As a means of culture music is a potent factor in human civilization. It is destined to wield even greater influence than has yet been known. It has become the household art of to-day. As it enters more and more fully into the heart of the home and social life it will more and more enrich human existence and aid in ushering in the Kingdom of Heaven on Earth.
If music can do so much for mankind, why are not all musicians great and good? Ah, my friend, that is a hard question to answer, and can only be fairly treated by asking another equally difficult question: Why are not all people who have enjoyed the advantages of religion wise and noble? Consider the gigantic machinery that has been put in motion to promulgate Christianity, and note how slow men have been to appropriate the teachings of its founder. Slow progress furnishes no argument against the mission either of religion or its comrade music.
In common with religion music kindles our finer sensibilities and brings us into an atmosphere superior to that which ordinarily surrounds us. It requires wisdom to beautify commonplace conditions with what has been enjoyed in aerial regions. Rightly applied, music can lend itself to this illumination. As it is better known, its advantages will be more completely realized.
Blunders in Music Study
Like a voice from the Unseen, the Eternal, music speaks to the soul of man. Its informing word being delivered in the language of the emotional nature finds some response to its appeal in every normal human breast. Shakespeare indicated this truth when he had his Lorenzo, in the Merchant of Venice, say:
"The man that hath no music in himself, Nor is not moved with concord of sweet sounds, Is fit for treasons, stratagems and spoils; The motions of his spirit are dull as night, And his affections dark as Erebus; Let no such man be trusted."
It is not the normal soul, fresh from its Creator’s hands, that is fit for such dire evils, but the soul perverted by false conditions and surroundings. Where vice has become congenial and the impure reigns supreme, that which rouses and expresses noble aspirations and pure emotions can find no room. Normal instincts may also be dulled, the inner being made, as it were, musically deaf and dumb, by a false education which stifles and dwarfs the finer feelings, or by circumstances which permit these to remain dormant.
The emotional natures of human beings differ as widely in kind and degree as the intellectual and physical natures. In some people sensibility predominates, and the irresistible activity of fancy and feeling compels the expression in rhythmic tone combinations of ideals grasped intuitively. Thus musical genius manifests itself. No amount of education can bring it into being, but true culture and wise guidance are needed to equip it for its bold flight. “Neither