MUSICAL MEMORY - online book

A System To Cultivate The Musical Memory For Musicians.

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70. The adequate training of the faculty of memory in one or more of its forms, although of varying importance in different branches of education, can in none be regarded as unimportant. The artist must have a trained memory for colours and forms, the linguist for articulate-sounds, and of not less importance is it that the musician should have one for musical sounds. To be able to retain and recall at pleasure the sound of the intervals and chords commonly employed in music, is the least we have a right to expect from every musician. From those of higher claims and pretentions we get much more, and among our many gifted living musicians, the possession of wonderful memories is-not their least remarkable characteristic.
7.1. Ear-Training.—The distinguishing feature of a musician should be the possession of a trained ear, and in the words of a previous chapter, this may be said to include three distinct possessions, namely: the ear trained to discriminate different intervals and chords, the memory trained to retain their sound, and the intellect trained to classify them, and to associate the classification with the signs of some form of musical notation. From this it will be seen that what is termed " ear-training," is very largely a cultivation of the memory for musical sounds, and considering the important position which this subject ought to hold, and the inadequate attention it generally receives, in most schemes of musical education, we shall make no apology for devoting, some small space to its discussion.
72. It has always seemed to us not a little curious that the character­istic feature of the musician, a trained ear, should have so small an amount of special attention, particularly in the training of keyboard players. Not only is this the case with elementary pupils, amongst whom it is practically ignored, but even amongst pianists who in some respects are proficient executants. Yet that such is a fact is proved every day by the inability of so many of this class to hear mentally, with any degree of certainty, what is printed, merely by looking at it—in other words, to read music. The power of reading music is analogous to the power of reading ordinary literature, and should not be confused
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