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To PARENTS, CONSCIENTIOUS TEACHERS, AND OTHERS CONCERNED IN
By whom it is considered a matter of Duty to see that the Musical Education of Youth be real, refreshing to the heart and senses, and elevating to the mind; who are anxious and watchful that Art be not perverted and debased into a source of enervating dissipation and vanity,
This book is dedicated,
In faithful sympathy,
GENERAL MUSICAL INSTRUCTION.
Review of the province of Music, and of THE
General musical instruction is not desired to be
If we wish, then, to collect the universal elements
We see, further, that music is produced either by
TIMBRE, OR CHARACTER OF SOUND.
We ought to have said, therefore, just now, the cha-
We observe, lastly, that in one and the same instru-
*The expression Laut is indeed understood to be synonymous with
+ This word is in italics to distinguish it from tone meaning distance
GENERAL MUSICAL INSTRUCTION.
REVIEW OF THE PROVINCE OF MUSIC, AND OF THE OBJECT OF GENERAL MUSICAL INSTRUCTION. General musical instruction is essential to every person who in any manner, whether as Singer or Player, as Composer or Teacher, desires to employ himself in music on a solid foundation,-in order that with full preparation and foreknowledge he himself may be enabled to pursue, or may be capable of communicating to others, the special branch which may be the peculiar object of attainment. This treatise is therefore the elementary school for the musical world in general; and by its assistance, instruction may be obtained in vocal and instrumental performance and in composition, while, so far as music is concerned, its materials can be wholly dispensed with by no one. As moreover, our work bears a character of universality, in necessary information on our subject, we will not scruple to communicate some peculiar methods (for example, of score reading and playing) which are indeed not indispensable to every musician, but are nevertheless desired by many, and can be nowhere better given than in this book.
General musical instruction is not desired to be merely a grade of scientific distinction, but is intended for all who take any interest in music, that they may have a full comprehension and just appreciation of the art in all its aspects. In order, therefore, the better and more extensively to accomplish our object, we will assume no previous instruction. We will take nothing for granted-but what is universally known by common intercourse, or what is self-evident. By this it will be seen at once that our instruction will be eminently practical. Its rational foundation is demonstrated by the science of Music, whereof in this book, we can only here and there throw in a ray of enlightenment, and then, simply to develop and fix irremovably some important and fundamental ideas, which would not be sufficiently understood and impressed without the deeper illustrations of Science.
If we wish, then, to collect the universal elements of musical knowledge, we must first learn what are those elements upon the nature of which we desire to obtain information. In our conception they are everything that belongs or relates to music. Let us therefore contemplate this art as we everywhere find it.
We know that music works first upon our hearing Everything that we hear is known by the general name of SOUND,
in what manner soever that sensation may affect us; whether it be loud or soft, pleasant or repulsive, and so forth.
In the application of the human voice to music, words are in general combined with it; and in this operation, not only the meaning of the words is manifested, but also their manner of utterance and the single sounds of which the words are composed. The single sounds are called
VOCAL SOUNDS (Laut*).
We see, further, that music is produced either by the human voice or by instruments of various kinds; as flutes, violins, trumpets, and so forth. Everyone knows, that these different instruments are distinguished by their respective kinds of sound. The flute gives a gentle, soft, flowing sound-the trumpet resounds with vehemence, forcing and crashing, and so forth. This distinguishing quality we will call
TIMBRE, OR CHARACTER OF Sound.
We ought to have said, therefore, just now, the character of the sound of the flute is soft; that of the trumpet is crashing, and so forth.
We observe, lastly, that in one and the same instrument the sounds produced have another special difference between themselves. That, for example, the four strings of a violin, or the strings of a harp, sound on each instrument quite differently among themselves. In common parlance, some coarser, some finer; that is, the longer strings of the harp and the thicker strings of the violin sound coarser (lower), and the shorter strings of the harp and thinner strings of the violin sound finer (higher). Considering sound in this relationship, we call it
*The expression Laut is indeed understood to be synonymous with Schall (Sound): it seems, however, advisable to use it in the above sense exclusively, as the prescribed name for a determined and really distinct object. The distinction of Laute into Selbstlaute (Vowels), Doppellaute (Diphthongs), and Mitlaute or Beilaute (Consonants), is familiar.
This word is in italics to distinguish it from tone meaning distance or interval, and this practice will be observed throughout the book. Thus the middle C on the piano (called in this book the one-lined C), which is represented in notation by the note on the first ledger line under the staff in the G clef, and on the first ledger line above the staff in the F clef, is called the tone C-the fixed and determined sound C, or onelined C, of an absolutely fixed and invariable pitch or height in the scale. In like manner we might say the tone C, or the tone D, or DD, or D or any other tone whose height or depth is determined. But on the other hand we should say, the tone C is one tone below D, two tones below E, &c., speaking of the tones D and E next higher than C.-TRANSLATOR.