Music-performers and teachers of music are corrupters of music. This is a paradox most people will think extremely absurd. I am about to justify it.
Without going back for proof to past days, when from time to time a prima donna forced a composer to introduce passages enabling her to display her vocal agility, I will limit myself to the present. Justifications meet me continually. Here, for instance, is an extract from a recent musical criticism, in which, after remarking that the sonata in question is not a good one, the writer goes on--
"It is not difficult to understand the attraction which this work possesses for first-rate pianists; there are difficulties in it to be conquered."
And here is another:--
"Miss--'s vocal method is not beyond criticism, but as she succeeds in emitting sounds at a height not usually attained, the public is quite satisfied."
Hamlet, in his address to the players, reprobated those who "split the ears of the groundlings who, for the most part, are capable of nothing but inexplicable dumb shows and noise." Changing time, place, and terms, it may be said that three-fourths