Mlle. Boulanger, an outstanding musician, has come from abroad principally to give courses in Cambridge; and yet with a few exceptions no Harvard students are able to audit or enroll in any of her courses. This is indeed an unfortunate restriction on men with musical interests who are thus deprived of some of the best musical instruction and criticism in the world.
There are many reasons for this state of affairs. In the first place the Harvard Music Department cannot afford a truly worthwhile investment like Mlle. Boulanger, for the authorities do not even supply enough money to take care of the courses already in progress. In the second place, like certain interests who are afraid of competition from foreign coolie labor, the authorities object to women on the Harvard Faculty and put up a tariff against them. Harvard Faculty women now number three--and they were only admitted after a noisy struggle.
Last year Radcliffe kindly offered to allow a few properly qualified Harvard graduates to take Mlle. Boulanger's seminar course; and the Harvard Faculty Council agreed. But not a word was mentioned about her undergraduate lecture course, Music 24, a comparative study of old and new music, which is of wide interest to a large number of people. One hundred Radcliffe girls have enrolled in this course; but positively no auditors are allowed, first because the classroom is already full, and second because it is felt that a Radcliffe course should not be polluted by Harvard men. These being the most important reasons for the present state of affairs, it is easy to see that Mlle. Boulanger's sphere of influence is restricted by a host of technicalities, traditions, antagonisms, and sectional interests.
Certainly all these can be cleared away for the good of everybody. Music 24 might be shifted to a much larger classroom where men could audit the course if they could not take it. Though Radcliffe is under no obligation to make a move of this kind, such a plan of action in the interest of music might well warrant an exception to the old rules of the game.