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somewhat colored.

There is a great difference between the result produced by the up and down strokes of the bow. The former produces a sharper and more brilliant tone, with a metallic or "glassy" quality, while the latter is broader and smoother. If a passage is marked "martellato' (hammered) each note is played with a down stroke the full length of the bow, and with great force, producing a massive and virile effect. If the notes are played with the point of the bow (punto dell' arco) a light pearly staccato is the result, while the head of the bow produces precisely the opposite effect, the notes being harder and heavier.

Whichever method be desired for any given passage in an orchestral performance, it is most essential that all the players shall use the bow in precisely the same way, as any variance would destroy the quality of tone and deprive it of its necessary consistency. To attain this string parts are always very carefully marked, (this being one of the duties of the first violin--Concertmeister-of the orchestra,-and the conductor must insist in rehearsal upon the observance of these marks to obtain the desired similarity of bowing and consequently the requisite result in tone-coloring.





Poets have raved over music from time immemorial and have gone into extravagance of praise, into which musicians themselves would never have dared enter. The wild hyperbole of Keats:

"O, did he ever live, that lonely man,

Who loved-and music slew not?"

Is no more fanatic than Shakespeare's always-quoted, beautiful libel on some of the most honorable men that ever lived:

"The man that hath no music in himself,

Nor is not moved with concord of sweet sounds,

Is fit for treason, stratagem and spoils :

The motions of his spirit are dull as night:
And his affections dark as Erebus:

Let no such man be trusted."

But besides Milton, who was an organist and the son of a composer, and Thomas Moore, who composed and arranged some pretty tunes, hardly any of them knew the least thing about what music really is; and in all probability no one of them could have told the difference between a diminished seven and a plagal cadence. And, indeed, their rhapsodies on the heavenly Art," are almost all of the same tone as on wine and the fine faces of women.

Robert Browning, however, was a trained musician versed in the theory and history of the art, a spirited com-, poser, and an improvisator and performer of unusual moment. He takes up the subject with a serious, philosopher's attitude. He is rapt, but not drunk. He speaks as one having authority, and should be listened to with all attention and respect. Although references to music are numberless in bis writings, it will be possible only to quote here such as may be used in constructing a philosophy out of his loose materials.

At the close of The Ring and the Book, he says:

It is the glory and good of Art,


That Art remains the one way possible

Of speaking truth, to mouths like mine at least.
* Art, wherein man nowise speaks to men,
Only to mankind-Art may tell a truth

Obliquely, do the thing shall breed the thought,
Nor wrong the thought, missing the mediate word.
So may you




* note by note, bring music from your mind,
Deeper than ever e'en Beethoven dived."*

During his improvising, "Abt Vogler" feels that:


"Nature in turn conceived, obeying an impulse as I, And the emulous heaven yearned down, made effort to reach the earth,

As the earth had done her best, in my passion, to scale

the sky."

The "Wonderful Dead" come back, what never had been, was now; what was, as it shall be anon" and "what is" matched both, for the player was made perfect too. And

this was

"All through my keys that gave their sounds to a wish of my soul,

All through my soul that praised as its wish flowed visibly forth.

"All through music and me."

It was all triumphant art, but art in obedience to laws "

"Painter and poet are proud in the artist list enrolled:But here is the finger of God, a flash of the will that can."

The musician takes the tones of the scale everywhere existent, naught in themselves-loud or soft that is all; but out of three sounds he frames, not a fourth sound, but a star." "And I know not if, save in this, such a gift be allowed to man."

So Music, as he said in "Pauline," is an earnest of a heaven," for (again in Abt Vogler)

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"The high that proved too high, the heroic for earth

too hard,

The passion that left the ground to lose itself

in the sky,

Are music sent up to God by the lover and bard:

Enough that He heard it once: We shall hear it


Deeper even than the Andante dived," as Browning has it.

All earth's failures are a proof of heaven; the discord is proof of following concord, more prized for the discord. "Sorrow is hard to bear, and doubt is slow to clear,

Each sufferer says his say, his scheme of the weal and


But God has a few of us whom He whispers in the ear, The rest may reason and welcome! 'tis we musicians know."

Mark that "know."

Likewise, in "Avison," he says, "There is no truer truth obtainable by man than comes of music:" and, also in "Fifine at the Fair," where the dead and gone musician instead of words, sought sounds, and saved forever, in the same, "Truth that escapes prose-nay put poetry to shame."

Such also is the conclusion in "Master Hugues of SaxeGotha." In this poem he trics to find a meaning in a fugue, that seemingly hollowest of musical forms. The spirit of the composer seems to say to the organist

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A master were lauded and sciolists shent."

Then follows the attempts of the organist to work out the meaning of the fugue. He finds it to be a rattling, hairsplitting, hot argument. But it is all like the gilt roof covered with spider-webs, the strengthening of these cobwebs of form is blotting out the gold of true music. Hugues may mean to typify by his fugue that life is a complex weaving, till Death end it all with a knife, and that man gets small sight of the far Heaven through his "comments and glozes" covering God's gold. This must be true. Hugues would not have written all this for nothing. Try the fugue again. Yet there is a misgiving all the while that he is paying too much attention to the hiding web of the fugue-forms. So clear the arena!" "unstop the full-organ?" away with the different "subjects" of the hard fugue! and study the Truth, still golden, though refused, and the Nature that we have been stringing through cob-webs. But just as the organist gets the true idea of music his candle goes out and he must grope his way down the "rotten-planked, rat-riddled stair."

This, then, is Browning's very radical view; that music is able to express Truth. But what Truth? Certainly not a scientific truth. Music can not declare the Law of Equivalent Proportions, or the Rule of Three. Can it express a a historic truth? It manifestly cannot describe the development of the Roman Constitution or a like subject. But there is a distinction to be made between Fact and Truth. Music can, Browning claims, express Truth, nay, "Truth's very heart of truth." I am sad, I am angry, I am happy. Music can express these truths, and perfectly. In a way, it can convey the knowledge of facts. When Beethoven wrote this Largo, he was gloomy; when he was inspired to that Scherzo he was hilarious. But music cannot tell what suit he wore at the time, or where he wrote, or, with reference to the calendar, when. Nor would one have it do so. Each art confesses its inability to enter certain fields, where other arts flourish.


The Truth that music can express, according to Browning, is that, not of the mind, knowledge; but of the soul, feeling. In The Parley with Charles Avison," he distinguishes soul from mind, and by a metaphor. Mind is a builder of a bridge-knowledge, -over a restless" unsounded sea "-soul-that froths feeling into restless activity. gathers loose facts to build the bridge of knowledge; those facts are hard stones, clean cut, definite, and they can be traced clear back to their origin in the unquarried mountain. Mind's bridge may hide, but it cannot tame the soul-sea beneath. How different from the mind's is the soul's activity! It is not a firm bridge, but one shifting turbulence.

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To perpetuate particular moments of the soul's seething is to petrify flakes of froth tost up "a spume sheet spread, whitening the wave; "to run liquidity into a mould like lead"; to fix and keep "how we feel, hard and fast as what we know." Yet this is the endeavor of all arts.


Poetry and painting discern the seething, and lift proud prizes from the sea with their respective word mesh" and color and line throw." Furthermore, they can preserve these "passions caught in the midway swim of sea," for lo! across the long years, Homer's Helena still gazes from Troy's

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