YOUR banal American will sing. He will sing not only on hay-rides and on the steps of fraternity houses. He will sing for the very sake of song. That, has been demonstrated by the progress of the Community Chorus movement. Before it began, the most of us were sure the New World had produced a sort of passive man who did not need to express himself as the men in the Old had done, ever, and was content to pay others to perform for him. In America you could not, as you could in so many districts of Europe, go through the streets of little cities at nightfall and hear from taverns and dwellings the sound, like to lighted Christmas trees, of people chanting musically together. Only the darkey sang. The white man worked and berayed with his mouth. The living and cherished folk-singing, the function which had been the solace and refreshment of laboring races, and made possible musical art, seemed to have vanished quite. It too, apparently, had been killed in transit to new conditions.
Then, splendid refutation, came the Community Chorus movement. One had but to assist at a single of its assemblages in park or schoolhouse or hippodrome to recognize that not everything had been lost. One had but to observe the faces of those gathered at one of the "festivals" to gauge to what a degree the old creative lust smoldered on. They were the faces of those who, we had been told, had been tired completely by a life of misuse, and had lost all desire to make beautiful things. And yet, as the singing rose and spread and grew, and gathered up and made
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Publication information: Book title: Musical Chronicle (1917-1923). Contributors: Paul Rosenfeld - Author. Publisher: Harcourt Brace and Company. Place of publication: New York. Publication year: 1923. Page number: 36.
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