MUSICAL MEMORY - online book

A System To Cultivate The Musical Memory For Musicians.

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primers, the concluding portion allotted to playing from memory, yet the fresher we are, the more successful and complete will be our efforts-in this direction. Failure in such may be due, not to insufficient or imperfect ingraining, but to a low state of nervous force at our command when we wish to revive previous acquisitions.
82.   Beyond the general condition of mind and body there are three special conditions upon which the success of memorizing depends. These are (1) degree of retentiveness peculiar to the individual, (2) power of concentration possessed by him, (3) repetition of the impression to be retained.
83.   I. Degree of Retentiveness peculiar to the Individual.— This refers to the power of memory bestowed upon us by nature, and which, according to the latest theories of Psychologists, is a limited quantity in each individual—special memories, such as those for colours, sounds, etc., varying directly as the discriminative power of the organ employed. By continuous and judicious exercise our various forms of memory may be developed to their fullest extent, yet there is a limit beyond which we cannot go; and no form can be said to be unlimited in capacity. Such being the case, the importance of economising the power we possess, and regarding everything in its simplest aspect, is obvious. Our aim should be to remember passages and complete movements by that method which will reduce our mental labour to a minimum. In the common things of life, and in the study of the Sciences, this end is obtained by generalisation and classification, and what we have termed the Intellectual aspect of music is simply an application of the same principles to its material.
84.   II. Power of Concentration possessed by the Individual.— To concentrate ourselves upon any subject, or to give our whole mind and attention to any work we may be engaged upon, is the most rapid and successful means of accomplishing and mastering it. If our occu­pation be some form of memorizing, the ability to direct all our powers towards this one object is an immense help to us; in fact the acquire­ment of this power of voluntary concentration is one of the chief ends of education. Although the exercise of this power depends very largely upon an effort of the Will, yet the assistance to be secured by a co­operation of the Feelings is an invaluable one, and indispensable in early training. We give our attention most readily and most com­pletely to those employments of which the simple performance affords us pleasure, or for which we have a natural taste. As explained in our first chapter, a taste for anything is generally the result of the pos­session of a corresponding superior natural organ, which by its special sensibility brings a particular form of sensation prominently before the mind, and the exercise of any organ which we possess in a superior degree, always affords us a certain amount of pleasure. Thus the greatest motive to concentration, a present employment inducing a present pleasure, is presented when our employment brings into play our superior natural organs, or in other words, when it coincides with our natural tastes.
85.   With children and those possessing immature minds generally, this is by far the most efficient means of securing the attention. When
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E-Book - An Annotated Compendium of Old Time American Songs by James Alverson III