Phonograph Monthly Review, Vol. 3, No. 5 (1929-02)

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150 The Phonograph Monthly Review February, 1929 phonograph, for the revolving turntable seems to be about the only feature which reminds one of the old-fashioned phono- graph. The remaining features appear to be those of the radio. This music-producing machine excels the radio, how- ever, in quality and strength of tone. Its performance is startling and can hardly be differentiated from the actual symphony orchestra, organ, great chorus, or any other music which it reproduces. Then of course there is this advantage of the phonograph over the radio; you can have what you want when you want it, and repeat it as often as you desire. This invention, together with records of the great music classics,—what a boon to the home, to the school, to education in general! No wonder that Beethoven’s Fifth Symphony and Mozart’s Jupiter Symphony have become popular music. I lunch at the club, usually with the same group of business and professional men. I am the only music man present, and I am sometimes rather surprised at the trend of the conversation. From a successful lawyer: “Bill, did you hear the symphony orchestra last night? Say, that oboe player certainly knows his onions, and the French horn player is a lulu.” “Yes,” was the response from a prominent realtor, “but I think the brass at times was a little too heavy for the strings.” Why, ten years ago the average business man would not have known the tone of an oboe from that of a tin whistle, or a French horn from an automobile horn. It is fast becoming a requisite of general intelligence to know something about music, voices, and musical instruments. This advance is largely due to the influence of the radio and of the phonograph. Music has run into such enormous sums of money that it is attracting the attention of bankers, brokers, and financial promoters. Thus it is winning more respect from the average business man. Music has progressed past the fad stage and has become a necessity, or a staple of life. Naturally, as in everything else, there is in this flood pouring in upon us good music and poor music, but it is comparatively easy to dis- criminate. W’e know that good music is music which is generaly attractive and wears well, like a good friend, a good book, or a good painting. In the long run poor mugic does not pay, and good music does; and there is plenty of it. The Business Mam Learns to Appreciate Music The business man of the near future will place a higher estimate upon the value of good music. While he is listening he will cultivate a definite opinion of the value of each piece of music, simple for the sake of self-development. He will not be unduly influenced by bizarre music performed by over- zealous musicians, nor by music illustrating the extreme in any direction. He will learn that the mere fact that a piece of music was written by a great composer does not always guarantee that it is good. Great composers are human like the rest of us. Their reputations are founded on their best music, but sometimes they produce pieces which are not representative of their best efforts. He will will also learn that he can appreciate music, al- though he may be untutored in its technic, just the same as he can appreciate a good dinner without being an expert cook or a food producer. Vocal music he understands easily, as the poem suggests the musical meaning. On the other hand, when instrumental music is being performed the listener is assisted by no uttered words of explanation; yet instruments may interpret a more expressive and subtle language than that which is expressed by the words of any poem. Con- cerning instrumental music, therefore, the following suggestion may be helpful. Let each listener direct his mind to follow every de- tail of melodic progression and at the same time to determine the kind of accompaniment. His emotions will register spontaneously the degree of pleasure given by the music. This means that the listener will direct his mind to pick up and follow the tune throughout, and at the same time determine whether the accompaniment is rhythmic (like a dance), full-chord, or an interweaving of other tunes. This mental act of classifying the accompaniment must go on conjointly with the mental act of following the melody. The statement, “His emotions will register spontaneously the degree of pleasure given by the music,” need give the listener no concern whatever, for his emotional response will be wholly spontaneous and involuntary, or, as we may say, automatic. In fact if he conscientiously follows the first half of this direction, he will be unware of any effort in gaining the emotional result and will develop into a genuinely in- telligent listener to music. Music in the Schools Between sixteen and twenty millions of children are study- ing music in the public, parochial, and private- schools of this country at the present time. Many of them receive the same credit in music that they do in other subjects, and many educators feel that the children derive as much benefit in the development of character from the study/ of music as from that of any other subject. On the average, one million pupils graduate from the schools every year who know how to listen to music and prefer good music. Tht object of teaching music in the schools is not to make musicians, but to make better citizens; and to this end each child must be developed physically, emotionally, and intellectually. If he is over-developed physically he tends towards the brute. If he is over-developed emotionally he becomes a crank. If he is over-developed intellectually he becomes a cad. But if he is evenly and equally developed, physically, emotionally, and intellectually, he becomes a well- balanced individual. Outdoor games, gymnasiums, and the like develop the child physically. Reading, writing, arithmetic, geography, and so on, develop the child intellectually. And it is left to music to develop the child emotionally. It is easy to understand the growing importance of music in the school curriculum in developing responsible citizens. Needles By FERDINAND G. FASSNACHT I N letters received from enthusiasts relative to the second article on “Needles” which appeared in last February issue, among other questions may be found the following: “Do they really play ten record sides without harming the ninth or tenth side?” This particular question I will answer in this, my third article, on the “Chromic Loud Tone” needle, made by Edison- Bell, Ltd. of London, England, and now sold by H. Royer Smith Co. of Philadelphia as well as others here in the United States. The best proof of my implicit faith in these needles, to my way of thinking, is that I use them for all records of my extensive library, irrespective of make as also irrespective of what the record holds. By this I mean Victor, Columbia, Brunswick, Odeon, Poly dor, or Fonotipia records and whether they are orchestral, instrumental or vocal in solo duet or chorus. Quite an assertion, I admit, but one made after extensive tests of all kinds. My library is worth nearly two thousand dollars ($2000.00) and all Electrical Recordings. I have at my disposal, six days out of the seven, three hours in which to play my records and I can tell you my “Brunswick Cortez” works these three hours day in and day out, so there is ample opportunity to study and re-study results obtained from tests made. There is but little dust on any of my al- bums on account of the handling they receive. There is not one blast to be found in any record of the entire library and I use nothing but Chromic Loud Tone needles and I also use them for ten record sides or more. On the “Popular Dance” records I have used them for twen- ty record sides and find no harm to the record, though I do admit I would not run this chance with any of my very own records. Incidentally I might add that the dance rec- ords are procured for my better half and she has been kind enough to allow me to test on what is “her property.” My Victor album set of the Schubert Symphony No. 7 in C Major holds six records—these I play with but one Chromie Loud Tone Needle and that makes twelve (12) record sides. The needle is doing such perfect work on the tenth (10th) side, I dislike to remove it for the six record and there is no wear of any kind—to the contrary the set is better from the treatment received by the usage of these Chromic Needles.