The "Sole Purpose" of Music
To the Editors of the CRIMSON:
To the following paragraph by James E. Bagley, in a recent CRIMSON, I wish to take exception:
"Such reasoning is the result of the popular idea that the sole purpose of music is to arouse pleasant sensations through the auditory nerves, or to excite the risibilities by combination of silly words and puerile tunes. Against such an amateurish conception of a great and noble art, I, as a professional musician, emphatically protest, and I maintain that the efforts of a Harvard organization to place before the undergraduates a standard in the science of music, commensurate with the standards in other sciences, are worthy of the highest praise, and of the warmest support."
The sole reason for the existence of music is to bring pleasure to the hearers. What other purpose does it fulfill? When it ceases to bring pleasure, it no longer performs the function which is its only excuse for existing, and becomes to the hearer only a fatiguing succession of sounds.
I see no reason for believing that what brings pleasure to the Musician is any higher or nobler than that which brings pleasure to the normal human being. If a person is able to get satisfaction out of something that does not bring satisfaction to the average man, and is not able to enjoy something that this average man enjoy, he is in a sense, abnormal. If this is nobility I prefer to be happy in my ignobility.
If the Glee Club sees fit to leave behind it a "trail of disappointed audiences," who came expecting to spend an enjoyable evening and were bored in the extreme, I fail to see just why it has attained a higher or nobler end than one which gives to the audiences the enjoyment for which they have paid. J. BARRETT '23.