Music Composers

Benjamin Cutter-Part 2

Musical Talents Taken in Time

That this is so suggests a fault somewhere in our scheme of education, or a possible misuse of opportunity, or a failure to apprehend the needs of that youth whose peculiar gifts fit him for musical composition. At any rate, in comparing the musical training of the your in America with that of the youth abroad, the first thing that appeals to one is the fact that the boy abroad is ready to finish his education when the American boy is beginning his theoretical studies. Abroad, a musical gift, a pronounced gift, is a thing that is heeded; to state it in an un-ideal way, it is a business proposition; the boy may become a composer, or that enviable thing, a conductor of operas, of concerts; a money-earning notability. This gifted boy - say in some German city - may be fortunate enough to have a wise parent, who places him at a very early age in proper hands or takes the child to an authority and abides by his counsel; the outcome is that while this child is in the lower or middle grade schools he has already begun to study the piano and possibly the violin and, what is more to our point, to study harmony.

Little by little the thing grows. In his twelfth or thirteenth year, let us assume, he begins the study of counterpoint, and at the same time the composition of little pieces. It is very likely that some abatement in the stress of the regular school work is arranged fork, provision being made for further study in later years, when the special musical training shall have been completed. By his fourteenth year this boy writes music with the ease and dispatch that a young school girl shows in her epistolary effusions; but with this notable difference - that his productions show coherency, order, design, the result of his regular training in giving to his thoughts both structure an beauty.

The Etude Magazine November 1912





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