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a correct succession of tones, or of imagining it, who have no clear notion of what they are playingnay, who in reality hear nothing correctly! How many bravura players might one name, to whom the artistic meaning of a simple movement remains a sealed book, and who therefore perform the greatest and the least compositions, with assumption and vanity indeed, but without inward participationwithout awakening joy in themselves or in their audience, but merely a fruitless astonishment at their technical cleverness! And how deep has this perversion of art into dead mechanism penetrated into artistic life! Whoever has an opportunity of observing many students of music and their teachers, cannot conceal from himself that at present, particularly in large towns devoted to vanity and fashion, the greater part of the pianoforte students are in this manner led astray; and that a great part of the teachers are themselves ignorant of the right path, or otherwise have not the courage to oppose the stream of fashion, or the allurements of example and personal advantage.
If, however, satisfactory instruction is not to be expected from all masters, nor every student is to hope for the choice of a good master, there remains still a tolerably sure method of guarding against this wide-spread evil. It consists in rigidly examining the work, which is exacted from the pupil, in the pupil himself, and his parents or preceptor insisting absolutely that the teacher shall furnish really profitable work; or, if that cannot be secured with certainty, in seeking immediately another teacher more trustworthy to his art.
We have already said that the pianoforte possesses an extremely voluminous literature, partly written expressly for it, and partly adaptations from other works foreign to it. What can be more natural or more enlightening than to make these works the chief means of instruction, their complete possession being one of the objects of pursuit. For this end, technical readiness, finger exercises, and studies are required. But these are manifestly only means to an end; and as certainly as their use ought not to be delayed, so certainly also they ought to be set aside when the required dexterity has been gained, and the principal difficulties overcome; or else, from a want of methodical arrangement, exercises may be prolonged without end. We cannot conceal from ourselves that in these latter times this error has been stretched to excess, and has overwhelmed us with countless studies, &c. Every respectable teacher, every distinguished amateur, considers himself bound to present the world with some dozens of studies, from which a few particular artistic forms of fingering are to be acquired. And since the composition of a well-sounding study exacts nothing but the occurrence of an idea to be worked in the ordinary routine of composition; since, moreover, a little burst of enthusiasm is highly thought of in these matters; and, further, since the brilliant playing of the author, or the reputation of his master, renders him tolerably sure of his public, we can never tell when this composition and spread of studies will come to an end neither, indeed, can we
imagine how the pupil shall find time to labour through the most respectable of them only; to say nothing of the real works of art themselves, for whose sake alone the whole drudgery has been endured.
Let the non-musical inquirer consider the foregoing as a token of good and bad instruction in the question before us.
Sebastian Bach and Handel, Joseph Haydn, Mozart and Beethoven-these are the artists to whom we owe the greatest and the most numerous works of art for the pianoforte. Among these, Bach and Beethoven stand forward, the one in elder, the other in our own times, as those who have reached the highest eminence. After them, Emanuel Bach, Clementi, Dussek, Karl Maria von Weber, Hummel, and many more may be named. We abstain from giving a more numerous list, particularly of those still living, as it is not the province of this work to pass judgment upon individuals. Upon the highest, the vast preponderance in estimation of the five firstnamed artists, there is not the slightest question among those who have the least tincture of art. The one may indeed be compared with the other, but the high preeminence of all is unquestioned.
We can therefore declare as a condition for good pianoforte teaching, that the works of those five eminent men* shall be considered as the distinguished and governing lessons in the instruction. Whatever finger exercises, hand lessons, or secondary work, a teacher may find necessary for his pupil, must be left to his decision, as it cannot be estimated. But the teacher who does not conduct his pupil into the study of the five great masters, as soon as it can be done with any precision, and the time of the lesson permits it, and does not make them the chief object and goal of the instruction, such a teacher, we say it without hesitation, is not able to give a true artistic education, however clever and careful he may be in other parts of his duty. Teachers who keep their pupils to fashionable dances and such trifles, to arrangements from favorite operas, &c., are altogether unworthy of the confidence of those who seek for genuine education in art. Therefore, no teacher ought to be chosen without the previous knowledge of his method of instruction.
*We have to give an urgent warning with respect to Seb. Bach's work, the "Wohltemperirte Klavier," that the younger scholars be not set too early to the study of it; and that neither they nor others should be persuaded that everything that that great man has composed-often composed for momentary objects of instruction, &c.—was of equal value. Bach's manner is so different from the modern style, that we cannot without reflection employ his works. This, and the usual beginning with pianos of the most accustomed temperament, have driven more friends of art from this master than the pleasure of his music has created him admirers; and, therefore, with the greatest veneration in his regard, we will not refuse to acknowledge that another portion of his works, namely his dances, have outlived their time and become antiquated. But the enlightened teacher will find in the six preludes pour les commençans, in the inventions and single fantasias, namely in the English and other suites among the preludes, sarabands, jigs, &c., a rich choice of the most charming and imperishable compositions, most intimately adapted to our tastes and feelings, and highly calculated to produce both pleasure and improvement in his scholars. We would here wish to recommend the new collective edition of Bach's works, at Peter's, in Leipsig. As an Introductory School for conducting from our own time and manner into those of Bach, which are so importantly different, and for primary instruction in polyphonic playing, the Author has published a selection from Seb. Bach's compositions, at Challier's, in Berlin, at 20 Sgr.
The above warning may also apply to Handel, whose works, however, for the piano, are not numerous. We can recommend his Six Fugues and a Capriccio, at Frautwein's, in Berlin, for more advanced students.
Pianoforte learning may begin very early-in the seventh or eighth year, or even earlier, even before the hand can span the octave. There is, moreover, a sufficiency of excellent works of Haydn and Mozart, well adapted to the sensibilities of that tender age, if the teacher be but capable of choosing them.
We name the study of composition as the third object of general musical education. Deep penetration into art and its productions, a rich development of musical talent, cannot be attained without this study. If it be undertaken in the right sense, it rewards every step forwards with clearer insight and increased pleasure; and, indeed, those also who are not destined by peculiar talents to the profession of composers.
This circumstance demands the more deliberate consideration, the more imperfect and erroneous the representations are which have been attached to it.
Music consists, as can be seen from this book, in an inward comprehension of innumerable most diversified forms, constantly approaching and separating, perpetually combining and dissolving in each other. Their operation can be perceived, more or less, without previous cultivation, and can be understood and represented by a superficial instruction; but to comprehend them entirely, to penetrate into their whole nature and attributions, is to know the meaning and force of each form by itself, and also when in combination with every other. Now, let us imagine a great composition before us, in which different parts are united in the most varied manner, in all sorts of artistic forms, each part having its cantilena, its rhythm, its succession of tones, while each tone has a determined relation to the tones of the other parts, and with all this are combined different degrees and kinds of motion, of forte or piano, and of manner of performance. Now, we say, with such a composition before us, we presume it will be admitted that without study such a composition could not be understood, and that the study for that object must be thorough, systematic, and methodical.
Let us suppose for a moment that any one unaccustomed to composition undertook the dissection of the above imagined work. Then would he be overwhelmed with an intolerable burden of unities. The completion of his task would be impossible, were it only from the creation of new forms and applications of them which daily takes place in art.
The only ready, practicable, and fruitful procedure is, therefore, to set one's own hand to work, to learn oneself how to bring the forms from out the world of sound, to "call the spirits from the vasty deep;" to learn to feel the rhythm of the forms, so that all present and future forms shall be within our scope and comprehension, because we have grasped the root of their existence-because we know how they have come into existence, and why. This the doctrine of composition teaches us. This science alone gives us, not abstract ideas upon art-not merely superficial notions upon the operations of art-not a few cut out dead parts, but the whole entire, with all its individualities, and in its unity, matter, and
spirit, form and meaning, in that single entirety which is the material of true art.
We may add, from a large experience of every age and of both sexes, that the study of composition, without any proportionate loss of time, even for amateurs, most surely rewards every step, even when but small disposition exists in the student, or circumstances should prevent a lengthened pursuit of the subject. The first few lessons in one-part* compositions will at once awaken the sense for melody, and give a significant idea of its fundamental forms, of the efficacy of rhythm, and of the origin and accumulation of passages and phrases. Already the doctrine so comprehensive and so easily comprehended of the two and two composition in two parts, built upon the natural harmony, makes the foundation of all harmony and tonic progression perfectly obvious, and furnishes to moderately endowed students, pleasurable and exciting lessons. So much can be acquired in two or three weeks, with a couple of lessons a week and but little exertion; and, moreover, we might abandon our studies at this point, without having lost our labour. Then the gradual development of harmony and the richer progression of parts, will have, in the mere inspection, the charm of a perfectly rational and highly copious display, from the most simple fundamental forms and the most obvious laws. But
to any one who enters upon this pursuit with inbred activity, to such a one the regions of sound are illumined and extended with every effort,-the sense of music is vivified, excited, and strengthened by every fresh manifestation of the internal art. Now, with the knowledge of the limitation of chords, freedom in the unfolding of art returns, and her play becomes continually richer and more variegated. Then all artistic forms are imagined and explained, the one from the other-the order of the succession being pre-supposed-the one quite as easy as the other, until finally, their realization on determined instruments or in song, in ecclesiastical, dramatic, and other objects of our art, completes the whole study. At any point the study may be relinquished with profit, in proportion to the labor bestowed, if circumstances should so command, or the zeal of the student should not urge him to further investigation.
The study of composition may begin early, particularly with talented and lively children, but not before they have made some progress upon a musical instrument,-if possible the pianoforte, and have
The author has conformed himself here to the tenour and tendency of his Doctrine of Musical Composition (Lehre von der Musikalischen Komposition), at Breitkoff and Härtel. How little can the above assurance be given by the old thorough-bass and doctrine of harmony: how unartistic is it in foundation and method, how extremely incomplete and unsatisfactory. This the author has exemplified from time to time in the Instruction for Composition, but more demonstratively in the work "Die alte Musiklehre im Streit mit unsrer Zeit" (the old Doctrine of Music in contention with our times), at Breitkoff and Härtel, 1841,-as had been acknowledged and declared long enough before him by Reicher and every thinking professor of composition. The indolence of so many old masters, or the ignorance of masters absolutely unacquainted with the real nature of composition, is still answerable for the painful and useless labour of many young persons. Many such, indeed, are still enduring in the continually disappointed hope that they will at last, some day, arrive at composition, or at least at a clearer insight into the nature of art; they endure until the time has passed, and with it all pleasure and natural feeling, which either dies away or becomes corrupted.
thereby gained some participation in and capacity for art, and also more penetration and habit of reflection. They ought at least to have got beyond the elementary exercises, and be able to play with feeling and technical correctness larger works, such as, for example, the sonatas of Haydn and Mozart. Instruction in composition at an earlier period than this would be mere empty playing; or, what is much worse, would disturb, in the still unselfsupporting scholar, the free and immediate enjoyment of the compositions lying before him; and thrust, in the place of lively, soul-inspiring, artistic employment, cold and profitless mechanisms of the understanding. This is one of the greatest errors of a system pursued in many shapes, of instruction in the piano and harmony combined, which apparently advances the students through an intricate mechanism with great rapidity, but at the cost of the feeling of music itself, which remains undeveloped, and becomes, indeed, oppressed and stifled by the disturbance of the understanding, and the mechanism which that system brings into action. The true joy of art and artistic accomplishment becomes the more surely destroyed thereby,-the more deceptive to the observer is the joy of the scholar at his mechanical success,-and the more his sudden progress in certain parts of music is in the beginning inexplicable to the uninstructed.
We consider thus much to be necessary upon general education. The choice of other instruments may be left to each individual, under the advice of the better-informed. The science and history of music must in like manner be left to the disposition and leisure of every friend of art. composer, and particularly the well-educated musician, will scarcely be able to restrain himself from the history of his art, not merely from books, but from the works of art themselves.
SIXTH SECTION.-TEACHERS AND METHODS OF TEACHING.
It is manifest that, in order to attain the object of musical education, the choice of a teacher is highly important to the student, while the choice of the most sure method of teaching is equally so to the master. So many parents know not how to help themselves in this regard-so many respectable well-intentioned teachers are anxious to ascertain and rectify, if needful, their methods of proceeding -so many scholars have already been led astray or ruined, in a musical sense, either by a mistaken choice or an erroneous system, that we have considered it to be our duty to suggest a few hints on this subject. We give only a few hints on the principal points applicable to the matter in general. A fundamental improvement cannot be arrived at by a book; it must be the result of a more elevated education of the teachers, by institutions of the state, and through a real enlightenment of all edu. cated persons on the nature and necessity of music. The profession of music is highly important, from the powerful influence this science exercises on our senses and on our spiritual and civil life. Parents should weigh well, in the choice of a teacher,
what power is given him through his art over the mind of their child; that he may elevate the youthful mind to the most noble sentiments, or defile and lower it to the most grovelling: how prejudicial it is merely to leave the mind vacant, while music is acting irresistibly upon the senses and the mind. Listlessness, thoughtlessness, sensuality, vanity, unbridled passion, may be implanted and fostered by the teacher of music; but we may also be indebted to him for awakening and cherishing the noblest powers and sentiments of the soul.
From the foregoing, it would appear that the weightiest point to be considered, in the choice of a music master, is, what influence may be expected from him on the mind of his scholar. His good manners, however necessary, are no sufficient guarantee for suitability. But, indeed, the high and pure sense in which he has formed his conception of art, and the degree of his general capability and education, which enables him to transfer his conception to his pupil,-all this must be maturely pondered. But the choice made, boldly and with full confidence give free hand to the teacher. Half confidence, interference in the instruction, would only disturb the efficiency of the master.
We must, therefore, with regard to music, consider, in the first place, what view the teacher takes of it, and what motive urges him in its employment. The mere technical man, who uses art simply as handicraft, will produce nothing but a handicraftsman. The player, from understanding, will give cold lessons and perceptions; he can give technicality with ease and certainty, but he will never warm the heart with inward fire: he will rather rob it of its natural warmth. The mere man of feeling will perhaps allow the scholar to sympathise in company with him, but never insist upon sure instruction. Art is not mere technicality, nor mere understanding, nor mere feeling. It is the expression of the whole man; and only he who embraces it in its entireness can ingraft and rear its true nature and power. Talent and knowledge, a feeling heart, and a rational consciousness of the reality of the nature and operations of art-these are the indispensable qualities of a teacher of music. One of the signs of his artistic standing-we must repeat a former observation-is the works at which he and his scholar are employed. A teacher who occupies himself with small worthless compositions, in lieu of the abundant masterpieces of our art, shows the inferiority of his position, and a poor estimate of art. There are, indeed, masters who limit themselves to approved works, on the sole authority of the name, without taking any lively interest in them; in this case, certainly, their instruction can be but of small benefit. The next general qualification which a teacher indispensably requires, is the faculty of working with decision and effect on the mind and disposition of his pupil. The mere capability of playing himself a piece of music with propriety and effect, does not here suffice. It may delight the scholar, it may move or excite him, it may induce him to a successful imitation, and even, perhaps, finally to a more or less noble and happy manner;
false methods of teaching), but penetrates with his higher ideas and education into the mental condition of his pupil; comprehends, as it were, from the soul of the young disciple the conceptions he has acquired of art and its forms; he here separates, by his superior knowledge, the true and healthy from the false and insufficient; he encourages, expands, and exalts the former, and corrects and amplifies the latter. In short, he endeavours to originate or unravel every desirable faculty in the pupil himself, because only that which is engendered in and grows out from ourselves, not that which is brought to us from without, is vital, and works with the energy of life.
but will not create in himself a free independent | superiority, nor lowers himself to his pupil (both feeling, and conscious certainty in art. It is not necessary only that the teacher should enable the scholar to play whole compositions as he does himself, but that he lead him into the composition itself— that he enable him to see and comprehend thoroughly each unity therein, their combination and mutual dependence, and their constitution as a whole. A bright consciousness only of the nature of art, and of the contents of each work of art, advances the pupil to a free comprehension and performance peculiar to himself, and conducts him by his own productions to the summit where individuality of the artist and nature of the art join in conscious union, and give style to his creations. Only such a method of instruction works beyond the circle of lessons which he has run through. If the scholar has seized the essence of the matter, he will not hold it fast in studies and forms only, which the teacher has worked out with him; he will seek and seize it everywhere equally when the master is absent. This is the true life in art; this alone guarantees that the exercise of art will not cease with instruction, but will adorn the whole of life. For this object there is required, on the part of the teacher, deep insight, extensive knowledge, and in both such ability and certainty that he can comprehend and explain his subjects under all their aspects. A teacher must know more, much more than he is required to teach; he must be everywhere at-home, and perfectly master of his subject, in order to be able to answer every question, and supply every unnoticed deficiency.
After the elementary and technical instruction, we require absolutely from a good singing and piano master the study of composition, as the most sure, if not the only means of penetrating with full consciousness into the recesses of art. We require of him an extensive and well-grounded knowledge of the masterpieces of art of the elder and modern times; and strongly recommend a continually observant and sympathizing eye on new productions, in order to acquire every movement in artistic life, even although masses of unsuccessful or retrograde composition should make the duty burthensome. The higher teacher, especially one who is concerned in the education of composers and teachers or conductors, ought not to delay his acquaintance with the history of art and the science of music, besides his study of fundamental composition; since everything, and therefore music, can be perfectly known and fully understood only by the help of its history. To the properly artistic capacity and education must be added the knowledge of mankind, and the talent of working upon the mind of others; but then, also, love of the business of instruction, and a heartfelt interest in the advancement of the scholar. An able master studies the disposition and inclination of his pupil. He judges from them, how he may be won, how convinced, upon what qualities he may rely, where he wants assistance, and by what other powers his deficiencies may be compensated. He does not consider himself as another being, foreign to his pupil; he neither presumes on his own
Such a teacher will lose courage only in the case of total indifference or absolute incapacity; or much rather, with our feelings, he would decline the scholar. But each single deficiency, every erroneous or one-sided conception, he knows how to meet. If the feeling of measure cannot be trusted, or is perhaps confused by earlier teachers, the master will prescribe very simple lessons of determined rhythm, and then make rhythmic-melodic variations on them, so that the pupil will proceed on the same simple lesson from simple rhythm to more rich, placed together and increasing in difficulty. If the sense of tone be undeveloped, the teacher will apply the earlier to the practice of chords; first the major triad, then the chord of the dominant, lastly the major and minor chords of the ninth (major chords always before minor) by ear on the piano, and then have them sung by the pupil. For since those chords are the first indications given by nature herself, one of her tones helps the imperfect feeling of tone in the student, to the other; and the most important intervals, such as the octave, fifth, fourth, major and minor third, minor seventh, whole tone and semitone, will be gained from the laws of nature. If the scholar has a strong partiality for brilliant and off-hand playing, the teacher will fall in with this inclination (since to oppose it abruptly would rather alarm than overcome), and by gradually shading the passages, separating and binding, changing the forte and piano, &c., in a manner comprehensible and agreeable to the scholar, he will make the latter perceive how one and the same passage may, by different playing, become newer, more attractive, now more neat and delicate, and then more forcible, &c. It will now be easy to take a more noble direction from this point, and to awaken the deep sense of melody. Should the intelligent element assume a pre-eminence, let us profit by it to comprehend and seize with more intimate feeling, accentuation, which is the nearest associate to rhythm, in relation to the understanding. Let us penetrate, as at page 43, into the innumerable degrees of accentuation, and awaken thereby the conviction that musical matters are not exclusively the business of the understanding, but that it is often necessary to trust to feeling only. Hence it is easy to see that feeling must have free operation, and participates of right in musical composition and performance. If, on the other hand, the scholar should be inclined, perhaps from enthu
siasm, to devote himself to the unknown feeling, let that noble power of the soul be respected and upheld which lies at the foundation of this one-sidedness. Let us apply to heartfelt compositions, and with preference to those whose effect has been already experienced, and point out the chief traits which have caused our emotion; illustrate occasionally such passages, by comparison with similar or dissimilar instances, or by changes which would rob us of our power or tenderness. Should our sensibilities be excited, as is generally the case with superabundant feeling, by melody, chiefly or exclusively, we will apply gradually to movements in which a captivating chief melody is met by a leading passage full of character, or where two or more highly interesting melodies combine and proceed together. In so far as the pupil, either by himself,-or induced by the teacher, can be brought to notice in each of the significant parts that which has hitherto exclusively occupied him, he is on the way to elevate himself above the one-sided, obscure, and overworked feeling, to a higher consciousness, to a more comprehensive and fruitful spiritual sympathy.
It is impossible here to accumulate all the counsels and advantages arising from a perfect intimacy of the master with the mind of the pupil. It is enough, if, from a few examples, we have made ourselves clearly understood.
That there are now but few teachers, such as we require for so many scholars, is true. But this is, however, no refutation of the justice of our demands; it is only a sign of the insufficiency of our supplies for the requirements of our consciences; and proves a concurrent striving for a recognized good, according to our power. It cannot also be denied, that often persons, clear-sighted enough in general, instead of selecting the obtainable good masters, procure others far from proficiency, out of thoughtlessness, want of knowledge of the parties, or other secondary considerations. Here, however, the reproach falls on the musicians and teachers themselves, who have given themselves but little trouble in enlightening the public in general on the true nature of their art and the means of acquiring it— a conviction which has had great part in the production of this book.
We must also notice another erroneous idea con
cerning instruction. It is the deceptive notion, often repeated, that for the beginning an inferior teacher is sufficient. This persuasion often arises from the wish to save for some time the cost of a good master. But we must consider this opinion as an erroneous delusion. The unskilled master lays a bad foundation. He delays the fundamental elements and exercises upon which all future progress must be founded. He neglects the awakening and expansion of the natural dispositions, gives a false direction to all artistic procedure, and misuses or destroys the pleasure and activity of the scholar. The succeeding The succeeding better master finds a scholar half tired out with wandering hither and thither without profit or reward. He meets everywhere with only imperfect or false preparation, and he finds difficulty enough in exciting attention and activity in the scholar for
the attainment of an object of which this latter imagines himself to be already possessed. What teacher, under these circumstances (and they are of frequent occurrence), does not wish that no instruction had been given-that he might freely and with good heart build upon fresh and unencumbered ground; and how many a gifted scholar has abandoned art in disgust, when he has discovered, after years of labour, that in order to succeed, he must begin again from the beginning.
In conclusion, it is the method itself of teaching which claims our consideration. In this matter, after every necessary qualification as to ability, we will limit ourselves to one fundamental requisition, which seems to us important and comprehensive, and which to the reflective teacher will develope itself so advantageously in every direction, however simply it may be expressed. The teacher must constantly bear in mind that he teaches an art. Consequently he must treat his scholar and the subject of his teaching in the sense of an artist and of art, and prove himself to be an artist.
He must also constantly show to his scholar that love and respect which are due to his fellow artist and to everyone engaged in higher and intellectual occupations.
He will foster and elevate the disposition of the pupil for art. Artistic activity must flow spontaneously from the heart, if it is to fructify into life we cannot force even ourselves into its possession, much less others. The pleasure we derive from it is therefore the first and indispensable condition of all success in this region; and the teacher who knows not how to preserve and increase it will certainly miss his aim. He must, however, awaken true pleasure in the art itself; not false pleasure-vanity, desire for reward or profit; and, in order, indeed, that the student may become constantly more susceptible of her pleasures and more capable of producing them, he must moreover excite his pupil to a worthy use of his powers by an enencouraging word, by a well-timed performance of the works of art, &c.
The following point is most worthy of consideration. Art is not abstract thinking,—it is not feeling without thought nor unconscious activity; neither should the teaching be an abstract combination. Every lesson, every rule, must be derived from nature herself before the eyes of the pupil, and immediately, if by any means possible, reduced to practice. That this is practicable in teaching composition, we think we have shown from the fact in our Doctrine of Composition. It was one of the most unartistic aspects of the earlier art of teaching, when all possible intervals and all possible chords were thrown before the pupil in a heap together, and then all the forms of counterpoint in small unartistic passages, before the application of any of them was sought for. Most, indeed, of the books of instruction give no application at all. Nature and the history of art point out another way. Wherever a free course has been open to reason, she has immediately proceeded to the absolutely necessary, and in art to the actual practice, without delay. She has followed