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A System To Cultivate The Musical Memory For Musicians.

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MUSICAL MEMORY.
43
teaching these the piano, the interest is more readily secured and retained in pieces of a picturesque and suggestive character with suitable titles, than in pieces of a more classical style, such as Etudes and Sonatinas. To overcome the difficulties of the former they will readily give their best efforts, while the latter receive but an unwilling service and a half-hearted devotion. At the same time we must bear in mind that the prettiness of a melody may create a desire to proceed rapidly, and probably carelessly, and this may prevent due attention being given to the finger-movements; but in most five-finger exercises there is little temptation to transfer the interest to the melodic direction; their beauty does not increase—or perhaps it would be more truthful in many cases to say their ugliness does not lessen—as they proceed. This motive to secure concentration—a present performance producing a present pleasure—will also be a powerful one with advanced performers who play music of very different styles, and who will probably feel more in sympathy with some than with others. This is due partly to natural taste, and partly to education. Many enjoy Mendelssohn and Chopin, to whom Bach and Brahms afford no pleasure. Other conditions being the same, the pieces which give us the greatest pleasure to play will be more easily retained than pieces from which we derive less pleasure.
86.   A less powerful motive to concentration, yet one which appeals strongly to minds of some maturity, is presented when we are engaged in an employment which induces pleasure in prospect. It is this motive of future or prospective good which supports the musical student in his daily practice of technical exercises and the less interesting class of studies.
87.   Besides the exercise of our power of concentration for acquisition, the exercise of it continuously and completely for a considerable time is of course necessary for all memory or reproductive performances of any extent.
88.   III. Repetition of the Impression to be Retained.—The amount of repetition necessary to securely memorize a series of im­pressions will depend upon the two previous conditions, viz., the power of memory possessed by the individual for the special class of impression, and the degree to which he can concentrate himself. Any deficiency in these must be compensated for by additional repetition. At the same time it must not be overlooked that, in the average individual, the different senses possess the power of memory in very unequal degrees. The Visual memory is in general the strongest power, then comes the Auditory, and in a lower position the Muscular memory. One presen­tation might be sufficient for either of the former, but would be wholly inadequate for the latter.
89.   The consideration of these general conditions has naturally proceeded on lines very similar to their exposition in other works on Memory, but while it is admitted that they may be found in every text­book on the subject, any text-book like the present in which they were omitted, and the reader's attention not drawn to their special application, would be incomplete.
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