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Worthy of Comment. Music by Telephone.

It is well known that the phonograph will record the playing and singing of the artist and thus give the teacher a model rendition for his pupils to work up to, and we can also hand down to posterity a record of the artists’ style by this means. But no less wonderful is the following account of the capabilities of the telephone:—

Says the writer: “I once spent a large share of the night with a telephone operator at Worcester, and know that there are many pleasant things connected with the business. Generally after twelve o’clock the calls are few and far between, coming chiefly from the newspapers and doctors. It is the custom of some of the operators to make the circuit of several places and tell funny stories, but the pleasantest part of it is when Worcester, Fall River, Boston, Springfield, Providence, and New York are connected by the long-distance wire. Most of the boys of these places are musicians. The operator in Providence plays the banjo, the Western operator a harmonica, and generally the others sing. Some tune will be started by the players and the others will sing. To appreciate the effect, one must have a transmitter close to his ear. The music will sound as clear as though it were in the same room. It is a very hard thing for a person to believe unless he has heard it.”

Every musical person has a still more wonderful way of hearing music, but one not enough appreciated or cultivated. It is the ability to hear by the inner ear the music he has before enjoyed. Memory and imagination can recall and picture past music to the mind so vividly that we can experience over and over again the delights of music heard in the past.


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You are reading Worthy of Comment. Music by Telephone. from the December, 1891 issue of The Etude Magazine.

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