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caress." (Riddle, p. 322,) But a proper treatment of the problems suggested by your criticism would involve writing an essay, and I have already written too much. E. DOUGLAS FAWCETT.



Having read Mr. Crozat Converse's article in your issue for April with great interest but without agreement, I am bold enough to make the following few remarks upon the same subject. I know that the theory of onomatopy in music has been held by many celebrated musicians, and of course it is conceivable that the music of their composing was truly the expression of their emotions, feelings, and sentiments, always supposing that those same emotions, feelings, and sentiments were different, not only in intensity but in kind, from those of the generality of their fellow mortals.

It was this that Robert Browning had in his mind when he put such words as these into the mouth of the Abbé Vogler:

"All through my keys that gave their sound to a wish of my soul,
All through my soul that praised as its wish flowed visibly forth,
All through music and me! For think, had I painted the whole,
Why there it had stood, to see, nor the process so wonder worth,
Had I written the same, made verse-still effect proceeds from cause,

Ye know why the forms are fair, ye hear how the tale is told,

It is all triumphant art. ...

But here is the finger of God, a flash of the will that can;
Existent behind all laws that made them, and lo, they are....
God hath a few of us whom He whispers in the ear,

The rest may reason and welcome, 'tis we musicians know."

Although this great musician believed music to be a language, it was a language that could be understood only by the composer, a sort of conversation between God and the musician, which was as little understood by the listener as a conversation carried on in Greek would be to a man ignorant of that language. Would not this be narrowing to a dangerous degree the usefulness of the most beloved of the arts? The musician, alone in his chamber, is composing harmonies which are destined to thrill the hearts of thousands and thousands of his fellow beings, separated from him by station, education, country, and kin; the sympathies of the musician and his listeners may be as far apart, as the East is from the West, on all subjects of importance, yet on one, and on one only, they can join issue-on that of sweet sounds. This would scarcely be the case if the music was nothing else than the expression of that musician's feelings on the subjects of love and hate, fear and desire.

To say that we find an interpretation of our sentiments and feelings in music is not sufficient to prove that we invented, as a language of feelings and emotions, those same heart-stirring, soul-subduing, miracle-working strains. Moreover, what

we call music, and in which sense only it seems to be understood by Mr. Crozat Converse, should more properly be called Harmony. All sweet sound is music, whereas harmony is an arbitrary arrangement of chords as found in the diatonic scale, with sixteen vibrations to the second for its lowest musical note and two thousand for its highest.

All the music of the Greeks and Orientals, the music of animate and inanimate nature, is enharmonic and has nothing in connexion with our system of chords but is not the less music on that account, and although it is possible to reproduce on the piano the songs of the nightingale, the lark, and many other birds, or to imitate the roar of thunder, or the falling of water, such imitation is weak and unworthy of the great powers of true music; the result, although fairly correct as to sound,—not, however, altogether so, for we have no musical note low enough to correspond to the roar of thunder,—is feeble and unreal when compared with the natural sounds of nature. I do not think that the united voice of mankind would allow us to say that there was no music in the voices of nature, nor would it allow us to say that this music had any exact meaning for them, or that any feelings other than simple admiration for beauty in sound were roused in them by listening to it. Though it may not be possible to analyse our feelings when we listen to the fall of the rain on a warm spring evening, and as it ceases its gentle drip, we hear the voice of a blackbird arising from the adjoining coppice; or again, on a dewy summer's morning as the sun rises a lark springs from the grass at our feet and soaring into the sky pours forth its entrancing tones; yet such sounds have brought tears of surprise and gratitude to our eyes, and have called forth tributes of praise from some of our greatest poets, to quote one only, Shelley's immortal song "To the Skylark."

"Teach us, sprite or bird,

What sweet thoughts are thine.

I have never heard

Praise of love and wine

That panted forth a flood of rapture so divine.

"Chorus hymeneal,

Or triumphant chant,

Matched with thine would be all

But an empty vaunt,-

A thing wherein we feel there is some hidden want.

"Better than all measures

Of delight and sound,

Better than all treasures

That in books are found,

Thy skill to poet were, thou scorner of the ground."

No meaning, in the strict sense of the word, is conveyed to us, even to the poet, by those delicious sounds. If, then, that natural music suggests nothing definite, why should we hope to extract exact thoughts from music heard in conformity

with the diatonic scale? Harmony is an art, and, like the rest of the arts, loses its artistic value when pressed to serve ends other than its own.

Mr. Crozat Converse says of Beethoven, Wagner, and Berlioz, "the more those tone-masters' works are studied, in an onomatopic regard, the more do these masters seem to tacitly confess their being hindered in the use of tonal onomatopy by the imperfections in, and limitations of, the present system of musical notation," there is no doubt that the restrictions and limitations of the diatonic scale are great, for instance, there are a hundred different shades of tone between any two adjoining notes on the piano all of which are lost to the pianist. The music of the Orientals is enharmonic and in consequence is better able to imitate the music of nature than is ours.

There was an excuse for the Greeks being imitators of nature, because to them the murmur of water was the voice of a river-god, the rustling of the leaves in the forest the voice of Pan, and the sighing of the reeds and rushes the song of the Syrinx. They were pantheists, and their music was employed in the noblest way possible in imitating the voices of their gods, who dwelt in Nature's phenomena.

Surely, for us music has a higher function to perform than that of mere imitaion, or of giving an expression to our emotions, but apparently Mr. Crozat Converse does not think so; he speaks of "the dominance of the principles of imitation which reaches beyond analogy." Why should pure music be an imitation of anything? Pliable as the music of the Orientals may be, they have never approached us in realisation of the ideal in music. They have spent their endeavors in imitation, in mere repetition of the natural sounds around them. From a like fate happily our composers have escaped, thanks to the restrictions of our musical system. Haydn, in his oratorio, The Creation," has approached the nearest to a perfect imitation of a natural phenomenon, referring to that bar which Dr. Paul Carus also mentions in his "Significance of Music," in which the creation of light is described. Crowest writes: Here by his sudden and masterly recourse to the refulgent harmony of the major tonic of the key, Haydn has succeeded in producing one of the grandest effects [considered, I presume, in an onomatopic light] of which the musical art can boast."

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But who can read without sorrow of the manner in which Haydn is reported to have overcome the onomatopic difficulties connected with the tempest music in his opera, "The Devil on Two Sticks."

The descriptive onomatopic style of music has been, with but few exceptions, so unsuccessful, that there is little to prove the theory true. The difficulty of explaining Wagner's grand and heart-stirring strains by the theory of onomatopy was seemingly too great for Mr. Crozat Converse, for he says: "I think we may safely assign such tonal effects as we cannot under the present conclusions of musical science trace to its influence-for example, Wagner's dream-sounds-to the realm of unconscious onomatopy." That is one way of avoiding a difficulty. I would rather assign all that wonderfully powerful music of Wagner's to Socrates's theory of pre

existence, and say that the strains he heard in other spheres haunted his memory and flowed out through his finger-tips, or to call him "God-inspired and glad," rather than to seek to find the key in his own powers of unconscious imitation.

If music is only an imitative expression of the sentiments and feelings of mankind, then the theory of tonal onomatopy is correct, and music loses her high place amongst the arts; but if, on the other hand, music is a separate reality, eternal with the eternal, as real as are those sentiments and feelings of which she is made only an expression, then the theory falls through, and we may still worship the muse as a sublime, eternal power, an expression, if we care to call it so, of the Eternal God.




THE FOUNDATIONS OF BELIEF. By the Rt. Hon. Arthur James Balfour. New York and London: Longmans, Green, & Co. 1895. Pages, 366.

There is perhaps no book of recent date that has been more misunderstood than Mr. Balfour's Foundations of Belief. It has been claimed by dogmatic theologians as a defence of dogmatism and reviewers have placed it on a line with M. Brunetière's Bankruptcy of Science, while freethinkers have denounced it as antiprogressive, illiberal, and hostile to science. The truth is that Mr. Balfour is a calm and considerate thinker who impartially delineates the present religious condition with little, if any, personal admixture of prejudice.

The first impression of the book appears to justify the prevalent notion that Mr. Balfour employs the logic of Mill in corroboration of Calvin's view: for it is true that Mr. Balfour rejects what he calls the scientific world-conception. He opposes naturalism; he dwells on the insufficiency of reason, and makes "authority" the supreme power which rules over all, regulating the conduct of individuals and swaying the fate of nations. Mr. Balfour's language, especially his use of the terms "science" and "reason," give unavoidably the impression that he is anti-scientific and anti-rationalistic, and it would seem as if our own position, the position of The Monist and The Open Court, which propounds a religion of science, could find no more antagonistic adversary than the author of The Foundations of Belief.

The book has no index, which makes a cursory glance at its contents impossible. It is in this respect like German books, which must either be left alone or read through, if misconceptions are to be avoided. The prominence of the author and the great sensation which the book created, is, however, a sufficient inducement to read the book through, and we are astonished to find that all the reviews that ever came to our hands have mistaken the spirit of its author. There is more agreement, even in the very letter, between Mr. Balfour's position and our own than could be anticipated of a work whose main subject is a denunciation of the narrowness and insufficiency of the scientific world-conception.

We must consider that when Mr. Balfour speaks of science he means that pseudo-science which at present boastfully and noisily assumes all the pretensions that genuine science alone is entitled to. Mr. Balfour's criticisms of science are the

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