MUSICAL MEMORY - online book

A System To Cultivate The Musical Memory For Musicians.

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2 4                                                     MUSICAL MEMORY.
44.   Music appeals primarily to the ear, yet the study of its material and of the manner in which elaborate passages, movements and com­plete works are evolved from the limited amount of raw material which is the common property of composers, is a subject appealing very largely to the Intellect or powers of reason. The classification of chords and the consideration of the special treatment required by each class, forms the subject of Harmony—a highly intellectual study. The moulding of our ideas into intelligible form, the ordering of them in proper sequence, their development into larger forms constructed on certain definite prin­ciples and fulfilling endlessly varied conditions, forms the matter of an intellectual study of a much higher grade and far wider range—the Technique of Composition. Whilst, therefore, Music on its spiritual side is a language of emotion which appeals to our feelings by means of auditory sensations, yet it is at the same time an intellectual stuay of almost unlimited extent. In the present chapter we shall consider now far our memory, employed upon the Intellectual aspect of music, can help us when playing.
45.   We shall assume that our reader has a sound and fairly compre­hensive knowledge of Harmony, and that he also possesses clear ideas of the general principles of Musical Form. Granted this, the extent to which he will be able to employ this form of memory must depend upon his ability to analyse and to reduce to their simplest aspect both isolated passages and entire movements; in other words, to apply processes of generalisation and classification to the materials and forms employed in musical composition. Many instances could be cited where the memorization of a passage, after reducing it to its harmonic basis, is as simple to one who understands Harmony, as the memorization of it in its elaborated form is difficult to those with whom Harmony is a closed book, whilst the importance of having a clear idea of the order of the chief themes and keys of a movement will be made obvious when we consider " Form " in music.
46.   The aspect of music which appeals specially to the Intellect may, for the purpose of this investigation, be most conveniently considered under three heads : First, Form or Design; Second, Harmonic basis; Third, Elaboration. Each of these divisions we shall treat separately, noting any sub-divisions which may suggest themselves, as we proceed.
47.   (I) Form or Design.—The form of a composition may be said to depend on two things: (1) the order of the appearance of the chief themes, and (2) the relationship which exists between the keys in which these themes appear. Suppose a piece of music were described after this fashion : " It begins with a melody in C major, then modulates to
•G major, and introduces another melody in that key. After this it
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