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Man Created Music

Music is the most original of all the arts, being, more than any other, the special creation of the human mind. The sculptor and the painter can find their prototypes and models in the forms of beautiful men and women, and in natural scenery; the poet depicts the actions and feelings of his fellow mortals; and even the architect uses few forms and designs which he might not have copied from the shapes of mountains, trees and flowers. But the musicians have been obliged to create their art almost entirely out of their "inner consciousness." Nature plays no symphonies or operas, and the short scraps of melody that are to be found in bird songs, or the noises of waterfalls and pine forests, poetic though they are, could hardly have suggested even an alphabet for the musician's art. He had to invent rhythm, melody and harmony; invent song, the musical forms of the sonata, symphony, song, opera, oratorio, and the countless minor forms of compositions; invent the numerous instruments which have been in use at various times, and the best of which are now united in the modern orchestra; invent a notation, a method of writing music and reading it at a glance; and so on. Everything had to be invented, gradually improved and perfected; and the Darwinian law of the survival of the fittest is illustrated in the history of musical scales, forms of composition, and instruments, as well as in the evolution of animal forms.

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