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Selected Content from the Q&A Department

Content is listed chronologically in the order originally published by "The Etude".
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    Questions & Answers. - November, 1887

    The Digitorium is an apparatus for exercising and strengthening the fingers, intended especially for the use of pianists, but claimed by its inventor, Myer Marks, to be of great service to all who require flexible and well-trained fingers. Read More

    Questions and Answers - July, 1891

    Ques.—1. When a pupil can play Cramer's Studies fairly well, is it advisable to begin the study of Mozart's Sonatas and the easier compositions of the other great masters ? Norfolk.   Ans.—Cramer's Studies are much more technical than... Read More

    Questions and Answers. - July, 1893

    Get the pupil to realize that she is to use a certain mechanical movement, not to play certain notes; it is how and not what she is to do. Perhaps the pupil is timid and over-much fears to make a mistake. She should know that a good, lusty blunder now and then is better than continual namby-pamby correctness. Read More

    Questions and Answers. - October, 1894

    J. F.—Yes; it is well to be studying more than one piece at a time. A pupil will learn two or three pieces which he studies during each practice period in about the same number of days as if he... Read More

    Questions and Answers. - April, 1895

    [Our subscribers are invited to send in questions for this department. Please write them on one side of the paper only, and not with other things on the same sheet. In Every Case the Writer's full Address must be Given,... Read More

    Questions and Answers. - May, 1895

    We have received the following information from J. Gib. Winner, son of the arranger and publisher:-- "The words and music of 'Listen to the Mocking Bird' were suggested by a colored man, one Richard Milburn, better known as 'Whistling Dick.' My father (Septimus Winner, in whose presence he sang and whistled same in a rough way) arranged and published it. I saw one of the first copies about three months ago, and on the title page is as follows: Listen to the Mocking Bird, by Richard Milburn, arranged by Alice Hawthorne. (Alice Hawthorne being one of my father's nom de plumes)." Read More

    Letters to Pupils. - October, 1895

    To be sure, pure music, that is, instrumental music without words, may sound the same in the ears of a German, a Chinaman, a Norwegian, and a Feejee Islander. But while each of these men recognizes a certain kind of sound as a musical art, it is certainly not true that the same music would be equally understood and relished by the four men. Read More

    Questions & Answers. - January, 1897

    Una Corda means one string, which on grand pianos means to use soft pedal. The action, when the foot is placed on soft pedal moves to one side, so that hammer strikes one string instead of three. Read More

    Questions & Answers. - April, 1897

    Mozart wrote to a pitch of C=508, which would make the high "G's" in the Gloria of the Twelfth Mass equivalent to a note about half way between F and F sharp at C=546--an immense relief to the average chorus. Handel, Bach, Haydn, Mozart, Beethoven, and Schubert all wrote for C=498 to 515; so when we sing their music at the high concert pitch, we actually transpose it from a minor to a major second higher than the pitch the composers intended it to be sung at. The movement toward a low pitch is, therefore, a step in the right direction. Read More

    Questions and Answers. - May, 1897

    The reason that one gets pain in the back after practicing is that the back is not in a perfectly healthful condition. The movements made in piano playing are originated by nerves whose centers are in the spine. The action of these nerve centers is maintained by supplies of blood, and the blood gets access to the centers by traveling in vessels which pass between the bones of the spine. When the demand for blood becomes excessive, there comes to be a congestion or pressure of blood in these vessels which extends to the nerves of sensation in their vicinity and causes them to report something out of order, their report being transmitted to consciousness as pain. Read More

    Questions and Answers. - June, 1897

    "Each key of the pianoforte is a semi-tone from that which is next to it, whether it be a white key or a black one," means just what it says. From a white key to a black one, or vice versa, is a semi-tone, and from a white key to another white one, where there is no black one between, is also a semi-tone, as from B to C, or E to F. Read More

    Questions and Answers. - July, 1897

    2. If this means to convert tone vibrations into color vibrations by increased rapidity, there is no known way of doing it. Tones are propagated by waves of air; but light is believed to travel along waves of ether. Perhaps our correspondent refers to the sympathetic action of light upon tone as shown by the photophone. This is a circular disk with slots around the edge. A ray of light is directed through one of these holes, and as the disk is turned the ray passes successively through each hole, beating rapidly upon a glass tube filled with some substance or other. Presently the tube gives forth a musical tone, more or less resonant according to the material used. Read More

    Questions and Answers - October, 1897

    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. Read More

    Questions and Answers - February, 1898

    It is not an easy thing to explain, in a few words, such a subject as phrasing. Perhaps it will help you if you are referred to the matter of punctuation as used in ordinary writing. Read More

    Questions & Answers - March, 1898

    The use of a bowl of water in a room where there is a piano is to create sufficient moisture to counteract the dry heat produced by the stove. But to do this the water must be evaporated by heat, therefore, the water is useless unless placed on the stove; on no account place it on the piano. Rubbing the strings moderately with a chamois skin is the best and safest way of removing rust. Carbolic acid should never be used. Read More

    Questions and Answers - May, 1898

    Etude is pronounced, in an Anglicized form, as if spelled a-tood. The French pronunciation of the letter e is similar to the German ue... "Brainard's Musical World" is consolidated with The Etude, and is no longer published as a separate journal... The so-called American fingering has been almost entirely superseded by the foreign. No recent books are published in American fingering... The names largo, larghetto, andante, and allegro have no real significance, so far as indicating a rate of any movement on the metronome... Read More

    Letters to Pupils - July, 1898

    J.S. Van Cleve M. G. L.—You ask if it is necessary to be able to transpose music, because singers so often wish their accompaniments transposed. Yes; I consider it extremely desirable, and there are two customs which were quite universal... Read More

    Letters To Teachers - July, 1898

    Please explain the different kinds of touch for the piano.—G. E. N. The shortest answer I can give to your question would be to recommend you to buy the first volume of ''Touch and Technic" and read it carefully through.... Read More

    Questions and Answers - July, 1898

    [Our subscribers are invited to send in questions for this department. Please write them on one side of the paper only, and not with other things on the same sheet. In Every Case the Writer's Full Address must be Given,... Read More

    Questions & Answers - November, 1898

    [Our subscribers are invited to send in questions for this department. Please write them on one side of the paper only, and not with other things on the same sheet. In Every Case the Writer's Full Address must be... Read More

    Questions and Answers - December, 1898

    "Rag-time" is essentially a simple syncopation. The faculty for it must be acquired, much like a taste for caviar. The negroes of the South employed it in the banjo accompaniments to their songs, but not until the "midways" of our recent expositions stimulated general appreciation of Oriental rhythms did "ragtime" find supporters throughout the country. Read More

    Questions and Answers - September, 1899

    [Our subscribers are invited to send in questions for this department. Please write them on one side of the paper only, and not with other things on the same sheet. In Every Case the Writer's Full Address must be... Read More

    Questions and Answers - February, 1900

    W. R. B.--"Rag-time" originated in the South, where bands of colored musicians first played it. These bands are not usually organized, not uniformed, being volunteer affairs. The colored race is extremely imitative, and, all playing mostly "by ear," any mistake or peculiarity made by one band, which happens to take their fancy, is readily taken up by all the others. This music got its name from the rough appearance of the bands, which are called rag-bands, and the music rag-music, or "rag-time" music. The popularity of "rag-time" music is certainly not diminishing, and it remains to be seen what effect it will have on the American music of the future. Read More

    Letters to Pupils - March, 1900

    JOHN  S. VAN CLEVE To E. E. H.—Your quandary as to your vocal student is more than ordinarily interesting to me, since it is one which I have encountered a hundred times in my own experience of a score of... Read More

    Letters to Teachers - W.S.B. Matthews - March, 1900

    "1. Should the damper-pedal be used in playing the Bach inventions? "2. For the average pupil, how long a time is required to secure a rounded, firm, first joint of the fingers? I have used the Mason technics' for four... Read More

    Questions & Answers - March, 1900

    M. D.—Does composition require constant practice? Ans.—Decidedly. Like literary composition, painting, chess, surgery, and every other human activity, musical composition requires constant practice. Composers will tell you that if they neglect to exercise their musical invention, their ideas will come... Read More

    Questions and Answers - April, 1900

    The only exponent of this delightful form of art in this country, to the knowledge of the writer, is Mr. A. Victor Benham, a New York musician. Several years ago the writer attended a concert at which Mr. Benham improvised a sonata in four movements on a theme given by de Pachmann or Van der Huchen (the writer is not quite sure which). It was an unusually clever piece of work, and gave rise to the desire that Mr. Benham would devote himself more frequently to the practice of improvisation in public. Read More

    Questions & Answers - June, 1900

    [Our subscribers are invited to send in questions for this department. Please write them on one side of the paper only, and not with other things on the same sheet. In Every Case the Writer's Full Address must be Given,... Read More

    Questions and Answers - January, 1901

    S. G. G.—In the Tonic Sol-Fa system Soh is used for Sol, as in the series as usually taught, and Ti for Si, making the series of syllables, Do, Re, Mi, Fa, Soh, La, Ti. The I is dropped... Read More

    Questions & Answers - February, 1901

    When the muscles and tendons of the hand have become strained, the condition is a serious one, and care must be exercised to avoid permanent disability. A physician would naturally, as in your case, advise rest. Yet this difficulty has existed before and has been conquered. Read More

    Questions & Answers - March, 1901

    There is no clear explanation of the origin of the term "rag-time" as applied to the peculiar syncopated effects in music. Various persons claim to have been the first to use the term. The honor is a very doubtful one. Read More

    Questions and Answers. - April, 1901

    L. M. P.—If you have already acquired an assured technic under the Mason system, there is no particular reason why you should take up the clavier system. The clavier itself, however, is of unquestionable value in technical practice, especially in... Read More

    Questions and Answers - May, 1901

    E. S. A.—The Chopin “Etudes,” opus 25, may be taken up in the following succession: Nos. 2, 3, 1, 7, 4, 5, 10, 6, 8. H. M.—The movement of common chords is generally free within the circle of related keys,... Read More

    Questions and Answers. - July, 1901

    R. A.—In playing a finger-exercise or scale the fifth finger should be raised, using the first joint only; so that the tip of the finger is immediately above the center of the key, the second and third joints preserving the... Read More

    Questions & Answers - September, 1901

    There is no school where accompanying is made a special branch of instruction to fit one for the position of a professional accompanist. The latter is not a remunerative occupation, save in a few special instances. You had better stick to your piano-teaching and make accompanying an outside feature of your work. Read More

    Questions and Answers - October, 1901

    M. R. B.—You can get information about musical scholarships by applying to Carl Ziegfeld, secretary of the Chicago Musical College, 202 Michigan Boulevard, Chicago, Ill. C. T. L.—In a number of works for vocal students, especially the foreign editions, the... Read More

    Questions and Answers - November, 1901

    L. M. T.—There is no one work which goes exhaustively into the subjects you mention. Grove's "Dictionary of Music and Musicians" is very full, but it does not give the pronunciation of proper names and musical terms. Riemann's "Dictionary," in... Read More

    Questions and Answers - December, 1901

    G. L.—In singing hymn-tunes, or other music for four parts, if the prevailing character be harmonic, the soprano should be more prominent than the other three parts, as in "Nearer, my God, to Thee," for example. But if it be... Read More

    Questions and Answers - January, 1902

    E. F.—1. The accent in rag-time ordinarily falls on the beat that should have the accent regularly. In many cases, however, a special accent is marked to make the syncopation more distinct. 2.  The execution of a note with the... Read More

    Questions and Answers - February, 1902

    E. H.—Chamber-music is music suitable for performance in a small hall, and is distinguished from concert-music by the fact that each part has but a single player; for example, the quartet of strings as compared to the large orchestra, in... Read More

    Questions and Answers - April, 1902

    O. D.—In the case of a little girl of four years who gives evidence of a remarkable musical talent, I would advise against any serious effort to teach her either the theory or practice of music for some time... Read More

    Questions and Answers - May, 1902

    F. S.—1. Emil Sauer is in charge of the classes in artistic piano-playing in the Vienna Conservatory. To enter one of his classes a pupil must have had quite advanced training. 2. By writing to the conservatory you can learn... Read More

    Questions and Answers - July, 1902

    E. C.—When a perfect fifth is altered by lowering the upper note or raising the lower, the resulting interval is called a diminished fifth; by some writers the term "imperfect" fifth is recommended. There is no such term as "minor"... Read More

    Questions and Answers - November, 1902

    J. E. V.—1. The term diminuendo does not imply a decrease in the rate of movement as well as in power, although it is not unusual to hear players so interpret the direction. The correct mark for a slower... Read More

    Questions & Answers - January, 1903

    Ambiguity is not a musical term. In its general meaning of "lack of clearness" it might apply to the harmonies of a piece as not indicating clearly the key... Kammenoi-Ostrow is the name of a fashionable watering place near St. Petersburg. The set of pieces by Rubinstein, of this name, purport to be tone portraits of different persons that the composer met at that place. Read More

    Questions and Answers - March, 1903

    V. W. M.—1. The Virgil Practice Clavier is recognized by many teachers, both private and those connected with conservatories, as a valuable adjunct in laying a solid foundation in piano-technic, and is used for that purpose, even if a... Read More

    Questions and Answers - April, 1903

    A young pupil, seven years of age, possessing such unusual talent and having made such rapid progress as you describe should be handled with extreme care. In the case of such a pupil many important technical points may be overlooked in the natural desire to advance the pupil which might later develop into grave faults. Do not proceed too hastily and do everything thoroughly and well. Read More

    Questions and Answers - September, 1903

    E. P.—Seconds, thirds, sixths, and sevenths are distinguished by the terms Major and Minor, "greater" and "less," because the intervals of that value that occur in the scale are not of the same value, as regards the number of semitones... Read More

    Questions and Answers - October, 1903

    B. D. T.—1. Two notes on the same degree of the staff, connected by a tie, indicate that the first note is to be sustained the value of the two notes. If the second is to be struck both... Read More

    Questions & Answers - March, 1904

    L. L. Elson's "Curiosities of Music" contains much interesting information, such as can be used in a talk on music among people who differ from us in their ideas of music. There is no one book on the subject... Read More

    Questions And Answers (Organ & Choir) - March, 1904

    J. H. A.—1. What stops are suitable to accompany tenors or basses in solo work as well as chorus work? Ditto, sopranos and altos.   Answer: For the high voices (soprano and tenor) in solo work, we would suggest for... Read More

    Question and Answer Column (Vocalists) - March, 1904

    Desire.—The bass voice may ascend to E-flat or E-natural above the bass staff; the baritone to an F or G; the tenor to a B-flat above the baritone. The compass of each of these voices should be about two... Read More

    Questions and Answers - April, 1904

    A. H.-We cannot recommend the surgical operation for the liberation of the ring finger. There have been cases in which fair results have followed, but the operation is one which requires an experienced surgeon. Try careful and consistent finger... Read More

    Questions & Answers - May, 1904

    A taste for good music is to be gradually cultivated; it may not be driven. You should proceed cautiously with your pupils. You need not use trashy music, but your pieces should be melodious and attractive. Use bright and interesting studies,--there are many such,--and yet away from the conversional ground. The studies in the "Standard Graded Course" have proved very popular with pupils. Read More

    Questions & Answers - June, 1904

    The term "alto" as applied to the female voice is not correct; "alto" is one of the parts in music. It is generally agreed that the voice should be called "contralto." However, we are correct in speaking of a male "alto," which is a high voice, and therefore agrees with the root meaning of the word "alto." Read More

    Questions and Answers - August, 1904

    We advise against a teacher, no matter how good a pianist, giving lessons on the violin without having given considerable study to its mastery. To become a good violin player requires more than a knowledge of music; the technic of violin-playing is very different from that required for the violin. Read More

    Questions and Answers - October, 1904

    The distinguishing characteristic of a piano is not in the tuning, as you suggest, or the "voicing," as perhaps you mean, but in various mechanical points, in which skill, experience, and excellence of materials enter. It is not possible to take a piano of one make and by some device or special skill in tuning make it closely resemble in tone the Steinway or Knabe. Read More

    Questions and Answers - February, 1905

    Although makers differ as to the covering of the pin-block of a piano with a metal plate, we fail to see how it can have any effect upon the tone of the instrument. Read More

    Questions & Answers - March, 1905

    Only an expert can judge a piano by an inspection of its interior mechanism. A great many factors enter into this matter, each maker having his own peculiar plans and specifications. The most important features are the structure and placing of the sounding-board and the scale, the method of stringing, the action. Read More

    Questions & Answers - June, 1905

    H. K.—If you are desirous of writing for the large orchestra, you must have, in addition to thorough training in Harmony, Counterpoint, and Composition, a knowledge of the instruments of the orchestra, their characteristics, compasses, and effects in combination with... Read More

    Questions and Answers - July, 1905

    S.—1. Mr. Edward Macdowell is generally recognized as the leading American composer in the large forms. His works rank high, equal with the majority of contemporary European composers.   2. Paderewski is pronounced Pah-dreff-ski; Liszt, List; Gericke, Gehricky; Bispham,... Read More

    Questions & Answers - March, 1906

    In his selection of studies from Clementi's Gradus, Tausig gives the fingering for scales in double-thirds in all keys. These are the traditional fingerings. In Philipp's "Exercises Journaliers" (Daily Exercises) he has devised a new system of fingering for double-thirds in all keys, which should prove useful to you. Read More

    Questions & Answers - July, 1906

    Holtzbauer, Ignaz, an almost forgotten composer, was born at Vienna in 1711, a pupil of Fux, the author of the Gradus. A director of music at Vienna, in 1745, capellmeister to various princes, he composed various operas, 'Il Figlio de-lle Selve," "Günther in Schwarzburg," etc., church and instrumental music, now all forgotten. Mozart praised a mass by him, and also an opera. He died at Mannheim, in 1783. Read More

    Questions and Answers. - July, 1906

    The Dulciana was invented by Snetzler about the middle of the eighteenth century, and was of a very soft diapason tone. Since that time the stop has been variously modified, according to the fancy of individual builders, and in a few cases has been made with a string tone of the character of a Salicional. Read More

    Questions and Answers - August, 1906

    Two volumes of the new edition of Grove's Dictionary of Music are ready, going through the letter L. A third will shortly be published. While even now there are many errors, and omissions, some ridiculous apportioning of space, etc., the book is nevertheless indispensable. The expense of the book, however, places it beyond the reach of many. For a general history covering much the same period, of the development of music Baltzell's History of Music is one of the most practical and helpful books ever published. Read More

    Questions and Answers - October, 1906

    Mrs. J. S. P.—Of living German composers, the most eminent beyond a doubt is Richard Strauss, born at Munich, June 11th, 1864. He began composing when only six, having already begun piano playing at the age of four. He continued... Read More

    Questions & Answers. - August, 1908

    We sympathize with you in your difficulty in exterminating moths. Moths rarely attack a piano that is in constant use, but you have assured us that your piano is used every day and is also in a light room. We do not think that you need have any fear of serious damage if the piano is sufficiently used. Read More

    Questions & Answers. - December, 1908

    A Subscriber.--We cannot answer your question, owing to the fact that you did not give us your name and address. Read More

    Questions & Answers - January, 1909

    The original title of the Sonate Pathetique runs in French as follows: "Grand, pathetic Sonata for the Harpsichord or Piano-Forte, composed, and dedicated to his Highness, Prince Karl Lichnowsky, by Ludwig van Beethoven." No reason for this title has ever been discovered. Read More

    Answers To Questions - February, 1909

    A department of expert advice for the use of any ETUDE reader who may desire information upon some special musical subject. SPECIAL NOTICE. 1. All questions must be signed with the name and address of the writer. No attention will... Read More

    Questions & Answers - July, 1909

    Beethoven's grandfather, Ludwig van Beethoven, a bass singer, opera composer and kapellmeister to the Elector Clemmens August at Bonn, was born at Maestricht, and thus the great master was of Dutch descent. The Dutch claim him by ancestry, the Germans by birth and the Austrians because he spent the better part of his life in Vienna. Read More

    Answers To Questions - August, 1909

    Q. Did Friederich Wieck have any other famous pupils beside Robert Schumann and his daughters, Clara (Schumann) and Marie Wieck? A. Yes. Among them were H. Von Bülow, Anton Krause, Fritz Spindler, I. Seiss and Gustav Merkel. Read More

    Answers to Questions - October, 1909

      A department of expert advice for the use of any ETUDE reader who may desire information upon some special musical subject.   Q. What is meant by the word "Requiem?" (D. E. S.) A. A mass for the... Read More

    Answers to Questions - February, 1910

    A department of expert advice for all ETUDE readers. All letters not bearing full name and address of the sender will be destroyed   A department of expert advice for all ETUDE readers. All letters not bearing full name... Read More

    Some Violin Questions Answered - March, 1910

    M. C.—Jean Baptiste Vuillaume was the greatest of a famous family of Frence violin makers. He was born in 1798 and died in 1875. He early removed from his birthplace at  Mirecourt to Paris, where he resided mostly until his... Read More

    Answers to Questions - March, 1910

    A department of expert advice for all ETUDE readers. All letters not bearing full name and address of the sender will be destroyed. Q. What does the slur with dots under it mean ?   A. Curved lines and... Read More

    Answers to Questions - April, 1910

    Edited by LOUIS C. ELSON   In securing the services of Mr. Louis C. Elson as editor of this department, our readers are to be congratulated upon having placed at their service the rich experience of one of the... Read More

    Some Violin Questions Answered - April, 1910

    A. P. H.—You are quite right as to the dates of the birth and death of Jacob Stainer—1621-1683. If the violin you speak of bears an earlier date, it is likely an imitation and not a genuine Stainer, always... Read More

    Answers to Questions - May, 1910

    Edited by LOUIS C. ELSON In securing the services of Mr. Louis C. Elson as editor of this department, our readers are to be congratulated upon having placed at their service the rich experience of one of the best known... Read More

    Answers To Questions - August, 1910

    Are compositions ever written with both sharps and flats in the same signature? -- Not in our scale system, but in other scales it is perfectly possible. Thus it occurs in Byzantine music. The Byzantine scale has intervals like our harmonic minor scale, with the fourth note sharp instead of natural. The Byzantine scale corresponding to our D minor would have G-sharp, B- flat, and C-sharp in the signature. Read More

    Answers to Questions - September, 1910

    Edited by LOUIS C. ELSON   Readers are reminded that no questions sent in to this department can be answered unless accompanied by the full name and address of the sender, not necessarily for publication. This is asked simply... Read More

    Answers to Questions - November, 1910

    Edited by Louis C. Elson   Q. Is there any physical reason why certain parts of Italy became so famous for the wonderful violins produced? (D. A. G.)   A. There is no reason why certain Italian violin makers... Read More

    Answers To Questions - March, 1911

    I saw in a paper the other day that "if Verdi were to come back, and compose another opera like 'Il Trovatore' no one would listen to it." Yet the work is repeatedly produced at the grand opera houses to large audiences. If it is old-fashioned and bad, why do people stand for it? If it is good, why wouldn't opera managers want more of the same kind? Read More

    Answers To Questions - September, 1911

    I have heard that there is or has been such a thing as an enharmonic organ--that is, an organ with more than twelve keys to the octave. Is this possible? Read More

    Answers To Questions - October, 1911

    I am told that a great many German words of expression are now being used in the new editions. Are these German terms ever likely to supersede the Italian terms? Are there any German terms which have a wide use and any which are indispensable? Read More

    Answers To Questions - January, 1912

    Has America developed any special style of Church music peculiar to itself, apart from gospel hymns? Does using the typewriter unfit one for playing upon the piano or any other instrument? What is the difference between a suite and a partita? Read More

    Questions & Answers - February, 1912

    Q. I am having an awful time with my fingers. In winter they crack open at the tips and commence to bleed. This is particularly the case when I have had much practicing to do. The doctors don't seem to... Read More

    Questions & Answers - April, 1912

    Ragtime is really an imitation of negro music, the word "rag" being used to describe certain negro jollifications. It is rhythmic and syncopated, and should do no harm if played in moderation. But the student who has not fully developed his musical taste for higher things should decidedly let popular or trashy music alone during the hours of strict practice. Read More

    Questions and Answers - September, 1912

    Examine Bach's Fugue in D-major, "Well-tempered Clavichord" Vol. II, No. 5. Here you will find a figure of nine notes at the beginning and everything in the rest of the composition grown out of these nine notes, very much of it from the last four of these nine notes. A more usual kind of development (or "working-out") may be found in Mendelssohn's "Song Without Words," No. 20. In this the melody begins with four chromatic notes in ascending progression. You would not dream of these being anything but a fragment of the melody, yet if you trace the music carefully you will find several other measures and phrases grown out of these four notes, and you will also discover other figures that are "logically worked out." Read More

    Answers To Questions - January, 1913

    Q. Do composers of the highest grade find it necessary to go to the piano for their musical ideas or do they sit down and write their music straight off?--B. T. E. Read More

    Questions and Answers - February, 1913

    Q. Is it possible to imitate orchestral instruments on the piano?--L. J. C. Read More

    Questions and Answers - October, 1913

    Q. How can one best judge of the musical abilities of a child ?—R. N. B. A. Watch the effect of melody upon it. See what tunes it is responsive to and whether they are the best. Even an... Read More

    Some Violin Questions Answered - October, 1914

    It is a great misfortune to choose a profession for which one has not the requisite talent. You had best go to a really first rate violinist, one with a reputation in the musical world, and pay him a fee to examine you as to talent, and to advise you. Such an examination might save you years of misapplied labor in a profession for which you are not fitted. Read More

    Questions and Answers - November, 1915

    Helpful Inquiries Answered by a Famous Authority Conducted by LOUIS C. ELSON, Professor of Theory at the New England Conservatory   Q. Is there any rule governing the performance of arpeggios? I notice that some in playing arpeggios start... Read More

    Musical Questions Answered - September, 1916

    Where is Mozart's tomb? What is the difference between duet and obbligato? What is the meaning of Ossia? Is an interval smaller than the semitone ever used in modern music? Read More

    Musical Questions Answered - June, 1917

    Sometimes I am bewildered by finding fingering marks now above the notes and then below the notes. What is the significance of fingering marks in different positions? .... Please tell me something about the Saxophone which seems to be coming into such general use in combination with the piano, mandolin, banjo, violin and 'cello in small orchestras seen at dances and in restaurants. .... What does "Andante Spianato" mean? Read More

    Musical Questions Answered - February, 1918

    Raff was a very impecunious person, who had no idea whatever of the value of money and ran in debt frequently. His whole thought was to be able to compose. There is little doubt that his great talent was much hampered by the fact that he was forced for many years to write pot boilers. He did the best he could under the circumstances. Read More

    Violin Questions Answered - July, 1920

    M. A.—Your only course is to send your violin to an expert for examination, and appraisal. You will find the names of several dealers in old violins in the advertising columns of The Etude, who can do this work... Read More

    Question and Answer Department - March, 1921

    As the Englishman says, this query almost "knocked me silly!" At any rate, It required some time for me to recover from the shock! Most decidedly; every music student, no matter what branch is being studied, should "read, mark, learn and inwardly digest" the whole field of the history of music. Read More

    Question and Answer Department - April, 1921

    There is music and music. It all depends upon what you consider music. If the height of your ambition is to play "rag" and "jazz" you may omit the study of Bach, although even for them you would find his music very useful. You find Bach dry and tiresome because, most probably, you approach him the wrong way. Read More

    Question and Answer Department - January, 1922

    The broad divisions of music are known as: Sacred, Secular, Classical, Romantic, Modern, Dance Music. There are also divisions of music, plainly defined, known by their nationality: Italian, German, Russian, French, etc. These divisions comprise in turn:--Sacred: Chant, Psalm, Hymn, Choral, Anthem, Motet, Mass, Oratorio. Secular: Folk-Song, Song, Ballad, Romance, Aria, Glee, Madrigal, Cantata, Opera. All the foregoing may be considered as vocal and as vocal and instrumental music combined. Then we have in instrumental music:--Classical: Suite, Sonata, Sonatina, Overture, Fantasia, Symphony, Concerto, with movements of Rondo, Scherzo, etc. Romantic: the majority of the works of Weber, Schubert, Spohr, Mendelssohn, Chopin, Berlioz, Liszt, Wagner, etc. The most distinctly Modern are the French and Russian schools. Of the old Dances are all those found in the Suites, such as the Minuet. Gavotte, Chaconne, Passacaglia, etc., while the new Dances comprise the Polka, Mazurka, Schottische, Waltz, Galop, Polonaise, Quadrille, etc. Read More

    Question & Answer Department - Conducted by Arthur de Guichard - March, 1924

    Question and Answer DepartmentConducted by Arthur de Guichard Eb Nocturne, Op. 9, No. 2 (Chopin). Q. What is the correct fingering of the following passage, according to the composer himself? See Nocturne in Eb, Op. 9, No. 2. —Artie, Providence,... Read More

    Question and Answer Department - Conducted by Arthur de Guichard - April, 1924

    Who was Saint Cecilia? Why is she considered as the Saint-Patroness of music? When did she live? Any particulars about her will be welcomed.--Cora W., Boston, Mass. Read More

    Question and Answer Department - August, 1925

    Q. Has Jamaica contributed in any way to the growth of Musical Art? Have any well-known musicians been born there?-- Roland P., New Bedford, Mass. ... Q. Will you kindly tell me the nationality of Frederick Delius? I have been told that he is American, English, French, German (!), by so many different persons that I would like to have some good authority for stating what he really is.--Edith Zarling, Cambridge, Mass. Read More

    Violin Questions Answered - November, 1925

    By MR. ROBERT BRAINE Vibrato Trouble M. B. P.—I cannot tell exactly where your trouble lies without hearing and watching you play. I have no doubt however, that when doing the vibrato your left arm shakes the violin, causing the... Read More

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