To Harvard supporters Saturday afternoon was marred not so much by defeat at the hands of a better team as by the less excusable mismanagement of those minor features which have become so important at football games. Admittedly the University eleven was weak, but its weakness was due to actual inferiority; unfortunately the same explanation can not be offered for the band and the songs and the singing.
It is a distinct feature for the band to form an H at the Yale game, or at important games for that matter, but to spend five minutes in complicated evolutions with no apparent end-- marching and countermarching to the monotonous rhythm of beating drums, is sure to inspire a feeling of weariness if not of disgust. There were few people who had a chance to compare the simplicity of the Dartmouth band's marching formation with Harvard's complexity, who did not feel that the former was dignified and the latter ludicrous rather than impressive. After all a band is supposed to play music not to present gymnastic gyrations as a spectacle for assembled thousands.
It is probably too much to expect that Harvard's singing and cheering will ever equal that of some of its opponents particularly when the opponent in question has Dartmouth's reputation. Harvard lacks that collegiate spirit which delights in white-sweatered cheer leaders with all their paraphernalia and in song leaders gamboling along the side-lines; to the stranger Harvard is not "snappy" enough. But innate dislike for "snappiness" is no excuse for failure to have a regular song leader and for imposing the duties of this position, difficult in itself on the leader of the band. Nor does it excuse the raggedness of singing during the Dartmouth game songs which apply only to Yale. Harvard has always had reason to be proud of its band and its singing; if it is to retain this feeling in the future it would be well to avoid the repetition of Saturday's mistakes.