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Selected Content from the March 1900 Edition of The Etude


    In our awe and admiration at the greatness of the genius of the world’s musical creators, we are sometimes prone to fall into a rather silly way of talking of them as if they were demigods not marked with human foibles, and not to be pardoned when we learn perhaps that they possessed such weaknesses. Read More

    The Fourth-Finger Question.

    Perhaps no problem in the education of the countless number of piano students confronts music teachers with more demand for its solution than the question of how best to cultivate the usage of the fourth finger. While its treatment in… Read More

    Musical Nuggets.

    Without diligence, upon which one cannot lay stress enough, one cannot accomplish anything in ordinary life even; how much less, then, in art, which is concentrated accomplishment and life intensified. Without diligence the greatest talent will grow rusty, as many examples warn us. Read More

    Musical Items

    Ignatz Brull has nearly finished the score of his new romantic opera, “The Master of the Mountains.” Pepito Rodriguez Arriole, aged 3 years, has lately astonished an audience of musicians and amateurs in Madrid, as a pianist, improvisator, and composer. Read More

    Success in Music.

    The musician of the present, as the artist in any branch, will find it more and more difficult to preserve an uncorrupted, correct idea of the term “success,” because the undue preponderance of commercialism in these days has well nigh altered the meaning of that word into “acquiring an undeserved amount of money.” Read More

    Music Sketches.

    BY THEODORE STEARNS. Wagner and the White Elephant. One of Hermann Ritter’s favorite anecdotes about Richard Wagner comes from the time when, the requisite sum still unraised to complete the Beyreuth theatre, Wagner had sent for Ritter to play first… Read More

    Studio Experiences.

    IN MY MUSIC-ROOM. JOHN ORTH. One young lady who came this morning complained for the second time of pains in her arms. I was not surprised, for I had seen it coming on for some time. It is all the… Read More

    An Apt Illustration.

    ROBERT D. BRAINE. A striking illustration, sharp, to the point, and pertinent to the question in hand, will often do more toward the correction of an error or a wrong method of practice on the part of a pupil, than… Read More

    Home Notes

    On February 13th a concert was given by the Pittsburgh Orchestra, assisted by J. Melville Horner, baritone, of Boston. A recital was given at the studio of Mr. Ad. M. Foerster, Pittsburgh, Pa., on February 21st, by the Misses Minick… Read More

    St. Cecilia

    St. Cecilia, the patron of church music, suffered martyrdom at Rome under Alexander Serverus about the year 229 A.D., although the date of her death has been variously placed by historians as occurring as early as A.D. 176 and 180,… Read More

    What St. Cecilia Represents in Music.

    BY W. J. BALTZELL.  The Greek mythology represented music by one of the Muses, giving it a special divinity in accordance with their custom. As we know, the Christian church in its early days followed many of the customs of… Read More

    St. Cecilia in Art and Poetry.

    BY REV. H. T. HENRY. What St. Cecilia represents in music is adequately defined by her symbolism in the kindred arts of painting and poetry. This symbolism is not—like so many others—a fiction founded on fact, but rather a fact… Read More

    The Apotheosis of St. Cecilia.

    BY FANNY MORRIS SMITH. Among the saints of the poet’s calendar none is more universally sung than St. Cecilia; her church and academy in Rome still attest her graces. She is the only saint in England, except St. George, that… Read More

    To the Would-Be Musician.

    BY HARVEY WICKHAM. I am in receipt of a letter from the Editor of The Etude asking for an expression of opinion regarding the necessary qualifications for a musical career. I would not like to advise anyone to undertake the… Read More

    Technic in General.

    Before taking up the subject of technic (in the next issue of The Etude), let us first get rid of the idea that violin technic is confined to that particular work which the left hand is called upon to perform…. Read More

    Question Answered

    Our correspondent who wishes to be advised on the question of supplementary work in connection with “Henning’s Method” has made a request not easily complied with except on the broadest possible basis of suggestion. “Henning’s Method,” like many works of… Read More

    Selection of Pieces

    To the foregoing suggestions may be added a word of advice which should interest all those engaged in teaching the young. Too often, in the selection of easy pieces for the young and inexperienced pupil, the mistake is made of… Read More

    Old Violin.

    Recently a gentleman informed me that his little son was the possessor of a fine Nicholas Amati violin, genuine beyond any possibility of a doubt. When I questioned him as to its state of preservation, his face lit up with… Read More


    The vibrato, more perhaps than any other feature of violin-playing, excites the ambition of youthful players, and seems to represent to them the very pinnacle of musical joy and aspiration. This oscillation of the finger is to them a constant… Read More

    Questions & Answers

    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


    BY PERLEE V. JERVIS. Clear, incisive, resonant, and powerful, or beautifully shaded chord-playing is not very commonly heard. In addition to the proper muscular conditions and the mode of attack, which should be carefully considered, good chord-playing requires a proper… Read More

    Five-Minute Talks With Girls.

    BY HELENA M. MAGUIRE. The People to Whom a Girl Plays. Music has a two-fold influence: first upon the character of the girl who studies it; and, secondly, through her, upon those for whom she makes music. Music is to… Read More

    The Real Value of “Recommendations.”

    BY E. A. SMITH. Nearly all musicians have dealt with the “testimonial” question at some period in their career, and it is a question of no small concern. A recommendation from a teacher is either worth something or it is… Read More

    What Method Do You Teach ?

    BY W. F. GATES. One of the first things that is apt to meet the teacher as he is talking to a prospective pupil is the question: “What method do you teach?” And if the teacher is a conscientious man… Read More


    BY H. M. SHIP. An amusing incident was once told of Catalani. She was rehearsing at the Paris opera-house, and finding the piano “too high,” told the accompanist so. Her husband, overhearing the remark, promised to attend to it. After… Read More

    Letters to Teachers - W.S.B. Matthews

    “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

    Something About the Popular Music of To-day.

    The craze for “coon” songs, as they are familiarly known, began about three years ago, and shows little sign of abatement at the present time. Not content with “rag-time” songs, marches, two-steps, and even waltzes have also been subjected to this syncopated style of treatment by composers, in order to appease the seemingly insatiable thirst for that peculiar rhythmic effect produced by successive irregular accent. That the production of coon songs and two-steps has been carried to an extreme no one can question, but out of the many thousands of publications of this character, but a very few, by comparison, have enjoyed really large sales. Read More

    Nature’s Course With the Child.

    BY DANIEL BATCHELLOR. How to Interest the Very Young. We now see the importance of educating the young children. To produce the best results we must begin early. And yet, wherever we make a start, we find that the child’s… Read More

    An Individual Who is a Problem.

    BY THOMAS TAPPER. I. Every institution in the world is familiar with the Individual who samples its goods on the outer edge. Something prompts him to desire much, but he enters with little faith; he never absolutely sacrifices himself, and… Read More

    The Pupil’s Personal Responsibility.

    BY CHARLES W. LANDON. In reading the lives of the great masters in our art one thing is strikingly prominent: these men of divine gifts were as great workers as they were great in genius. When the strife for place,… Read More

    Honor to Whom Honor is Due.

    BY JAMES M. TRACY.  How few think of the great ability and fecundity for writing piano studies and sonatas possessed by that once great pianist Clementi. Many students have worked at his preludes and exercises, his gradus and his sonatas,… Read More

    Thoughts, Suggestions, Advice - Practical Points by Practical Teachers

    “I DON’T LIKE MY LAST PIECE.”CHARLES W. LANDON. Mendelssohn advised that pupils should not pass judgment on a piece until it was well learned, for the best music does not show its beauties until it is played finely. How, then,… Read More

    Letters to Pupils

    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

    Æsthetic Versus Structural Analysis.

    Knowledge of and insight into musical form is necessary to the player, but not to the listener, even for the highest artistic appreciation and enjoyment, just as the knowledge of colors and their combinations is essential to the painter, but not to the beholder. Read More

    Schumann’s Sayings.

    COLLECTED BY CAROLINE MATHER LATHROP. If fertility be a distinguishing mark of genius, then Franz Schubert is a genius of the highest order. Whatever he felt flowed forth in music. * * * Experience has proved that the composer is… Read More

    Turning Music Pages.

    BY ROBERT D. BRAINE.  Do not fail to teach your pupils how to “turn over” the pages of music when there is no one handy to turn for them—that is, if you understand the art yourself. This may seem to… Read More

    Why We Are Not More Musical.

    At the recent public meeting of the National Institute of Arts and Letters, Horatio William Parker, head of the musical department of Yale University, spoke of the undeveloped state of musical composition in America. No art has yielded so few… Read More

    Advice to the Student of Harmony.

    Every teacher of harmony knows—and doubtless the majority of advanced students have also discovered—how difficult, how nearly impossible, it is to achieve positive results and derive real practical benefit from the study of harmony, before the pupil has learned to “hear with his eyes”; that is, has acquired the faculty of perceiving the effect of the tones on the page before him, and their relations and movements, without the necessity of first playing them upon the pianoforte. Read More

    Harpists In Demand

    Mrs. Clara Murray, the well-known harpist, is very enthusiastic over the ever-increasing popularity of the harp. Not only has she had great success this winter in concert work, having played in Cincinnati, Memphis, Omaha, St. Paul, and other cities, but… Read More

    Have the Rich a Right To Work?

    “What do you think of  my giving music lessons?” asked Mary, of her family, assembled at breakfast. “I don’t think of it; I am able to support my family. It would injure my credit in business,” replied her father…. Read More

    Parliamentary Procedure.

    The selection of officers  for a permanent society should be most carefully made among those members who are best fitted for such positions. The president should be a person with good judgment; one who is able, first, to rule… Read More

    Philanthropic Work of Federated Clubs.

    Music is seldom used as  a means of moral development; but, as the meaning of the music life is grasped in its fullest and broadest sense, this phase is developed in all its beauty, and one result is the philanthropic… Read More

    Federation News Items.

    Interest in the work of the federation is growing very surely in the Eastern section, as interested and inquiring letters testify. Read More

    The Playing of Hymns.

    In accompanying congregational hymns three things are expected from the organ, viz.: the melody, the rhythm, and a proper support for the singing. If the organist will give special attention to these three points he will seldom have poor congregational singing. Read More

    The Organ Lacks Audible Accent.

    The one point which differentiates the organ from all other instruments is that it has no accent, no power of emphasis. Its tone is dead. True, it can be swelled and diminished, but its swell is not like the crescendo… Read More

    Finger Exercises for Organists.

    There are no finger exercises so beneficial to an organist as those of Kullak in his “The Art of Touch,” and it is doubtful if Kullak could have devised any exercises which would have suited the needs of organists better than these, if, he had been an organist himself and had been thinking only of organists. Read More

    More Organ Music in the Church Service.

    Probably no one but the church organist himself fully realizes the difficulties under which he plies his art. The average Protestant church service makes no provision for undisturbed organ playing per se, and thus loses a powerful aid in deepening… Read More

    A Few Easter Anthems Old and New.

    Barnby, “Break Forth into Joy” (Novello).Shelley, “The Resurrection” (Schirmer).Tours, “God hath Appointed a Day” (Novello).Faure, “See now the Altar Garlanded” (Schirmer).Stainer, “Awake Thou that Sleepest” (Novello).Truette, “Awake, Awake, ‘tis Easter Morn” (Ditson).Schnecker, “How Calm and Beautiful” (Stevens).Foster, “When the Sabbath… Read More


    Mr. Paul Moller, who died recently, was organist and choir-master of Stora Raby Church, in the south of Sweden, for seventy-two years, during which time he never missed a service or took a holiday. He was a member of a family which had held the position for the past two hundred years. Read More

    “Dont’s” For Organists.

    Don’t slide back and forth  on the seat when playing a pedal passage. To easily reach the extreme notes of the pedal board, turn the body slightly toward those notes. Don’t go through any contortions of the body when about… Read More

    For Beginners In Pedal Playing.

    It is the compass and capacity of the pedal section of an organ which give the instrument dignity and cause it to be unapproachable by any other musical instrument. In this respect even a grand symphony orchestra is always lacking, compared with the deep and pervading bass of the organ. In legitimate organ music, the pedal part has its own distinct voice, independent of the manual parts. Read More

    More About Shakespeare.

    Mr. Shakespeare has precipitated what might almost be called a crisis in the affairs of method by his appearance in this country. His views on what constitutes correct tone-production are so vastly different from those held by eminent and successful teachers in France that unconsciously the profession will be doing jury-duty as evidence accumulates. He is keenly conscious of the importance of his mission, and will welcome honest criticism. Read More

    The Circle Pin.

    As a result of the call for  votes as to which of the ten mottoes published last month should be selected, am glad to report that we have a very definite expression of opinion from different parts of the country…. Read More

    Listen and Learn.

    To treat this subject in the style of the “sermon- makers” of forty years ago: First: Why should the vocal student listen? Secondly: To whom should he listen? And Thirdly: How should he listen? As to the first topic: The… Read More


    Expression belongs as distinctly to musical art-terminology as form to that of the older arts of painting and modeling. It applies as definitely to the technic of rendering as form can be said to apply to the technic of modeling…. Read More

    Timely Counsel From Great Singers.

    “By necessity, by proclivity, and by delight we   quote.”—Emerson. With each recurring season there come to our land many of the best artists of the day, and in listening to their oftentimes masterly performances there is afforded great opportunity… Read More


    In answer to many questions on the use of the vibrato, let me explain that the term vibrato implies a graceful and not too perceptible wave in the tone. It is imparted only to voices with a correct method of… Read More

    The Art of Singing.

    After the voice has been well cultivated the art of singing should be earnestly begun. No one should suppose that because he has a good voice he can sing well. The voice is a physiological matter, singing a spiritual matter,… Read More

    Value of Blackboard Illustration for Children.

    Is a young teacher from a small country town allowed “to speak in meetin’?” If so, I should like to tell the readers of the Etude about my blackboard class. I read greedily all the articles telling of different ways to interest small children in music; but, as I have seen no plan just like mine, I wish to contribute my mite to the general fund. Read More

    Pupils’ Ideals.

    BY W. J. BALTZELL  The man or woman who has risen to a commanding position has done so by virtue of an ideal. Give a boy an ideal, no matter how, and he will strengthen along the line of that… Read More

    The Choice of Music as a Profession.

    Talent being the first essential required in the successful pursuit of a musical career, everything else follows of its own accord. Nor must love of music be mistaken for talent. No doubt, love of music presupposes some ability for the art. In many cases the practiced eye can discover latent talent where only love of the art is perceptible. And every musician knows that talent of that order properly nurtured and carefully developed may produce most excellent results. Read More

    The Teacher of To-Day.

    Upon the teacher of to-day rests the responsibility for the popularity of the musician of the future. Let the teacher see to it that the pupil is encouraged to search for the scientific reason of things. The idea that music is not a science is false. It is the oldest, the greatest, the most exact of them all! To no other cause can we attribute the high standing of the “art.” Read More

    Special Notices

    A BRILLIANT DUTCH LADY PIANIST DESIRES a position with a first-class company to play solos. Can give exclusive piano recitals, if desired, of the best concert music. Address: J. M., care of The Etude. EVERY UP-TO-DATE MUSIC TEACHER WILL… Read More


    Every time The Etude comes, as I remove the wrapper, I wonder if it is possible that it can be better than the last; I have never known it to fail to be. I am very grateful to you for… Read More

The Publisher of The Etude Will Supply Anything In Music