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character of the text, while the song of the peoples of the North strives as near as the limited means of expression permit, after unity between word and music. The national music of the peoples of the North is a torch, whose steady, equal flame lights up the dark meanings hidden beneath the veil of words; while the torch of Southern music furiously brandished, confuses and obscures rather than illuminates.

The national spirit of a people, however, not only establishes a peculiar mode of expression, but, as a natural consequence, creates a fit receptacle for its utterances, an art form. Two fundamental types are known to music, whence have been derived all the elaborate art forms in which modern musical thought in its unprecedented multiformity presents itself. On one side it is the flexible, Rondo form, to graceful effect inclined, which, originating in France, has subsequently in the works of the great masters of the Classic attained to such signal importance. On the other, the more austere and more uniformly organized First Sonata Movement, the first impulse to which came from Italy, which, however, was so absorbed by the German spirit, and assimilated and transmuted, that it must be considered a typical German form, breathing the spirit of German profundity, of German breadth of thought and power of expression. Both these forms sprang from the soil of national music, and hence drew their nourishment. Yes, at a time when the means of expression as yet were so scant, the musical composers, instinctively seeking for contrast between the several parts of the then most popular form of instrumental music, the Suite, which in one sense was the precursor of the Sonata-could obtain it no otherwise than by contrasting with one another the dance songs of various nations. Thus we find the Suite in its four essential movements to consist of the stately, quaint Allemande, of Swabian origin, the light, elegant Courante, adopted from among the dances of the French and Italian peasantry, the serious, peculiarly rhythmical Sarabande, a Spanish, or Moorish dance form, and, closing, the lively Gigue, originating in Italy.

None of these dances, so well adapted to the national characteristics of the respective peoples, have in their original

form been in use within recent times, although some other dance forms, especially the Minuet and the Gavotte, which then occasionally found a place in the Suite, are not seldom met with in modern compositions.

While these types, by a long series of progressive changes, have been all but effaced, or so idealized as to be scarcely recognizable, yet, in its general outline, the Sonata, with but slight alterations, still adheres to the form laid down as a canon in the Suite. The characteristics of those ancient dances as such have been lost, with the exception of that of the Minuet; and more abstract musical thought has taken their place. But the lyrical element, peculiar to them, and infused into art music by their adoption, is yet the characteristic element of modern music. And if we add to this the important part people's song has taken in bringing about the final transition from the ecclesiastical modes to our modern tone system, we cannot but realize the great import of this after belittled factor of musical development.

Moreover, the dance tunes and folk songs, while thus constituting the immediate cause in establishing the most essential art forms, have, aside from this, been instrumental in re-fashioning polyphonic music sacred as well as secular, lending to it a new interest, and infusing it with renewed vitality, thus raising it beyond the sphere of mere structural significance.

From the earliest time contrapunists had been wont to introduce popular melodies in their works, as pegs, as it were, whereon to display the artificially woven fabrics of their ingenuity. Especially in Germany, where the Reformation had done away with the scholarly, but to the people at large unintelligible, church music, popular song was destined to permeate, to some degree even to replace, the sacred music then in vogue. And when, in some instances, this custom could not but invite rather amusing association between the original text and the subjoined sacred words, yet we cannot, after all, fail to acknowledge the beneficial influence exercised by this novel constituent upon the formal, procrustean art-products of that time. The German chorale, to which musical history is so greatly indebted, is the direct

outflow, of this popular movement, and in this form it was the forerunner of that period which found its climax in the magnificent choruses of Bach's "Passions" and Handel's oratorios. Simple and artless as the chorale appears, it has shown in one of the most sweeping, and in its consequences most far reaching, changes recorded in musical history the transformation of the lifeless, non-rhythmical plain chant into the vigorous, rhythmical chorale of the Protestant church which, fixed and unchangeable in itself, has served as the axis around which the subsequent musical development has revolved.

The assimilation of the national element in this, as I would call it, formative period of the musical art life, has resulted in a reform of the greatest consequence in the onward course of musical art, impelling musical progress in a wholly new direction. It has been instrumental in the final establishment of the modern tone system; it has lent to music the charm of more diversified and more strongly defined rythmical forms; it has given rise to new art forms, investing them with lyrical beanty, and thus imparting to the previously lifeless musical activity the element of effective contrast, so indispensable to the true art work; in short, people's song has brought about the transformation from the artificial stereotyped expression of structural ingenuity to the spontaneous representation of the emotional life of mankind. In its relation to modern musical art it may be compared to the flesh, which makes the form of the human body an object of beauty. Polyphonic music is the skeleton, which to music lent support, and which affords it a general outline for its structure. Folk-song more closely defined the form, gave it grace and endued it with a more ideal beauty. The masters of the Classic and Romantic filled this form with a vigorously pulsating life, exalting it from inanimate existence to the realm of pure, unrestrained spiritual life




The plans of the Bureau of Music, as outlined in the prospectus of June 30th, will fall far short of being realized unless a worthy presentation of the progress of choral music in this country is accomplished. Before the Bureau had authority to make any definite announcement, an informal gathering of representatives of organized Western choral societies was called-in Chicago, to discuss the project of forming a Festival chorus which should stand for Western culture in the direction of the oratorio and the higher choral forms. The enthusiastic assurances of co-operation given on this occasion, permitted the Bureau to formulate plans for the organization of a Western chorus, which are now at the ear liest moment possible set forth in detail:

A three days' Festival about the third week in June is decided upon, the choral force to be known as the Western Festival Choir, (of about 2,500,) to membership in which the following named societies are hereby invited:

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Daily afternoon concerts will be given in Festival Hall, each preceded by a morning rehearsal. The orchestra will number 200, and eminent soloists will be engaged.

In deciding upon the works to be performed by the Western Festival Choir, the purpose of the Bureau is to draw from two great masters, Bach and Handel, for the first part of each of the three Festival programs, and to fill out a second part of each with the composition of classic writers of a later day.

As this plan provides no representation of strictly modern composers, the duty of illustrating them will rest with. individual societies comprising the Festival Choir. With that end in view the Music Hall of the Exposition, with stage seating a choir of 300, will be placed at their disposal, and also the Exposition orchestra. By this means opportunity is afforded individual societies to appear under their own conductors in a short program, comprising music written for voices and orchestra, or in unaccompanied music; but it must be distinctly understood that a society accepting such opportunity, must furnish a balanced choir numbering at least eighty voices, for unaccompanied music, or one hundred and sixty voices if the music chosen demands an orchestra for its proper interpretation.

With three concerts and attending rehearsals, but little time will remain of the Festival days for concerts by individual societies, hence the necessity for short selections, not exceeding thirty minutes in any one instance, in order that two or three societies may take part in one program. Those societies desiring to give works of larger scope than is possible under the above regulations, will be welcome to the use of Music Hall on the days of Festival week preceding or following those appointed for the appearance of the Festival Choir, provided they are prepared to remain an extra day or two in Chicago.

In event of favorable response by your society to this invitation to membership in the Western Festival Choir, you are asked to prepare the following named works:

FIRST DAY: Handel, Utrecht Jubilate."


First part of "Saint Paul."

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