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Anent Female Organists

The following, from the Musical Courier, anent female organists, is apropos:

” ‘I tell you it’s all nonsense, sir, a woman can’t play the organ; it is too complicated and masterful an instrument for her brain, and then—and then—you see—her limbs are not long enough to manipulate the pedals.’

“So spoke the stern committeeman of a conservative church in the West a few years ago. But the girl begged hard to be given a trial; and when it was further learned that she supported herself and mother, was sending a young brother through Harvard, and, moreover, could read music like lightning, she was allowed to show what, perchance, she might be able to do. On Sunday morning the possessor of ‘short limbs’ awoke the echoes of that church as they had never before been awakened, by playing for her show-off piece a magnificent arrangement of ‘America,’ on which the florid ornamentation was done solely by the pedals! The man was convinced. The girl remained, married the wealthiest man in the congregation, and to-day is its most shining musical and social light.

“The fact of the matter is, that short limbs are better than long ones to manipulate the movable and melodic trestle-work that forms the floor of the organ-bench. The proper way to ‘sit’ an organ-bench is the way a boy sits a rail fence—on the edge, the pendent members swinging free. With this method long limbs will not be found as convenient as short ones. So there!

“I was surprised to learn of three positions held by lady organists in New York. The search for a possible ‘one more’ discovered—seventy-five!”

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