Acoustics & Sound For Musicians - Online Book

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

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214                  TONIC SOL-FA NOTATION.         [X. § lift.
Tonic Sol-Fa give full and throughly lucid and in telligible explanations. Mr Curwen has also created a very extensive literature of the best vocal Music, printed in his own notation; given a most remark­able impulse to choral singing; and established a system of graded certificate-examinations guaran­teeing the attainment of corresponding stages of Musical cultivation1.
I have enjoyed some opportunities of watching the progress of beginners taught on the old system, and on that of the Tonic Sol-Fa, and I assert without the slightest hesitation that, as an instrument for imparting the power of sight-singing, the new system is enormously, overwhelmingly, superior to the old. In fact, I am prepared to maintain that the compli­cated repulsiveness of the pitch-notation in the old system must be held mainly responsible for the humiliating fact that, of the large number of musically well-endowed persons of the opulent classes who have undergone an elaborate vocal training, comparatively few are able to sing even the very simplest Musi sight. Set a young lady thus instructed to sing a psalm-tune she has never seen before, and we all know what the result is likely to be. Now, there is no more inherent difficulty in teaching a child
' Mr Curwen died on May 26, 1880. His son, Mr J. Spencer Curwen, is now at the head of the Tonic Sol-Fa movement.
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