It is a singular thing that notwithstanding how large a number of the greatest men who ever lived have attached such value to music, the world as a whole to-day still continues to consider it as something apart from what they call practical living. Surely anything that can change the nature of man or beast, and make the intractable, tractable, anything, too, that can awaken such a sense of joy and satisfaction, must have in it something more practical than the mere pleasure of eating a good dinner or drinking a glass of wine. The trouble is that comparatively few people ever think deeply concerning anything in life. The customary or the conventional thought of the people one associates with is taken for granted, no matter how right or how wrong it may be; it is the easy way that people seek. Why not? They pay their doctors to care for their bodies and clergymen to save their souls. Goethe was right when he wrote:
"To customary roads men still will link Their faith - poor dolts - imagining they think!"
It is still more singular that those who are so intimately associated with music, - the ordinary composer, the singer, or the instrumental musician, - should know so little of the power with which they are dealing; while people like Darwin, Spencer, Schopenhauer, Carlyle, and many other great men whose work did not really come within the province of music, nevertheless were conscious in a far greater way of the magical power and beauty of music than either the musician or the musical critic. Said Carlyle: "Music is a kind of inarticulate unfathomable speech which leads us to the edge of the infinite, and lets us, for moments, gaze into it." Schopenhauer says: "The world is but realised music." He might have gone still farther and said the universe is an expression of divine music; that the morning stars did sing together and have ever continued to sing together; that love and its expression, music, are fundamental to all form, to all expression. When people begin to think and when they know music better than they do, then the expression of music will be universal. It will not be necessary to teach people how to sing, for all will sing, from the youngest to the oldest, and all life will become realised music. Oh, that the composers and singers, and those who play instrumental music, and the critics of music might be made to realise that the influence and power exerted by them could bring to the life of man such untold satisfaction, such joy and peace, that the whole world might be made to rejoice! If for once they could realise the truth that they have a far greater power than any priesthood, a greater power than the kings of the earth, surely new effort, new aspirations, new desire would come into their lives in order that they might give to music the highest and best expression. This day will come, and it will not be very long delayed, because the old world is ready for a new spring-time, a further renaissance, and instead of being ruled by the dead thoughts and forms of by-gone ages, it will enter into full universal consciousness of the rhythm, melody, and harmony of celestial music.