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The Church As A Musical Educator.

Should not the church become the fountain-head of good music, as it once was?

Why, then, permit the light and trivial, the commonplace and trashy to have a place on our church programs? Why should not every church, every choir, aim at the best results possible for it to attain with the finances at its disposal?

This is one of the methods of elevating humanity, this use of good music. And the church is supposed to wish this result and to work for it with all possible means. And, by the way, isn’t there as much possibility for the elevation of humanity in the

hearing of several well-rendered musical numbers as in hearing a theological disquisition on theories that no one can prove or a doctrinal harangue which is simply an array of one “ism” against another, always to the discomfiture of the other, the representative of the other being, of course, absent?

In every large city and in a few of the smaller ones, the mission of the church in this respect is coming to be recognized, and we find vesper services, services of song, and so on. In these the best music the choir is capable of is put before the people, and the preacher, for that service, quits when he gets through. The best that every church has should be given to the service; all will admit that as a general proposition; but frequently when they come to music they drop back to the. gospel-hymn level and attempt to present the sweetest and purest of truth in tunes of the weakest of drivel. The choir-music should be dignified, but it need not be inane or of kindergarten grade of difficulty.

To repeat it, then, the place where the common people should feel that they can always repair for good music is the church. The church is a power for good morals; and it should be for good music. And with a musically educated clergy and a broad-minded and liberal officiary the church can occupy its true place as an educating and elevating factor in this matter.—W. F. Gates, in the Los Angeles Capital.

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