AN article bearing this title, and with the signature of an esteemed contributor to college literature, appeared in a late number of the Vox Humana, a musical journal published in Cambridgeport. The communication appears to us to contain just enough truth to give a color of plausibility to assertions which are not true.
In asserting that "of the six hundred undergraduates in Harvard College, the proportion who enjoy good classical music is much smaller than it should be, "the writer enunciates a truth, though it can hardly be considered startling in originality. Where are we to find any number of persons, in any condition of culture, to whom the same remark would be inapplicable? Every one ought to enjoy classical music, and until, in the course of half a dozen centuries, mankind is educated up to the desired point, the paragraph quoted will still be in order.
His remarks upon the German Universities would cause us to hide our heads for shame were they supported by the statements of those who have visited them. The fact is that our College songs are quite as good, in proportion to the character of American music, as those of the German universities when compared with the music of that country. It is hardly fair to expect us to be composers.
"There is not much singing in the College Yard." There is, however, more than at any other time in the last four years. "Friday nights the students adjourn from the society meetings (literary) to the Yard, and sing the choruses to such songs as 'Rule Britannia,' 'Cockles and Muscles,' and 'Rumstio.' Sometimes they sing in time and tune, but more often both these important elements are lacking, and the result is anything but musical." Perhaps to so extremely sensitive an ear as our author possesses, our time and tune may seem very bad. It is easy to see that some enthusiastic member of a society, with much voice and deficient musical education, may cause the tune to err slightly in the course of a long song with chorus. Even opera-choruses, with all the aids of conductor and orchestra, sometimes offend in this. But as to our time, we are very seldom much amiss. Men sing with a will, and are pretty sure to come out correctly. And it must also be remembered that we do not sing so much in the interests of classic art as for amusement and recreation; both singers and audience enjoy it. If we cannot please Cambridgeport, too, we are sorry, but resigned.