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Music-Study in Germany from the Home Correspondence of Amy Fay   By: (1844-1928)

Music-Study in Germany from the Home Correspondence of Amy Fay by Amy Fay

First Page:

MUSIC STUDY IN GERMANY

[Illustration: colophon]

THE MACMILLAN COMPANY

NEW YORK BOSTON CHICAGO DALLAS ATLANTA SAN FRANCISCO

MACMILLAN & CO., LIMITED

LONDON BOMBAY CALCUTTA MELBOURNE

THE MACMILLAN CO. OF CANADA, LTD, TORONTO

MUSIC STUDY IN GERMANY

FROM

THE HOME CORRESPONDENCE OF AMY FAY

EDITED BY

MRS. FAY PEIRCE

AUTHOR OF "CO OPERATIVE HOUSEKEEPING"

"The light that never was on sea or land."

WORDSWORTH

"Pour admirer assez il faut admirer trop, et un peu d'illusion est necessaire au bonheur."

CHERBULIEZ

WITH A PREFATORY NOTE BY O. G. SONNECK

NEW YORK THE MACMILLAN COMPANY 1922

All rights reserved

COPYRIGHT, JANSEN, McCLURG & COMPANY 1880.

COPYRIGHT, 1896, BY THE MACMILLAN COMPANY.

Printed August, 1896; reprinted June, 1897; September, 1900; February, 1903; March, 1905; June, 1908; July, 1909; August, 1913; April, 1922.

Norwood Press: Berwick & Smith, Norwood, Mass., U. S. A.

PREFATORY NOTE.

Comparatively few books on music have enjoyed the distinction of reissue. Twenty one editions is an amazing record for a book of so narrow a subject as "Music Study in Germany." The case of Miss Amy Fay's volume becomes all the more unusual, if one considers that her letters were written only for home, not for a public audience and further that within twenty years from the year of first publication, her observations had become more or less obsolete.

The Germany of the years 1869 1875 was quite different from the Germany of 1900 and certainly of 1912, even down to German table manners. The earlier "Spiessbürgertum" of which Miss Fay gives such entertaining glimpses even in high quarters with their pomp and circumstance, was rapidly being replaced, at least outwardly, by the more cosmopolitan culture of the fin de siècle , not to mention the ambition for political, industrial and commercial "Weltmacht" in a nation thitherto known, perhaps too romantically, as a nation of "Denker und Dichter."

Most of the heroes of the book are long since dead, Miss Fay included, who died in 1921. While even as late as 1890, Miss Fay's volume could have been used as a guide of orientation by the would be student of music in Germany, certainly it could no longer serve such a purpose during the years just prior to the war, when the lone American student of her book who despised Germany and everything German was definitely in the ascendency. In other words, her personal observations had ceased to be applicable except in certain details of ambient and had passed into the realm of autobiography valuable for historical reading. As a piece of historical literature proper, I doubt that the book would have survived the war, because it is lamentably true that the average American music student or even cultured lover of music is not particularly interested in musical history as such.

To this must be added the indisputable fact that "music study in Germany" or in France, for that matter, had become a mere matter of personal taste and predilection, and was not a necessity as in the days of Miss Fay's amusing experiments with this or that German teacher of renown. An endless stream of excellent European artists and teachers had poured into America since then, augmented by the equally broad stream of native Americans who had learned their métier abroad. Music study in America thus became an easy matter and many an aspiring virtuoso would have done more wisely by staying and studying at home, instead of venturing to a European country with its different language, its different temperament, its different mode of living, customs and so forth. Germany, in particular, is still a "marvellous home of music," to quote an editorial remark of Miss Fay's sister, but it is no longer the "only real home of music," thanks precisely to such artists as Miss Amy Fay herself.

To point out the radical change in conditions in that respect is one thing, quite another to deny, as some rather zealotic patriots do, that Europe, Germany included, can still give the American music student something which he does not have at home quite in the same manner... Continue reading book >>




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