Acoustics & Sound For Musicians - Online Book

The Theory Of Sound Which Constitutes The Physical Basis Of The Art Of Music.

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X. § 117.]                     CONCLUSION.                             219
that it is at first difficult to understand how any preceding and succeeding concords can make it at all tolerable; yet the sequence, in both the phrases cited, is of the rarest beauty.
Considerations such as those just alleged tend to show that, while physical science is absolutely au­thoritative in all that relates to the constitution of musical sounds and the smoothness of their combi­nations, the composer's direct perception of what is musically beautiful must mainly direct him in the employment of his materials. It would be a serious error to force upon him a number of rules planned, on scientific principles, to secure the maximum smooth­ness of effect; since mere smoothness is often a mat­ter of extremely secondary importance compared with grandeur of harmony and masterly movement of parts. The nature of the subject may sometimes call for such treatment as shall secure exceptional smoothness. In such a case the rules may become of considerable importance. It is well, therefore, that a composer should know and be able to handle them, but he should never allow them to fetter his freedom in wielding the higher and more spiritual weapons of his warfare.
CAMBRIDGE I PRINTED BY C. J. CLAY, M.A. A SON, AT THE UNIVERSITY PRESS.
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