Musical Discourse from the New York Times

Musical Discourse from the New York Times

Musical Discourse from the New York Times

Musical Discourse from the New York Times

Excerpt

THE, "modernists" announce several changes that they are intending to introduce into musical art. Some of them will have naught to do any more with emotion or, indeed, with "expression" of any sort. By others "programme music" is no longer to be tolerated; it is dead. Both these innovation, are revolutionary. From its earliest days music has meant emotion, of one kind and degree or another. Also there has been an effort, more or less groping and, till its systematization in recent year, more or less tentative, to make music express what is now called a "programme"; to make it represent something outside of itself--what the romantic musicians of the last century were pleased to call the "poetic idea." As Michel Brenet remarks in a study of the origin of descriptive music, the first musician who anticipated the exclamation of Correggio, "Anch' io sono pittore!" is lost in the crowd of his unnamed colleagues of the Middle Ages. Yet the expression of something outside of itself seems really alien to the nature of music. Music calls up and establishes moods; it suggests things that are not to be expressed in words. It embodies emotions, passions, longings, aspirations, inward states of mind. It touches the deeper things, also the lighter things of . . .

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