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much amongst us, was not only a perfect musician but a perfect gentleman.
It is difficult either to estimate or to over-estimate the influence of Mr. John Hullah on music and musical taste in England, which we have the more pleasure in recording, as many persons seem now to forget the services he has rendered. In 1840, under the sanction of
the Committee of Council on Education, Mr. Hullah brought over from Paris the French system of Wilhelm, and singing schools soon sprang up throughout the country. Exeter Hall was the scene of the first great Hullah Concerts, and in 1853 St. Martin's Hall was built and fitted up by Mr. Hullah's own exertions. Here was performed every then existing work of importance, many for the first time. He brought out a large number of the best living singers—Madame Sherrington, Sims Reeves, Santley, Thomas, Cummings; and many of our best instrumentalists made their first débuts under him. He also inaugurated the class-teaching in schools under his charge, and a large number of the students in the training schools who have shown special talent for music have become choir-masters and organizing masters in different parts of the country, and real centres of civilization. Mr. Hullah is the author of several operas which were produced with success in their day; he has also written songs and part-songs, besides numerous exercises and vocal studies of all kinds for the instruction of his classes.
It is impossible not to mention here the name of the Rev. John Curwen, who within the last few years has introduced the Tonic Sol-la system into this country. The notation he employs is a letter notation, and the prominent tonal difference between the Hullah and the Sol-fa methods turns on this one important fact that Do is a fixed sound in Hullah's system, but Do stands for the keynote of any key whatever with the solfaists. Thus Mr. Curwen's method is based on the principle of key relationship, which regards tones not as high or low but as grouped about the governing or keynote. The rapid spread of this system in schools, factories, and the rural districts would seem to indicate that it is especially well adapted for teaching the more ignorant masses the elements of music. But upon this subject there is a great difference of opinion amongst good musicians. However, the Committee of Council on Education announced in 1869 their resolution to accept the Tonic Sol-fa method and the Tonic Sol-fa notation upon
the saine terms as should from time to time be applicable to the ordinary method and notation. In connection with the progress of singing in England, it must be noted for the honour of our country that Mr. Henry Leslie has produced out of English
voices and English enthusiasm a choir so perfect that we may doubt whether anywhere in the world there exists or ever has existed such a body of trained voices both male and female. To hear Bach's motet, “ The Spirit also helpeth, Mendelssohn's 43rd Psalm, or Schubert's 23rd Psalm, by this choir, is to listen to a delicacy of execution which has probably reached the limits of choral perfection. Mr. Leslie is also known as the author of a fine oratorio, Immanuel,' and numerous songs and partsongs.
Jullien (Louis Antoine) was too popular for his own fame-a scornful smile is apt to pass over the sound musician's face at the very mention of it-yet no man did more than Jullien to kindle the love of music, good, bad, and indifferent, throughout the length and breadth of England. Let us be pardoned if we pause to pay a passing tribute to one who has been a little underrated. Jullien arrived here in 1838, with a prodigious reputation as a popular chef d'orchestre, and his promenade concerts soon became the rage. The music played was at times extravagant; pistols, crackers, and even blue and red fires and musketry, were employed to enhance the powers of the orchestra and astound the audience. A new polka by Jullien was an event—for no mortal could tell what would take place before the end of it. But Jullien was also a lover of good music: he knew his public, and stooped to it, but he also to some extent trained it. “At his concerts thousands heard for the first time in their lives, for the small sum of one shilling, some of the finest overtures of Weber and Mendelssohn, and parts of the immortal symphonies of Haydn, Mozart, and Beethoven. But these classical pills were so excessively gilded in every programme with sensation dance music, that poor M. Jullien to this day passes with many as a mere charlatan. In justice to him we ought at least to remember that he secured for popular hearing almost every great soloist of his day, and that such men as Vieuxtemps, Sainton, and Sivori were to be found amongst the violins of his band. This band, with their mises en scène and voluminous impedimenta, was as ubiquitous as a corps of Garibaldians in the great days of Garibaldi—they overran the kingdom-they were often announced at one time for a dozen different concerts in different parts of the world—they even went bodily to America, and were back again before they began to be missed here. M. Jullien had many followers but no rivals. After running through several large fortunes and making many disastrous speculations, he at last went mad, and cut his throat at Paris, in 1860, at the age of forty-eight. For many years the influence of Mendelssohn, which at one time threatened to extinguish even that of Spohr or Weber, kept the works of many excellent composers in the background. Chopin and Thalberg succeeded in establishing a speciality for the piano, and in these last years the merits of Schubert, Schumann, and let us hope we may soon be able to add Richard Wagner, have been amply acknowledged. If in this place we do not refer at length to the labours of Cipriani Potter, Sir Sterndale Bennett, Mr. Moscheles, Sir Michael Costa, Sir Frederick Gore Ouseley, Sir J. Benedict, Sir M. Balfe, Mr. Henry Leslie, the brothers Macfarren, Mr. Arthur Sullivan, and a few other important names, it is not from any want of respect, but simply from want of space. Most of them Englishmen, they have all worked for and in England. The immense progress of music, owing to the above-mentioned causes, will be realized by these two facts,--that in London alone there exist at the present time no less than 104 well-established musical societies, and 2150 resident musical professors; and London supports at least eight musical journals. The most powerful and accomplished orchestras are those of the Crystal Palace (conductor Mr. Manns), the old Philharmonic (conductor Mr. W. G. Cusins). The best quartet concerts are the Monday Popular, the Musical Union concerts at St. James's Hall, and Mr. Holmes' Musical Evenings at St. George's Hall. For refined choral singing there is no choir equal to Mr. H. Leslie's. The Sacred Harmonic under Sir W. M. Costa and Mr. Barnby's Choir give annual splendid performances of the principal oratorios at St. James's and Exeter Hall; and the Albert Hall promises to be a formidable rival to the Crystal Palace as a new and magnificent centre for giant concerts of all kinds. The late Handel Festival has been a great pecuniary and choral success above its predecessors, but the superiority of the Albert Hall for the execution of solos was more apparent. We may also well ask why the seats in the area blocks are always the highest in price, as they are undoubtedly the worst for hearing. Being so much below the level of any part of the orchestra, the sound floats over the listener's head. The Birmingham Festivals and the Cathedral Festivals at Gloucester, Hereford, and Worcester, have done an incalculable amount of good to the cause of music in the English provinces; and musical societies abound all over the country. England, therefore, at this moment is rich in the most splendid raw material for a great national organization for the promotion of the musical art. There is plenty of private enterprize, but there is great want of union, of system, of organization, and we must add of generosity and goodwill. There are three ways in which, if the Government were convinced that music is as good for the nation as picture galleries, it might further the cause of music in England :-/st. By the encouragement of a sound system of musical instruction in schools. 2ndly. By supporting or aiding to support a central academy for musical instruction, with a select band for regular concerts, similar to the Conservatoire in Paris or the Gewandhaus in Leipsic. 3rdly. By supporting or aiding to support a much larger pension list than at present exists, for superannuated or eminent musicians in reduced circumstances. We will explain each of these proposals in a few words. First as to musical education.
We propose that a competent Committee be asked to decide on the best method of popular instruction, and that one uniform method be adopted in all schools receiving Government grants. Every school would then be properly taught music, instead of most schools, as is now the case, being taught badly. The difficulties raised about examination are so puerile that no one having the smallest acquaintance with the subject would ever have raised them. There is no difficulty which an ordinarily intelligent inspector, whether he knew music or not, could not with a little assistance from the schoolmaster or local organist easily and satisfactorily surmount. Besides, why not make a certain knowledge of music henceforth incumbent upon all school inspectors ? After all, schools are not made for the benefit of inspectors, but inspectors for the benefit of schools.
Secondly, we ought to have a central academy for musical instruction supported in great measure by Government. The Royal Academy of Music would form an excellent nucleus, and is highly favoured in receiving at present 5001. a year from Government. Therefore the Government, by this slender endowment, has admitted the principle for which we plead. The scholarships should be increased in number and value, and the society should confer different diplomas or degrees of merit after the manner of our universities. These should be coveted by our musicians as a B.A. degree is coveted by our scholars. Instead of anybody calling himself professor, and hundreds professing to teach singing and the piano who have never been properly taught themselves, we should soon have a class of well-taught and able professors, organists, and pianists, properly certificated. No church would engage a man without some degree, and every parent would have some guarantee that the person who taught his children had himself been taught. We should soon have a great and beneficial weeding in the musical profession. Persons whose only merit consisted in a foreign nationality and a limited acquaintance with the English language would presently be at a discount, and the social position, standard, and tone of our native musicians would quickly rise throughout the land.
This academy should be always training a band of its own pupils, and might thus supply bands all over the kingdom with well-trained and certificated musicians. The musicians in all our metropolitan societies should bear certificates of merit, and thus be members of the one large society; and then the societies' great performances, say at the Albert Hall, might consist of the best men chosen out of all the affiliated bands and choruses in London. Before
such scheme can be got to work it is necessary that all existing societies should cease to be rivals and learn to be friends. And this might be. Our central society would displace no one, and encourage and strengthen all existing organizations. Its professors would be chosen from amongst able leaders and musical directors, who now stand too often in bitter rivalry towards each other; and the richer the central society became the more scholarships could be founded, and the more funds would there be wherewith to make grants to other societies and promote the general prosperity of numerous affiliated branches in the provinces.
And, lastly, the scope of the present Royal Society of Musicians might be immensely extended. When a musician is too old for his work, he ought to be allowed to retire honourably on a pension; and the Government, which occasionally places on its civil list some very peculiar specimens of literary merit, should certainly aid such a musical pension fund as we propose. There is no hope of retaining an efficient orchestra anywhere, for any length of time, owing to the impossibility of getting rid of old, prejudiced, and often incompetent men. Many old orchestral players are invaluable, but others simply cannot play their parts, nor can they well be turned out without a retiring pension. Such bands of splendid players as the old Philharmonic and the Crystal Palace should be kept efficient in this way, and their musicians, after years of faithful work, should be able to look forward to an honourable retirement accompanied by something better than penury or starvation. In all cases our central society should, through its committee, examine the claims and award the pensions to retiring or indigent musicians of merit.
And, let us observe, we are suggesting nothing new or strange: much of our scheme has been carried out with success on the Continent. It cannot be said when the Government expends such vast sums on pictures that it is intentionally indifferent to the interests of Art, and as regards music the germs of our three