MUSICAL MEMORY - online book

A System To Cultivate The Musical Memory For Musicians.

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MUSICAL MEMORY.                                                        $
recognise it upon a subsequent appearance and even attempt to sing or hum it to himself. A child with a sensitive ear may give frequent exhibitions of this kind, reproducing in a fragmentary manner, although often with considerable accuracy, tunes he has heard in school, ia church, or in the drawing-room. Often he has quite a store of melodic treasures long before he is taught to sing a major scale, the material of which he has been unconsciously employing for some time previously. A child's introduction to, and memorization of the Major scale, supplies him with the tonal foundation or basis of the greater part of music. If the ear is of average sensibility, and has been previously exercised in gathering fragments of tunes, this acquisition of the complete major scale presents little or no difficulty. On the other hand, the possessor of an ear which is less sensitive, and which has had little past experience, must carefully study and memorize the intervals between the adjacent notes, as well as the order of their progression, before he can recall it at any time with absolute accuracy.
9.   Following upon the acquisition of the intervals of the major scale to gradual progression, the next step is the memorization of the intervals formed by its several notes not adjacent to one another. To have done this successfully really means that we have still more indelibly memorized the several notes of the scale, so that we can bring it instantly before our minds, not only as a whole, but as to any of its individual members which may be distantly situated from one another, without the aid of the intervening notes. In other words, we have familiarized ourselves with all the different intervals of the major scale. The memorization of the Minor scale with its characteristic intervals is-a subsequent, as well as a more difficult operation, whilst the accurate memorization of the Chromatic scale is a task of great difficulty even to trained musicians.
10.   The power to memorize notes in combination or chords, is a proof of the possession of a fairly high grade of musical intelligence. Such ability must be possessed in some degree by every one laying claim to the title of musician. As the harmony student has the different varieties of chords brought before him, if he does not already know them by sound, he must memorize the sound of each chord, at the same time as he studies its intervals, and before he studies its special treatment in any detail.
11.   Upon what the Value of Musical Memory Depends.— The value of any form of memory depends entirely upon our ability not only to recall, but to reproduce and to employ in some form or other what we have stored on previous occasions. In the very large majority of facts about our life and experience, the powers of speech and written language are the media by which we convey our knowledge to others, and as a great portion of our early education is devoted to gaining proficiency in these, the possibility of dissociating the power of memory from the power of reproducing what is retained, may never occur to us, much less the possibility of our being unable to convey to others what we can remember, simply because we are unacquainted with any method or language by means of which we can interpret it to
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