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Questions and Answers

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, for example. C, G, F, major, and A, E, D, minor. Practically any chord may be followed by any other chord, but all uch (sic) succession will not be equally effective. You cite a case of the chord B-flat, D-flat, F, third in the bass,—signature of A-flat,—followed by the chord of G, B, D, F, with fifth in the bass. This is not as agreeable as some other chord successions, but a relation can be established that will make it permissible. The first chord is also the subdominant in F-minor, while the second chord is the dominant in C-major or the supertonic discord of F, to follow the system of Dr. Clarke; this resolves on the dominant of F. Hence the progression is admissible.

P. M. B.—1. “I Dreamed that I Dwelt in Marble Halls” is from Balfe’s “Bohemian Girl.”

2. By a classical piece is usually meant a composition in one of the larger, recognized forms, such as sonata, rondo, and lyric forms, in distinction from dance forms, such as the waltz, mazurka, and march, and one that has stood the test of time. An opera is a dramatic work which is sung instead of recited. Some people have thought that the abbreviation op. means opera. This is a mistake. It is an abbreviation of the Latin word opus, which means work.

W. E.—1. The book on “Extemporization,” by F. J. Sawyer, is a very good manual for a student of composition. It is very practical, and, while intended to give drill in extempore playing is really a work on composition. For advanced study Prout’s “Applied Forms” is very useful, but it is so very exhaustive that it takes hard study to make it valuable.

2. Humphrey’s “Evolution of Church Music,” $1.75 net, should help you in your studies in that subject.

H. E. F.—“Musette” is the name applied to that part of the “Gavotte” which answers to the Trio in a march. This part is usually written in the style of bag-pipe music; hence it received the name of “Musette,” an old French instrument belonging to the bag-pipe family.

2. The “Gavotte” is an old French dance in alla breve time, and commences on the third beat of the measure. This applies to the old-time gavotte, of the classical period; there is a modern dance called a gavotte, which is similar to the schottische.

A. F. W.—1. In The Etude for September, 1899, in the department of Women’s Work in Music, you will find an article on type-writing and piano-playing.

2. As a text-book on harmony we recommend “Harmony,” by Dr. H. A. Clarke, $1.25; on Ear-training, the work by A. E. Heacox, 75 cents.

3. Some teachers advise their pupils to take some one as a pupil, on the plea that one always knows a thing best by teaching it to some one else. It is good training for the advanced pupil, perhaps not always so much so for the beginner.

N. B. G.—1. According to Dr. William Mason, “The pianist’s hands must be exceedingly flexible, every muscle under control, and that control must be so perfect that after each note is struck the muscles that have been used can, to a slight degree, be relaxed and just sufficient firmness be retained to control the movement of the hand. A thorough massaging c the hands every night and bathing them in hot water cannot but strengthen them, and develop the muscles and make the hands limber.” Here are some good movements for hand-massage: first, rub the lingers until they tingle; then take one finger after the other and turn or twist it in the palm of the hand, always turning the one way; next repeat the same, using the fingers in pairs; last, rub the palm of each hand until the muscles are tired. The hands may then be immersed in very hot water.

2. As an elementary piano-instructor you cannot do better than to use “First Steps in Pianoforte-Study.”

3. Scales on the reed-organ are taught in he same manner as at the piano, but need not be so extended in compass, two octaves being sufficient usually.

4. The word “tempo” refers to the rate of speed of any movement. The word “time” refers to the arrangement of the accents, double, triple, or compound. The word “rhythm” refers to the regular and symmetrical design, according to which the notes of a melody are arranged.

A. F. K.—A series of notes or of chords, which are at the same time both slurred and dotted, are played non-legato; that is to say, each note loses about one-quarter of its value. For instance, quarter notes written in this manner would be treated as equivalent to dotted eighth notes followed by sixteenth rests. Such passages are usually executed with a pressure-touch. Passages of slurred notes, interspersed with rests, are executed in a similar manner.

T. J. P.—In concert-playing, especially in a large hall with orchestra, the pedals are used with a breadth of effect not suitable to the drawing-room or to a small hall. You are correct in your observations as to this liberal use of the pedal by certain great artists, and to this use of the pedal is due the harmonic brilliancy of effect which you have noticed.

H L. H.—The rule in regard to the use of accidentals is: A, sharp or flat, used to effect a chromatic change, has force only in the measure and the octave in which it occurs. If it should be tied over into the next measure, it need not be repeated, and if it should not be tied over, but no other note intervenes, the accidental need not be repeated. This is the rule, but since some people are not accustomed to remember rules and apply them, composers often introduce accidentals s a matter of precaution.

W. E. A.—It is impossible to give definitely the metronome-marks you ask for, since they must necessarily be regulated largely by the style and character of the particular pieces to which they may be attached. Generally speaking, however, waltz-tempo would be from a dotted half note = M.M. 56 to 96. This would include all styles from a “valse lente” to the quick concert valses of Chopin. A slow, or solemn, march would be about a quarter note = M.M. 96, Mendelssohn’s “Athalie,” for instance A two-step is usually a half note = M.M. 120; a polka, quarter note = M.M. 108; a schottische, quarter note = M.M. 116.

S. A.—In the Gregorian, as in modern, notation the first seven letters of the alphabet are used, but only six of them are needed for any particular mode, depending upon the degree upon which the mode begins. The Gregorian music has obtained in the Missal and other office-books since the time of Gregory the Great. It represents the survival of musical and ecclesiastical traditions and is likely to remain for many years to come, since in portions of the service it is obligatory.

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