It might equally well be phrased "rhythmic sound." To those conservatives who find it difficult to think in terms of musical color, and wish their imagination rather than that of genius to be the standard, the retort of the artist Whistler is applicable: To a lady who viewing one of his sunsets remarked, "But, Mr. Whistler, I have never seen a sunset like that" came the reply "Yes, Madam, but don't you wish you had?" In his songs Debussy has been most fastidious as to choice of texts, his favorite poets being Verlaine, Baudelaire and Mallarmé, called "symbolists," since the aim of their art is to resemble music and to leave for the reader a wide margin for symbolic interpretation. His songs throughout are imaginative and fanciful in the highest degree, and the instrumental part a beautiful background of color. Of Debussy's compositions for orchestra the one to win—and possibly to deserve—the most lasting popularity is L'après-midi d'un Faune, which is an extraordinary translation into music of the veiled visions and the shadowy beings of an eclogue of Mallarmé in which, as Edmund Gosse says, "Words are294 used in harmonious combinations merely to suggest moods or conditions, never to state them definitely."[296] By perfect rhythmic freedom, and by delicately-colored waves of sound Debussy has expressed in a manner most felicitous just the atmosphere of remoteness, and of primeval simplicity. By many this work is considered the most hypnotic composition in existence, and the writer trusts that his readers have heard a poetic interpretation of it by a fine orchestra. The salient features of Debussy's style are found in Pelléas et Mélisande—by far the most important operatic work since Wagner. Maeterlinck's play deals with legendary, mysterious, symbolic beings, and the entire subject-matter was admirably suited to Debussy's genius. As Maeterlinck says, "The theatre should be the reflex of life, not this external life of outward show, but the true inner life which is entirely one of contemplation." This opera is quite different from any previously written, in that the characters sing throughout in recitative now calm, now impassioned, but never in set, periodic arias. In fact, here we have at last a true musical speech, which is indeed another thing from music set to words. Debussy has defended this peculiar style in the following words: "Melody is, if I may say so, almost anti-lyric, and powerless to express the constant change of emotion or life. Melody is suitable only for the song (chanson), which confirms a fixed sentiment. I have never been willing that my music should hinder, through technical exigencies, the changes of sentiment and passion felt by my characters. It is effaced as soon as it is necessary that these should have perfect liberty in their gestures as in their cries, in their joy as in their sorrow."

Now that we may look forward to no more compositions from Debussy[297]—he died in March, 1918—it is certainly fitting to attempt a forecast as to the permanent worth of his achievements and his influence upon future development. Like all music his compositions may be judged from several points of view: the worth of the content, the perfection or inadequacy of style and the manner in which the media of presentation are used. To begin with the last characteristic—there is no doubt that Debussy has enlarged the resources of our two chief modern instruments, the pianoforte and the orchestra. By him the pianoforte is always treated according to its true nature,295 i.e., as an intimate, coloristic instrument and, in amplifying all its resources of tone-color, flexible rhythm and descriptive power he is the worthy successor of Chopin. In his orchestral compositions such as the Nocturnes (Clouds, Festivals and Sirens), the Sea Pieces and Images, of which the Rondes de Printemps and Ibéria are the most significant, there is a union of warmth and delicacy as individual as it is rare. Ibéria, in fact, for vitality of imagination and flawless workmanship may be considered the acme of Debussy's orchestral style. The great resources of the modern orchestra are often abused. Compositions are rich and gorgeous but at the same time inflated, turgid and bombastic. Certain works of Richard Strauss and Mahler are examples in point. Debussy's treatment, however, of the varied modern orchestra is remarkable for its economy. The melodic lines stand out clearly, there is always a rich supporting background and we are convinced that everything sounds just as the composer meant. As to the structure and style of his music, these are more subtle matters to estimate. We may acknowledge at once that Debussy's style is free and individual, for he has written his music his own way, with slight regard for academic models. But a thorough examination of his works shows no evidence of carelessness or uncertainty of aim. There is, to be sure, nothing of that routine development of musical material which we associate with classic practice—instead a free, imaginative growth. But there is always a definite structural foundation to support the freedom of expression. This coherence is sometimes gained by a single dominating note about which everything is grouped, as, in the Soirée dans Grenade, the C-sharp and in the Reflets dans l'eau, an F. Most of Debussy's compositions imply the principles, albeit freely used, of Two- and Three-part form and the fundamental laws of key-relationship and of artistic contrast.

In considering the value of Debussy's message, i.e., the content of his music, the animus and predilection of the hearer have to be taken into account. For his music is so intensely subjective and intimate that you like it or not, as the case may be. Many persons, however, become very fond of it, when they have accustomed themselves to its peculiar idiom. The charge that there is in Debussy no melody of a purely musical nature, as some critics have asserted,[298]296 seems to the writer too sweeping and not supported by the inner evidence. It may be granted that Debussy's melodic line is very fluid and elastic, like Wagner's "continuous melody," not definitely sectionalized by balanced phrases or set cadences. But it surely has its own right to existence—music being pre-eminently the art of freedom—and let us remember that Nature herself has melting outlines, shadowy vistas and subtle rhythms. Debussy, in fact, is the poet of the "indefinite" and the "suggestive" and his music has had a great influence in freeing expression from scholastic bonds. Even from the standpoint of the popular conception of "tune" it is difficult to see what objection can be made to the following melodies:

L'isle joyeuse

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Poissons d'or

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It cannot be denied that such an individual style as Debussy's is liable to manneristic treatment, though whether he should be called "the prince of mannerists"[299] is decidedly open to debate. Some critics feel that he has over-used the whole-tone scale and it must be confessed, he has a rather affected fondness for a formula of block-like chords, e.g.

Danse sacrée

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But these, after all, are but "spots on the sun." To sum up our conclusions: the following merits in Debussy's music, it seems to me, cannot be gainsaid. He has widened incalculably the vocabulary of music and has expressed in poetic and convincing fashion moods which never before had been attempted. In his work are new revelations of the power of the imagination. As Lawrence Gilman keenly remarks, "He has known how to find music (in Pelléas et Mélisande) for the sublime reflection of Arkel, 'If I were God, I should pity the hearts of men.'" Debussy was also gifted with rare critical ability and many of his observations are worthy of deep consideration. For example—"Music should be cleared of all scientific apparatus. Music should seek humbly to give pleasure; great beauty is possible between these limits. Extreme complexity is the opposite of art. Beauty should be perceptible; it should impose itself on us, or insinuate itself, without any effort on our part to grasp it. Look at Leonardo da Vinci, Mozart! These are great artists."

No account of modern French music would be satisfactory which omitted to mention several composers who, though of somewhat lesser importance than d'Indy and Debussy, have nevertheless achieved works of distinction and charm. These are Chabrier, Fauré, Duparc, Chausson and Ravel. Chabrier (1841-1894) is noted for a bold exuberance and vividness of expression, for a sense of humor and for a power of orchestral color and brilliance which have not been duplicated. His style is entirely his own and he is a veritable incarnation of "vis Gallica." Born in the South of France, the hot blood of that magic land seems to throb in his music. We have from him several pianoforte compositions of marked originality, in particular the Bourrée Fantasque, some inimitable songs, e.g., Les Cigales and La Villanelle des petits Canards and, most famous of all, his Rhapsody for orchestra entitled España, based on Spanish themes. This work has proved to be a landmark in descriptive power and shares with Rimsky-Korsakoff's Scheherazade the claim of being the most brilliant piece of orchestral writing in modern times. Some of Chabrier's best work is in his opera of Gwendoline, especially the Prelude to the second act which is often played by itself.

Although Fauré (1845-still living) is more versatile and prolific than Chabrier, his fame rests upon his achievements in two fields—the song and pianoforte composition. Some of his pianoforte pieces are, to be sure, of a light, salon type; yet in many we find a true,298 poetic sentiment and they are all written in a thoroughly pianistic idiom. In fact, prior to Debussy Fauré was the only Frenchman worthy to compare in mastery of pianoforte style with Chopin, Schumann and Liszt. As a song composer Fauré ranks with the highest in modern times. The exotic charm and finesse of workmanship in such songs as Clair de Lune, Les Roses d'Ispahan cannot be denied and the instrumental part is always worthy of the composer's genius for pianoforte style, e.g., the accompaniment to Nell being a model in its free polyphony and richness of effect. Fauré has been fastidious in his selection of texts and he is fortunate to have been able to avail himself of the genius of such lyric poets as Leconte de Lisle, Baudelaire, Verlaine, Sully-Prudhomme and others. Indeed as a song-composer Fauré may fairly be grouped with the great German masters. His songs are not German songs, but they are just as subtle in expressing all that is fine in French spirit as those of Schumann and Brahms in their Teutonic sentiment. For this reason alone Fauré is a commanding figure in modern French music. He is also the author of a violin sonata which has enjoyed a popularity second only to that of Franck and a Quintet for pianoforte and strings of distinct originality.

Duparc (1848-still living) one of the earliest of César Franck's pupils—though working in practically but a single field and though by reason of ill health he has written nothing since 1885—will always hold high rank for the beauty and breadth of his songs, especially L'invitation au Voyage, Extase and Phydilé. This last is considered by the writer the most exquisite song in modern literature; its melody, its modulations, its accompaniment alike are flawless.[300]

Chausson (1855-1899) the most gifted of Franck's pupils, though without d'Indy's strength of character, was killed by an unfortunate accident[301] just as he was ready for an adequate self-expression. He had a sensitive imagination, an individual harmonic style; and in those works which he has left—notably several songs, a Quartet for pianoforte and strings and the Symphony in B-flat major, op. 20—there is found a spirit of genuine romantic inspiration.

Although Ravel (1875-still living) cannot claim to be a pioneer like Debussy—since in his music there are frequent traces of the299 exuberance of Chabrier, the suavity of Fauré, the atmosphere and impressionistic tendencies of Debussy and the exoticism of the Neo-Russians—yet he is indeed no empty reflection of these men, for he has his own bold, fantastic style and has been a daring experimenter in freedom of harmony and structure. One finds a power of ironic brilliance and of unexpected harmonic transformations certainly new in modern literature. Ravel[302] is one of the most versatile and prolific of all the younger Frenchmen having composed significant works in at least four fields: songs, particularly the set entitled Histoires Naturelles, which reveal an unusual instinct for delicate description; and pianoforte pieces of which Miroirs, the dazzling tour de force Jeux d'eau, the Valses nobles et sentimentales, the Sonatine, the Pavane and, above all, the Poems, Gaspard de la Nuit (Ondine, Le Gibbet[303] and Scarbo) are conspicuous examples of his style. Furthermore in the field of chamber music are found a String Quartet, remarkable for inspiration and for certainty of workmanship, and a Trio (for pianoforte, violin and 'cello) which is one of the most brilliant modern works, of convincing originality in its freedom of rhythm, e.g., the opening measures of the first movement.


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Finally, for orchestra his Spanish Rhapsody ranks with Chabrier's España and Debussy's Ibéria as the acme of descriptive power and of orchestral color. His Mother Goose Suite (originally a set of four-hand pieces but since orchestrated with incomparable finesse) illustrates his humor and play of fancy. It has become a truly popular concert number. Ravel's chef d'oeuvre the "choreographic symphony" Daphnis et Chloé displays an extraordinary synthetic grasp, for all the factors—plot, action, the musical fabric, a large orchestra and a chorus of mixed voices behind the scenes—are held together with a master hand. This work ranks with Debussy's Pelléas et Mélisande as the most significant dramatic work of recent years.

It is evident, we trust, from the foregoing somewhat condensed estimates that the modern French school is very much alive, that it has to its credit numerous distinct achievements and that it contains the promise of still further growth. The French nature, which is highly emotional and yet, at its best, always controlled[304] by a regard for fitness and clarity of thought, is particularly suited to express itself worthily in music, for in no other form of artistic endeavor is this balance more requisite. Music without emotion is, to be sure, like "sounding brass and a tinkling cymbal" and dies in short order. On the other hand, music which is a mere display of crude emotion soon palls. The works of modern French composers deserve enthusiastic study for their charm, their finish and their refined emotional power.



BEFORE beginning an account of Tchaikowsky, the most noted though not necessarily the greatest of the Russian composers, a few words may be said concerning nationalism in music, the chief representatives of which are the Russians, the Bohemians, the Scandinavians and the Hungarians. Of these, however, the present-day Russian School is the most active and contributes constantly new factors to musical evolution. This grafting of forms of expression derived from the outlying nations on to the parent-stock of music301—which for some three hundred years had been in the exclusive control of Italy, Germany and France—has been a stimulating factor in the development of the last half-century. For the idiom of music was becoming somewhat stereotyped, and it has been noticeably revitalized by the incorporation of certain "exotic" traits, of which there run through all national music these three: (1) the use, in their folk-songs, of other forms of scale and mode than are habitual with ourselves; (2) the preference given to the minor mode and the free commingling of major and minor; (3) the great rhythmic variety and especially the use of groups foreign to our musical sense, such as measures of 5 and 7 beats, and the intentional placing of the accent on parts of the measure which with us are ordinarily unaccented. Every country has its folk-songs—the product of national rather than individual genius—but Russia, in the number and variety of these original melodies is most exceptional. The Russian expresses himself spontaneously in song, and so we find appropriate music for every activity or incident in daily life: planting songs, reaping songs, boating songs, wedding songs, funeral songs; Russian soldiers sing on the march and even enter upon a desperate charge with songs on their lips. In certain battles of the Crimean War this fact caused much comment from the English officers. For many centuries the bulk of the Russian people has been downtrodden; and the country, with its endless steppes and gloomy climate, is hardly such as to call forth the sparkling vivacity found in the Scandinavian and Hungarian songs. The prevalent mood in Russian folk-songs is one of melancholy or of brooding, wistful tenderness—very often in the old Greek modes, the Aeolian, Dorian and Phrygian. From this we see the close connection existing between the Russian and Greek Churches. The Russian liturgy is exceedingly old, and Russian church music, always unaccompanied, has long been celebrated for its dignified character, especially those portions rendered by men's voices, which are capable of unusually low notes,[305] as majestic as those of an organ.

During the entire 18th century the development of music in Russia was in the hands of imported Italians; the beginnings of a national type being first made in the works of Glinka, born 1804. By the middle of the 19th century two schools had arisen, the Neo-302Russian group of Balakireff, Borodin, Cui, Rimsky-Korsakoff and Moussorgsky, who believed in the extreme development of national traits in melody, rhythm and color; and a second group which was more cosmopolitan in its tastes and believed that Russian music, without abandoning its national flavor, could be written in a style of universal appeal. The chief members of this group were Rubinstein and Tchaikowsky, and distinguished pupils of the latter, in particular Rachmaninoff and Glazounoff. To the world at large Tchaikowsky, of them all, has made the strongest appeal; though he himself said that Rimsky-Korsakoff as an orchestral colorist was more able, and certainly Moussorgsky has a more strongly marked individuality. Tchaikowsky (1840-1893) like so many of the Russian composers, began as a cultivated amateur who showed no special musical gifts, save a sensitive nature and a general fondness for the art. He studied in the school of jurisprudence and won a post in the Ministry of Justice. In 1861, however, his musical nature awaking with a bound, he gave up all official work and for the sake of art faced a life of poverty. Under the teaching of Nicholas Rubinstein at the Petrograd Conservatory he made such amazing progress that in five years he himself was Professor of Harmony at Moscow and had begun his long series of compositions—at first operas of merely local fame. There now followed years of great activity spent in teaching and composing—well-known works being the first String Quartet and the Pianoforte Concerto in B-flat minor, first performed by von Bülow at Boston in '88. At this period his health completely broke down, the immediate cause being an unhappy marriage. He finally rallied but had to travel abroad for a year, and for the rest of his life his temper, never bright, was overcast with gloom. There now entered Tchaikowsky's life Frau von Meck, the woman who played the part of fairy godmother. She greatly admired his music, was wealthy and generous and, that he might have entire leisure for composition, settled upon him a liberal annuity. Their relationship is one of the most remarkable in the annals of art; for, fearing that the ideal would be shattered, they met but once, quite by accident, and Tchaikowsky was "acutely embarrassed." We have a lengthy and impassioned correspondence, and Tchaikowsky's 4th Symphony, dedicated "à mon meilleur ami," is the result of this friendship. In 1891, invited to New York for the dedication of Carnegie Hall, he made his memorable American tour. His success was genuine, and was the beginning of the popularity his music has always enjoyed303 in this country. For several years Tchaikowsky had been working at his Sixth Symphony, to which he himself gave the distinctive title "Pathetic." This work ends with one of the saddest dirges in all literature, although Tchaikowsky, during its composition, as we know from his letters, had never been in a happier state of mind or worked more passionately and freely. He himself says, "I consider it the best, especially the most open-hearted of all my works." When, however, he suddenly died in 1893, there were rumors of suicide, but it is now definitely settled that his death was caused by cholera.[306]

To turn now to his achievements, it may be asserted that Tchaikowsky was marvellously versatile, composing in every form save for the organ; for productiveness, only Mozart, Schubert and Liszt can be compared with him. His works comprise eight operas, six symphonies, six symphonic poems, three overtures, four orchestral suites, two pianoforte concertos, a violin concerto, three string quartets, a wonderful trio, about one hundred songs and a large number of pianoforte pieces. In addition he made several settings of the Russian liturgy and edited many volumes of church music. Whatever may be the final estimate of his music, it assuredly has great vogue at present, for it is an intense expression of that mental and spiritual unrest so characteristic of our times. As Byron was said to have but one subject, himself, so all Tchaikowsky's music is the message of his highly emotional and feverish sensibility. He is invariably eloquent in the presentation of his material, although the thoughts are often slight and the impression made not lasting. He pours out his emotions with the impulsiveness and abandon so characteristic of his race, and this lack of serenity, of restraint, is surely his gravest weakness. We are reminded by his music of a fire which either glows fitfully or bursts forth into a fierce uncontrolled blaze, but where a steady white heat is too often missing. His style has been concisely described as fiery exultation on a basis of languid melancholy. To all this we may retort that what he lacks in profundity and firm control, he makes up in spontaneity, wealth of imagination and, above all, warmth of color. It is illogical to expect his music to be different from what it is. He expressed himself sincerely and his style is the direct outcome of his own temperament plus his nationality. Tchaikowsky was widely read in modern literature—Dickens and Thackeray being favorite authors—and304 had travelled much. The breadth of his cultivation is shown in the subjects of his symphonic poems and the texts of his songs, which are from Shakespeare, Dante, Goethe and Bryon. However much estimates may differ as to the import of Tchaikowsky's message, he is universally recognized as a superb "colorist," one of the masters of modern orchestral treatment; who, by his subtle feeling for richness and variety of tone, has enlarged the means of musical expression. This is especially shown in the characteristic use he makes of the orchestra in its lower ranges. As Brahms, for depth of thought, was compared with Browning, so Tchaikowsky may well be likened to such poets as Shelley and Swinburne, so exquisite is his instinct for tonal beauty and for delicacy of shading. At times, to be sure, he fairly riots in gorgeous colors—this being the result of his Slavic blood—but few composers have been able to achieve such brilliancy without becoming vulgar.

As to the charge of pessimism often made against Tchaikowsky, he was a thinker, an explorer into the mysteries of human aspiration and disappointment,[307] and his music seems weighted down with the riddle of the universe. This introspective dejection, however, is a natural result of his temperament and his nationality. If to us of a more hopeful outlook upon life it seems morbid, we should simply remember that our conditions have been different. A distinction must likewise be made between the expression of such feelings in art and their influence in actual life. As a man Tchaikowsky was practical, conscientious, and did not in the least allow his feelings to emasculate him. He was a prodigious worker and throughout his career, in the face of ill health and many adverse circumstances, showed immense courage. His creed was no ignoble one—"To regret the past, to hope in the future, and never to be satisfied with the present; this is my life." And to a gushing patroness of art who asked him what were his ideals, his simple reply was "My ideal is to become a good composer." Certain English critics in their fault-finding have been particularly boresome, because, forsooth, Tchaikowsky's music does not show the serenity of Brahms or the solidity or stolidity of their own composers. To the well-fed and prosperous Briton "God's in his Heaven, all's right with the world" is hardly an expression of faith, but a certainty of existence. Not so with the305 Russian, upon whom the oppression of centuries has left its stamp. This same note of gloomy or even morbid introspection is found in some of the great literature of the world—in the Bible, the Greek Tragedies and in Shakespeare. Granted that optimism is the only working creed for every-day life, until the millenium arrives a sincere and artistic expression of the sorrows of humanity will always strike a note in oppressed souls.

Each of Tchaikowsky's last three symphonies is a remarkable work. The Fourth is most characteristically Russian and certainly the most striking in its uncompromising directness of expression. The first movement announces a recurrent, intensely subjective motto typical of that impending Fate which would not allow Tchaikowsky happiness.[308] The slow movement is based upon a Russian folk song of a melancholy beauty, sung by the oboe, and another, already cited (see Chapter II, p. 33), is incorporated in the Finale. The Scherzo is unique as an orchestral tour de force; for, with the exception of a short middle portion for wood-wind and brass, it is for the string orchestra playing pizzicato throughout. The effect is extremely fantastic and resembles that of ghosts flitting about in their stocking-feet or of sleep-chasings, to use Whitman's expression.[309] The Finale is a riot of natural, primitive joy, a picture—as the composer says—of a popular festivity. "When you find no joy within you, go among the people, see how fully they give themselves up to joyous feelings." Fate sounds its warning, but in vain; nothing can repress the exultation of the composer. "Enjoy the joy of others and—you still can live." The work is sensational, even trivial in places; but it reveals sincerity and elemental life. The composer lays himself bare and we see a real man—not a masked hypocrite—with all his joys and sorrows, caught, as Henley would say, "in the fell clutch of circumstance," bludgeoned by Fate.

The Sixth Symphony, the Pathetic, is the most popular and, on the whole, Tchaikowsky's most sustained work. It owes its hold upon public esteem to the eloquent way in which it presents that "maladie du siècle" which, in all modern art,[310] is such a prominent note. The mood may be a morbid one but we cannot mistake the con306viction with which it is treated. The work is likewise significant because of the novel grouping of movements. The first is in complete sonata form and for finished architecture will stand comparison with any use of that form. The themes are eloquent, well contrasted and organically developed. The orchestration is a masterpiece.[311] The second movement is the one famous for its use of five beats a measure throughout; and its trio, on a persistent pedal note D, is a striking example of the Russian tendency to become fairly obsessed with one rhythm. It is an intentional, artistic use of monotony and may be compared to the limitless Russian Steppes. If it seem strange to Western Europeans, it should be remembered that the music is Russian and portrays a mood perfectly natural to that people. The third movement is a combination of a scherzo and a march—of a most unbridled fury. The Finale is a threnody, one of overpowering grief, the motto of which might be "vanity of vanities, all is vanity." It abounds in soul-stirring orchestral eloquence and invariably makes a deep impression.

For special comment we have selected Tchaikowsky's[312] Fifth Symphony in E minor since, being a union of Russian and Italian characteristics, it reveals that eclecticism so prominent in his style. It is also an admirable example of organic relationship between the movements. This symphony, like the Fourth, contains a recurrent motto of sombre nature in the minor mode which, appearing in the first three movements with some dramatic implication, is changed in the Finale to the major and used as the basis for a march of rejoicing. The first and last movements are in elaborate sonata-form; the second and third in three-part form. The Finale is one of the most striking examples in modern literature of a résumé of preceding themes and hence a convincing proof of the composer's constructive power. The symphony begins with a long prelude announcing the motto. Scored for clarinets, bassoons and low strings it shows vividly that peculiar impression which Tchaikowsky secured by using the lower ranges of the orchestra.



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The melody itself seldom moves above middle C, and its effect is enhanced by the quality of the clarinets in their chalumeau register. The first theme of the movement proper (beginning at the Allegro con anima), on the same harmonic basis as the motto and derived from it rhythmically, is given out pp by a solo clarinet and solo bassoon, accompanied by very light detached chords in the strings, e.g.


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This is elaborately and brilliantly developed until, in measure 79 (counting from the Allegro), we reach a transitional, subsidiary theme in B minor. This is followed by some striking sequences, exquisitely308 scored, and then (at un pochettino più animato) there is a quickened presentation of the transitional theme, interspersed by syncopated calls—on the horns and wood-wind—a presentation which introduces the second theme in D major, marked molto più tranquillo. This melody, sung by the violins against an obbligato in the wood-wind, is clearly Italian in its grace and suavity and establishes that wonderful contrast so prominent in Tchaikowsky—the warmth and exuberance of the South set against the grim austerity of the North.


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This theme, expanded (stringendo and crescendo) into a series of exciting climaxes fff leads, after some modulatory phrases derived from the transitional theme, to the Development which begins in B-flat major. Throughout this is a fine piece of work—with real thematic growth, bold modulations and no "padding." It should refute completely any erroneous opinion that Tchaikowsky was lacking in power of organic treatment. The connection between the Development and the Recapitulation is skilfully managed and the third part does not bore us but is welcomed as something we would gladly hear again. There is a long and stormy Coda—a second development in true Beethoven style—which finally ends ppp in the lowest depths of the orchestra, in the same mood as the opening measures.

The second movement, Andante cantabile, con alcuna licenza, with its melting theme on the solo horn, e.g.,




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—accompanied later by answering phrases on the clarinet—might seem a bit too "luscious" were it not for the beauty and finish of the orchestration. The movement is in rather loose three-part form—as the title would imply—the joints being somewhat obvious in certain places, e.g., measures 39-45. The themes, however, have that intensity peculiar to Tchaikowsky, and the original orchestral treatment, especially in the use of the horns, enhances their effect. The middle contrasting portion, starting in F-sharp minor, shows some very effective polyphonic imitations based on the following theme:


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At the climax of its development the motto is proclaimed fff in a most arresting manner—its effect being due to the unusual pedal point which makes a chord of the second with the upper voices, e.g.,310


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The third part with slight expansions corresponds to the first. At its close, just before the Coda, we have a second appearance of the motto—this time, on account of the fierce dissonances, with even more sinister effect.[313] The closing measures are of great beauty by reason of the imitations on the strings and the dreamy, reminiscent phrase on the clarinets, e.g.


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The third movement, a Waltz, with a graceful theme, in clear-cut three-part form, needs little comment. If any one considers it too311 light or even trivial for a place in a symphony he might study the individual orchestration and then try to compose one like it! The second and third parts are ingeniously fused together—Tchaikowsky following the practise of Mozart, his favorite master, in the first movement of the G minor Symphony. In the Russian philosophy of life, however, there is no such thing as perpetual joy; so, even amid scenes of festivity, the motto obtrudes itself as if to ask "What right have you to be dancing when life is so stern and grim?" See measures 23-28 from end of movement.


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The Finale, in complete sonata-form and laid out on a large scale, for several reasons is of distinct significance. It is a carefully planned résumé of preceding themes; it contains several examples of those periods of depression or exultation (especially on a pedal-point) so characteristic of the Slav, and lastly, there are pages of extreme brilliancy. In fact, the orchestration throughout is of such convincing power that it refutes any charge of sensationalism or mere bombast. If to us the music seem unrestrained, unbridled, we are to remember that the Russian temperament is prone to a reckless display of emotion just as in their churches they like to "lay the colors on thick." The movement begins with an extended prelude in which the original sombre motto is transformed into a stately, march-like theme. This is presented twice with continually richer scoring and more rhythmic animation. The closing measures of the prelude are a specific instance of that protracted mood of depression spoken of above. The movement proper begins at the Allegro vivace with a fierce, impassioned theme,312


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which leads, in measure 25, to a subsidiary theme treated at first in free double counterpoint[314] and later canonically.


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This is developed with more and more animation until the announcement, in measure 71, of the second theme in D major. Here we see the first instance of that organic relationship for which the movement is noted; for this theme


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is evidently derived by rhythmic modification from that of the preceding slow movement. It is brilliantly expanded and leads directly—there being no double bar and repeat—to the development in measure 115. This part of the movement evades description; it is throughout most eloquent and exciting. In measures 153-160 all the bells of Russia seem to be pealing! With measure 177 begins (marcato largamente) an impressive treatment in the bass of the second theme, answered shortly after in the upper voice. This is developed to a climax which, in turn, is followed by one of those long periods of "cooling down" which prepare us for the Recapitulation314 in measure 239. This corresponds exactly with the Exposition, ending with two passages (poco meno mosso and molto vivace),—based upon the rhythm of the motto—which usher in the long, elaborate Coda. This begins, maestoso, with an impressive statement of the march theme, scored in brilliant fashion, with rushing figures in the wood-wind instruments. It seems to portray some ceremonial in a vast cathedral with trumpets blaring and banners flying. A still more gorgeous treatment (marziale, energico, con tutta forza) leads to the Presto based on the subsidiary theme (cited on page 312), which fairly carries us off our feet. The last portion of the Coda (molto meno mosso) is an animated yet dignified proclamation of the main theme of the first movement—the work thus concluding with an unmistakable effect of unity.


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The subject of Russian music[315] is too vast for any adequate treatment within the limits of a single book, but there are several other composers in addition to Tchaikowsky of such individuality and remarkable achievement as to warrant some notice. These men, Balakireff, Borodin, Rimsky-Korsakoff and Moussorgsky, have done for the free expression of the Russian temperament in music what Pushkin, Gogol and Dostoyevsky represent in literature. "To315 understand fully the tendencies of Neo-Russian music, and above all to sympathize with the spirit in which this music is written, the incredible history of Holy Russia, the history of its rulers and people—the mad caprices and horrid deeds of the Romanoffs, who, in centuries gone by, surpassed in restless melancholy and atrocity the insane Caesars, and were more to be pitied, as well as detested, than Tiberius or Nero—the nature of the landscape, the waste of steppes, the dreariness of winter, and the loneliness of summer—the barbaric extravagance of aristocratic life—the red tape, extortion, and cruelty of officers—the sublime patience of the common people—the devotion of the enduring, starving multitude to the Tsar—all this should be as familiar as a twice-told tale. There should also be a knowledge of Russian literature, from the passion of Pushkin and the irony of Gogol, to Turgenieff's tales of life among the serfs, and the novels of Tolstoi, in which mysticism and realism are strangely blended. Inasmuch as Neo-Russian music is founded upon the folk-songs of that country, one should know first of all the conditions that made such songs possible, and one should breathe the atmosphere in which musicians who have used such songs have worked."[316]

The first real leader after the wholesome beginnings made by Glinka (with his operas, A Life for the Czar and Ludmilla) was Balakireff (1837-1910) who finding his country almost entirely under the dominion of Italian and German music, proclaimed the doctrine that Russia, with its wealth of folk-songs and its undoubted emotional power should create its own music. Like many of the Russians Balakireff was an amateur, but in the true sense of that term, i.e., he loved music for its own sake. He therefore set to work vigorously to combat foreign influences and to manifest in original works a spirit true to his own genius and to the tendencies of his native land. Though educated as a lawyer he had acquired through a study of Mozart, Berlioz and Liszt a thorough technique and so was equipped to put into practise his watchword which was individual liberty. "I believe in the subjective, not in the objective power of music," he said to his pupils. "Objective music may strike us with its brilliancy, but its achievement remains the handiwork of a mediocre talent. Mediocre or merely talented musicians are eager to produce effects, but the ideal of a genius is to reproduce his very self, in unison with the object of his art. There is no doubt that art requires technique,316 but it must be absolutely unconscious and individual.... Often the greatest pieces of art are rather rude technically, but they grip the soul and command attention for intrinsic values. This is apparent in the works of Michelangelo, of Shakespeare, of Turgenieff, and of Mozart. The beauty that fascinates us most is that which is most individual. I regard technique as a necessary but subservient element. It may, however, become dangerous and kill individuality as it has done with those favorites of our public, whose virtuosity I despise more than mere crudities." Balakireff's actual works are few in number since he spent most of his time in organizing schools of music and in teaching others; but in those works which we have[317] there is a strong note of freedom not to be missed. His Symphonic Poem Tamara and his fantasy for pianoforte Islamey are remarkable for that semi-oriental exotic spirit so prevalent in Russian music. Many of his songs also are of genuine beauty.

Borodin (1834-1887) is the ne plus ultra example of that versatility in which the modern Russian School is unique. As a surgeon and doctor he enjoyed a high position; as a chemist he made original researches and wrote treatises which were recognized as distinct contributions to science; he was one of the earliest scholars in the world to advocate that women should have the same education as men and was one of the founders (about 1870) of a medical school for women in Petrograd. So tireless was he in these varied activities, it seems a miracle that he could also become one of the best pianists of his time (he played well also the violin and the flute) and according to Liszt,[318] one of the most able orchestral masters of the nineteenth century. But as evidence of this amazing fact are his works, comprising two symphonies (the second in B minor often heard in this country) two string quartets, the first strikingly original, thematically, harmonically and in idiomatic use of the instruments; a small Suite for pianoforte, of which the Serenade is cited in the Supplement; an opera, Le Prince Igor—remarkable for its picturesque description and Oriental coloring, of which the composer himself said "Prince Igor is essentially a national opera, which can be of interest only to us Russians who love to refresh our patriotism at the sources of our history and to see the origins of our nationality live again upon the317 stage;" a symphonic poem Dans les Steppes de l'Asie centrale and—showing some of his most characteristic work—the Paraphrases written in collaboration with Korsakoff, Liadoff and Cui as a kind of musical joke. This composition,[319] a set of twenty-four variations founded on the tune popularly known as "chop-sticks" is dedicated "to little pianists capable of executing the theme with a finger of each hand." For the paraphrases themselves a player of considerable technique is required. In Borodin's style we always find a glowing color-scheme of Slavic and Oriental elements. As a modern Russian composer says, "It is individually descriptive and extremely modern—so modern that the audience of to-day will not be able to grasp all its intrinsic beauties."

The most widely known and in many respects the most gifted of the Neo-Russian group is Rimsky-Korsakoff (1844-1908). He has been aptly characterized as the Dégas or Whistler of music, and for his marvellous powers of description, especially of the sea, and for his command of orchestral tone-painting he is considered the storyteller par excellence in modern music. As in the case of Borodin we are filled with amazement at the power of work and the versatility in Korsakoff's nature. For many years he was an officer in the Russian navy and throughout his life was involved with official duties. Yet he found time for a number of compositions of originality and finished workmanship. These comprise the symphonic poems Antar, Sadko and Scheherazade;[320] a Spanish Caprice for full orchestra; twelve operas of which the best known in this country is the fascinating Le Coq d'Or; a concerto for pianoforte and orchestra; a large number of songs and many choruses for men's and women's voices. His treatises on harmony and orchestration are standard works, the latter being the authority in modern treatment of the orchestra. His Scheherazade is undoubtedly the most brilliant descriptive work in modern literature, for an account of which we quote the eloquent words of Philip Hale.

"Scheherazade (Op. 35) is a suite inspired by the Arabian Nights. The Sultan, persuaded of the falseness and faithlessness of woman, had sworn to put every one of his wives to death in turn after the first night. But Scheherazade saved her life by interesting him in the stories she told him for a thousand and one nights. Many318 marvels were told by her in Rimsky-Korsakoff's fantastic poem,—marvels and tales of adventure: 'The Sea and Sinbad's Ship'; 'The Story of the Three Kalandars'; 'The Young Prince and the Young Princess'; 'The Festival at Bagdad'; 'The Ship that went to pieces against a rock surmounted by a bronze warrior.' As in Berlioz's Fantastic Symphony, so in this suite, there is a theme which keeps appearing in all four movements. For the most part it is given to a solo violin. It is a free melodic phrase in Oriental bravura, gently ending in a free cadenza. There is no development of themes in this strange work. There is constant repetition in different tonalities; there is an exceedingly skillful blending of timbres; there is a keen sense of possible orchestral effects. A glance at the score shows how sadly the pedagogue might go astray in judgment of the work, without a hearing of it, and furthermore, the imagination of the hearer must be in sympathy with the imagination of the composer, if he would know full enjoyment: for this symphonic poem provokes swooning thoughts, such as come to the partakers of leaves and flowers of hemp; there are the stupefying perfumes of charred frankincense and grated sandal-root. The music comes to the listener of western birth and mind, as the Malay who knocked among English mountains at De Quincey's door. You learn of Sinbad, the explorer, who is nearer to us than Nansen; of the Kalandar Prince who spent a mad evening with the porter and the three ladies of Bagdad, and told of his incredible adventures; and Scheherazade, the narrator, she too is merely a shape in a dream; she fades away, and her soul dies on the high note exhaled by the wondering violin.

"The melody of this Russian is wild, melancholy, exotic; a droning such as falls from the lips of white-bearded, turbaned, venerable men, garrulous in the sun; and then again, there is the reckless chatter of the babbler in the market-place, heated with unmixed wine."

The most boldly individual of all Russian composers is Moussorgsky[321] (1831-1881). Although of intense inspiration and of uncompromising ideals his musical education was so incomplete that his technique was inadequate for the expression of his message. As the French critic, Arthur Pougin well says, "His works bizarre though they be, formless as they often are, have in them a force of expression and a dramatic accent of which no one can deny the intensity. It would be unjust to pretend that he spoke for the purpose of saying319 nothing; unfortunately he is too often satisfied with merely stammering." As Moussorgsky himself says: "Art is a means of talking with men; it is not an end. Starting with the principle that human speech is subject to musical laws, I see in music, not only the expression of sentiment by means of sound, but especially the notation of a human language." In fact the dominant idea of his music was to bring it into closer relation with actual life.

"In order to understand Moussorgsky's work and his attitude towards art, it is necessary to realise the social conditions under which he lived. He was a true child of the sixties, of that period of moral and intellectual ferment which followed the accession of Alexander II and the emancipation of the serfs. Of the little group of composers then striving to give musical expression to their newly awakened nationality, none was so entirely carried away by the literary and political movements of the time as Moussorgsky. Every man was asking himself and his comrades the question posed by the most popular novel of the day: 'What shall we do?' The answer was: 'Throw aside social and artistic conventions. Make art the hand-maiden of humanity. Seek not for beauty but for truth. Go to the people. Hold out the hand of fellowship to the liberated masses and learn from them the true purpose of life.' To this democratic and utilitarian spirit, to this deep compassion for the people, to this contempt for the dandyism and dilettantism of an earlier generation Moussorgsky strove to give expression in his music, as Perov expressed it in painting, as Tchernichevsky, Dostoyevsky, and Tolstoi expressed it in fiction. We may disagree with his aesthetic principles, but we must confess that he carried out with logical sequence and conviction a considerable portion of his programme. In his sincere efforts to attain great ends he undoubtedly overlooked the means. He could never submit to the discipline of a thorough musical training as Tchaikowsky and Rimsky-Korsakoff. He preserved his originality intact, but at a heavy cost. The weakness of his technique has been exaggerated by those who put down all his peculiarities to ignorance; but in some respects—particularly as regards orchestration—his craftsmanship was certainly unequal to the demands of his inspiration, for his aims were very lofty. Had this been otherwise, Moussorgsky's name would have been more closely linked with those of Berlioz and Richard Strauss."[322]


His acknowledged masterpieces are first, the songs, especially the series the Nursery and the Songs and Dances of Death, in which we see mirrored with extraordinary fidelity the complex nature of the Russian people. Rosa Newmarch has called him the Juvenal of musicians. Second, his national music drama, Boris Godounoff—dealing with one of the most sensational episodes in Russian history—which, for the gripping vividness of its descriptions, is quite unparalleled.

"Boris Godounoff, finished in 1870, was performed four years later in the Imperial Opera House. The libretto of this opera he took from the poetic drama of Pushkin, but he changed it, eliminating much and adding new scenes here and there, so that as a whole it is his own creation. In this work Moussorgsky went against the foreign classic opera in conception as well as in construction. It is a typically Russian music-drama, with all the richness of Slavic colors, true Byzantine atmosphere and characters of the medieval ages. Based on Russian history of about the middle of the seventeenth century, when an adventurous regent ascends the throne and when the court is full of intrigues, its theme stands apart from all other operas. The music is more or less, like many of Moussorgsky's songs, written in imitation of the old folk-songs, folk dances, ceremonial chants, and festival tunes. Foreign critics have considered the opera as a piece constructed of folk melodies. But this is not the case. There is not a single folk melody in Boris Godounoff, every phrase is the original creation of Moussorgsky."[323]

In concluding this account of Russian music let the statement be repeated that only by a thorough knowledge of the life and character of this strange yet gifted people can their music be understood. It is necessary therefore to become acquainted with Russian literature and pictorial art—with the works of Gogol, Tolstoi and Dostoyevsky and the paintings of Perov and Veretschagin. In this way only will be made clear what is otherwise inexplicable—the depth and sincerity of the Russian soul.

The other two prominent national schools in modern times are the Bohemian and Scandinavian. Although from neither of these have we products at all comparable in breadth; or depth of meaning with those of the Russian school, yet each has its note of exotic individuality and hence deserves recognition. The Bohemian School321 centres about the achievements of Fibich, Smetana[324] and Dvořák, and its prevalent characteristics are the variety of dance rhythms (Bohemia having no less than forty national dances) together with the peculiarly novel harmonic and modulatory scheme. The dances best known outside of Bohemia are the Polka[325] and the Furiant; the former being used so frequently by Smetana and Dvořák that it has attained an international status. The first of the above group, Fibich (1850-1900), was a composer of marked versatility—there being extant over seven hundred works in every form—and no little originality. Many of his pianoforte pieces have distinct charm and atmosphere and should be better known. Fibich was strongly influenced by Schumann, and there is found in his music the same note of fantastic freedom prominent in the German master. But the first impression of Bohemian music upon the world in general was made by Smetana (1824-1884). An ardent follower of Liszt, he definitely succeeded in the incorporation of Bohemian traits with the current musical idiom just as Liszt had done with Hungarian folk-music. Smetana's style is thoroughly original, his form is free yet coherent and he has a color sense and power of orchestral description peculiar to his race. Bohemia is one of the most picturesque countries in the world and the spirit of its woodlands, streams and mountains is always plainly felt in Bohemian music. The Bohemians are an out-of-door people with an inborn instinct for music (with its basic factors of rhythm and sound) by which they express the vigorous exuberance of their temperament.[326] Smetana's significant work322 lies in his numerous operas, his symphonic poems and in the remarkable String Quartet in E minor entitled "Aus meinem Leben." The operas deal with subjects so strongly national that they can have but little vogue outside their own country. However, Prodana NevestaThe Bartered Bride—has been universally recognized as one of the genuine comic operas in modern times and its spirited Overture (the first theme on a fugal basis) is played the world over. His six Symphonic Poems, comprised under the title Mein Vaterland, are works of considerable power and brilliant orchestral treatment. Perhaps the finest sections are Vltava (Moldau), celebrating the beauties of Bohemia's sacred river, and Vyšehrad, a realistic description of the national fortress at Prague.[327] The Quartet in E minor, noted for its freedom and intimacy of style, has become a classic. Whenever it was performed Smetana wished the sub-title "Aus Meinem Leben" to be printed on the program; for, as he says in a letter to a friend, "My quartet is no mere juggling with tones; instead I have wished to present the hearer with pictures of my life. I have studied theory; I know what style means and I am master of it. But I prefer to have circumstances determine form and so have written this quartet in the form which it itself demanded." In the first and last of the four movements there is a long sustained high E, symbolic of the buzzing sound which the composer constantly heard as his congenital deafness increased. This malady finally affected his mind and was the cause of his tragic death in an asylum at Prague.

Although in some respects not so characteristic as Smetana, Dvořák[328] (1841-1904), by reason of his greater breadth and more cosmopolitan style, is considered the representative Bohemian composer. Dvořák's music in its simplicity and in its spontaneity of treatment is a reincarnation of Schubert's spirit; we feel the same overflowing musical life and we must make the same allowances for looseness of structure. Dvořák, however, has made one contribution thoroughly his own—his skill in handling the orchestra. He was a born colorist and his scores in their clarity, in the subtle distinctions between richness and delicacy, are recognized masterpieces. As a sensuous delight to the ear they may be compared to the fine glow of certain Dutch canvases—those for example of Vermeer. Dvořák's323 compositions are varied and fairly numerous (some 111 opus numbers) comprising operas, cantatas, chamber music, symphonies, overtures, pianoforte pieces and songs. From 1892 to 1895 he was in this country as director of the National Conservatory in New York. Three works composed during this period, a Quartet, a Quintet and The New World Symphony, are of special interest to us since they were meant as a compliment to the possibilities of American music and also reflect Dvořák's attitude toward the sources of musical inspiration. A true child of the people, and the embodiment of folk-music, he naturally searched for native material when he wished to compose something characteristically American. But folk-music in our country, as has been stated in Chapter II, is (or was at Dvořák's time) practically limited to that of the Indians and the Negroes. It is often stated, in fact, that the New World Symphony is founded upon Negro tunes. This, however, is a sweeping assertion. There is no doubt that Dvořák found a strong affinity between certain of the Southern plantation melodies and the songs of his native land, e.g., the following melody (the second theme of the first movement) which is similar to "Swing low, sweet chariot."


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But the individual tone of the melodies could come only from a Bohemian and if they seem both Negro and Bohemian it simply proves the common bond existing in all folk-music.[329] This New World Symphony has had a great vogue and by reason of the warmth of its melodies and the rich, colorful scoring is indisputably a work full of charm.[330] Two prevalent traits of Dvořák's music are noticeable in this symphony—the unexpectedness of the modulations and the324 unusual harmonic scheme.[331] The structure is at times rather loose, particularly in the Finale where the joints often crack wide open. But, as an offset, there is great rhythmic vitality—observe in particular the swing of the Trio from the Scherzo—and that sensuous tone-color peculiar to the composer. In fact, the scoring of the slow movement with its magical theme for English horn would alone compensate for many structural blemishes. This movement closes with a mysterious chord for divided double basses (four solo instruments) which is one of many touches in individual treatment. The Finale, in accordance with modern practise, although containing themes of its own, finally becomes a résumé of preceding material. The two main themes are striking and well contrasted; but Dvořák was a mediocre architect and the movement, in comparison with the Finales of Franck and Tchaikowsky, is more of a potpourri than a firmly knit organic whole. The final page is stimulating in its bold use of dissonances. But we must take Dvořák as he is. There is no question of his genius, for his music is spontaneous, never labored, and he has expressed with convincing artistic skill the emotions and ideals of his gifted race.

Scandinavian music, ethnologically considered, would comprise that of the three related nations, the Swedes, the Danes and the Norwegians; some would include even the Finns, with their eloquent spokesman Sibelius. Although the Danes have considerable folk-music, and as a people love music, they have produced no composer of distinction save Niels Gade (1817-1890), who was so encrusted with German habits of thought that his music is neither one thing or the other—certainly it is not characteristically Danish. The best known of the Swedish composers is Sjögren from whom we have some poetic songs. He also attempted the larger instrumental forms but without notable success.

Scandinavian music, as far as the outside world is concerned, practically centres about the Norwegian composer Grieg[332] (1843-1907) just as its dramatic art centres about Ibsen. The names, however, of four other Norwegian composers deserve mention: the pioneers Kjerulf (1815-1868) noted for his melodious songs; Svendsen (1840-1911) endowed with a fine sense for orchestral color; and Nordraak (1842-1866) the first self-conscious representative of the Norwegian325 spirit: a talented musician who exerted a marked influence upon Grieg—his promise cut short by an early death. In modern times the mantle of Grieg has fallen upon Sinding (1856-still living) whose songs and poetic pieces for the pianoforte have become household favorites. In Norwegian music we find the exuberant rhythmic vitality typical of a people living in the bold and highly colored scenery of that sun-lit land.[333] Grieg, a born lyric poet saturated with folk-music, has embodied this spirit in his works. His fame rests upon his songs and descriptive pianoforte pieces; though in his Pianoforte Concerto, in his Peer Gynt Suite, in the Violin Sonatas and String Quartet he proved that he was not lacking in power to handle larger forms. But most of his work is in miniature—the expression, like the music of Schubert and Chopin,[334] of moods short and intense. While Grieg's music is patterned upon Norwegian folk-dances and folk-melodies it is something far more. He has evoked from the characteristics of his native land a bold, original harmony and a power of color and description thoroughly his own. He might say with de Musset "Mon verre n'est pas grand, mais je bois dans mon verre." In his music we feel the sparkling sunshine and the breezes of the North. In fact, Grieg was the first popular impressionist and for his influence in humanizing music and freeing it from academic routine his fame will endure. We have cited in the Supplement (Nos. 68, 69) one of his most original songs—the melody of which was used also for the work Im Frühling for string orchestra—and a pianoforte piece which illustrates his rhythmic life and also in certain measures that melodic line typical of all Norwegian music: the descent from the leading tone, i.e., G, F-sharp, D.

For a complete appreciation therefore of national music, we must always take into consideration the traits and environment of the people from which it sprung. Music, to be sure, is a universal language, but each nation has used this language in its own way. The most striking fact in present-day music is the variety gained from a free expression of nationalism[335] without infringing upon universality of appeal.




MODERN music—broadly speaking, music since the beginning of the twentieth century—is certainly manifesting the characteristics which the preceding survey has shown to be inherent in its nature: that is, it has grown by a course of free experimentation, it is the youngest of the arts, and it is a human language as well as a fine art. Hence we find that modern composers are making daring experiments in dissonance, in rhythmic variety, in subtle blends of color and, above all, in the treatment of the orchestra. In comparison with achievements in the other arts music often seems in its infancy; being limited by no practical or utilitarian considerations, and employing the boundless possibilities of sound and rhythm, there is so much still before it. The truth contained in the saying, that music is the youngest as well as the oldest of the arts, becomes more apparent year by year; for although a work which originally had imaginative life can never die, yet many former works have passed out of recognition simply because they have been superseded by more inspired ones, composed since their day. We can no longer listen with whole-hearted enthusiasm to many of the older symphonies, songs and pianoforte pieces, because Brahms, Franck, Debussy and d'Indy have given us better ones.

These experiments, just referred to, have been particularly notable on the part of two composers of the neo-Russian group, Stravinsky and Scryabin. Stravinsky,[336] in his brilliant pantomime ballets, L'Oiseau du Feu, Petroushka, and Le Sacre du Printemps, has proved incontestably that he is a genius—it being of the essence of genius to create something absolutely new. These works, in their expressive melody, harmonic originality and picturesque orchestration, have widened the bounds of musical characterization. Scryabin[337]327 (1871-1915) is noted for his esoteric harmonic scheme, shown in a series of pianoforte preludes, sonatas and, above all, in his orchestral works, the Divine Poem, the Poem of Ecstacy and Prometheus or Poem of Fire. The effect of Scryabin's harmonies is one of great power, and, as previously said of Debussy in his earlier days, his imagination has undoubtedly heard sounds hitherto unrealized. The sensational style of Prometheus is augmented by the use of a color machine which flashes upon a screen hues supposed to supplement the various moods of the music. How many of these experiments will be incorporated into the accepted idiom of music, time alone will tell; but they prove conclusively that modern music is thoroughly awake and is proving true to that spirit of freedom which is the breath of its being.

Music is, furthermore, not only a fine art in which have worked and are working some of the best intellects of our race, but is inevitably becoming a universal language. We see this clearly in the rapid growth of music among peoples and nations which, comparatively a short time ago, were thought to be quite outside the pale of modern artistic development. No longer is music confined exclusively to the Italians, French and Germans. A national spokesman for the Finns is the gifted Sibelius, the composer of five symphonies, several Symphonic poems, numerous songs and pianoforte pieces; his second Symphony in E minor being a work of haunting beauty, and the Fourth noted for its bold use of the dissonant element. The Roumanians have come to the fore in Enesco, who has written several characteristic works for orchestra. The Spaniards are endeavoring to restore their former glories—for we must not forget that, in past centuries, the Spanish composers Morales and Vittoria ranked with the great painters which that nation has produced. Three Spanish composers, indeed, are worthy of distinct recognition: Albeniz for his pianoforte pieces, tangos, malagueñas, etc., in which there is such a fascinating treatment of national dance rhythms; Granados,[338] with several operas to his credit, and Laparra, the composer of a fantastic suite recently played by the Boston Symphony Orchestra. Spanish rhythms, melodies and local color have been frequently incorporated in the works of other composers, e.g., by Bizet in Carmen, by Debussy in Ibéria, and in the pianoforte piece Soirée dans Granade, by Chabrier in España, by Lalo in several works, and by the Russians, Glinka and Rimsky-Korsakoff, in328 brilliant orchestral works. The Spanish influence,[339] in fact, may be called one of the most potent in modern music.

Although there is no doubt of the strong musical instinct inherent in the Hungarians—witness the prevalence of Hungarian rhythms in Schubert, Liszt, Brahms and others—their country has always been so torn with political dissensions that the lack of a national artistic culture is not to be wondered at. Recently however three Hungarian composers, Dohnányi, Moor and Béla Bartok, have produced works embodying racial tendencies and yet of such significant content and sound workmanship as to attract the attention of the world outside.

Italy, also, is awakening from a long sleep, and there is now a group of young men representing New Italy (of whom Malipiero and Casella are the best known) which should accomplish results worthy of the glorious musical traditions of that country.

England is shaking off her subserviency[340] to the influence of Handel and Mendelssohn, and at last has made a promising start toward the achievement of works which shall rank with her glories in poetry, in fiction and in painting. Among the older group we have such names as Sullivan, with his inimitable series of operas, the Mikado, Gondoliers, Iolanthe, etc.; Parry, with some notable choral works, and Stanford—a most versatile man—Irish by birth, and with the humor and spontaneity natural to his race; his Irish Symphony and his opera Shamus O'Brien would give lustre to any period. The only genius of the first rank however which England has produced since the days of Purcell is Edward Elgar (1857-still living). Practically self-educated and spending his early life in his native country he escaped the influences of German training which so deadened the efforts of former composers, such as Pierson and Bennett. Elgar's music is thoroughly English in its sturdy vigor[341] and wholesome emotion. With something first-hand to say he has acquired such a technique in musical expression that his compositions rank in workmanship with those of the great continental masters. In his use of the modern orchestra Elgar need be considered second to none. His overtures329 In the South and Cockaigne, his two Symphonies and his Enigma Variations are universally acknowledged to be models of richly-colored and varied scoring. Although his music is English it is never parochial but has that note of universal import always found in the work of a real genius. Among the younger men there are Wallace, both composer and writer on musical subjects (his Threshold of music being particularly stimulating), Holbrook, Vaughan Williams, Roger Quilter, Arthur Hinton, Balfour Gardiner and John Ireland, a composer of genuine individuality, as is evident from his Violin Sonata in D Minor.

Even such outlying parts of the world as Australia and South America have contributed executive artists of great ability though, to our knowledge, as yet no composer.

What, now, in this connection can be said of America? This much at least: when we consider that, beyond the most rudimentary attempts, music in our land is not yet a century old, a start has been made which promises great things. Such pioneers as Paine, Chadwick, MacDowell, Foote, Parker, Osgood, Whiting and Mrs. H.H.A. Beach have written works, often in the larger forms, showing genuine inspiration and fine workmanship, many of which have won permanent recognition outside of their own country. Of late years a younger group has arisen, the chief members[342] of which are Converse, Carpenter, Gilbert, Hadley, Hill, Mason, Atherton, Stanley Smith, Brockway, Blair Fairchild, Heilman, Shepherd, Clapp, John Powell, Margaret Ruthven Lang, Gena Branscombe and Mabel Daniels. These composers all have strong natural gifts, have been broadly educated, and, above all, in their music is reflected a freedom, a humor and an individuality which may fairly be called American; that is, it is not music which slavishly follows the "made-in-Germany" model.[343] The composer of greatest genius and scope in America is undoubtedly Charles Martin Loeffler; but, although he has become a loyal American, and although his best works have been composed in this country, we can hardly claim him as an American composer, for his music vividly reflects French taste and ideals. His inspired works—in particular La Mort de Tintagiles, The Pagan Poem and a Symphony (in one movement)—are of peculiar importance for their connection330 with works of literature and for consummate power in orchestration. Not even Debussy has expressed more subtly the tragic spirit of Maeterlinck than has Loeffler in La Mort de Tintagiles; and The Pagan Poem, founded on an Eclogue of Virgil portrays most eloquently the romance of those pastoral days. Loeffler's latest work, a String Quartet[344] dedicated to the memory of Victor Chapman, the Harvard aviator, is remarkable for the heart-felt beauty of its themes and for advanced technique in treating the four solo instruments.

Let us now indulge in a few closing remarks of advice to the young student faced with all this perplexing novelty. Our studies should have made plain two definite facts: first, that the real message of music is contained in its melody—that part of the fabric which we can carry with us and sing to ourselves. Harmony and color are factors closely involved with melodic inspiration, but their impression is more fleeting; and in general, no work lacking in melody, however colorful or filled with daring harmonic effects, can long endure. But we must be judicious and fair in estimating exactly what constitutes a real melody. The genius is always ahead of his time; if he thought just as other men, he would be no genius. New types of melody are continually being worked out; all we can say is that the creative composer hears sounds in his imagination, the result of his emotional and spiritual experiences and of his sympathy with the world. He recreates these sounds in terms of notation, hoping that, as they mean so much to him, they may be a delight and inspiration to his fellowmen. If enough people like these works for a long enough time, they are; that is, they live—no matter how much they differ from a priori standards as to what music should be.

The second fact concerns the structure of music; that is, the way in which the thought is presented. We have seen that music always has a carefully planned architecture—that being necessary by reason of the indefiniteness of the material. But let us always remember that without abandoning the fundamental principles of all organic life, form may be—and should be—free and elastic. Every work which lives reveals a perfect balance between the emotional and imaginative factors and their logical presentation. If we are puzzled by the structure of a new work the assumption should be, not that it is formless but that, when we know the work, it will be seen to employ simply a new use of old and accepted principles; for the works331 analyzed must have convinced us that the principles of unity, contrast, balance and symmetry are eternal; and, however modified, can never be abandoned. The normal imagination must express itself logically, and can no more put forth incoherent works than the human body would give birth to misshapen offspring. Musical compositions, which after study prove to be incoherent, diffuse and flabby, are to be considered exceptional and not worth condemning; they are only to be pitied. The chief aim of the music-lover should be to become an intelligent and enthusiastic appreciator of the great works already composed, and to train himself liberally for the welcome of new works. Towards such an end we hope that this book may offer a helpful contribution.




Academic Overture of Brahms, 233.

Aeolian mode, 24.

Aeschylus, compared with Brahms, 239.

Albeniz, pianoforte pieces, 327.

answer (to a fugue), 42.

Apthorp, W.F., comments on Brahms, 238;
eulogy on Brahms's First Symphony, 246;
comments on Istar, 283.

arabesque, 83.

Aristophanes, his humor compared with Beethoven's, 150.

Arnold, Matthew, lines on Byron apropos of Berlioz, 203;
stanza applicable to Brahms, 233;
definition of style, 234.

Atherton, Percy Lee, 329.

Auber, 255.

augmentation, definition of, 44.


Babbitt, Irving, book on Romanticism, 161;
The New Laocoön, 207.

Bach, Emmanuel, use of two themes, 93;
contributions to the Sonata-form, 100.

Bach, J.S., Well-tempered Clavichord, 23;
choral (Phrygian mode), 25;
polyphonic style, 34;
Goldberg Variations, 37;
celebrated organ fugues, 41;
analysis of Fugue in E-flat major, 42-43.

Bagatelles, of Beethoven, 166.

Balakireff, works and features of style, 315-316.

Baldensperger, F., eulogy of Franck, 258.

Ballet music to Prometheus, 140.

Balzac, comment on Chopin, 189.

Barcarolle, of Chopin, color effect therein, 193;
analysis of, 200-201.

Bartered Bride Overture, 121, 322.

basso ostinato, 86.

Baudelaire, 293.

Beach, Mrs., Menuet Italien, 78, 329.

Beethoven, 2, 5, 8:
motive of Fifth Symphony, 12;
Waldstein Sonata, 15;
String Quartet (Lydian mode), 26;
fugal passages in symphonies, 41;
sentences from sonatas, 58-61;
Egmont Overture, 77;
Rondo Capriccio, 82;
sets of Variations, 88;
biography, 122-126;
love of Nature, 125;
features of style, 126-129;
development of the Sonata-form, 126-127;
treatment of the Coda, 127;
variety of rhythm, 127-128;
use of dissonances, 128;
humor, 128-129;
development of Program music, 129;
development of varied air, 129;
characterization of the Symphonies, 130-132;
estimate of the Pianoforte Sonatas, 140;
pianistic effect in Sonatas, 145;
as a programmistic composer, 153-154;
quality of themes, 156;
dramatic use of single notes, 156-157;
theme of Ninth Symphony compared with theme from Brahms's First Symphony, 247.

Béla Bartok, 328.

Berlioz, quotation from Grotesques de la Musique, 21;
canon in Carnaval Romain Overture, 37;
comment on Trio of Fifth Symphony, 150;
biography, 202-205;
names of his Parisian friends, 204;
features of style, 205-206;
Fantastic Symphony, analysis of, 207-211;
Carnaval Romain Overture, analysis of, 211-212;
Damnation of Faust, instrumental numbers from, 213-214;
Harold in Italy Symphony, analysis of, 214-215;
Romeo and Juliet Symphony, comments on, 215-216.

Bie, Oscar, 74;
on the style of Couperin and Rameau, 152.

Bizet, L'Arlésienne Suites, 80.

Bohemian School, 320-321.

Boieldieu, comment on Beethoven, 134, 255.

bolero, 75.

Boris Godounoff, description of, 320.

Borodin, works and features of style, 316-317.

Boschot, work, in three parts, on Berlioz, 207.

bourrée, 75.

Brahms, First Symphony, 8, 14, 21, 44;
modal expression in works, 23;
Fourth Symphony (Phrygian mode), 25;
canonic style, 36;
C minor Trio, 67;
sets of variations, 88;
biography, 231-233;334
features of style, 233-238;
analysis of First Symphony, 239-249;
of Violin Sonata, 250-252;
of G minor Ballade for Pianoforte, 252-253;
attitude toward program music, 253;
the nature of his Intermezzi, 253;
of the Capriccios, 253;
his Rhapsodies, 254;
analysis of song Meine Liebe ist grün, 254;
other songs, 255.

branle (brawl), 75.

Branscombe, Gena, 329.

Brenet, M., Life of Haydn, 104.

Brockway, H., on American folk-songs, 33, 329.

Browning, 1;
quotation apropos of the fugue, 49;
quotations apropos of the Fifth Symphony, 146, 150.

Bruckner, movement from Seventh Symphony, 231.

Bruneau, History of Russian Music, 314.

Bull, John, 79, 85.

Bülow, Sonatas of E. Bach, 100;
comment on Grieg, 325.

Burney, on the 18th Century, 103.

Buxtehude, 34.

Byrd, William, 12, 79, 85.

Byron, influence on Schumann's style, 177.


C minor Symphony (Beethoven), analysis of, 145-151.

C minor Symphony (Brahms), analysis of, 239-249.

cadences, 55-57.

Calvacoressi, on dominant relationship, 52.

canon, 11;
account of, 36-37.

canzona, 69.

Carnaval Romain Overture, analysis of, 211-212.

Carpenter, John Alden, Adventures in a Perambulator, 80, 329.

Casella, 328.

Casse-Noisette Suite, 80.

Cellini, Benvenuto, compared with Berlioz, 202;
opera by Berlioz, 211.

Chabrier, Bourrée Fantasque, 80, 297;
España, 80, 297;
Overture to Gwendoline, 99, 297;
account of style, 297.

chaconne, 86;
Bach's for violin solo, 87.

Chadwick, Canonic Studies, 36;
fugal passage in Vagrom Ballad, 41, 329.

Chamisso, texts for Schumann's songs, 170.

Chantavoine, Life of Beethoven, 159.

Charpentier, Impressions of Italy, 80.

Chausson, Ernest, account of style, 298.

Chavannes, Puvis de, compared with Franck, 258.

Chopin, type of melody, 10, 21;
Sonata in C minor, 67;
biography and features of style, 188-189;
analysis of Prelude in C major, 198;
Étude in A-flat major, 199;
Mazurka in F-sharp minor, 199;
analysis of Polonaise in E-flat minor, 200;
of Barcarolle, 200-201;
of Scherzo in C-sharp minor, 201.

chromatic changes, 51.

Clapp, P.G., 48, 329.

coda, definition and examples of, 99.

color, in different keys, 51.

Combarieu, Jules, 2.

Converse, F.S., Dramatic Poem, Job (Phrygian mode), 26;
String Quartet, 99, 329.

Corelli, 70, 74.

Coriolanus Overture, analysis of, 152-156.

counterpoint, definition of, 11.

counter-subject (of a fugue), 42.

Couperin, 70, 74, 81, 85;
descriptive pieces, 152, 255.

courante (corrente), 75.

Croatian Folk-songs (in Haydn), 101-102.

csárdás, 76.


D major Sonata of Beethoven, analysis of, 140-145.

D Minor Symphony of Schumann, 179-184.

d'Albert, Suite for Pianoforte, 78.

Damnation of Faust, instrumental numbers from, 213-214.

Daniels, Mabel, 329.

Dannreuther, eulogy on Beethoven, 159;
comment on Berlioz's counterpoint, 209.

Dargomijsky, use of whole-tone scale, 289.

Debussy, modal expression in works, 23, 288-289;
Pelléas et Mélisande (Dorian mode), 24;
comments upon, 294;
Minstrels (cadence in), 55-56;
Sarabande for pianoforte, 77;
comment on development, 97;
compared with Mendelssohn, 185;
apropos of new music, 204;
features of style, 287-297;
whole-tone scale, 289-290;
titles of pianoforte pieces, 292-293;
on his pianoforte style, 295-296.

de Musset, quotation apropos of Grieg, 325.

deceptive cadence, 56.

Dent, E.J., Mozart's Operas, 112.

De Pachman, playing of Mendelssohn's pieces, 185.

De Quincey, quotation from the Dream Fugue, 49.335

Deutsches Requiem, 233.

development section of Sonata-form, 93-94, 97-98.

Dickinson, Edward, estimate of Haydn, 101.

diminution, definition of, 44.

d'Indy, modal expression in works, 23;
canonic style, 36;
Symphonic Variations, Istar, 67;
comments on the Sonata-form, 95, 100;
comment on Beethoven's Seventh Symphony, 131;
comment on Sonata Pathétique, 142;
comments on D major Sonata, 145;
comments on Fifth Symphony, 145;
Life of Beethoven, 159;
comments on Franck's themes, 268;
biography and features of style, 280-282;
Istar, analysis of, 283-287.

dissonance, discord, distinction between terms, 143.

Dohnányi, 328.

Dominant, acoustical and harmonic importance of, 22-23, 52.

Don Giovanni, 111, 119.

Don Juan, 85.

Don Quixote, 89.

Dorian mode, 24.

Dostoyevsky, 314, 319, 320.

Doumic, René, essay on George Sand, 189.

Dowland, John, his Pavans, 80.

Duparc, Henri, account of his style, 298.

Dvořák, New World Symphony, 9, 21;
modal expression in works, 23;
New World Symphony (Aeolian mode), 26;
Suite for Orchestra, 79;
works and features of style, 322-324.


Eichendorff, texts for Schumann's songs, 176.

Eighth Symphony of Beethoven, Finale, 157.

Elgar, Edward, works and features of style, 328-329.

Ellis, W.A., translation of Wagner's Essays, 154.

Enesco, 327.

enharmonic, modulation, 52-53.

episode, definition of, 39-40.

exposition of Sonata-form, 96.

extended cadences, 62-63.


F major Sonata of Mozart, analysis of, 113-115.

Fairchild, Blair, 329.

Fantastic Symphony, analysis of, 207-211;
quotation from, 207-209.

Farwell, Arthur, on folk-music, 33.

Fauré, Gabriel, account of style, 297-298.

Faust Symphony, analysis of, 223-226.

Fay, Amy, account of Liszt, 217.

feminine ending, 57.

Fibich, 321.

Finck, H.T., Songs and Song Writers, 265;
Chopin and Other Essays, 198;
comments on Program Music, 226;
biography of Grieg, 324.

Fitzwilliam Virginal Book, 79, 152.

five-bar rhythm, 63-64.

Flonzaley Quartet, 105.

folk-songs, principle of restatement in, 16;
origin and importance of, 19-33.

Foote, Arthur, fugal Finale to Suite, 41, 329.

Forsyth, Cecil, eulogy of Mendelssohn, 185.

Francesca da Rimini, 154.

Franck, Symphony, 8, 15;
polyphonic structure, 13;
canonic style, 36;
canon in Symphony, 37;
in Violin Sonata, 37;
Fugue in B minor for Pianoforte, 41;
comparison of his scoring with that of Schumann, 181;
limitations of his pianoforte style, 190;
his fusion of movements compared with that of Brahms, 251;
biography, 256-257;
features of style, 257-258;
analysis of D minor Symphony, 259-268;
of Sonata for Violin, 268-274;
use of generative themes, 268;
Symphonic Variations, 274-280;
comparison of his style with that of Bach and Beethoven, 274;
his group of pupils, 280.

French folk-song, 29.

French Overture, 119.

Frescobaldi, 34.

Friedländer, Max, apropos of Chabrier, 281.

fugue, 11;
definition of, 39.

Fuller-Maitland, life of Brahms, 238.

furiant, 75, 321.


G major Pianoforte Concerto of Beethoven, 152-158.

G minor Symphony, analysis of, 115-119.

Gade, Neils, 324.

galliard, 75, 80.

Galuppi, as a pioneer in Sonata-form, 93.

Gardiner, Balfour, 329.

Gautier, Théophile, eulogy of Berlioz, 207.

gavotte, 75;
account of, and examples, 78-79.

Gilbert, H.F., on folk-songs, 20, 33, 329.336

Gilman, Lawrence, essay on Berlioz, 214;
comments on Istar, 283;
essay on Debussy, 293;
comments on Pelléas el Mélisande, 297.

Glinka, 301, 315.

Gluck, Ballet music, 87;
Operatic Overtures, 119.

Goethe, eulogy on Mozart, 112.

Gogol, 314, 320.

Gosse, Edmund, comment on Mallarmé's eclogue, 293.

Gossec, as a pioneer in Sonata-form, 93.

Granados, Spanish folk-dance, 167;
works, 327.

Gregorian Chant, 10.

Gregorian modes in folk-songs, 20.

Grétry, comments on Sonata-form, 98, 255.

Grieg, 21;
Canon for Pianoforte, 37;
Peer Gynt Suite, 80;
Holberg Suite, 80;
works and features of style, 324-325.

ground bass, 86;
from Bach's Mass, 86.

Grove, Beethoven and his Nine Symphonies, 130.

Grove's Dictionary, 70, 73, 79, 81, 86, 104, 119, 154, 161, 172, 200, 217, 238.

Guilmant, March in Dorian Mode, 24;
Canon for Organ, 36.

Gurney, The Power of Sound, 2.


habañera, 76.

Habets, Alfred, account of Borodin and Liszt, 316.

Hadley, Henry, 329.

Hadow, W.H., 72, 81, 92, 96;
Studies in Modern Music, 184, 198, 207, 238;
essay on Dvořák, 321;
article on Scryabin, 326.

Hale, Philip, comments on Saint-Saëns, 256;
comments on Lalo, 256;
essay on Mozart, 112;
comments on Scheherazade, 317-318.

halling, 76.

Handel, fugue from the Messiah, 41;
Harpsichord Lessons, 74;
Air in Sarabande rhythm, 77;
Harmonious Blacksmith, 86;
Overture to Messiah, 119.

Harmonic Series, 51.

Harold in Italy Symphony, analysis of, 214-215.

Haydn, 21, 81, 87;
ancestry, 101;
features of style, 101-105;
his freedom of rhythm, 102;
development of the String-Quartet and the Orchestra, 102-103;
Sonata in E-Flat major, 105-106;
Surprise Symphony, 106-108;
comment on Minuet, 144;
Prelude to the Creation, 152.

Hazlitt, comment on Mozart, 111.

Hebrides Overture of Mendelssohn, 185.

Heilman, William C., 329.

Heine, texts for songs of Schubert and Schumann, 176;
comment on Berlioz's music, 205.

Helmholtz, 193, 291.

Henderson, W.J., Preludes and Studies, 184.

Henschel, vocal canon, 37;
conversation with Brahms, 233.

Heroic Symphony, analysis of, 132-140.

Hérold, 255.

Hill, Edward Burlingame, Stevensoniana, 80;
comments on Saint-Saëns, 256;
essay on d'Indy, 281, 329.

Hinton, Arthur, 329.

Hoffman, E.T.A., Essay on Fifth Symphony, 151.

Holberg Suite, 80.

Holbrook, 329.

Holmès, Augusta, 280.

homophonic, 10.

hornpipe, 75.

Hull, Eaglefield, Biography of Scryabin, 326.

Huneker, Life of Chopin, 198;
on the playing of Chopin, 199;
comment on Chopin's Scherzo, 201;
Life of Liszt, 217;
comment on Liszt's Songs, 220;
essay on Brahms, 238;
essay on Tchaikowsky, 306.

Hungarian folk-song, 30, 328.

Hungarian Rhapsodies, 227.

Hungarian rhythms in Schubert, Liszt and Brahms, 30;
in Schubert's Symphonies, 166;
in Brahms's First Symphony, 244.


Impromptus of Schubert, 165-166.

Indian Suite, 80.

invention, 11.

Invention in C major, analysis of, 38-89.

inversion, definition of, 43-44.

Ionian mode, 24.

Ireland, John, 329.

Irish Folk-song, 29, 35.

Istar, Symphonic Poem of d'Indy, as example of a varied air, 89;
analysis of, 283-287.

Italian Overture, 119.


Jadassohn, Canonic Pieces, 37.

James, Henry, essay on George Sand, 189.

Jannequin, descriptive pieces for voices, 152.

jota (aragonesa), 76.337


Kaiser Quartet, 87.

Keats, quotation apropos of Fifth Symphony, 148;
quotation from, 163.

Kelly, E.S., Chopin the Composer, 198.

Kelly, Michael, Reminiscences of Mozart, 112.

King Lear, quotation from by Berlioz, 207.

Kjerulf, 324.

Korbay, F., Hungarian Melodies, 30.

Krehbiel, essay on Haydn, 103;
The Pianoforte and its Music, 152.

Kreisleriana, 83.

Kuhnau, Bible Sonatas, 152.


Lalo, Eduard, works and features of style, 256.

Laloy, Louis, Life of Chopin, 198;
essay on Debussy, 294.

Laparra, 327.

L'apprenti Sorcier, 154.

L'après-midi d'un Faune, 154, 293-294.

Lavoix, estimate of the Fifth Symphony, 127.

Legouvé, Recollections of Berlioz, 205.

Lekeu, 257.

L'idée fixe, 207-210.

Liebich, Mrs., essay on Debussy, 294.

Liszt, 4, 21;
characterization of Schubert, 164;
Faust Symphony (theme in augmentation), 45;
Life of Chopin, 198;
biography, 217-218;
features of style, 218-219;
analysis of Symphonic Poem, Orpheus, 221-222;
of Faust Symphony, 223-226;
pianoforte compositions, 226-227;
alleged influence on Brahms, 232;
use of whole-tone scale, 289.

Locke, A.W., article in Musical Quarterly, 151.

Loeffler, Charles Martin, works and features of style, 329-330.

Lonesome Tunes, 33.

loure, 75;
example of, from Bach, 79.

Lowell, J.R., definition of a classic, 161.

Lully, 70, 119.

Lydian mode, 24.


MacCunn, Hamish, Scottish Melodies, 28.

MacDowell, Rigaudon, 79;
Indian Suite, 80, 329.

madrigal, 69.

Maeterlinck, compared with Franck, 257;
comment on the theatre, 294;
influence on Loeffler, 330.

Magic Flute Overture, analysis of, 119-121.

Mahler, comments on his style, 231.

malagueña, 76.

Mallarmé, 293.

Malipiero, 328.

Manfred Overture, 177-179.

Mannheim Orchestra, 102.

Manuel, Roland, life of Ravel, 299.

march, 75.

Marriage of Figaro, 111.

masculine ending, 57.

Mason, D.G., 7, 9;
essay on Haydn, 102;
on Mozart, 112;
comment on Chopin's style, 196;
essay on Berlioz, 211;
on Saint-Saëns, 256;
on d'Indy, 281;
comments on Istar, 283;
essay on Debussy, 295;
on Tchaikowsky, 306;
on Dvořák, 322;
as composer, 329.

mazurka, 75.

mediant relationship, 52, 96.

Méhul, 255.

Melpomene Overture, 154.

Melusine Overture of Mendelssohn, 185.

Mendelssohn, 89;
biography and features of style, 184-186;
Violin Concerto, comments on, 185-186.

Merkel, canon for organ, 36.

Midsummer Night's Dream Overture, analysis of, 186-187.

Milton, quotation from Paradise Lost, 49.

minuet, 75;
account of, and examples, 78.

Mixolydian mode, 24.

modal, chart of modes, 23-24.

modulation, 51-52.

Moments Musicaux of Schubert, 165-166.

Montagu-Nathan, History of Russian Music, 314, 326.

Monteverde, 119.

Morales, 327.

Moor, 328.

Mother Goose Suite, 81.

Moussorgsky, works and features of style, 318-320.

Mozart, Magic Flute Overture, 40;
Finale of Jupiter Symphony, 40, 81;
biography, 108-110;
features of style, 110-112;
Mozart and Haydn, reactive influence, 110-111;
polyphonic skill, 110, 112;
dramatic power, 111;
examples from works, 113-121.

Mundy, John, descriptive pianoforte piece, 152.

musette, 78.

Mystic Trumpeter, 154.


National Music, distinctive features of, 300-301.

Neefe, Beethoven's teacher, 124.

Neue Zeitschrift für Musik, founded by Schumann, 174.338

New World Symphony, critical comments on, 323-324.

Newman, Musical Studies, 154, 178, 207;
comment on Debussy, 296.

Newmarch, Rosa, Life of Tchaikovsky, 305.

Niecks, Programme Music, 152, 214, 221, 305;
Life of Chopin, 198;
eulogy of Liszt, 228.

Nordraak, 324.


Organ, the, its tone compared with that of pianoforte, 191.

organum, 10.

Orpheus, Symphonic Poem, analysis of, 221-222.

Osgood, George L., 329.

overtones, chart of, 193.

Oxford History of Music, 10, 12, 102, 103, 110, 119, 161, 165, 185, 216, 221, 226.


Paderewski, 77;
Minuet of, 78;
playing of Mendelssohn's pieces, 185.

Paganini, connection with Berlioz, 214.

Paine, J.K., Fuga Giocosa, 46, 49;
tribute to Beethoven, 129, 329.

Palestrina, 34.

Parker, H.W., fugue from Hora Novissima, 41, 329.

Parry, Evolution of the Art of Music, 9, 16, 21, 69, 70;
choral works, 328.

Passacaglia, 86;
of Brahms, 86;
of Bach for organ, 87.

passepied, 75.

Pater, Walter, remark on Romanticism, 161.

pavane, 75;
example from Ravel, 79.

pedals of the pianoforte, the damper and the una corda, 192-195.

Peer Gynt Suite, 80.

period, definition of, 50.

Pérotin, 34.

Perry, Baxter, 90.

Phaëton, 256.

Philidor, 255.

Phrygian cadence, 24-25.

Phrygian mode, 23;
Brahms's use of, 239.

pianoforte, the, account of its characteristics, 189-195.

plagal cadence, 55.

polka, 75, 321.

polonaise, 75.

polyphonic, 10.

polyphonic music, complete account of, 33-49.

Poirée, Elié, Life of Chopin, 198.

Pope, apropos of the jig, 80.

Pougin, Arthur, comments on Moussorgsky, 318-319.

Powell, John, 329.

Pratt, History of Music, 10, 93, 159, 161.

prelude (to Sonata-form), 99.

Prix de Rome, won by Berlioz, 205;
by Debussy, 288.

Prout, 85.

Puccini, fugal prelude to Madama Butterfly, 41.

Purcell, 70;
his Jig, 71.

Pushkin, 314.


Quilter, Roger, 329.


Rabelais, his humor compared with Beethoven's, 150, 157.

Rameau, acoustical reforms of, 23, 70, 74, 81, 85;
descriptive pieces, 152, 255.

Ravel, Daphnis and Chloe, 68;
his Pavane, 79;
Mother Goose Suite, 81;
works and account of style, 299-300.

recapitulation (or résumé), 98-99.

Reinecke, Canonic Vocal Trios, 37.

Remenyi, Brahms's tour with, 232.

repetition, importance of, 12, 13;
types of, 14-18.

Rheinberger, Canonic Pieces, 87;
Tarantelle for Pianoforte, 79.

rhythmic variety (five and seven beats a measure), 66-68.

Richter, Jean Paul, influence on Schumann, 172.

Riemann, 93.

rigaudon, 75;
examples of, from Grieg, Rameau and MacDowell, 79, 81.

Rimsky-Korsakoff, works and features of style, 317.

Roi d'Ys, Le, 256.

Rolland, Romain, account of Beethoven in Jean Christophe, 125;
Life of Beethoven, 159;
essay on Berlioz, 207.

Romanticism and Romantic School, account of, 160-165.

Romeo and Juliet Symphony, comments on, 215-216.

rondo, account of, 81-85.

rondo-sonata form, 144.

Ropartz, 257;
characterization of a theme in Franck's Symphony, 266.

Rossetti, Blessed Damozel, set by Debussy, 288.

Rossini, "crescendo" in Overtures, 62;
eulogy of Mozart, 121.

Rouet d'Omphale, Le, 256.

round, 11;
Old English Rounds, 12.

rubato (tempo), definition of, 199.339

Rubinstein, movements in Ocean Symphony, 95;
estimate of Mozart, 111;
characterization of the damper pedal, 191.

Runciman, quotation apropos of Weber from Old Scores and New Readings, 169-170.

Russian folk-songs, 30-33.

Russian music, general tendencies of, 314-315.


Saint-Saëns, 1, 2;
comment on Berlioz's Romeo and Juliet Symphony, 216;
account of works and style, 255-256.

Sakuntala, 154.

saltarello, 75;
Berlioz's use of the rhythm, 211.

Sammartini, as a pioneer in Sonata-form, 93.

Santayana, 5.

sarabande, 75, 76, 77.

Scandinavian Music, 324.

Scarlatti, Alessandro, Aria da capo, 14;
operatic overture, 119.

Scarlatti, D., the Cat-Fugue, 48;
as virtuoso, 74;
anticipation of Sonata-form, 93;
Courante for pianoforte, 79;
crossing of hands in Beethoven, 141, 144.

Schumann, 7;
motive from the Carnaval, 13;
from the Kinderscenen, 13;
Arabesque, 14:
saying about folk-songs, 20;
Canon for organ, 36;
Canonic Variations, 37;
Carnaval, 68;
Phantasiestücke, 68;
his use of the Rondo, 82-83;
Variations, 88;
comment on Schubert, 166;
biography and features of style, 172-174;
analysis of Des Abends, 174-175;
of Warum, 175-176;
of Novellette in E major, 176;
of Song, Mondnacht, 176-177;
of Manfred Overture, 177-179;
characterization of the four Symphonies, 179;
Symphony in D minor, analysis of, 179-184;
eulogy of Brahms in the Neue Zeitschrift, 232.

Schola Cantorum, account of, 282.

Scottish folk-tune, 28.

Scryabin, as harmonic innovator, 143;
works and features of style, 327.

seguidilla, 76, 79.

sentence, complete analysis of, 53, 54.

sequence, definition of, 38.

Scheherazade Suite, 81.

scherzo, of Beethoven, 128-129.

Schmitt, Florent, 280.

Schubert, 21;
Variations, 88;
account of style and works, 162-169;
character of songs, 165;
symphonic style, 166;
chamber music, 166;
pianoforte style, 167;
as great colorist, 167-168;
analysis of Unfinished Symphony, 167-169.

seven-bar rhythm, 66.

Shakespeare, 1;
apropos of the galliard, 80.

Sharp, Cecil, English Folk-Song, 27;
on American folk-songs, 33.

Shepherd, Arthur, 329.

Shedlock, J.S., 93, 100.

shifted rhythm, 46.

Sibelius, features of his style, 230, 324, 327.

siciliano, 76.

Sinding, 325.

Sinigaglia, Overture, 99.

Sjögren, 324.

Smetana, Bartered Bride Overture, 40, 121;
works and features of style, 321-322.

Smith, Stanley, 329.

Smithson, Henrietta, her life with Berlioz, 204-205.

sonata and sonata-form, distinction between, 94-95.

sonata-form, account of 91-100;
tabular view, 100.

Song of Destiny, Brahms, 233.

Songs without Words, Mendelssohn, 185.

Spanish music, its influence in modern times, 327-328.

Spitta, essay on Brahms, 238.

Stamitz, J., influence on Sonata-form, 93.

Stanford, Villiers, Irish folk-songs, 29;
features of style, 328.

Stanford-Forsyth history, 121, 328.

Stendhal, remark on Romanticism, 161.

Stevensoniana, 80.

Strauss, R., motive from Till's Merry Pranks, 18;
Don Juan, 85;
Till Eulenspiegel, 85;
estimate of Mozart, 111.

Stravinsky, as harmonic innovator, 143;
works and features of style, 326-327.

Streatfield, essay on Tchaikowsky, 306.

stretto, 46.

string-quartet, definition of, 94.

subdominant, acoustical and harmonic importance, 22-23, 52.

subject (of a fugue), 42-43.

suite, the classical, 73-80;
the modern, 80-81.

Suites, French and English, 74.

Sullivan, Arthur, operas, 328.

Sumer is icumen in (Ionian mode) 27.

Surette, T.W., comments on Bach's style, 48, 72;
Development of Symphonic Music, 159.

Surprise Symphony, analysis of, 106-108.340

Svendsen, 324.

Sweelinck, 34.

Symonds, Arthur, Studies in the Seven Arts, 159.

Symphonic Études, 88.

symphonic poem, definition of, 149, 220.

symphonic style, development of, 228-231.


Tallys, Thomas, vocal canon, 37.

tambourin, 71.

tango, 76.

tarantella, 75.

Taylor, Bayard, translation of stanza from Faust, 225.

Tchaikowsky, Modeste, biography of his brother, 306.

Tchaikowsky, P., Fifth Symphony, 8, 21;
analysis of, 306-314;
modal expression in works, 23;
Legend (Aeolian mode), 26;
Fourth Symphony, finale of, 33;
analysis of, 305;
Sixth Symphony, 67;
analysis of, 305-306;
Quartet in F major, 67-68;
variations from Trio, 89;
estimate of Mozart, 111, 121;
biography, 302-303;
features of style, 303-305.

Thackeray, W.M., characterization of Berlioz, 204.

Thayer, Alexander, Life of Beethoven, 159.

thematic development, 34.

three-bar rhythm, 65-66.

three-part form, complete account of, 72-73;
examples of, 73.

Tiersot, J., on folk-melodies, 21;
Chansons Populaires, 30;
work on Berlioz, 207.

Till Eulenspiegel, 85.

Tolstoi, 315, 319, 320.

tonality, principles of, 50-51.

tonic, acoustical and harmonic importance of, 22-23.

Tragic Overture, Brahms, 233.

transformation of theme, its use in Schumann, 182.

Turgenieff, 315.

two-part form, definition of, 38;
complete account of, 69-72.


Van Vechten, book on Spanish music, 328.

variation form, account of, 85-91.

Variations, in F minor of Haydn, 87;
on Death and the Maiden, 88;
Sérieuses, 88;
on a Theme from Handel, 88;
on the St. Anthony Choral, 88;
(Enigma) by Elgar, 89;
Symphoniques, 89.

Verdi, Minuet from Falstaff, 78.

Veretschagin, 320.

Verlaine, 293.

Violin Concerto of Beethoven, 156-157.

Vittoria, 327.

Vivaldi, 70.

von Breuning family, 125.


Wagner, comment on operas, 4;
quality of themes, 8;
motive from the Valkyrie, 12;
polyphonic structure of operas, 13;
motive from Tristan and Isolde, 17;
fugal Prelude to third act of the Mastersingers, 41;
comments on Leonore Overture, 98;
eulogy of Mendelssohn, 185.

Waldesrauschen, Étude of Lizst, 227.

Waldstein, friendship with Beethoven, 125.

Waldstein Sonata, 83.

Walker, E., on English folk-music, 22.

Wallace, estimate of Haydn, 102;
Threshold of Music, 291, 329.

Wallaschek, R., on primitive music, 21.

Wallenstein Trilogy (d'Indy), 281.

waltz, 75.

Weber, Moto Perpetuo, 83;
orchestral treatment in his Overtures, 164-165;
account of style, 169-172;
Invitation to the Dance, arrangement by Weingartner, 169;
compared with that by Berlioz, 171;
Oberon Overture, analysis of, 170-171;
compositions for pianoforte, 171.

Weckerlin, example from Echos du Temps Passé, 71.

Weingartner, eulogy of Berlioz, 206;
comments on the Symphonic Poem, 220;
comments on Brahms's First Symphony, 244, 246.

Whistler, compared with Debussy, 293.

Whiting, Arthur, Scottish Melodies, 28;
Irish Melodies, 29;
Suite Moderne, 80;
Pedal Studies, 193, 194, 329.

Whitman, 1;
quotation from Mystic Trumpeter, 146.

Widor, canon for organ, 36.

Willaert, harmonic basis of choruses, 23.

Williams, Abdy, on Brahms's rhythm, 253.

Williams, Vaughan, 329.

Wordsworth, quotation from, 163.

Wyman, Loraine, 33.



I.Sumer is icumen in. Old English Round.
II.To the Green Wood. Round by Byrd.
III.Finale of Wagner's Valkyrie.
IV.Reconnaissance from Schumann's Carnaval.
V.Irish Folk Song.
VI.Epilogue of Strauss's Till's Merry Pranks.
VII.March in Dorian Mode. Guilmant.
VIII.Movement in Lydian Mode. Beethoven.
IX.Canon. Thomas Tallys.
X.Canon from Études Symphoniques. Schumann.
XI.No. VI of the Goldberg Variations. J.S. Bach.
XII.Canon for Pianoforte. Grieg.
XIII.Canon for Pianoforte. Jadassohn.
XIV.Two-voiced Invention in C major. J.S. Bach.
XV.Three-voiced Fugue in E-flat major. J.S. Bach.
XVI.Final portion of Organ Fugue in G major. J.S. Bach.
XVII.Cat Fugue for Pianoforte. D. Scarlatti.
XVIII.Fuga Giocosa for Pianoforte. J.K. Paine.
XIX.Song, The Evening Star. Schumann.
XX.Gavotte in F major. Corelli.
XXI.Waltz in A-flat major. Schubert.
XXII.Träumerei. Schumann.
XXIII.Prelude in A major. Chopin.
XXIV.Lyric Piece in E-flat major. Grieg.
XXV.Nocturne in F major. Chopin.
XXVI.Berceuse in G major. Grieg.
XXVII.Intermezzo in E-flat minor. Heilman.
XXVIII.Sarabande in D major. J.S. Bach.
XXIX.Gavotte from Third English Suite. J.S. Bach.
XXX.Minuet from Don Giovanni. Mozart.
XXXI.Two Minuets from Castor and Pollux. Rameau.
XXXII.Gigue in G major. J.S. Bach.
XXXIII.Gigue in G major. Mozart.
XXXIV.Courante in F minor. D. Scarlatti.
XXXV.French Suite in E major. J.S. Bach.
XXXVI.Soeur Monique. Rondo by Couperin.
XXXVII.Romance in E major. Rondo by Schumann.
XXXVIII.Rondo à Capriccio in G major. Beethoven.
XXXIX.Aria from Dido and Aeneas (Ground bass). Purcell.
XL.Sonata in C major. D. Scarlatti.
XLI.Finale from Sonata in E-flat major. Haydn.
XLII.First Movement from the Surprise Symphony. Haydn.
XLIII.Adagio in B minor. Mozart.342
XLIV.First Movement from the Heroic Symphony. Beethoven.
XLV.Sonata in D Major. Beethoven.
XLVI.Finale from Sonata in A-flat major. Beethoven.
XLVII.Portion of Slow Movement of Seventh Symphony. Beethoven.
XLVIII.Slow Movement of Trio in B-flat major. Beethoven.
XLIX.Theme of Slow Movement from Sonata in E major, Op. 109. Beethoven.
L.The Young Nun. Song by Schubert.
LI.Intermezzo from the Euryanthe Overture. Weber.
LII.Portion of Fantasy Piece, Grillen. Schumann.
LIII.Novellette in E major. Schumann.
LIV.Moonlight. Song by Schumann.
LV.Venetian Boat Song. Mendelssohn.
LVI.Barcarolle. Chopin.
LVII.The Carnaval Romain Overture. Berlioz.
LVIII.March of the Pilgrims from the Harold in Italy Symphony. Berlioz.
LIX.Forest Murmurs. Étude by Liszt.
LX.Ballade in G minor. Brahms.
LXI.My Love is Green as the Alder Bush. Song by Brahms.
LXII.Finale of Symphonic Poem, Istar. D'Indy.
LXIII.Chanson triste for Pianoforte. Tchaikowsky.
LXIV.Invocation to Sleep. Song by Tchaikowsky.
LXV.Serenade. Borodin.
LXVI.Cradle Song of the Poor. Moussorgsky.
LXVII.Silhouette. Dvořák.
LXVIII.Spring Song. Grieg.
LXIX.Dance of Spring. Grieg.


By Edward MacDowell

(Lectures Delivered at Columbia University)

Especially valuable to that circle of readers who desire to secure the essential elements of a liberal culture in music. With this aim, Mr. MacDowell outlines somewhat the technical side of music, and with it, gives a general idea of the history and aesthetics of the art.

Price $1.50


Studies in Part-Writing


Professor of Music in Harvard University

Price $2.00



Arthur Foote, A.M. and Walter R. Spalding, A.M.

Price $1.50



By ARTHUR FOOTEPrice $1.25

Scales and Key Relationship
Modulation in General
Change of Keys or Chords without Modulation
Change of Keys by moving to a New Tonic
Modulation by means of Various Chords
Diatonic, Chromatic, and Enharmonic Modulation
Harmonic Changes resulting from the Symmetrical
Movement of Individual Voices
Harmonic Changes resulting from the Elision
of Chords
A Table of Modulations


120 Boylston Street
8 West 40th Street


[1] For suggestive comments on this point see the essays Harmonie et Melodie by Saint-Saëns, Chapters I and II.

[2] See Chapter II of Gurney's Power of Sound, a book remarkable for its insight.

[3] It is understood that this statement is made in a subjective rather than a purely physical sense. See the Century Dictionary under Sound.

[4] Il y a donc, dans l'art des sons, quelque chose qui traverse l'oreille comme un portique, la raison comme un vestibule et qui va plus loin.

Harmonie et Melodie, Chapter II.

[5] La musique, ses lois, son evolution, by Jules Combarieu.

[6] Just as some people are color-blind there are those who are tone-deaf—to whom, that is, music is a disagreeable noise—but they are so few as to be negligible.

[7] From earliest times, mothers have doubtless crooned to their infants in instinctive lullabies.

[8] In this connection we cannot refrain from suggesting the improvement which should be made in the concert manners of the public. How often, at the beginning of a concert, do we see people removing their wraps, looking at their neighbors, reading the programme book, etc., instead of concentrating on the music itself; with the result that the composition is often well on its way before such people have found their bearings.

[9] Compare Parry's Evolution of the Art of Music, passim and D.G. Mason's Beethoven and his Forerunners, Chapter I.

[10] In comparatively recent times the term has been widened to include music in which there is one chief melody to which other portions of the musical texture are subordinate; e.g., the homophonic style of Chopin in whose works the chief melody, often in the upper voice, seems to float on underlying waves of sound.

[11] For a complete account of these early attempts which finally led to part-writing see Chapter IV in the first volume of the Oxford History of Music.

[12] An historical account of this development as far as it is ascertainable may be found in the fifth chapter of Pratt's History of Music.

[13] Consult the article on the Round in Grove's Dictionary.

[14] A rather crude English adaptation of the Latin term "Punctus contra punctum" which refers to the notes as punctūs (plural) or dots which were pricked with a stylus into the medieval manuscripts. In this phrase the emphasis is on the contra, signifying a combination of different melodies and rhythms, and calling attention to that higher importance which, everywhere in art, is caused by contrasted elements.

[15] For an interesting account of this tripartite activity see Naumann's History of Music.

[16] See the facsimile of the original manuscript of "Sumer is icumen in" cited in the first volume of the Oxford History of Music, pp. 326-332.

[17] For a simple, charming example of persistent use of a motive see Schumann's pianoforte piece Kind im Einschlummern, No. 12 of the Kinderscenen.

[18] Another well-known example is the first theme of the first movement of the Sonata in F minor (Appassionata) op. 57. This the student can look up for himself.

[19] For some additional comments on this broad principle see the first Chapter (passim) of Parry's Evolution of the Art of Music.

[20] Everyone has experienced the agony of hearing the beginner practice, in an adjoining room, the same piece for hours at a time!

[21] For an eloquent presentation of the significance of Folk-music see the article by Henry F. Gilbert in the Musical Quarterly for October, 1917.

[22] For an able account of the important role that folk-melodies are taking in modern music see Chapter V of La Chanson Populaire en France by Julian Tiersot.

[23] The same statement is true of the Oriental nations, the Arabians, Persians and Greeks, who are left out of the enumeration only because their development in many respects has been along different lines from ours. For suggestive speculations as to early music among all nations see Primitive Music by Richard Wallaschek.

[24] For illuminating comments on the Folk-music of all the English-speaking peoples see Chapter XII of Ernest Walker's History of Music in England. The famous Petrie collection of Irish Folk-tunes should also be consulted.

[25] In counting the measures of a phrase always consider the first complete measure,—never a partial measure—as one.

[26] The chief reason for this leading tone, in addition to the natural tendency of singers to raise their voices as near as possible to the upper tonic, was so that the dominant chord, the third of which is always the 7th degree, might invariably be a Major Triad.

[27] For many suggestive comments on the whole subject see his book English Folk-Song.

[28] The example quoted, together with others equally beautiful, may be found in the collection edited by the Scottish composer, Hamish MacCunn. See, as well, the Cycle of Old Scotch Melodies arranged for four solo voices with pianoforte accompaniment by Arthur Whiting.

[29] For Irish folk-songs the best collections are the one by Villiers Stanford and a Cycle by Arthur Whiting, prepared in the same way as that just cited on Scottish melodies.

[30] Taken from an excellent collection of Chansons Populaires edited by Julien Tiersot.

[31] The best popular collection of Hungarian melodies is that by Francis Korbay, the texts for which were translated and arranged by the American novelist, J.S. of Dale. It is well known what artistic use has been made of Hungarian melodies and rhythms by Schubert, Liszt and Brahms.

[32] The statement might be qualified by saying that, since Beethoven, instrumental style has become a happy mixture of homophony for the chief melodies and polyphony for the supporting harmonic basis. Stress is laid in the above text on the polyphonic aspect merely to emphasize the matter under discussion.

[33] Notable names are Léonin and Pérotin, both organists of Nôtre Dame at Paris.

[34] Although this is not the place to set forth all the details of this development, in the interest of historical justice we should not think of Bach without gratefully acknowledging the remarkable work of such pioneers as the Dutchman, Sweelinck (1562-1621), organist at Amsterdam; the Italian, Frescobaldi (1583-1644), organist at Rome, and—greatest of all, in his stimulating influence upon Bach—the Dane, Buxtehude (1636-1707), organist at Lübeck. Sweelinck and Frescobaldi may fairly be called the founders of the genuine Fugue, and there is a romantic warmth in Buxtehude's best work which makes it thoroughly modern in sentiment.

[35] In connection with the statement that music has developed according to natural law, it is worth noting that the four-part chorus early became the standard for both vocal and instrumental groups for the simple reason that there exist two kinds of women's voices—soprano and alto, and two of men's voices—tenor and bass. Originally, the chief voice in the ecclesiastical chorus was the tenor (teneo), because the tenors sustained the melody. Below them were the basses (bassus, low); above the tenors came the altos (altus, high) and still higher the sopranos (sopra, above).

[36] The best edition is that by Busoni, published by Breitkopf and Härtel.

[37] This technical term as well as others will later be more fully explained.

[38] Whenever Percy Grainger performs this fugue in his own arrangement for pianoforte, he always electrifies an audience.

[39] It is worthy of observation that, for those who will listen to them intelligently, fugues do not merely demand such a state of mind but actually generate it.

[40] It is left to the teacher to explain to the student the key-relationship of Subject and Answer, and the difference between fugues, tonal and real; for as these points have rather more to do with composition they play but a slight part in listening to a fugue.

[41] Beethoven, commenting on the name, majestically said: "He is no brook; he is the open sea!"

[42] For a very suggestive article on this point by Philip Greeley Clapp see the Musical Quarterly for April, 1916.

[43] Some eloquent comments on Bach's style and significance may be found in Chapter III of The Appreciation of Music by Surette and Mason.

[44] It is assumed that the music-lover has, as his birthright, an instinctive knowledge of the grouping of tones and semitones in our modern scales. Those who may wish to refresh their knowledge are recommended to the second Chapter in Foote and Spalding's Harmony, and to the chapter on Scales in Parry's Evolution of the Art of Music.

[45] Color in music is brought about chiefly through their use.

[46] As for example the famous one of Chopin.

[47] Even great composers have at times made this mistake, e.g., Mendelssohn in the first movement of the Scotch Symphony, where the interminable length of the portion in A minor (of all keys!) is simply deadening in its effect. Compare also the Prelude to the Rheingold; where, however—for dramatic purposes—to depict the world as "without form and void" Wagner remains in the key of E-flat major for some 150 measures!

[48] It is left to the teacher to explain, by the ratios found in the overtones of the Harmonic Series, the validity of this statement.

[49] Some modern theorists, e.g., Calvacoressi (see the New Music Review for September, 1909) have thought that the dominant relationship was "overworked." It is true that the great charm of modern music is its freedom and boldness in modulation; but the dominant keys can never be entirely abandoned, for the relationship between them and a tonic is as elemental as that between the colors of the spectroscope.

[50] Two tones are said to be "enharmonic" when, although written differently, they sound the same on an instrument of fixed temperament like the pianoforte, or organ, e.g., D-sharp and E-flat, E and F-flat. A violin, however, can make a distinction between such notes and often does.

[51] This assertion holds for most of our Western European music; though in Hungarian and Scotch music we find a natural fondness for phrases of three measures, and the Croatians are known for their phrases of five measures so often used by both Haydn and Schubert. But it is true that we tend to think in groups which are some multiple of 2, i.e., either 4, 8, 12 or 16 measures.

[52] Always count the first complete measure as one.

[53] The two phrases are often designated Thesis and Antithesis.

[54] In listening to a clock it is impossible to think of the ticks singly, or otherwise than in groups of two: an accented beat and an unaccented; although the beats are of equal strength and duration. This principle of dual balance is derived from the rhythmic pulsation of the human heart and, as we shall see, runs through all music.

[55] Whenever this book is used in class, the teacher can easily explain, on the pianoforte and by charts, the different cadential effects. For those who have sufficient harmonic insight Chapter XIV in Foote and Spalding's Modern Harmony is worth consulting.

[56] See also the strikingly original cadences in Debussy's L'Isle joyeuse.

[57] Another interesting eight-measure sentence may be found at the beginning of the slow movement of Beethoven's Eighth Sonata, in which every section differs from any one of the others; in the opening sentence of the first movement of the Tenth Sonata—noticeable for the indefiniteness of the cadences until the final close is reached in measure 8, and in the first sentence of the Allegretto of the Sixth Sonata which is one long sweep, with only the faintest indications of subdivision.

[58] Lack of space will prevent hereafter the citation in actual notes of the examples from Beethoven. His works are readily accessible, and it may even be assumed that every music-lover owns the Pianoforte Sonatas.

[59] Another excellent example of a 12 measure sentence with an extended cadence may be found at the beginning of the first movement of the Third Beethoven Sonata.

[60] For a burlesque of this practise see the closing measures of the Scherzando movement of Beethoven's Eighth Symphony.

[61] Other charming examples of five-bar rhythm may be found in Schubert's Quartet in A minor, op. 29, and in the opening choral (St. Anthony) of Brahms's Orchestral Variations, op. 56a.

[62] This effect is clearly brought out in symphonic music where one portion of the orchestra, with a certain tone color, may be ending a phrase at the same moment at which another part, with a contrasting tone color, begins. An excellent example is the first theme of the Slow movement of Schumann's Second Symphony (measures 7-8).

[63] For a complete account of this process see Parry's Evolution of the Art of Music, p. 115 seq.

[64] This book makes no attempt to give an historical account of the development of instrumental form. The subject is set forth comprehensively in the article on Form in Grove's Dictionary (Vol. II, p. 73) and in the Fifth and Sixth Chapters of Parry's Evolution of the Art of Music.

[65] See The Appreciation of Music by Surette and Mason, p. 36.

[66] As an illustration of this tendency see the Scherzo of Beethoven's Second Sonata, the second part of which has a new theme of its own, although the movement as a whole is clearly in Two-part form.

[67] See The Sonata Form by W.H. Hadow, Chapter III.

[68] The three-part form is derived partly from the Italian "da Capo Aria" and partly from the fundamental instinct for restatement which we have seen in the Folk-song.

[69] Additional illustrations, which will repay study are the following: the Allegretto of Beethoven's Sixth Sonata; the Schubert Impromptu, op. 90, No. 4; Brahms's Intermezzo, op. 117, No. 1 and the Ballade in G minor, op. 118, No. 3, and for orchestra—in extended treatment—Debussy's Prélude à l'après-midi d'un Faune.

[70] For an interesting and comprehensive account of this development see Grove's Dictionary, Volume IV, article on the Suite.

[71] For extensive comments on Scarlatti's style see The History of the Pianoforte and Pianoforte Players by Oscar Bie, pp. 68-90.

[72] These titles, according to Parry (see his life of Bach, Chapters IV and XII passim), were not given by Bach himself but were assigned, in the case of the French Suites, to denote the delicacy of treatment found therein, and in the English, a certain massive style.

[73] So-called because it is written on a sustained bass note or pedal point; a feature of the Musette (the French name for Bagpipe) being its persistent drone bass on the tonic and the dominant.

[74] An interesting example may also be found in Grieg's Holberg Suite for Pianoforte.

[75] For a vivid description of these dances see Chabrier's Lettres à Nanette, Paris, 1910.

[76] See also Le Tombeau de Couperin in which is a very novel Rigaudon.

[77] For a complete account of the historical development see the article on Form in Grove's Dictionary Vol. II and Hadow's Sonata Form, Chapter IX.

[78] There is an early example in the Rondo of Mozart's Sonata for Pianoforte in B-flat major.

[79] For a complete detailed analysis of the movement see Prout, Applied Forms, pp. 120-121.

[80] We would cite the piece entitled Les Buffons by Bull, and Byrd's variations to the popular tune the Carman's Whistle, which latter have considerable archaic charm and distinction; for Byrd was a real genius. These are readily accessible in popular editions.

[81] Consult the comprehensive article on Variations in Grove's Dictionary, Vol. V.

[82] For the derivation of the term consult the interesting article in Grove's Dictionary, Vol. IV.

[83] A work before which Schumann said every musician should prostrate himself in adoration.

[84] For a detailed account see the third volume of D.G. Mason's Appreciation of Music series.

[85] These compositions are not printed in the Supplement, as it may be assumed that the student can readily procure them. They are published in a number of editions.

[86] For some illuminating comments on the whole Sonata see Baxter Perry's Descriptive Analysis of Pianoforte Works. (The Theodore Presser Co.)

[87] Except in the comparatively rare cases where we have a Fugue on two subjects.

[88] Illuminating comments on this point will be found in Outlines of Musical Form from W.H. Hadow's Studies in Modern Music (2nd Series).

[89] See the prelude in D major of the second book of the Well-tempered Clavichord.

[90] For further information consult the first chapter of J.S. Shedlock's The Pianoforte Sonata.

[91] For an extended account of this development see the second chapter, Vol. II, of The Art of Music (The National Society of Music, N.Y.). See also Chapter XIX of Pratt's History of Music.

[92] The form is also sometimes used independently, as in Brahms's Rhapsody in G minor and often, of course, in the Overture.

[93] I.e., 1st Violin, 2d Violin, Viola and Violoncello.

[94] See the eloquent comments on this analogy by d'Indy in his Course in Composition, Vol. II, Chap. 5.

[95] "Art is not more a riot of the passions than it is a debauch of the senses; it contains, no doubt, sensuous and emotional elements, the importance of which there is no need to undervalue, but it is only artistic if it subordinate them to the paramount claims of reason." W.H. Hadow, Studies in Modern Music (second series), preface.

[96] Some composers have also experimented with still freer key-relationships.

[97] For striking examples see the Expositions of the first movements of Beethoven's Third Symphony and of Tchaikowsky's Sixth Symphony.

[98] The ultra-conservative attitude of Brahms is shown by his retention of the double bar and repeat, although this is often ignored by modern conductors.

[99] It was probably a development of this kind which called forth the characteristic comment from Debussy who once remarked to a friend at a concert, "Let us flee! he is going to develop."

[100] See Grétry's amusing comments on the Sonata-Form cited by Romain Rolland in the essays Musicians of Former Days.

[101] See also Wagner's comments on the Third Leonora Overture, cited by Ernest Newman in his Musical Studies, pp. 134-135.

[102] Additional illustrations of this treatment may be found in Chabrier's Overture to Gwendoline and in the first movement of F.S. Converse's String Quartet.

[103] Those interested in this development should consult The Pianoforte Sonata by J.S. Shedlock, and above all, d'Indy's Course of Musical Composition, Part III.

[104] This, according to d'Indy, was so-called because pleasing to the ladies who played an important part in the elaborate court ceremonial of that day.

[105] Six of P.E. Bach's Sonatas edited by von Bülow are readily accessible and some excellent comments upon the most significant ones may be found in Shedlock (see above).

[106] See his Study of the History of Music, p. 154.

[107] See for example the Salomon Symphony in E-flat, every movement of which is founded on a Croatian folk-song.

[108] For a comprehensive account of this whole subject consult the Oxford History of Music, Vol. V, Chapter VIII, and Mason's Beethoven and His Forerunners, essay on Haydn.

[109] Witness for example, the attitude taken by Wallace in his Threshold of Music, pp. 148-153.

[110] For the early and significant achievements in orchestral effect of the Mannheim Orchestra under its famous leader Stamitz, see The Art of Music, Vol. 8, Chapter II.

[111] For interesting comments on the String Quartets see Hadden's Life of Haydn, pp. 174-175.

[112] The Oxford History of Music, Vol. V, Chapter I, and The Present State of Music in Germany by Burney present a vivid picture of the times and of the results of 18th century patronage.

[113] For an entertaining account of the two London visits, which took place during the latter part of his career, see the essay Haydn in London by Krehbiel in his Music and Manners.

[114] In many cases Haydn's second theme is merely a varied version of the first.

[115] Haydn's life is of great interest in showing the traits which are reflected in his music. Everyone should read the biography in Grove's Dictionary, Vol. II, p. 348, and the excellent life by M. Brenet in Les Maîtres de la Musique.

[116] Haydn himself used to speak of his melodic invention as "a stream which bursts forth from an overflowing reservoir."

[117] In every large city there are, of course, frequent opportunities to hear the Quartets of Haydn played by such famous organizations as the Flonzaley Quartet etc. The student is urged to take advantage of these occasions.

[118] Those who erroneously think that there is nothing of the dissonant element in Haydn should examine the Prelude to The Creation—a real anticipation, in its use of the chromatic element, of Tristan and Isolde.

[119] All symphonic scores give a much better effect when performed on two pianofortes than in a four-hand arrangement for a single instrument. The freedom in control of both pedals possessed by each player secures a greater richness and sonority of tone and it is much easier to make prominent voices stand out in relief.

[120] Amadeus (the beloved of God).

[121] We may appropriately state that in regard to ancestry and environment all four of the so-called Viennese masters, Haydn, Mozart, Beethoven and Schubert are distinct refutations of the claims so persistently made by German scholars that everything good in music we owe to the Teutons. Haydn was largely Croatian; Mozart was strongly influenced by non-Teutonic folk-music (Tyrolese melodies frequently peep out in his works); Schubert's forebears came from Moravia and Silesia; and Beethoven was partly Dutch. If there be any single race to which the world owes the art of music it is the Italians, for they invented most of the instruments and hinted at all the vocal and instrumental forms. We may be grateful to the Germans for their persevering appropriation of what others had begun; only let them not claim all the credit.

[122] For extended comment, see the Oxford History of Music, Vol. V, p. 246, seq.

[123] We recommend especially the refreshing essay by Philip Hale in Famous Composers and Their Works; the chapter on Mozart in Beethoven and His Forerunners by D.G. Mason; and, as throwing light on aspects of his personality which are little known, "Mozart Revealed in his Own Words" by Kerst-Krehbiel (see especially the chapter on Mozart's religious nature, p. 142 and passim); the fascinating Reminiscences of Michael Kelly, a personal friend of the composer; and, above all, the monumental life of Mozart, unhappily as yet incomplete, by Wyzewa and St. Foix. The third chapter of Vol. II of The Art of Music is also well worth reading; and in Mozart's Operas, a Critical Study by E.J. Dent are found valuable comments on his dramatic style, so prominent a feature in many of his instrumental works.

[124] The first three compositions are not given in the Supplement, because readily available in several standard editions. The same recommendations, as given in connection with Haydn, apply to the performance of the G minor Symphony.

[125] This modification became a favorite with Beethoven, notable examples being the Slow movement of the Fifth Sonata, where the Development is represented by a single chord; the Slow movement of the D minor Sonata, op. 31; and, above all, the Allegretto Scherzando of the Eighth Symphony, where a series of contrasted accents keeps the interest alive and leads most deftly to the Recapitulation.

[126] In measures 20 and 21 may be found some striking syncopations—an anticipation of what now-a-days is known as "rag-time."

[127] See the Waltz movement of the Fifth Symphony and the second movement of the Sixth.

[128] This expanding of interest is distinctly felt in Beethoven's Fifth Symphony, in Brahms's First, in Tchaikowsky's Fifth and in that by César Franck.

[129] For a complete account of this development see Grove's Dict. Vol. III under Overture and the Oxford History, Vol. IV, page 286, seq.

[130] Its companion in modern literature is the Overture to the Bartered Bride (by the Bohemian composer Smetana), which also begins with a brilliant fugal treatment of the theme.

[131] For some illuminating comments on this subtle character of Mozart's creations see the Stanford-Forsyth History of Music, p. 254.

[132] Hence is given a more extended biographical account than in the case of former composers.

[133] The prefix van is not a symbol of nobility.

[134] See the two Beethoveniana by Nottebohm.

[135] The derivation of the word is worthy of note; it means moisture, juice, something not dry. Humor is certainly the juice of human nature.

[136] See Beethoven, Kerst-Krehbiel, p. 45.

[137] Read the appropriate essay in Beethoven and His Nine Symphonies by Sir George Grove.

[138] Vox populi, vox Dei.

[139] D'Indy, however, in his Beethoven (p. 61, English translation) dissents from this view; not at all convincingly, it would seem to us. For the basic rhythm of each movement is on a definite dance metre and the theme of the first movement is a regular Irish jig (Beethoven at one time being very much interested in Irish folk-dances) with its typical three final notes, e.g.


[Listen] [MusicXML]

[140] It was written, to use Beethoven's own words, in an "aufgeknöpft" (unbuttoned) condition, i.e., free, untramelled, rather than straight-laced, swaddled in conventions.

[141] These are based in this work and in all Symphonic compositions on the full orchestral score (in the Peters edition); the student is therefore recommended to adopt this practise. For in Beethoven and all orchestral writers the thought and expression are so integrally bound up with the tone color and idiom of the various instruments that when their works are reduced to another medium much of the eloquence is lost. For those who cannot handle an orchestral score there are adequate arrangements for 2 hands, 4 hands and for 2 pianofortes in several standard editions. Those who have an advanced pianoforte technique should certainly become familiar with the virtuoso-transcriptions of the Beethoven Symphonies by Franz Liszt.

[142] It is an excellent practise to number the measures of a score in groups of 10.

[143] D-flat being the enharmonic equivalent of C-sharp. [Transcriber's Note: In the original, the footnote marker is in the music notation, bar 3.]

[144] The variations are not numbered and the demarcations indicated only by certain cadential objective points.

[145] By Beethoven everything is carefully planned. Note in performance the contrast of mood suggested by these final chords and the sombre register of the opening chords of the Slow Movement.

[146] According to d'Indy it is more truly pathetic than the entire so-called Pathetic Sonata.

[147] A frequent confusion of thought is shown in the use of the words "discord" and "dissonance." A discord is an unrelated noise, as when one bangs with both fists on the key-board. A dissonance is a logical introduction of intervals or chords made up of jarring factors for their stimulating effect upon the imagination.

[148] Two of the greatest innovators in this direction, Scryabin and Stravinsky, have been working in our own day, and there is no doubt that by their daring experiments they have enlarged the expressive powers of music. While it is obvious that the dramatic effect of to-day stimulates the experimentation of tomorrow, contrariwise, the immediate contribution of each innovator is to render more clear the work of his predecessor, up to that moment the confessed iconoclast.

[149] For a very clear tabular view of the structure of this Sonata see d'Indy's Cours de Composition Musicale, Book II, p. 332.

[150] This is not given in the Supplement. See preceding remarks apropos of the Third Symphony. The comments are based, as usual, on the full orchestral score.

[151] This interpretation of d'Indy is based upon the prevalence in the movement of the conventional martial rhythm music and carries, we must acknowledge, considerable weight. It is, however, distinctly subjective and prevents no one from gaining quite a different impression. We should be more inclined to accept the views of the noted French scholar had he not been so wide of the mark, while speaking of the Seventh Symphony, as to deny any appearance of dance-rhythm in the first movement But the Irish composer, Villiers Stanford, has shown conclusively that the theme is based upon the rhythm of an Irish Hornpipe. Thus do the wise ones disagree! Meanwhile, we others have the music itself.

[152] Beethoven and his Nine Symphonies by Sir George Grove.

[153] Beethoven's favorite mark of tempo and expression.

[A] There are also some p holding notes on the bassoons. [Transcriber's Note: In the original, the footnote marker is in the music notation, bar 6.]

[154] Free, in that they are not numbered and are not separated by rigid cadences; in that episodical passages—often of a rhapsodic nature—are interpolated.

[155] The tempo is often taken by conductors too slowly, thus losing much of its buoyancy.

[156] While listening to this passage one is instinctively reminded of Keats's "Bright and steadfast star, hung aloft the night."

[157] Taken separately, the movements are perfectly normal; the Scherzo in the usual Three-part form and the Finale in complete Sonata-form.

[158] There are traces of this striving for organic unity in several of the early Sonatas, notably in the Sonata Pathétique, where the motive of the first theme of the Finale is identical with that of the second theme of the opening movement e.g.

1st Movement

[Listen] [MusicXML]


[Listen] [MusicXML]

Also in the C-sharp minor Sonata, op. 27, we find a case of melodic relationship between a phase in the introductory meditation and the main theme of the Minuet.

[159] A Symphonic Poem is a descriptive composition for orchestra which incorporates many of the customary symphonic moods; but the form is free, largely dependent on the poetic basis, and the structure is without stops, being one continuous whole.

[160] His exact words are—"Le milieu (the trio) ressemble assez aux ébats d'un éléphant en gaieté—mais le monstre s'éloigne et le bruit de sa folle course se perd graduellement."

[161] Its motto might well be Browning's famous lines: "How good is man's life, how fit to employ all the heart and the soul and the senses forever in joy."

[B] This pianoforte figure being a very inadequate substitute for the restless tremolo of the violas, i.e., music. [Listen (MP3)] [MusicXML] [Transcriber's Note: In the original, the footnote marker is in the music notation, bar 1.]

[162] For suggestive comments by the noted critic E.T.A. Hoffmann, one of the first to realize the genius of Beethoven, and for a complete translation of his essay on the Fifth Symphony see the article by A.W. Locke in the Musical Quarterly for January, 1917.

[163] A complete account of this development may be found in the first two chapters of Niecks's Programme Music.

[164] For an excellent description of this piece, as well as others of the period, see the volume by Krehbiel The Pianoforte and Its Music.

[165] A comprehensive and invaluable description of the works and style of Couperin and Rameau may be found in the History of the Pianoforte and its Players by Oscar Bie. For an early example of what is now called "poetic atmosphere" everyone should know Couperin's piece Les Barricades Mystérieuses which is more suggestive when played on the claveçin with its delicate tone.

[166] A favorite term of opprobrium is that the program is a "crutch."

[167] There are several essays which will help the student toward clear thinking on this important subject: the valuable essay Program Music in Newman's Musical Studies, the article on the subject in Grove's Dictionary, and the exhaustive volume by Niecks; some of his views, however, are extreme and must be accepted with caution. Above all should be read Wagner's interpretation of Coriolanus in his essay on the Overture (English translation by W.A. Ellis).

[168] Twenty-five years' experience as a college teacher, however, has proved that too much may be taken for granted!

[169] It is unfortunate that the diminished seventh chord does not sound so fierce to our modern ears as it undoubtedly did in Beethoven's time, but that is simply because we have become accustomed to more strident effects.

[170] See, however, the octave leaps of the kettle-drums in the Scherzo of the Ninth Symphony.

[171] Suggestive comments from a literary point of view may also be found in these works: Studies in the Seven Arts, Symonds; Beethoven by Romain Rolland—with an interesting though ultra-subjective introduction by Carpenter; The Development of Symphonic Music by T.W. Surette; Beethoven by Walker; Beethoven by Chantavoine in the series Les Maîtres de la Musique. As to the three successive "styles" under which Beethoven's works are generally classified there is an excellent account in Pratt's History of Music, p. 419.

[172] This passage is to be found in the Life in Grove's Dictionary.

[173] For a more complete historical account see the article "Romantic" in Grove's Dictionary and the introduction to Vol. VI of The Oxford History of Music. Rousseau and Romanticism by Professor Irving Babbitt presents the latest investigations in this important field.

[174] Some very sane comments may be found in Pratt's History of Music, pp. 427, 501, 502.

[175] "A classic is properly a book"—and the same would be true of a musical composition—"which maintains itself by that happy coalescence of matter and style, that innate and requisite sympathy between the thought that gives life and the form that consents to every mood of grace and dignity, and which is something neither ancient nor modern, always new and incapable of growing old."

Lowell, Among My Books.

[176] Compare also the definition of genius by Masters in the Spoon River Anthology:

"In youth my wings were strong and tireless,
But I did not know the mountains.
In age I knew the mountains
But my weary wings could not follow my vision—
Genius is wisdom and youth."

[177] Schubert was of incredible versatility and fecundity; he literally tried his hand at everything: operas, church-music, ensemble combinations. Since, however, he exercised little power of selection or revision much of this music has become obsolete. The joke is well-known that he could set a theatre notice to music, and his rule for composing was "When I have finished one song I begin another."

[178] For an original, though at times rhapsodic, study of Schubert's vocal style see H.T. Finck's Songs and Song Writers, and the last chapter of the Fifth Volume of the Oxford History.

[179] Schubert did compose a number of Pianoforte Sonatas in the conventional form, but with the exception of the one in A minor they seem diffuse and do not represent him at his best; they certainly have not held their own in modern appeal.

[180] For the account of its exciting discovery in Vienna by Schumann in 1838, after a neglect of ten years, see the life of Schubert in Grove's Dictionary.

[181] For lack of space no one of these compositions is cited in the Supplement, but they are all readily available.

[182] This tendency is prevalent in folk-music, especially that of the Russians and Scandinavians. Schubert, however, was the first to make such systematic and artistic use of the effect. For a beautiful modern example see the Spanish folk-dance by Granados, e.g.,


[Listen (MP3)] [MusicXML]

[183] So appropriately called by Berlioz the "heroine of the orchestra."

[184] A striking illustration of this progression (surely Weber's most characteristic mannerism) is naïvely supplied by Weingartner; when, in his own orchestral arrangement of Weber's Invitation to the Dance, for the final climax he assembles all the leading themes in combination—an effect made possible only by their common harmonic basis.

[185] This whole article is well worth reading and may be found in that breezy though somewhat erratic volume called Old Scores and New Readings.

[186] Not given in the Supplement since good arrangements for two and four hands are numerous. To gain the real effect the student is strongly advised to consult the orchestral score.

[187] The genesis of so many similar effects in modern music, notably in Wagner.

[188] Perhaps the whirligig of time may restore them; who can say?

[189] The life in Grove's Dictionary is well worth while; there are essays by Krehbiel and others and, above all, the biographical and critical accounts in the two French series: Les Musiciens Célèbres, and Les Maîtres de la Musique.

[190] Because of an unfortunate accident to one of his fingers this ambition, however, had to be abandoned. The world thereby gained a great composer.

[191] As the music is readily procurable the student should make himself familiar with the entire set.

[192] A beautiful contrast may be made by playing the section in F major with the "una corda" pedal throughout.

[193] The poem is easily procured in a volume of Everyman's Library.

[194] These chords are an amusing example of a "paper effect," for unless you watch the conductor's beat, it is impossible to feel the syncopation. There being no first beat proper, the chords are syncopated against the air!

[195] For pertinent comments on this point see Newman's essay on Program Music, pp. 134-135, in his Musical Studies.

[196] In studying this work consult, if possible, the orchestral score. For those who need a condensed two-hand arrangement, the Litolff edition is to be recommended.

[197] It is more than a matter of mere chronology to realise that the D minor Symphony was composed in the same year as the B-flat major. It was afterwards revised and published as No. 4, but the vitality and spontaneity of its themes come from the first gush of Schumann's inspiration.

[198] We find traces of this tendency in the First Symphony, where the Slow Movement and the Scherzo are linked together, likewise in the Second, where the motto of the first movement is repeated at the end of the Scherzo.

[199] The analysis is based, as usual, on the orchestral score; for class-room study there are excellent editions for two and four hands.

[200] Concert-goers may well be reminded that there should be no applause between the movements of this work. One of the most pernicious ideas of the public is that as soon as the music ceases, handclapping should begin; whereas a complete silence is often the very means the composer employs for intensifying what has been said and preparing for what is to come. Let us ponder the cryptic remark attributed to Mozart that "the rests in music are more important than the notes."

[201] This was afterwards withdrawn as impracticable. What a pity that Schumann wrote before the harp as a member of the orchestra had come into its own. For the mood which he was trying to establish compare the scoring of this Romanza with that in the Slow movement of Franck's Symphony.

[202] In Brahms, who was something of a conservative as to freedom of form, there is a striking example in the connection between the second movement and the Finale of the Third Symphony.

[203] Schumann was a true poet in the spontaneity of his themes, but often an unsuccessful architect when connecting them.

[204] For a detailed and illuminating study of this symphony and of Schumann's style in general see the last essay in Preludes and Studies by W.J. Henderson. Another excellent essay may be found in Studies in Modern Music by W.H. Hadow.

[205] Several of these were constantly played by both Paderewski and De Pachman, two of the greatest virtuosi of our day: surely a convincing tribute!

[206] See the Oxford History of Music, Vol. VI, pp. 80-84. Anyone who cares to see what Wagner owed to Mendelssohn may compare the opening theme, and its treatment, of the Fair Melusine Overture with the music of the Rhine Maidens in the Rheingold.

[207] See his treatise on Orchestration, p. 194.

[208] This is exceptionally effective in the four-hand version—in fact, it was often played as a pianoforte duet by his sister Fanny and himself—although the real poetic effect is inseparably connected with the orchestral treatment.

[209] Originally these tones were played by the Ophicleide or Serpent (now obsolete).

[210] This, after all, is a rather subtle point for a boy of seventeen to be called upon to consider. Perhaps if he had been that kind of a boy he might not have written the Overture at all!

[211] The ecclesiastical formula for an Amen being the so-called Plagal cadence of subdominant and tonic chords.

[212] He was born of a Polish mother and a French father, and these mixed strains of blood account fundamentally for the leading characteristics of his music. From the former strain came the impassioned, romantic and at times chivalrous moods, prominent in all Polish life and art; and from the latter the grace, charm and finish which we rightly associate with the French nature. For side-lights on Chopin's intimacy with George Sand see the well-known essays by Henry James and René Doumic.

[213] The few exceptions being the Polish Songs, the Trio for Violin, 'Cello and Pianoforte and the orchestral accompaniment to the two Concertos.

[214] There will occur to every one numerous passages in which the pianoforte is expected to be a kettle-drum, or where the figuration is far better suited to the violin than to the hand in connection with keys.

[215] This by reason of its combined powers in melody, harmony and rhythm. Some of these qualities it shares, to be sure, with the organ; but the organ is inherently lacking in rhythm, and its solid, block-like tones do not exercise the same fascination upon the imagination as do the fleeting sounds of the pianoforte. It is, of course, possible and desirable to enjoy both instruments—each in its own proper sphere, and each for its characteristic effects.

[216] It is understood that all the comments are based on the action of a concert-grand pianoforte, since on an upright or a square—because of mechanical limitations of space—the effects are quite different.

[217] In this connection, even at the risk of seeming to preach, let the advice be given that nothing should ever be put on top of a grand pianoforte: neither flowers, afternoon tea-sets, bird-cages, books, nor even an aquarium! For the lid is not merely a cover, but an additional sounding-board, and must always be in readiness to be so used. The pianoforte as a coloristic instrument, in short, is completely itself only when played with the lid raised.

[218] An instrument designed to reinforce these upper tones, so that they may be clearly heard, is to be found in any Physical Laboratory. That these tones really vibrate "sympathetically" may be proved by striking ff this note With damper pedal and then pressing down very lightly the keys of G and E just above middle C, thus removing the individual dampers of these notes. In a quiet room the tones are distinctly audible. For another rewarding experiment of the same nature, see the Introduction to the first volume of Arthur Whiting's Pedal Studies and the well-known treatise of Helmholtz.

[219] For a complete and illuminating treatise on the pedals and their artistic use, see the aforesaid two volumes of Pedal Studies by Arthur Whiting (G. Schirmer, New York).

[220] The term dates from the period when this pedal controlled three shifts: una corda, due corde and tre corde; the hammer striking respectively one, two or three strings. The whole mechanism is well implied in the German word Verschiebung, i.e., the shoving along—so frequent in Schumann's works, e.g., the middle part of his Vogel als Prophet from the Waldscenen, op. 82, No. 7.

[221] American pianofortes also have a middle pedal called the "sustaining pedal," by which tones in the lower register may be prolonged. It has not proved to be of great value, though there are occasional passages, e.g., the closing measures of the second movement of César Franck's Violin Sonata, where it may be effectively employed.

[222] For a commentary on this passage see D.G. Mason's essay on Chopin in The Romantic Composers.

[223] For a detailed analysis of many special features of style see the volume by Edgar Stillman Kelly, Chopin the Composer.

[224] To save space, no one of these pieces except the Barcarolle is given in the Supplement, since they are readily accessible. The Barcarolle, however, is given in order to make it better known; for although it is one of the most inspired and beautifully expressed of all Chopin's works, it is heard comparatively seldom. The best editions of the works are those of Kullak, Mikuli and Klindworth.

[225] For an account of its origin see the chapter in Huneker's book and the article on the Polonaise in Grove's Dictionary.

[226] For a convincing account of this tragic marriage see the volume of Recollections by Ernest Legouvé.

[227] It is understood that this is merely a personal opinion of the writer and might well have been prefaced by the Socratic "it seems to me." Too much criticism reminds us of wine-tasting—Mr. So-and-So likes port, Mr. So-and-So sherry. The object of fair-minded appreciation is to understand clearly just what each composer set out to do, i.e., what was the natural tendency of his individual genius; then the only question is: did or did he not do this well? It is futile to blame him because he was not someone else or did not achieve what he never set out to do.

[228] The best edition is the complete one, beautifully engraved and with critical comments, by Malherbe and Weingartner. This is expensive, but should be found in any large library.

[229] The only citations possible in the Supplement are the Overture and portions of a few of the others.

[230] Particularly to be recommended are the following: the essay in Musical Studies by Newman; that by R. Rolland in Musiciens d'aujourd'hui (in French and in English); Berlioz et la société de son temps by J. Tiersot; the essay in Studies in Modern Music by Hadow; Berlioz's own Mémoires (in French and in English) and his entertaining essays, A Travers Chants, Grotesques de la Musique and Soirées d'Orchestre; the excellent résumé of Berlioz's writings in the Amateur Series by W.F. Apthorp; the Symphony since Beethoven by Weingartner; and, above all, the monumental work by Boschot in three parts—La Jeunesse d'un Romantique, Un Romantique sous Louis Philippe, Le Crépuscule d'un Romantique. There is an amusing but far from convincing assault against Berlioz as a programme composer and, to a certain extent, against Romanticism in general, in the New Laocoön by Professor Irving Babbitt.

[231] On the title page of the autograph copy of the full score is inscribed the following quotation from King Lear: "As flies to wanton boys are we to the Gods; they kill us for their sport."

[232] Dannreuther, in his essay in the Sixth Volume of the Oxford History of Music, speaks of the peculiar process of "rabbeting" which serves Berlioz in the place of counterpoint, and the criticism, though caustic, holds much truth.

[233] This movement is also of interest as an early example of the Waltz among the conventional symphonic moods. The example has been followed by Tchaikowsky in the third movement of his Fifth Symphony.

[234] For further comments on this Symphony see Mr. Mason's essay in the Romantic Composers, an essay which, while thoughtful, strikes the writer as somewhat biased.

[235] For an entertaining account of the subject matter of the opera see Chapter VII of Boschot's Un Romantique sous Louis Philippe.

[236] For an extended analysis of the work and also for an account of the alleged connection of the virtuoso Paganini with its composition, see the essay in Niecks' Programme Music. There are, in addition, interesting comments in Stories of Symphonic Music by Lawrence Gilman.

[237] An early example of the modern principle of transformation and transference by theme.

[238] A striking illustration of "association of ideas" may be gained from a comparison of the end of this movement with the closing measures of Strauss's Thus Spake Zarathustra; it seems incredible that Strauss did not have Berlioz's effect in his mind.

[239] See the Mémoires for a rhapsodic account of his state of mind at this time—"basking in the warm rays of Shakespeare's imagination and believing it in his power to arrive at the marvellous island where rises the temple of pure Art."

[240] For extended comments and a long citation of the actual music see the Sixth Volume of the Oxford History of Music.

[241] For valuable analytical comments on Berlioz's orchestral style see Vol. VIII, Chapter X, of the Art of Music (César Saerchinger, N.Y.), and for biographical details and matters of general import, Vol. II, Chap. IX.

[242] The best biographies in English are the one by Huneker and that in Vol. 2 of Grove's Dictionary.

[243] For a lively description of his influence as a pianoforte teacher see Music Study in Germany by Amy Fay.

[244] For a most entertaining description of this work see the Huneker Biography, pp. 64-70.

[245] For stimulating comments see The Symphony since Beethoven by Weingartner, pp. 71-86.

[246] An enlightening and comprehensive account of each of these may be found in Niecks's Programme Music already referred to. See also Chapter VII, pp. 141-155 in Vol. VI of the Oxford History for what is perhaps a rather biased point of view. There is an excellent tabulation of the themes from Les Préludes in Mason's Romantic Composers.

[247] An allegation often brought against Liszt's work by those whose conception of "form" is that of a cast-iron mould.

[248] Translated as follows by Bayard Taylor:—

Chorus Misticus

All things transitory
But as symbols are sent;
Earth's insufficiency
Here grows to Event;
The Indescribable,
Here it is done:
The Woman-Soul leadeth us
Upward and on!

[249] The way in which the Germans in the recent war have applied this doctrine raises, we must say, many searching questions.

[250] That this is the verdict of the public is shown by the fact that, whenever of late years Faust has been given by the Boston Symphony Orchestra, it has had to be repeated by popular request.

[251] For further comments on the work see Huneker's Franz Liszt, pp. 141-146 and the third part (on Program Music) of Finck's R. Strauss, The Man and His Works. Also Chap. VII passim in Vol. VI of the Oxford History.

[252] Weber and Schubert had, of course, done valuable pioneer work.

[253] Noted as being the original centre of national German opera and for its associations with the early career of Handel.

[254] Another very fine work in this class is the Tragic Overture, worthy of the deepest study.

[255] We cite Saint-Saëns, as one instance.

[256] "From the heart it has come, to the heart it shall go."

[257] For literature on Brahms the following works are recommended: the comprehensive Life by Fuller-Maitland; the essay in Hadow's Studies in Modern Music; that in Mason's From Grieg to Brahms; that by Spitta in Studies in Music by Robin Grey; the first essay in Mezzotints in Modern Music by Huneker; the biographical and critical article in Grove's Dictionary; Chapter IX in Volume 8 of the Art of Music, and Chapter XIII in Volume 2. There are also some stimulating remarks on Brahms's style in general, and on the attitude of a past generation towards his work, in those delightful essays, in 2 volumes, By the Way, About Music by the late well-known critic, W.F. Apthorp.

[258] The eloquence of the work is so integrally involved with its orchestral dress that it should always be studied, if possible, in the full score. For class-room work excellent editions are available for two and four hands.

[259] The only slight exception is the third movement of the Fourth Symphony which, being marked Allegro giocoso, partakes somewhat of the nature of a Scherzo.

[260] "Those eternal sixths and thirds." Weingartner later publicly recanted and became a whole-souled convert to Brahms. (See The Symphony since Beethoven, latest edition.)

[261] A similar effect may be found in the closing measures of the first movement of Beethoven's Eighth Symphony.

[262] There is a striking analogy between the intervals of this theme and those of a well-known peal in a cathedral chime, e.g.


[Listen] [MusicXML]

In both the same elemental effect is produced by using the natural tones of the harmonic series (see page 193).

[263] See also a similar eulogy by Weingartner in his The Symphony since Beethoven.

[264] There is a statement in many books that this is a reminiscence of the theme in the Finale of the Ninth Symphony. How such a legend started it is difficult to say; it must be due to what the late W.F. Apthorp called "purblind criticism." For my part I see a resemblance in only one measure—save that both melodies are in quadruple rhythm—between the theme of Brahms and the following:—


[Listen] [MusicXML]

[265] It is used at the beginning of three other well-known melodies, e.g., the slow movement of Beethoven's Ninth Symphony, in the middle part of Schumann's Aufschwung and in the first phrase of Wagner's Preislied.

[266] This practice he has adopted in several other works and it is also the structural feature in the slow movement of César Franck's D minor Symphony.

[267] It is to be understood that this is a purely personal interpretation and if any one wishes to consider the piece merely as absolute music with a strong masculine theme in the minor, a lyric melody in the major for the natural contrast, and a coda referring in a general way to the first theme, there is no way to disprove the contention. That Brahms, however, was not entirely averse to out and out programmistic treatment is seen from his two pieces on specific poetic texts, i.e., the first number in op. 10 on the Scottish Ballads of Edward and the Lullaby in op. 117 on the Scottish Folk-song Sleep Soft, My Child.

[268] The same key that Wagner uses for the end of Tristan and Isolde and César Franck for the gorgeous Finale of the Prelude, Chorale and Fugue.

[269] The subject is the same as the story of the Sirens in the Odyssey or of the Lorelei in German Legend.

[270] For further comments on the phraseology see The Rhythm of Modern Music by Abdy Williams, pp. 75-77. We may add that the pieces called Intermezzi, are generally of a meditative, somber nature; whereas the Capriccios are more sprightly, even whimsical in spirit.

[271] For further comments on the style and influence of Saint-Saëns see the essay Mason's From Grieg to Brahms; the article by Professor E.B. Hill in the third volume of the Art of Music; and, for some pungent and witty remarks, the Program Book of the Boston Symphony Orchestra (edited by Philip Hale) for Nov. 22, 1918.

[272] For a comprehensive and discriminating account of his style see the Boston Symphony Orchestra Program Book, for January 17, 1919.

[273] On account of the length of these works it is impossible to include any of them in the Supplement.

[274] Study, if possible, the orchestral score. For class-room work there is an excellent four-hand arrangement by the composer, and one for two hands by Ernest Alder.

[275] This terse phrase is identical with motives from several other works, e.g., the beginning of Liszt's Les Préludes, the motive "Muss es sein?" in Beethoven's quartet, opus 135, and the Fate motive in Wagner's Valkyrie.

[276] See for example the opening measures of the Waldstein and of the Appassionata Sonata.

[277] Brilliant by reason of the fact that the four principal tones in D major, D, A, G, E are open strings on the violin.

[278] The scoring of this theme for trumpets, cornets and trombones has been severely criticized and it is true that the cornet is an instrument to be employed and played with discretion. The writer, however, has heard performances of this work in which the cornets seemed to give just that ringing note evidently desired by Franck.

[279] The harmony of this passage is most characteristic of Franck and should be carefully studied.

[280] See his Course in Composition, book II, pp. 423-426.

[281] Note the correspondence between these measures in the first part and the measures just before the end in the second part.

[282] Already cited on page 57, Chapter IV.

[283] The indication by letters is the same in the full score as in the version for two pianofortes.

[284] This school may be said to contain two groups: one, the pupils of César Franck—d'Indy, Chausson, Duparc, Rousseau, Augusta Holmès and Ropartz, the chief feature in whose style is a modernization of classic practice; a second consisting of Debussy, Ravel, Dukas and Florent Schmitt, whose works manifest more extreme individualistic tendencies.

[285] The well-known German scholar and editor Max Friedländer, who visited this country in 1910, acknowledged—in a conversation with the writer—that he had never even heard of Chabrier!

[286] D'Indy's significant contributions to operatic and choral literature, such as Fervaal, L'étranger, Le Chant de la Cloche and La Légende de St. Christophe, lie without our province.

[287] From the Cévennes region whence d'Indy's family originally came.

[288] See the elaborate analysis by Mr. Mason in the essay above referred to.

[289] For a detailed analysis the student is referred to the account by the composer himself in his Cours de Composition Musicale, part II, pp. 484-486; to Gilman's Studies in Symphonic Music and to Vol. 3 of Mason's Short Studies of Great Masterpieces.

[290] From this comparison we should not wish it to be understood that Debussy is merely an addition to the standard Romantic group of Schumann, Chopin, Liszt, etc.; his style, however, is surely Romantic in the broad sense of the term, i.e., highly imaginative and individual.

[291] The très exceptionnel, très curieux, très solitaire Claude Debussy as he has been aptly characterized.

[292] The first authentic use being probably by Dargomijsky in his opera the Stone Guest.

[293] For an enlightening amplification of this point see the first chapter of Wallace's The Threshold of Music.

[294] See page 193.

[295] For further suggestive comments on Debussy's style consult the Essay on Pelléas et Mélisande by Lawrence Gilman (G. Schirmer, New York) and in particular an article by the same author in the Century Magazine for August, 1918.

[296] Gosse also calls it a famous miracle of intelligibility.

[297] The best books yet written on Debussy and his style are those by Mrs. Liebich and Louis Laloy. Consult also the comprehensive essay by E.B. Hill in Vol. III of the Art of Music.

[298] See the 2d volume of Great Composers by D.G. Mason and also the essay on Debussy in Contemporary Composers by the same author.

[299] According to Ernest Newman in a well-known article in the Musical Times (London).

[300] An excellent collection of modern French songs may be found in the two volumes published by the Oliver Ditson Co. in the Musicians Library.

[301] While he was riding a bicycle.

[302] The best account of his works and style is to be found in the volume Maurice Ravel et son oeuvre by Roland Manuel.

[303] Le Gibbet is without doubt the most realistic piece of musical description in our time.

[304] Witness the wonderful manifestation of these qualities by the French in the recent war.

[305] In Grove's Dictionary, under Bass, occurs this statement: This voice, found, or at least cultivated, only in Russia is by special training made to descend to FF music [Listen] [MusicXML].

[306] The writer had this statement from the lips of Tchaikowsky's own brother, Modeste.

[307] See the passage from his diary (quoted on page 504 of the Biography by his brother) in which he writes—"What touching love and compassion for mankind lie in these words: 'Come unto me, all ye that labor and are heavy laden!' In comparison with these simple words all the Psalms of David are as nothing."

[308] See the detailed program by the composer himself, cited in Nieck's Program Music.

[309] For this simile I am indebted to Mr. Philip Hale.

[310] For further comment see the Life of Tchaikowsky by Rosa Newmarch.

[311] As may be seen by the number of illustrations from it in text books!

[312] The authoritative work on Tchaikowsky is The Life and Letters by his brother Modeste; the abridged biography by Rosa Newmarch should also be read. There are excellent essays in Mezzotints in Modern Music by Huneker; in Streatfield's volume Modern Composers and in Mason's From Grieg to Brahms.

[313] The passage has already been cited in Chapter IV as an example of a deceptive cadence.

[314] By double counterpoint is meant such a grouping of the voices that they may be inverted (the upper voice becoming the lower and vice versa) and sound equally well. For further comments, together with illustrative examples, consult Chapter IX of Spalding's Tonal Counterpoint.

[315] The most authoritative work in English is the History of Russian Music by Montagu-Nathan; in French there are the Essays Musiques de Russie by Bruneau.

[316] Quoted from the chapter on Russian music in Famous Composers and Their Works (2d series).

[317] Towards the end of his life he destroyed many of his compositions.

[318] For a delightful account of the friendship of these two composers consult the volume Borodin and Liszt by Alfred Habets (translated by Rosa Newmarch).

[319] According to Liszt "a compendium of musical science in the form of a jest."

[320] This work in structure is a Suite, i.e., there are four distinct, separated movements.

[321] For biographical information consult the volume by Montagu-Nathan.

[322] Quoted from the article in Grove's Dictionary.

[323] Quoted from the Art of Music, Vol. III.

[324] His surname is to be accented on the first syllable—a fact which may be remembered from the story attributed to Liszt who, once asking Smetana how his name was to be pronounced received this reply: My name is always

Overture to Fidelio

[Listen] [MusicXML]

Smétana, Smétana, Smétana

but never

Overture to Leonora, No. 3

[Listen] [MusicXML]

Friedrich Smetána Friedrich Smetána.

[325] For example in the second movement of Smetana's Quartet and in Dvořák's Suite for small orchestra, op. 39.

[326] For a graphic description of the country and the customs of its people consult the essay on Dvořák in Hadow's Studies in Modern Music.

[327] A detailed account of these works may be found in the article on Smetana in Famous Composers and their Works (2d series).

[328] For his biography, consult the Hadow essay (referred to above) and the chapter on Dvořák in Mason's From Grieg to Brahms.

[329] The author has heard this symphony played in Prague and other continental cities under Bohemian conductors. It is always welcomed as being thoroughly characteristic of Bohemia.

[330] For detailed analytical comment consult Vol. III of Short Studies in Great Masterpieces by D.G. Mason.

[331] Note for example the chords at the opening of the slow movement.

[332] The best biography in English is that by H.T. Finck; the work, however, is somewhat marred by fulsome praise.

[333] During the summer solstice it is dark for only a few hours; and further north, in the land, so-called, of the Midnight Sun, for a few weeks there is perpetual daylight.

[334] He was called by Bülow the Chopin of the North.

[335] An admirable treatment of the whole subject may be found in Vol. III of The Art of Music.

[336] For a detailed account of his life and works consult the essay in Contemporary Russian Composers by Montagu-Nathan and Vol. III of The Art of Music.

[337] For a comprehensive estimate of his style and achievements the following works will prove useful: the Biography, by Eaglefield Hull; the Essay, by Montagu-Nathan in the volume referred to, and an article by W.H. Hadow in the Musical Quarterly for Jan. 1915.

[338] Who lost his life on the Sussex when it was torpedoed by the Germans.

[339] For a comprehensive account, historical and critical, of this influence consult the volume by Carl Van Vechten The Music of Spain.

[340] Some pithy remarks on the habitual English attitude toward music may be found in the history of Stanford and Forsyth, page 313, seq.

[341] See for example the broad theme in the middle portion of the March, Pomp and Circumstance.

[342] This valuation of American composers is made solely on the basis of published compositions.

[343] For additional comments on this point see an article by the author in the Musical Quarterly for January, 1918.

[344] Performed recently several times by the Flonzaley Quartet.


In the edition used to prepare this e-book, music examples on the pages in the list below contained major errors, e.g., music systems were erroneously repeated or were taken from a different example. The corrected examples in this e-book are from a later printing of the same edition.