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5o                                  FRANKLIN-SQUARE SONG COLLECTION.
There can be no doubt that music has a great in­fluence in imparting those delightful sensations which tend to sweeten and prolong life. That this fact is often recognized is testified by the immense number of those who devote themselves entirely to the manufac­ture and sale of musical instruments. It is, however, ac­knowledged throughout the world, that the human voice has no equal for the production of sweet, elevating, enchanting sounds that delight the ear and give tone and coloring to the words of the poet. Hence, of all kinds of music, vocal music should claim the especial attention of all earnest and progressive educators, for singing is known to improve the enunciation, refine the taste, elevate the morals, confirm the health,
strengthen the social feeling, and add much to the pleasure of all. The consideration of health is one-to which too much attention cannot be given. Singing is beneficial, indirectly, by increasing the flow of spirits, and dispelling weariness and despondency; and directly by the exercise which it gives to the lungs and the vital organs. We cannot sing without increased action of the lungs, and this causes the heart and all the organs of digestion and nutrition, to act with renewed vigor. The singer brings a greater quantity of air into contact with the blood, and hence the blood is better purified and vitalized. Healthful and highly oxygenized blood gives energy to the brain, and thus the mind as well as the body shares the benefit of the exercise. There
F. Gluck, 1874.
As soldier would I hasten Where rages fierce the fight;
And by the watch-fire linger Through all the gloomy night
Yet whilst the mill I'm hearing I know not what my mind;
Ah ! would my days were ended, I then should quiet find!
* 4th verse rather fastand forte, 5th slower and pp.
a great enjoyment in listening to music. As Marx well expresses it: " That which I hear enters into my existence from without,awakens and enriches my mind; but that which I sing is the effluence of my own life, the exertion of my own power to refresh and elevate myself as well as others." Hence all should learn to sing, and children should be taught from their earliest years to sing properly and sweetly. There are parents who imagine that their children have not the power of song. To these I say, in the emphatic words of a teacher of thousands of children and adults, " Most adults and all children can learn to sing." The very same organs that are used in speech are used in song, and in almost precisely the same manner. Hence it
is obvious that all children who can be taught to talk can likewise be taught to sing. The extent of the ability attained, as a natural consequence, is dependent upon the application of the pupil and the methods of teaching used. And yet singing is almost pre-eminent in its universality, because it is independent of culture. The most ignorant bow to its all-embracing sway, and thousands to whom form and color, science and literature, speak a strange tongue, wake to the familiar accents of the universal language. Their love of it wants no nurture. We cannot prevent their singing, do what we will; and they are likely to feed their lower nature with music if we, as teachers and educators, do not aid them wisely to feed their higher.

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