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Questions and Answers

F. L. R.—The names you mention are pronounced as follows:

Arensky, pronounced Arrenskee, accent on the penultimate.
Borodin, Borrodeen, accent on ultimate.
Grodzki, Grodskee, accent on O.
Gernsheim, Gherns-hime.
Ilzynski, or, as some publishers print, Iljinsky, Ill-jinskee, accent on penultimate.
Karganoff, Carganoff, accent on ultimate.
Liadoff, Liadoff, accent on ultimate.
Napravnik, Nawpraw-vnick, accent on penultimate.
Dolmetsch, Dolmetch.
Pachulski, Pa-whoolskee, accent on penultimate.
Nollet, Nolay.
Wachs, Vax.

I. S.—Ländler is a dance in triple rhythm, popular in Austria. The name is probably derived from Landel, a district in the valley of the Ems, where the dance is said to have originated. Some authorities say, however, that it is simply a country dance (Ger. ländlich, rural), a waltz danced in a country fashion; that is, in a clumsy, rude style, as farmers might dance in our rural districts to the music of a fiddle. The ländler is in the nature of a waltz, but is danced more slowly. Schubert wrote many ländler.

J. F.—The number of measures in a “phrase,” using the meaning of the word as recognized in the subject of form, depends upon the rhythm of the piece. If simple duple or triple, 2/4, 3/4, 3/8, rapid tempo, the number of measures is often four; if compound duple or triple, 4/2, 4/4, 6/8, 9/8, 12/8, generally two. In “phrasing,” applied to the interpretation of a piece, the “phrase” varies in length.

L. W.—To distinguish if a piece is in the key of the signature or the relative minor, observe the final chord. If the bass note corresponds with the tonic indicated by the signature, the piece is in that key, major. If the bass note of the last chord be the sixth of the scale indicated by the signature, the piece is in the minor key of the same letter as the bass note. This rule is almost without exception.

L. B. H.—A violin pupil should be taught to tune his instrument as soon as possible. Of course, with a little child who has not the strength to turn the pegs, the case may be different, but the average violin pupil should be able to tune his instrument as soon as he can distinguish a perfect fifth. As successful violin playing depends upon a correct ear for intervals, ear training must be one of the first things taught, and when that is learned the pupil can tune his instrument.

Most assuredly it is injurious to play upon an instrument that is out of tune. By so doing the acute sense of hearing becomes blunted, and great harm must result, both to pupil and to instrument. By all means, allow no pupil to play upon an instrument of any kind that is out of tune.

A. L. S.—We believe no one can successfully study either harmony or counterpoint without the aid of a teacher. However, considerable progress can be made alone. The great difficulty is that without someone to point out your mistakes you will never know whether your exercises are right or wrong. For your use we would recommend Mansfield’s “Harmony” and Bridge’s “Counterpoint.” These books are very practical and plain, but, if you possibly can, we would urge you to put yourself under a teacher, as your progress will be much more satisfactory thus. If there be no teacher in your town, why not take lessons by mail? A number of eminent teachers give instructions in harmony and counterpoint in this manner, whose names and addresses can be had for the asking.

H.—The names of the stops on the different makes of reed organs vary so that it would be difficult to tell you just which ones a beginner on that instrument should use by name. Suffice it to say he should use stops that will make a complete scale from one end of the keyboard to the other, and that will produce the same tones in pitch as the corresponding notes on a piano keyboard would sound when struck. Use stops that give a full and pleasing tone, without any fancy combinations. For a beginner these will be entirely unnecessary, and should not be used until he is far enough advanced to play pieces of some degree of difficulty.

For studies we advise you to use Landon’s “Reed Organ Studies,” Books I and II. These can be used in connection with his “Organ School,” if desired.

Clementi’s and Kuhlau’s sonatinas are scarcely suited to the reed organ. A great many of them lie out of the compass of the instrument. A few of the slow movements might be used to advantage, possibly, but on the whole you can find other and better works in reed organ literature more to the purpose.

S. H. T.—If you repair your old pipe organ it will simply just about answer, but in a poor way, your present needs, and for years stand in the way of an organ that is really good. For the good ever stands in the way of the best. Every church has numerous croakers who will say that as long as the old organ is good enough what is the use of one better. And they say, and perhaps believe, that the old organ “is the best-toned organ in town.” Ignorance measures everything by its own narrow and uninformed standard of incompetency.

U. N. S.—Organ blowing by water or electricity is far superior to blowing by hand. Power blowing is steady, always ready, so that the organist can practice at any time. Uneven blowing is bad for the organ, and few organ blowers ever learn to blow with intelligence. They generally blow rapidly and roughly till the bellows are full, then stop until they run almost down, then pump them full with rapid jerks again. Furthermore, power blowing is much cheaper.

R. K. A.—If your church is about to get an organ, get a good one, one that will meet the expected improved conditions of twenty years hence. It is easier to raise money by popular subscription for an organ in which all can take pride, and out of which all will receive satisfaction and pleasure, than to attempt a lower sum for an organ that will just about answer the present purpose. Then, too, if you get an organ that your church people can take special pride in, it will be easier than raising money for an organ that will demand constant excuses and apologies.

R. W.—When organ builders send in specifications in competition, they sometimes leave off the lower octave or octave and a half of many stops. I have known builders to leave these pipes out when getting the contract, but trying to prevent the organ committee from finding it out. Do not bargain for an organ without the advice of an expert organist. There are many vital points, known only to the few, which an expert will secure for you, which the organ builder might omit, both in building and in the specifications.


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