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The introduction of music into the public schools is a step in the right direction. If in every town and village in the Union the plan was as faithfully :md earnestly executed as in Boston and its vicinity, already the great work would be almost accom­plished. We need fresh impetus in every country town, in every village nestled among the hills or stretching out on the wide prairies. There is surely in every such place some earnest disciple who could gather a band of ten or a dozen who should be a
nucleus for ■ musical association. The influence of musical culture which would result from such an as­sociation would make itself felt through the village church as well as in social relations; Sunday service would be better, and the best part of Sunday service would get into the week-days. It will not do to make the gathering merely a psalm-singing school; that has its use and has its day ot separate influence. Sacred music, so called, should form a part of the practical programme; but a little care and research,
J. W. Turner.
a correspondence with some musical authority in our large cities, would insure a judicious selection of at­tractive music within the compass of choirs and choruses of even very moderate ability. The mod­ifying influence in a country town of a musical asso­ciation conducted on broad, liberal principles for even a single decade, is incalculable. I'olybius was a wise man in remarking that in Arcadia, a dull, cold country, music was essential to soften the man-
ners of the inhabitants, and that in Cynetus, where music was not cultivated, vice prevailed to an alarm­ing extent. Music will not hold its true place till, through the length and breadth of the land, it is rec­ognized as elevating in its character, capable of per­version and misuse—as God's own word may be in the hands of the blasphemer—but a power still, infi­nite in truth and beauty, and a source of strength, encouragement, and inspiration to waiting thousands

E-Book - An Annotated Compendium of Old Time American Songs by James Alverson III