The World's Best Music, Vol. 9: The Musician's Guide (Part I) (Classic Reprint).pdf
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Publisher: Forgotten Books (27 Sept. 2015)
By: Arthur Elson (Author)
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It is now four decades since a certain well-known singer and teacher said that his art should be taught only by example and imitation, and that the introduction of printed methods would cause endless confusion. Since then books on music have increased and multiplied until their name is legion or will be, very soon. Instead of confusion, the tendency has been toward clearness. In each branch of the tonal art the best methods now have an increased chance to reach the public, and the great artists grow more and more unanimous in their attitude toward their art and their advice to students.
All methods have something to recommend them, and give some part of the truth. But now the various facts of teaching are so well known that the individual can make up his own method, and almost always does so. He will take different points from the different schools of the past, and combine them according to his own ideas. Occasionally some teacher arises whose work is so thorough, and whose results are so excellent, that the musical world will acknowledge his leadership and accept his method as best. Such a teacher is Theodor Leschetizky, in the domain of piano-playing. Yet even here it must not be assumed that great pianists cannot be developed by other methods. Genius will triumph, and talent come into its own, in almost any case. But for the rank and file who wish to proceed in the right way, and for the gifted ones who are eager to arrive at their goal with as much speed and certainty as possible, the methods of good teachers are of the utmost benefit.
It has been thought, therefore, that a book giving a clear grasp of the best methods would be of value to both teacher and pupil. The former may use it to refresh his memory, or to bring to his work the authority of famous names in his branch of teaching: while the latter may go to it often for guidance, and find facts that will increase the benefit of his regular lessons, or actual guidance if he is cut off from lessons for a time. The present book, planned in part to describe and explain the selections in 'The World's Best Music' (The University Society, New York), has been enlarged in scope to include a condensed account of certain general methods, presented in such a way as to be available for all musicians. The majority of articles will be of interest and value for the amateur also.
In piano, the chief emphasis of the present is placed on the Leschetizky method. This is fully described in the following pages, but an account is added of other methods now in use which are also celebrated.
In singing, a condensation from a number of books is included ['The Art of Singing'], which aims to give a bird's-eye view of the whole subject. No absolute rule can be laid down for singing study. In taking up piano, the student's problem is simply one of using hands and fingers that are much like those of every one else. But with voices there are much greater differences to be found. One pupil starts with a nasal tone, another with a throaty tone, still another perhaps with too much wasted breath. As each of these cases must be differently treated in certain ways, an attempt has been made, in the section on Faults in Singing, to indicate the proper procedure.
There will also be found here a short account of certain points in violin-playing. This, it is hoped, will be of use to all students.
The same is true of the articles included here on the subject of organ-playing. The organ is by no means well-known or appreciated in this country. Its repertoire, ranging from Bach to Guilmant and others of the present, contains many valuable works of genius.
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