Favorite Songs and Hymns For School and Home, page: 0128

450 Of The World's Best Songs And Hymns, With Lyrics & Sheet music for voice & piano.

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128
Early Vocal Training.—It is a good sign of the rimes that the study of music is slowly creeping into our schools, and being recognized by teachers and school committees. Still, the movement in this direc­tion is halting and feeble. The cultivation of sing­ing among children will, it is believed, insure a rich, resonant chest-tone, will break the shrill head-tone, will banish the nasal twang, and make our national speech melodious. To do this implies, of course, that the exercise of singing shall not be crowded into a mere fraction of a school session, but that, like reading and spelling, it be brought into the front and made honorable. Practical men can understand the advantage of this; men who do not care for music can see this thing as clearly as the best trained musi-
cians; and we ask them to think of it and act upon it. Another point: All children sing. They sing al­most as surely as they talk. The want of "ear " may make here and there an exception, but it will be so rarely found that it need not be estimated Not all adults sing, can sing, or can be taught to sing Dis­use of the vocal chords in childhood will, doubtless, incapacitate an adult for singing, and his throat will be like a withered arm, beyond recovery for actual use. Memory.—The sight of a faded flower pressed in a book brings back, with a little shock of feeling, the hand that gathered it, or the distant hills upon which it once bloomed years ago. The touch of satin or fine hair is also capable of reviving the recollec­tion of scenes, and places, and persons. But far
ANNIE LAURIE.
Lady John Scott.
freshness and suddenness, and power over memory, all the senses must yield to the sense of hearing. When memory is concerned, music is no longer it­self; it ceases to have any proper plane of feeling; it surrenders itself wholly, with all its rights, to memory, to be the patient, stern and terrible exponent of that recording angel. What is it? Only a few trivial bars of an old piano-forte piece," Murmures du Rhone" or " Pluie des Perles." The drawing-room window is open, the children are playing on the lawn, the warm morning air is charged with the scent of the lilac blossoms. Then the ring at the bell, the confusion in the hall. The girl at the piano stops, and one is lifted in dying or dead. Years, years ago! but passing
through the streets, a bar or two of the " Murmurei da Rhone " brings the whole scene up before the girl, now no longer a girl but a middle aged woman look­ing back to one fatal summer morning. The enthu­siastic old men, who invariably turned up when Madame Grisi was advertised to sing in her last days, seemed always deeply affected. Yet it could hardly be at what they actually heard—no, the few notes recalled the most superb soprano of the age in her best days; recalled also the scenes of youth quenched in the grey mists of the dull, declining years. It was worth any money to hear even the hollow echo of a voice which had power to bring back, if only for a moment, the "tender grace of a day that was dead."—Haweis
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