Wednesday, June 21, 2006

How to sing -- George Root

I ought to say something about the condition of music in our part of the country in those days. Not many years before, a singing-school had been held in the old red schoolhouse, where "faw, sol, law, faw, sol, law, me, faw" were the syllables for the scale -- where one must find the "me" note (seven) to ascertain what key he was singing in, and where some of the old "fuguing tunes," as they were called, were still sung. I well remember how, shortly after, we heard a new system of teaching music had been introduced into Boston, in which they used a blackboard and sang, "do, re, me," etc., to the scale. But how silly "do" sounded. We thought it smart to say that the man who invented that was a dough-head, and how flat were fa and la, in comparison with the dignified "faw" and "law." Later, however, when some tunes connected with the new movement came we changed our minds about the man who was at the head of it. Nothing before, so heavenly, had been heard as the melody to "Thus far the Lord hath led me on" (Hebron); and one of the great things in going to Boston was that I should probably see Lowell Mason.

-- George F. Root, The Story of a Musical Life

1 comment:

amity said...

Priceless. I hope you will post this on the fasola list, Robert. Those who maintain that "we are not saying the note names properly anymore" will love it!