The publication of a new Harvard song book, comprised mostly of songs written by men in college, is another sign of the growth of interest which the college men are taking in music and of the increasing popularity which college songs are finding with the public. Harvard songs have always been more or less popular, and especially of late they have been very favorably received by outsiders. Publishers are anxious to print new songs, and today it is not at all uncommon to hear Harvard music played in places outside the college.
This success is due largely to the improved quality of the songs themselves. During the last few years there has been a very healthy reform in the style of college song; the "nonsense verse" form of music which prevailed not long ago, and which, while being rather amusing for a time, hardly satisfied the desires of those who wished to hear the glee clubs sing music worth singing, - this nonsense music has been given up for a style which, while still keeping an amusing element, contains much more musical worth. The kind of music which the college man writes today is by no means ideal; it might well be more serious and ambitious without losing, any of its distinctively college character, but it is far more satisfactory than the music produced a few years ago.
While the frequent publication of new songs is very helpful in keeping alive an active interest in music, and for that reason should be earnestly encouraged, it still runs the danger, slight perhaps, of bringing about a condition of overzealous progress, With the constant appearance of new songs, the old ones are apt to be set aside. In the interest over the novelty of the new comers the old songs which were beginning to take a firm hold on the memories of the college are sometimes forgotten. Conservatism in college music may seem a very insignificant matter, but it is just one of those little things which keep up a warm feeling for the college There is little enough college tradition now to connect the present students with those who have gone before them. "Fair Harvard" can do a good deal, but not everything, and the fostering of some more of the older songs of the college will do much towards keeping alive a feeling of veneration for the traditions of the old University.