MUSICAL MEMORY - online book

A System To Cultivate The Musical Memory For Musicians.

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62                                               MUSICAL MEMORY.
and harmonize melodies on paper, if it is an examination in Music and not an examination merely in the skilful arrangement of the signs of musical notation, we have the right to demand that they shall be able to hear mentally what they write down. Now, as examiners are constantly coming forward and stating that, from the papers worked, they are quite confident the majority of candidates do not hear what they have written, it is the duty of examiners to alter their scheme which they themselves admit produces such unsatisfactory results, and by the universal introduction of dictation-tests, compel students to give adequate attention to ear-training. No musical examination can be divorced from Music, and Music is sound, not pen and ink sketches, this must be obvious to the most unintelligent; and if by our present methods we do not get sound, or the proofs of it, it shows our present method, is, if not totally wrong, wrong in so far that what is of primary importance is ignored and what is secondary takes the place of honour. Every Harmony examination therefore should consist of two parts. First, the writing of melodies and chords from dictation ; Second, the treatment of such on paper. The chords dictated should be of equal advancement with those treated on paper, and a certain percentage of marks for each form of test should be necessary to secure a pass.
117.   Such a radical change in our method of examining would require gradual and judicious introduction, but we think the results would rapidly prove that it was the right and complete method, as the unsatisfactory results have conclusively proved that our present method, in so far as it is incomplete, is wrong.
118.   Memory Performances in Examinations.—A brief consider­ation of memory playing in examination schemes is all that is now necessary to complete our task.
If it is, and we believe it is a valuable yet neglected part of the training of the pianist, that he should be taught to play without the book, it seems but right that examination schemes, or at least those for the granting of high professional diplomas in solo-playing, should require memory playing to some extent. It seems somewhat of an anomaly that in the competitive examination for scholarships at some of our music schools, the candidates are asked to play from memory, while in the examinations for diplomas granted to these same scholars, when leaving after several years of study, memory-playing beyond that of technical exercises is not required. Surely, if it is expected as a sign of musical intelligence, it may reasonably be demanded when a high degree of training and proficiency is certified to.
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