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Questions & Answers.

Advice upon musical subjects by experienced specialists. If there is anything you want to know tell us, and we shall be glad to inform you or place your question in the hands of some acknowledged expert for reply. If the question is one of general interest to our readers we will print the answers here. This department is for you to use to any extent required.

S. M. C.—An accidental (sharp, flat or natural) holds good only for the measure in which it occurs, unless the accidental is before the last note of a measure and the next note in the same voice (part) of the next measure is identical with the note before which the accidental stands. You will sometimes find a precautionary sharp, flat or natural in a measure after an accidental has been used in a previous measure put there to indicate to the careless reader that the original signature of the piece should be observed.

Mrs. M. J. C.—The tonic minor has the same name as the major scale of which it is a tonic minor. The tonic minor of C major is C minor, and conversely the tonic major of C minor is C major. The relative minor of a major scale is formed on the minor third below the tonic or first note of the major scale.

G. U. F.—The “Ranz des Vaches” is the name given to the Alpine cattle call, played upon an instrument which is virtually a simple tube. Some of these melodies are very old. Many famous composers, including Wagner, Raff and others, have employed this call in their compositions.

F. S. C.—There is no means of determining a virtuoso. The “virtuoso” is only a virtuoso when the world accepts him as such. There is no school for virtuosos, but there are many means of becoming a fine performer. A very fine performer who makes frequent public appearances and is accepted with great public acclaim might be called a virtuoso.

H. R.—We shall be glad to answer your question but we must have your full name and address. Correspondents who fail to comply with this request must not expect attention from this department.

M. U. O.—The rounds differs from the Canon in that the imitation in the round is always in the octave or in unison. A Roundelay is quite a different thing from a round. It ordinarily refers to a short poem in which the refrain is frequently repeated.

Interested Reader.—Your inquiry regarding grading requires a special answer by mail. If you will send your address we will be pleased to furnish you with the information you desire.

C. de S.—A “Saltarello” is an Italian dance, usually in triple time. The words are derived from an Italian word meaning to leap and in playing pieces of this type you should always bear in mind the elastic, vivacious character of the dance.

C. H.—A sequence is a regular repetition of a melodic phrase at certain intervals. You can form an example of a melodic sequence by taking any series of notes such as the first three notes of “The Old Folks at Home” for instance, and by repeating this theme regularly upon the different degrees of any diatonic scale.

O. P. W.—The following is the meaning given in Dr. Clarke’s useful pronouncing dictionary of the words you have sent in: Amabile—Sweetly, tenderly. Embouchure (1) The mouthpiece of a wind instrument. (2) The position and management of the mouth and lips of the player of a wind instrument.

T. A.—Your idea of having some sign to indicate the first note of the melody on the next ensuing page in order to facilitate the player in reading rapid pieces where the pages must be turned over very quickly is not new. You will find such a sign in some music of the olden times. It resembled a small “w” and was placed upon the line or space of the first melody note on the next page. It was called a “direct.”

B. J. W.—Rameau was born at Dijon in 1683. He displayed great talent when a child, and in his early years was sent to Italy to study. He became an orchestra player with a traveling theatrical troupe and finally settled in Paris, where he studied with Marchaud, who became jealous of him and caused him to leave the French capital. He investigated the scientific foundation of the formation of chords and has the reputation of having been the founder of our modern system of Harmony. He also published a book upon the principles of Equal Temperament. One of his operas was recently revived in Paris. He wrote many pieces for the Clavier which, if they do not show greatness, indicate much cleverness.

A Subscriber.—We cannot answer your question, owing to the fact that you did not give us your name and address. We also do not give opinions regarding proprietary methods in this column.

 

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