Music Appreciation in the PNEU

Music Appreciation in the PNEU

Music appreciation changed over time in the PNEU due to various personal, historical, and technological influences, but still maintained certain important elements. In my first article on music appreciation we looked at Mrs. Glover’s first eleven music programmes. Over the years the different authors’ own experiences, opinions, and perspectives influenced their music selections and articles, but the underlying principles remained the same. As time went on, there were also improvements and refinements to the method, the most significant being the decision to focus on only one composer per programme.So that you can see some of these variations for yourself, this article will provide all of the historical music programmes for Handel from the beginning of music appreciation in the PNEU through 1924.But first, we will continue our journey in music appreciation with Mrs. Glover’s music programmes as she implemented a major change.

A Single Great Master (1908-1911)

Mrs. (Ella) Howard Glover continued writing music programmes for four more years. Music Programme 12 was the first that intentionally listed compositions by only one composer, and this first composer was Handel. Earlier programmes had included compositions from multiple composers. No biographical information was given in the programme about the composer, but a chapter in Hubert Parry’s Studies of Great Composers (eighth edition) and another Handel-specific biography were recommended:

We intend to devote ourselves for the present to the study of one great composer each term, and recommend for the purpose Studies of Great Composers by Sir Hubert Parry. We commence with Handel (chap. 2), and would also draw attention to Mrs. Emma Marshall’s story The Master of the Musicians, which deals with Handel’s life. (E. Glover, 1908, p. 635)

Instead of limiting the study of the musical works to musical form and history, biographies were now introduced. The preface to Parry’s book provided a view into his approach to the study of composers:

The following short studies were originally written for a periodical for young people. They, therefore, do not attempt to deal with the profounder and more abstruse questions which are of interest to advanced musicians and students, and professed masters of artistic philosophy.

…they were not from the first intended to be absolutely distinct or independently complete, but a connected and continuous series.

The object of the work as a whole was to help people of average general intelligence to get some idea of the positions which the most important composers occupy in the historical development of the art; by showing their relations to one another, and the social, personal, and historical conditions which made them individually the representatives of various branches and phases of musical art. (Parry, 1902, p. v)

Here we see not only how biographies aid in understanding the historical context of different styles of music, but we also see the significance of the relationships between composers as well as the effect the world had on them.

While Mrs. Glover had the initial idea of bringing children into relationship with music by helping them learn to listen with understanding, it may be Charlotte Mason who influenced the decision to focus on a single composer per term. In the first edition of Home Education (1886) she wrote:

It is a pity we like our music, as our pictures and our poetry, mixed, so that there are few opportunities of going through, as a listener, a course of the works of a single composer. But this is to be aimed at for the young people; let them study as far as possible under one master until they have received some of his teaching and know his style. (Mason, 1886, p. 246)

When this paragraph was moved to Formation of Character (volume 5) in 1906, Mason changed the second sentence as follows:

But this is to be aimed at for the young people; let them study occasionally the works of a single great master until they have received some of his teaching, and know his style. (Mason, 1989e, p. 235)

After the format was changed to one composer per programme, not every composer whose works had appeared in earlier music programmes was later selected to be studied by himself in a dedicated programme. The following composers who had works listed in the early music programmes were never selected to be studied individually: Liszt, Sinding, Humperdinck, Ed MacDowell, Scarlatti, Dr. Arne, C. H. Graun, Moszkowski, Rachmaninoff, Gounod, and Emil Sjogren.

Although the introduction still included the verbiage “list of six pieces,” five albums were listed and readers were instructed that “two or three pieces or songs m[ight] be selected from the Albums at will” (E. Glover, 1908, pp. 634-635). Sources were mentioned for purchasing the sheet music.

For the next music programme (number 13), Mrs. Glover selected the composer featured in chapter three of Parry’s book, the next chapter after Handel. The composer was Johann Sebastian Bach, although Parry chose the English spelling “John” instead of “Johann.” Mrs. Glover followed Parry’s spelling, and this wasn’t the only time a composer’s name was spelled differently. Interestingly, the English spelling seemed to be the preferred version for their purposes.

In this programme, Mrs. Glover reverted back to listing specific musical works rather than albums. In addition to the list of instrumental works and songs, she also mentioned some suggestions for other music related to upcoming holidays:

Mention may also be made of Bach’s great Double Concerto for two violins with piano accompaniment; of Bach’s St. Matthew and St. John Passion Music, often performed in churches during Lent and Holy Week… (E. Glover, 1908, p. 948)

The composer chosen for the 1909 summer term was Haydn, the subject of chapter four of Studies of Great Composers. Interestingly, this music programme was not given a number, so the next seven programmes were numbered 14 to 20. These seven programmes continued to correlate with the chapters in Parry’s book, although Carl Maria von Weber and Franz Schubert were combined in Music Programme 16. Also the order of the last two chapters was inverted, so that Music Programme 19 corresponded to Parry’s twelfth chapter, and Music Programme 20 corresponded to chapter eleven. Music Programme 19 focused on two composers (Chopin and Brahms), presumably because Parry combined them into one chapter in his book. This appears to be the case since this programme specifies chapter twelve from Parry’s book. However, we cannot verify this since none of the editions available to view today (7th, 8th, and 9th) included a chapter on Chopin and Brahms.

Music Programme 19 was also the last to include the introductory paragraphs from Mrs. Glover’s very first music programme. This may have been because she assumed that everyone was familiar with the method by now, but the actual reason was not stated (E. Glover, 1911a, p. 311). The introduction did continue to appear in the music programmes contained in the 1912-1914 PNEU Annual Reports.

Music Programme 20 recommended the chapter on Wagner in Studies of Great Composers, but it also recommended the books Mrs. Glover mentioned in her 1902 talk on “Our Relations with Music and Art” as a supplement (E. Glover, 1911b, p. 552). You may recall the following directions:

…it is suggested that during the coming three months the teacher, parent, or any available friend, should play the following compositions to the children… (E. Glover, 1911a, p. 311)

At that time, the ability to listen generally required access to a live musician. This limitation had to be taken into consideration when the specific works were selected for the programme. Often the sheet music specified had been adapted. This was especially true in the case of orchestral compositions or when the composer had not originally composed music for accessible instruments such as the pianoforte or violin. This was a major influence on the pieces selected for each term:

No adequate presentation of Wagner’s music can be given by means of pianoforte arrangements, which must in all cases be regarded simply as a preparation for a later enjoyment and appreciation of his works. The best method is really to play at will from the vocal and pianoforte scores of the operas themselves. (E. Glover, 1911b, p. 552)

In 1911, Music Programme 21 announced the end of Mrs. Howard Glover’s involvement, possibly due to the fact that she had completed her main resource, Sir Hubert Parry’s bookStudies of Great Composers:

Mrs. Glover writes, to our very great regret, that she feels she has come to an end of her resources as regards Musical Programmes. We can scarcely agree with this because we believe that her resources in this respect are endless! Members who have had the privilege of hearing Mrs. Glover’s lectures on the teaching of music, and all who have worked out the carefully set programmes from term to term, will realize the pleasure and profit that is to be had from a definite programme set on the works of a special composer (or composers). Latterly, at the House of Education these programmes have been carried out under the superintendence of Miss H. M. Cruse (who teaches our Practising School girls music), and the College has enjoyed the rendering of the musical programmes. We hear too, from time to time of students who have been able to carry out the programmes in the homes of their pupils; and the children’s occasional notes of appreciation in the examinations bear witness to the fact that good work has been done. We owe a great debt of gratitude to Mrs. Glover for the valuable piece of educational work she has done for the Parents’ Union School, and we take this opportunity of expressing thanks in the name of the School for her seven years’ work. Miss Cruse, who has already worked out a large number of these programmes on our behalf with the children, has kindly consented to carry on Mrs. Glover’s work. (E. Glover, 1911c, p. 950)

In summary, here are some of the characteristics of Glover’s later programmes:

  • Comprised of songs and instrumental works.
  • Usually a list of six to eight specific pieces.
  • Referred to Parry’s Studies of Great Composers for biographical information.
  • Composers generally sequenced in the same order as Parry’s book.
  • Selections adapted for playability.
  • Focused on only one composer (or occasionally two): Handel, Bach, Haydn, Mozart, Beethoven, Weber & Schubert, Mendelssohn, Schumann, Chopin & Brahms, and Wagner.

Hints on Musical Form and History (1911-1914)

After Mrs. Glover, the next four music programme authors came from the staff of the House of Education (HOE), Miss Mason’s teaching college. In fact, the HOE was so closely connected with music appreciation over the years that all but two of the music programme authors from 1905 to 1953 had been on staff at the school. The first was Miss H. M. Cruse, who taught music to the girls of the Practising School at the HOE. She was also listed as the HOE House Mistress in the 1912 Annual Report (PNEU, 1912, p. 55).

Miss Cruse’s first programme, Music Programme 21, was unique in that it once again featured multiple composers. In this case, though, there was a theme:

Our Programme of Music for this Term comprises a few works written by five of the old masters who lived during the century from 1653-1753, when music was in its infancy and the pianoforte was an unknown instrument.

Corelli, the two Scarlattis and Lotti were Italians who wrote for wind and string instruments, the clavecin and organ.

Rameau was a Frenchman, an organist and clavecin player, but primarily a great writer on the theory of music.

Purcell was English; he is considered the most original and extraordinary musical genius our country has produced.

Notice particularly the charm of melody and rhythm of all these composers’ works. (PNEU, 1911, p. 950)

Twelve musical selections were listed, instead of the usual six, along with two optional works. The selections included both songs and instrumental works, and accompanying sources for the sheet music were provided. Although there was no author byline, I believe it was written by Miss Cruse since the format was so similar to Miss Cruse’s subsequent music programmes. She always included some additional technical information about the compositions, and Music Programme 21 was no exception.

Bach was the first composer to be repeated, and he appeared in Music Programme 22, ten terms after he was initially studied. For the first time a portrait was suggested:

It is a good thing for the children to have a picture of Bach hanging in the room while they listen to his music. (Cruse, 1912a, p. 311)

Handel was selected for study in Music Programme 23, twelve terms after Mrs. Glover chose to feature him as the first single composer. A small amount of biographical information was provided, and just as in Parry’s book, the information intentionally related him with the last term’s composer (Bach). There were no suggestions of other books to read, although it’s possible that some were recommended in the curriculum programmes, such as a more detailed biography. Hints on musical form and musical history were included once again with the musical selections. Miss Cruse also introduced music designated for Sunday listening:

Let two numbers of “The Messiah” be taken consecutively on Sundays and one week-day that the children may hear it straight through by the end of the term. An inexperienced pianist can play the melody of each number and read the words which are all from the Bible. The Pastoral Symphony and the Aria “He shall feed His flock,” are to be specially studied for the Programme. (Cruse, 1912b, pp. 554-555)

Music Programme 24 (Haydn) gave some of the most detailed instructions yet on how to use the music:

Hadyn’s [sic] Oratorio “The Creation” should be taken through during the term. Let the work be studied by the children following with the music while the teacher plays. An inexperienced pianist can play the melodies and read the words and gain much interest thereby. The numbers must be taken in their correct order and special ones can be chosen for a Musical Evening Programme. (Cruse, 1912c, p. 948)

Later that year, in 1912, Miss Mason wrote a document (later published in volume II of Essays on the Life and Work of Charlotte Mason by the Charlotte Mason Institute) entitled “Reading and a Wide Curriculum.” That document included a sampling of exam questions taken from that term’s Easter Examination, and one was on Haydn:

Give some account of The Creation, mentioning any parts you can sing. Describe one other of Haydn’s compositions. (Mason, 2015, p. 92)

Music Programme 26 mentioned a source for six different portrait postcards of Beethoven. Miss Cruse chose to be discriminatory with his works and separated them into styles:

His music has been divided into three styles. We propose this Term to make acquaintance with a few (very few) of the works in the first and second styles. His third and latest style we must reserve until we have studied music longer, as it is more difficult to understand. (Cruse, 1913a, pp. 557-558)

For Cruse’s final programme (Music Programme 27), she chose two contemporaries of Beethoven, Louis Spohr and Carl Maria von Weber. Once again, she had specific instructions for Sunday’s music:

For Sunday Music, Spohr’s Last Judgment. Each child should have her own copy to follow with, the Libretto should be read through first with the Bible. The Children should hear the voice parts, without accompaniment, then the accompaniment alone, then all together. Let them sing themselves. (Cruse, 1913b, p. 950)

In summary, here are some of the characteristics of Cruse’s programmes:

  • Comprised of songs and instrumental works.
  • Usually a list of 4 to 7 instrumental pieces and 3 to 4 songs.
  • Provided brief biographical information which often related to the previous term’s composer.
  • Selections adapted for playability.
  • Focused on only one composer (or in one case, two): Bach, Handel, Haydn, Mozart, Beethoven, Spohr & Weber.
  • Encouraged displaying a picture of the composer.
  • Provided some information on musical form and history.
  • Recommended music for Sundays.

Different Music for Different Classes (1914)

The “Our Work” section of the April 1914 issue of The Parents’ Review listed Mendelssohn’s compositions for Music Programme 28, with Miss Cruse’s name as the author. However, the article immediately preceding “Our Work” was entitled “Felix Mendelssohn: Singer of Songs Without Words,” and was written by Alice Mary Henderson. So for the first time, two authors (Cruse and Henderson) both contributed to a single music programme. Also, this was the first music programme to have different music selected for different classes.

An article about two specimen lessons taught by Miss Cruse was printed in the May 1914 issue of L’Umile Pianta. After reading a short paper she demonstrated a music appreciation lesson with the children using the music from the current term (Music Programme 28) (PNEU, 1914, pp. 75-77).

The July 1914 issue of The Parents’ Review included another composer article by Miss Henderson, this time about Franz Schubert. It was followed by Music Programme 29 in “Our Work,” listing the assigned musical compositions by the composer. The next music programme (number 30) featured Schumann, and was followed by an article by Miss Henderson on that composer. No author was specified for Music Programme 29 or 30, but they followed the same format as Music Programme 28, listing different music for different classes. It seems probable that Miss Henderson was the author of Music Programmes 28-30, filling in the gap between Miss Cruse’s departure and Miss Parker’s first music programme.

Almost two years after Miss Henderson wrote her last music programme, she traveled to France to serve in World War I. She worked with the Red Cross in France from May 1916 to March 1917. Having brought a large amount of music with her, she tirelessly put on concerts with three other women to cheer up the very appreciative soldiers. She wrote about this exciting, and sometimes terrifying, experience in an article published in L’Umile Pianta entitled “Under the French Red Cross” (Henderson, 1918, pp. 28-31).

Not until the 1915 PNEU Annual Report was there an announcement that Miss Cruse had left the House of Education and that Miss Parker was taking her place:

We are sorry that we shall no longer have music programmes from Miss H. M. Cruse, and we should like to take this opportunity of thanking her for her exceedingly valuable work. The girls of the Practising School who have followed each term’s work carefully and thoroughly under Miss Cruse’s direction have done something towards acquiring a cultivated and discriminating taste in music. Miss Parker and Miss Gass have taken up the work with enthusiasm and much musical knowledge. (PNEU, p. 10)

Here are some characteristics of Henderson’s music programmes:

  • Exclusively focused on a single composer: Mendelssohn, Schubert, and Schumann.
  • Different music assigned for lower (I and II) and upper (III and IV) classes.

Additional Resources and a Common Theme (1915-1917)

Miss M. Beatrice Parker wrote Music Programmes 31-37 for the years 1915-1917. In 1915, she gave a hint about which books might have been listed in the curriculum programmes. A 1915 letter to the editor in The Parents’ Review asked, “What books, periodicals or other helps towards promoting musical appreciation have they used?” In response she wrote:

Some very helpful works for the promotion of musical appreciation are “Music and its Appreciation on the Foundations of True Listening,” by Stewart Macpherson; “The Musician,” by Ridley Prentice (Curwen) [link to sixth grade book], and “Aural Culture,” by Stewart Macpherson and Ernest Read [part 2]. (Parker, 1915a, p. 797)

The letter also asked, “Have they given any ‘talks’ on great composers, national songs, masterpieces, etc.? If so, what? And from what sources?” Miss Parker responded:

Appreciation Classes have been held in connection with the musical work done at The House of Education for some years. Similar classes are held at various centres by the P.U.S. A composer is chosen for each term, a programme of some of his representative works being drawn up. When it is possible these works or parts of them are studied by the children; in any case they hear them during the term. At the end of the term, a paper is read giving special points of interest about the composer and the items of the programme. The latter is given by the children where possible, and by more advanced performers when this is necessary. A Schubert programme contained The Unfinished Symphony, some of the Rosamund Music, Impromptus, Moments Musicaux, and a number of songs. A Schumann evening included The Piano Quintet arranged as a Duet, the Scherzo out of “The Carnival Prank,” several numbers out of The Childrens’ Album, parts of the first Novellette, and Blumenstück with several songs. Die Lotosblume, Der Nussbaum, Marienwürmchen, Schön Blümlein (Duet), etc. A number out of Schumann’s Requiem, the whole of which had been played and sung to the school on Sunday afternoons was also given. “Studies of Great Composers,” by C. Hubert Parry; Bells “Miniature Series of Musicians”; “Master Musicians,” by J. C. Hadden; “Studies in Modern Music,” by W. H. Hadow [link to second series], supply materials for “talks” on occasions similar to those described above. (pp. 797-798)

Miss Parker’s first two music programmes (31 and 32) also featured single composers. The next three, however, included multiple composers with a common theme. The theme for Music Programme 33 was “Modern Music” and included the following composers: A. Scriabine, Glinka, Vincent d’Indy, A. Liadoff, C. Saint-Saëns, A. Arensky, G. Grovlez, M. P. Moussorgsky, C. Debussy, E. Elgar, J. Holbrooke, A. Thomas, C. Gounod, C.V. Stanford, A. Somervell, and G. Sgambati. This programme started a trend of not including the list of compositions in the “Our Work” section of the Parents’ Review. Both the information about the composer and the musical works were included in one article (Parker, 1915b, pp. 945-949).

The theme for Music Programme 34 was “Some Music Before 1625” and listed John Bull, Orlando Gibbons, William Byrd, Tallis, Palestrina, Orlando di Lasso, Victoria/Vittoria, Paolo Agostini, etc. “The National Song Book (already set for use in the Parents’ Union School)” was used for vocal music (Parker, 1916a, pp. 308-309). There was a poignant remark regarding the song O Lord, the Maker of All Things: “It seems very suitable to us at the present time, with its prayer for defence against the deceits of the enemy” (p. 308). The inclusion of Sunday Music was continued along with some hints on musical form and history.

Finally, the theme for Music Programme 35 was “Music in the Time of the Stuarts and Early Hanoverians.” The selected composers were John Blow, Girolamo Frescobaldi, Bernardo Pasquini, Francesco Geminiani, Domenico Scarlatti, Henry Purcell, Jean Philippe Rameau, Alessandro Scarlatti, Antonio Lotti, Giovanni Battista Pergolesi, Corelli, etc. (Parker, 1916b, 628-632).

A pamphlet entitled “A Liberal Education for All” was published in 1916 by the PNEU. Miss Mason herself wrote the initial “theory” section, but she asked Agnes Drury to contribute the second part about the “practice.” Drury’s segment about music appreciation referred to Music Programme 34:

A programme of Music for the children to learn or to hear is issued for every term in the Parents’ Review. At the House of Education we have a concert at the end of each term to perform the works studied. Last term we had English Music before 1625. The piano pieces are chosen to suit different ages and the Practising School girls had learnt and played some of them, such as “The King’s Hunting Jig,” by John Bull; “Selinger’s Round” and “The Carman’s Whistle,” by William Byrd. Byrd’s beautiful Canon: “Non nobis Domine,” and an anthem ascribed to Henry VIII. were sung by the students, who had learnt them at their tonic sol-fa class; and the music mistresses sang a few Elizabethan songs as solos and duets, and selections from the church music by Palestrina, which was set in addition for use on Sundays. So much orchestral music is arranged for pianoforte duets that we often use these to gain some knowledge of classical masterpieces in preparation for hearing good concerts. (p. 675)

Fourteen terms after Miss Cruse selected Handel, in Music Programme 37 Miss Parker recommended using the sketch of Handel’s life fromStudies of Great Composers by Sir H. Parry. However, she did provide further biographical information about his music in her article. She encouraged comparison between Handel and Bach (the previous term’s composer). There was much more information given about musical form, and Parker included some comparison between compositions. The piece chosen for Sunday Music, “The Messiah,” was compared to the piece chosen back in Music Programme 34 by Palestrina (Parker, 1917, pp. 292-296).

In 1917 Miss Parker left the House of Education:

Miss Parker and Miss Gass have been greatly missed this term. It was hard saying good-bye to members of the staff, so universally loved and respected. We are proud to have known them, and their example should prove an inspiration.

Their places have been filled by Miss Amey and Miss Mitchell, and we hope they will be as happy at Scale How as their predecessors. (PNEU, 1917, p. 6)

Here are some characteristics of Parker’s programmes:

  • Comprised of songs and instrumental works.
  • Usually a list of more than 6 instrumental pieces and songs.
  • Biographical and musical information connected to previous composers.
  • Selections adapted for playability.
  • Combination of a single composer (Chopin, Brahms, Bach, Handel) and multiple composers grouped by a theme (Modern, Music Before 1625, Stuarts and Early Hanoverians).
  • Different music assigned for lower (I and II) and upper (III, IV, V and VI) forms.
  • Provided some information on musical form and history.
  • Recommended music for Sundays.

Performance Advice (1917-1920)

Miss C. Harris-Amey wrote Music Programmes 38-48. Immediately noticeable about her Music Programme 38 in 1917 was the expanded biography which included much about both Haydn’s life and his music, and also related other composers to his story. Sunday music was also included; this time The Creation was again chosen. Many of her other programmes also mentioned music for Sundays. Interestingly, after the listing of compositions was a note: “The above studies are designed to be played to the children for the most part, rather than by them.—Ed.” (Harris-Amey, 1917a, p. 611). This did not seem to apply to her subsequent programmes though. Back in the beginning Mrs. Glover told us:

The pieces selected this month… might be studied and performed by the more advanced pupils themselves. (E. Glover, 1905, p. 71)

Rather than just describing the musical selections and giving some information about form, Miss Amey gave advice on how to actually play the pieces. After recommending two volumes of Mozart’s sonatas in Music Programme 39, she stated:

In giving a certain number of the sonatas here, we do not mean that these are better or finer than others. It is only a help to a quicker choice, and for pupils themselves, for whom also the accompanying remarks are meant. (Harris-Amey, 1917b, p. 784)

These remarks included advice such as:

  • “No. 5 must be practised slowly at first, to get it very clear, then quick and agitato” (1919a, p. 297)
  • “be careful of the accent on the 4th beat” (1919b, p. 622)
  • “the first chord should, if possible, be taken with the right hand alone to leave the left hand free for the Octave C. in the bass” (p. 623)
  • “a very young pianist may stumble over the time in the fourth bar unless she counts carefully” (1919c, p. 873)
  • “the children must be taught to play a light staccato from the wrist and not from the elbow” (1920a, p. 311)

Miss Amey always kept in mind the size of the pupils with comments like:

  • “for small hands there are very pretty pieces in Beringer’s Easy Classics” (1917b, p. 785)
  • “none of the pieces are quite easy for a small hand” (1919a, p. 297)
  • “No. 3 is a short one and a great favourite, but requires a rather large hand to play it well” (1919b, p. 623)
  • “always a difficulty for small hands” (1920a, p. 310)

The biographical sections of her music programmes were extremely engaging. Music Programme 43 began with a personal story about her visit to Mendelssohn’s Conservatoire in Leipzig. Passages like this one lead you to wonder what her connections in the musical world were:

I was lucky enough sometimes to have tickets in some concert or opera box in which she [referring to Frau von Frege (fräulein Gebhardt), a well-known singer “discovered” by Mendelssohn] too had a seat, and sometimes we were alone. She seldom spoke of the past, but her criticisms were very interesting and delightful to hear. (Harris Amey, 1919a, pp. 294-295)

This music programme suggested different music for different forms or classes, as Miss Parker’s programmes had done. Miss Amey continued this distinction for her remaining programmes.

Music Programme 45 (Schumann) was mistakenly misnumbered—it was really the forty-fourth programme of music (unless number 44 was intentionally skipped to account for the fact that the music programme for Summer Term 1909 was never assigned a number). A section at the end addressed music during the time period being studied for history—the Elizabethan period (1919b, pp. 623-624).

The next two programmes written by Miss Amey were comprised of multiple composers centered around a theme. Interestingly, Music Programme 46, about early French composers, included Jean Jacques Rousseau:

He was much mixed up in the musical life of his time. He wrote many criticisms on music and the leading composers of the day, and wrote several small operas, of which “Le devin du village” is still heard. It contains very pretty, simple melodies, one of which is used as “Carillon” at the cathedral in Geneva, and is very charming. As an opera it is of very unequal value. (1919c, p. 871)

Short biographies were also included on the other composers: Josquin Des Près, Eleazar Genet, Claude Gondimel, Jean Baptiste de Lully, François Couperin, Jean Philippe Rameau, Christoph (Willibad) Glück, André Ernest Modiste Grétry, and Etienne Henri Méhul (1919c, pp. 868-873). Music Programme 47, which referred back to the piece on Elizabethan music in Music Programme 45, focused on Henry Purcell and his contemporaries. His colleagues included Dr. John Blow, Daniel Purcell, William Croft, Henry Carey, and Dr. Thomas A. Arne (1920a, pp. 305-310).

Miss Amey’s last programme, Music Programme 48, once again focused on Handel, ten terms after he was last chosen for a term’s study. Notes relevant to playing the musical pieces were included, but not a lot of advice for listening (1920b, 701-706).

None of Miss Amey’s music programmes mentioned other books besides those containing the sheet music to be used.

Music appreciation in the House of Education (later called the Charlotte Mason College) was always closely aligned with the Parents’ Union School. For example, the HOE followed a plan of listening to one composer per term. “Music on Friday” was a weekly tradition started in the early 1920’s for the purpose of setting aside half an hour to listen to the scheduled music:

Students with little previous knowledge of music ha[d] frequently said that it was through these weekly half-hours that they came to love it; and those with more musical training ha[d] increased their powers of listening. (Hugman, 1952, p. 135)

Here are some characteristics of Harris-Amey’s programmes:

  • Comprised of instrumental works, and sometimes songs.
  • General recommendations of instrumental pieces and songs to be chosen from compilations of sheet music.
  • Expanded biographical and musical information connected to previous composers.
  • Selections adapted for playability.
  • Combination of a single composer (Haydn, Mozart, Beethoven, Schubert, Chopin, Mendelssohn, Schumann, Handel) and multiple composers grouped by a theme (“Early French,” “Purcell and His Contemporaries”).
  • Different music assigned for different classes or forms.
  • Some musical form with advice for playing.
  • Music for Sundays sometimes included.

The Gramophone and Some Opinions and Critiques (1921-1924)

The next music programme author was Cedric Howard Glover. He was the first music programme author since Mrs. Glover who did not come from the House of Education. Who was Cedric? The Parents’ Review provided the answer:

The ‘Musical Baby’ of thirty years ago it was (Mr. Cedric Glover) who wrote now the monthly articles in the Parents’ Review. (Cripps, 1925, pp. 463-464)

He had been hearing great music from a very early age:

Mrs. Glover said that at that time she was playing to her little child much of the best music in which she was interested… (E. Glover, 1922, p. 506)

Now the PUS students began to reap the benefits of this early musical training and upbringing. Mr. Glover’s knowledge of musical form and history, along with his commentary on the individual works, was striking in comparison with the earlier music programmes. Judging from the Parents’ Review articles he wrote later, it seems Mrs. Glover knew what she was doing with her “musical baby.”

Cedric Glover’s music programmes were the first to include gramophone records. To really understand music appreciation in the PNEU, we have to consider technology and the major role it played. The turn of the century was a time of tremendous technological advancement, with many discoveries and inventions. The gramophone and its predecessor, the phonograph, influenced how people listened to music and what kind of music they listened to. In 1877 Thomas Edison invented the first device that could record and play back sound, and it was called the phonograph (R. Berg, 2018). Ten years later, Emile Berliner, another American inventor who immigrated from Germany, developed and started patenting the gramophone. His invention recorded onto flat discs or records rather than wax cylinders. In 1898 he formed a company in London which later became known as The Gramophone Company, Ltd (“The Gramophone,” n.d.). This was the source listed in the PNEU music programmes for obtaining records.

These early records had some limitations. One was the length of available recording time that would fit on a disc. In the beginning a disc was only capable of holding a three-minute recording, and later the capacity expanded to around four and a half minutes. This meant cutting a piece or changing the speed at which it was played:

As they headed into the studio, performers and composers ruthlessly edited their work down to size. When Stravinsky wrote his Serenade in A in 1925, he created each movement to fit a three-minute side of a disc; two discs, four movements. (C. Thompson, 2016)

The gramophone also had trouble capturing high or low sounds. Violins and pianos tended to fade into the background, and female voices were displeasingly altered, but brass instruments and male tenors could be heard prominently. Many modifications in the performance had to be made to accommodate this acoustic recording, such as altering or substituting the instruments used, and positioning singers and instrumentalists in strategic distances from the device (C. Thompson, 2016).

Due to these limitations there were not many early supporters of the gramophone. However, one early supporter was music critic Percy A. Scholes, who wrote The Listener’s Guide to Music, a book used for many years in the PNEU:

During his time at The Observer, Scholes became an early and enthusiastic champion of broadcasting, the gramophone and the player piano. One of the first journalists to print reviews of gramophone records, he also became a popular broadcaster, his weekly impromptu radio talks, like his journalism, seamlessly blending enjoyment with enlightenment. While many in the appreciation movement, particularly Read and Macpherson, were initially sceptical of the use of both radio and the gramophone within an educational context, not so Scholes. In an instant he had realised what exciting possibilities the mechanical reproduction of music would mean for the future of mass education. (Musicweb International, 2008)

Around 1925 it became possible to use a microphone for recording with the gramophone, which significantly improved the fidelity of recordings. This electronic recording completely changed the industry. Full orchestras and pianos could be reliably recorded. Public performances could now be recorded, and gramophone records could compete with the “wireless” radio for sound quality (Beardsley & Leech-Wilkinson, n.d.).

Prior to the gramophone the only way to hear music was to listen to a live performance. The timeline and various references within Parents’ Review articles show that gramophone technology probably influenced the type of music selected for the PNEU music programmes. It also probably increased the number of schools and homes that were able to carry them out. Cedric Glover alluded to this:

Vocal music is Handel’s most notable contribution to the music of the world: as it was largely written for the greatest singers of the age, it makes technical demands which the ordinary singer can hardly satisfy. Full use should therefore be made of the many excellent gramophone records available… (1925, p. 19)

Cedric Glover’s first music programme was number 49 in 1921, and it was the first music programme to include gramophone records. The programme featured Bach, and the records were a double concerto in D minor for two violins, and fugues in D minor and E minor played on a harpsichord. Mr. Glover also recommended sheet music for singing, for violin, and for pianoforte, along with sheet music for children to play on the pianoforte (C. Glover, 1920, pp. 936-937). The music progamme listing the music selections appeared separately from the composer article in the Parents’ Review. Concessions were again made regarding the selections to be played:

The works selected for study can only show the slighter side of Bach’s genius. It is an inevitable handicap that he composed no works for the modern pianoforte. (C. Glover, 1921a, p. 25)

In his article on Bach, Mr. Glover gave notice of a concert in London:

The B minor Mass is probably the culmination of Bach’s genius, and for religious fervour and sincerity it is one of the most remarkable works in existence. In it one feels all that intense protestantism, which is so characteristic of one who was all his life a great Lutheran. It is superhumanly difficult to perform, and therefore cannot often be produced. Those living in or near London are recommended to go and hear this work on Monday, April 4th, 1921, at Queen’s Hall. (C. Glover, 1921a, p. 24)

Although the biographical portion in the article was comparable in length to the previous ones written by Miss Harris Amey, additional books were recommended:

The above short outline of Bach’s life should be supplemented by the excellent study of him in Parry’s “Studies of the Great Composers” (Routledge) or in the same author’s excellent book, “John Sebastian Bach” (Putnam). (p. 25)

Biographies help in understanding the influence current trends, political ideas, and historical events may have had on a composer’s music. Mr. Glover wrote:

Composers in particular are very sensitive to the prevalent current of human thought. It is perhaps true that they do not initiate, but they follow closely in the wake of the pioneers, and their testimony is of great value in the study of artistic reaction to the fashionable opinions of the day… (C. Glover, 1925, p. 3)

Mr. Glover also contributed some relevant information about the time period:

Much of Bach’s work seems to present day audiences too introspective, and his apparent morbidity on the subject of death appears strange, in view of his otherwise buoyant temperament. The prevalent pietism of the age must, however, be taken into account. He was born into a Germany exhausted by the wars of the XVIIth century, and particularly by the Thirty Years War, which killed all the flourishing artistic life of the XVIth century. When we contemplate the aridity of the literature of his time and the pre-occupation with French culture then so prevalent, we marvel all the more that this great man could so retain his national feeling and express the sentiments of his own people and his own age. (C. Glover, 1921a, pp. 24-25)

Cedric Glover stopped the practice of specifying different music for different classes, a practice which had been introduced by earlier music programme authors. Generally speaking, he also didn’t specify which music was to be played by the students. Occasionally, however, he offered a suggestion like this one regarding the music by Bach in Anna Magdalena’s Notebooks:

It is suggested that children, who are technically capable, should be allowed to play some of these pieces themselves after they have been used by the teacher for appreciation purposes. (p. 26)

The biographical sections from Mr. Glover’s articles were more opinionated than previous ones had been:

Much of Mozart’s music is poor and uninspired. He wrote prolifically, and often to earn bread for his family. He composed music for an astonishing variety of instruments from musical boxes, “musical glasses” and barrel organs upwards. Among the curiosities which have come down to us is a double concerto for the two instruments which he disliked most of all, the flute and harp. Some of his hack work however has survived, notably the additional orchestral parts which he so successfully supplied for some of Handel’s oratorios. (1921b, p. 266)

Mozart’s immortality is assured, if only for the G minor symphony, the string quintet in the same key, and the three great operas already named. These are the gems, and in them can be found the real essence of his genius in its many aspects. The buoyant light-heartedness and the serene beauty of these works have been a constant source of joy and inspiration to thousands, and will always remain a never failing solace in times of depression. (p. 267)

The May to July 1921 term’s curriculum programme (Programme 90), which Music Programme 50 (Mozart) was issued for, is the earliest curriculum programme available in the Charlotte Mason Digital Collection (CMDC). This means we can start comparing the exam questions with the Parents’ Review articles. H. W. Household wrote, “The examination papers [we]re set by Miss Mason herself” (Household, 1921, p. 16). However, there is some evidence that Cedric Glover was writing the exam questions for music appreciation at this time. One of the exam questions for Forms III and IV was:

Write three lines on any five of the following,—J. C. Bach, sonata form, “The Marriage of Figaro,” rondo, “Nannerl,” G minor symphony, Archbishop of Salzburg. (PNEU, 1921)

The paragraph in Glover’s article on the first movement of Mozart’s Sonata for Pianoforte in C major provided instructions on sonata form:

1st movement: this is in strict sonata form. In this species there are two subjects, which are in turn enunciated, then discussed and then re-stated. Briefly this can be expressed in the formula:—A, B: M,A,B, where A and B represent different subjects and M is the middle section devoted to a free discussion of A and B or sometimes to entirely fresh matter. The first subject (A) starts the movement, but gives way at bar 35 to the second subject (B) in G major, the dominant of the key, and this continues until the double bar is reached. After the double bar, the middle section (M) occurs, fragments of the first subject being discussed in various keys, and reference made to the second subject in bars 24-27. The first bars of the first subject then reappear, and finally at bar 36 the Recapitulation starts with the first subject in its original key (A), followed in turn by the second subject in the same key (B): four bars are added as a coda in which reference is again made to the first subject. This movement affords a perfect example of sonata form. It is also characteristic of much of the composer’s work—polished, refined and musicanly, but of no great emotional depth. It contains moreover various clichés, by which Mozart’s music can often be recognized, notably the semibreve shake, which constitutes the climax of the second subject. (C. Glover, 1921b, p. 268)

As with anything related to music, Mr. Glover had definite opinions on what type of questions ought to be asked:

Questions should be rigidly confined to facts, aesthetic appreciation or criticism being eschewed. Nothing is more lamentably contrary to the whole spirit of the subject than sentimental rhapsodizing, high-flown descriptions of concrete images conjured up by absolute music and the like. The pupil who sees Gothic cathedrals in Bach fugues and dancing dervishes in Brahms waltzes has no true appreciation of the music, and is the victim of faulty instruction. (C. Glover, 1925, p. 9)

Occasionally the PNEU provided examples of answers written for examination questions:

Exam question answered by a boy in Form IV, age 14 from Music Programme 52 (Schumann)/Programme 92. (Household, 1926, pp. 26-27)

Exam question answered by a girl in Form III, age 13 from Music Programme 54 (Brahms)/Programme 94. (Kitching, 1923, p. 123)

Exam question answered by a girl, age 13 from Music Programme 54 (Brahms)/Programme 94. (Golding, 1923, pp. 177-178)

Cedric Glover said, “It is impossible for people to listen intelligently to a piece of music without some knowledge of the principles on which the composer is working” (1921b, p. 267). Shortly after its initial publication in 1919, The Listener’s Guide to Music by Percy A. Scholes became a regularly scheduled book for Forms III and IV in the curriculum programmes, starting in 1921 alongside Music Programme 51 (Beethoven). There were no page numbers specified for this book in the music programmes. This resource provided instruction on musical form, musical history, and instrumentation:

Our aim then should be to produce a nation of good listeners;… Before a man can become a good listener, he must learn how to listen—few people without special training can hear more than one tune at a time. A preliminary course in ear training is, therefore, essential. Coupled with this would go a course of instruction in musical history, and the different forms in which music is cast; also a smattering of orchestration is perhaps desirable… (C. Glover, 1926, p. 247)

Chapter I in Schole’s book was titled “The Need for a Guide:”

What is it all about? Why on earth cannot the composer make his meaning clear?…A book, a lecture, a play, one can understand; these are made up of plain words. A music-hall performance needs no understanding at all. But these symphonies, sonatas, piano concertos, and string quartets seem vague and wandering….There must be such a principle, for a part of the audience seems to grasp the purpose of the piece, and is able to applaud with obvious sincerity….It is to supply that very knowledge that this book exists—and to supply nothing beyond that knowledge….The object of the present book is to supply the means of an initiation into the art of listening, and to do it in the briefest and simplest way possible. (Scholes, 1922, pp. 1-2)

Another book by Scholes, The Book of the Great Musicians, was scheduled for the first time in Programme 91 at the same time as Music Programme 51. This biography, which included some musical form, musical history, and instrumentation, was scheduled for Form II over four terms. Later in 1923 Percy Schole’s Second Book of Great Musicians was set inProgramme 96 (Music Programme 56) and Programme 97 (Music Programme 57) for Forms III and IV.

Mr. Glover’s comments on the works selected for study each term sought to help students distinguish between good and bad music. His comments typically provided critique, rather than instructions for how to play the music. Examples include:

Music Programme 50—Mozart

“The Violet”:

Mozart published very few songs, and his efforts were on the whole no more successful than were Beethoven’s. This however is the best song he wrote; and it is worthy to rank beside any of Schubert’s best. (1921b, p. 269) 

Sonata in E minor for violin and pianoforte:

This coda is in some ways the best thing in the whole sonata, and the wonder of it is in no way lessened when the thinness of the texture of the music is taken into consideration. (p. 270)

Music Programme 51—Beethoven

“Death”:

Beethoven’ [sic] genius did not lend itself to logical forms, and almost all his songs are deservedly forgotten. A casual examination of them will soon disclose the fact that, like Mozart, he was careless as to the literary quality of the words, which he set, and the music as often as not bears but little relation to the sentiments expressed in the text. The song under discussion is an exception in so far as the music amply reflects the gloom of the poem, which in itself is not a composition of any great value. (1921c, pp. 642-643)

Music Programme 59—Handel

Concerto grosso in D minor:

The cold formality of this movement and a lack of independence in the part writing make it perhaps less successful than the others; the ear too is beginning to long for the relief of a change of key, but the principle of key contrast between movements was not yet systematically practised. (1924a, pp. 347-348)

Programme 60—Dvořák

Humoreskes (for pianoforte solo) op: 101, nos. 5-8:

No one could deny the charm of this little piece; it is far better put together than its fellows, but certainly possesses less character than numbers 5 and 8. (p. 632)

Symphony number 5, “From the New World”: op. 95:

The slow movement is a very perfect gem. (p. 633)

Biblical Songs: op. 99 (nos. 6-10):

He has gone to the Psalms for inspiration, and has responded to the mood of each poem and to the extraordinary fervour, which pervades them all, in a manner wholly admirable, the simple directness of Dvořák’s nature being well suited to express the unquestioning faith and devotion of the psalmist. (p. 634)

Compositions were compared and contrasted to works by other composers in addition to the other works studied for the term.

Music Programme 50—Mozart

Symphony in G minor:

We may then justifiably consider this symphony to be one of the first fruits in music of the Sentimental movement, and in this light it should be carefully contrasted with the pianoforte sonata in C, which is purely genteel and decorative in spirit. (1921b, p. 269)

Music Programme 59—Handel

Prelude, Air and Variations:

The Air and Variations follow closely on the lines of “The Harmonious Blacksmith” variations, with which they should be compared. (1924a, p. 344)

Violin Sonata in F:

The final Giga is delightfully frivolous and reminiscent of those with which Corelli was wont to terminate his sonatas. (pp. 345-346)

Programme 60—Dvořák

Symphony number 5, “From the New World”: op. 95:

The prelude of chords and the intrusion of the motto theme three-quarters of the way through the movement recall the similar procedure in the slow movement of Tchaikovsky’s Fifth Symphony. (p. 634)

As with Mr. Glover’s other programmes, the listing of resources (books, sheet music, and gramophone records) for Music Programme 59 was published separately from the article in the Parents’ Review. Once again the books listed were not mentioned in the curriculum programme (Programme 99). Unusual about this one was Parry’s Studies of the Great Composers seemed to be exclusively used for the biography as there was no such information contained in the article. One of the pieces recommended under gramophone records, Water Music, was not expanded upon in the article.

There was an interesting reference to Stravinsky, who was still living at the time, in Music Programme 51:

Similarly Stravinsky, the most discussed composer of the day, began by writing music, which, in spite of its originality, owed much to the influence of his predecessors. Though still a young man he has already progressed far beyond the comprehension of the general publicofto-day, and is experiencing the same want of sympathy and the same hasty condemnation as Beethoven endured a hundred years ago. (C. Glover, 1921c, pp. 688-689)

At the end of 1924 another more modern composer, Dvořák, was selected for Music Programme 60 (Programme 100), Cedric Glover’s last:

Dvořák has steadily been gaining in public esteem since his death twenty years ago. His merit as a composer was certainly recognized during his lifetime, but he is now seen in truer perspective than was formerly possible. Among the frankly nationalist composers Dvořák certainly stands pre-eminent, taking second place only to the greatest of the Russian “Five,” who surpass him only in virtue of the influence which they have exerted over the subsequent course of music. (1924b, p. 627)

The main features of the American negro music are now quite familiar to us, thanks to the popularity of the “Spirituals” and secular songs; we can well understand the attraction which its inherent melancholy, induced by nostalgia, must have exercised over the sensitive composer, exiled in the States away from the stimulating artistic milieu of his native city. It is a phenomenon without parallel in the history of music for a composer at the end of his career to incorporate into his music the characteristics of an entirely alien art… (p. 628)

He does not sound the intellectual depths of composers like Bach and Beethoven, but he has a place all to himself in the affections of music lovers, from which it is unlikely in view of subsequent developments in music that any rival will be able to oust him. (p. 630)

Cedric Glover was the first to dedicate full music programmes to Greig (1843-1907), Debussy (1862-1918), and Dvořák (1841-1904). He also gave more attention than had been previously given to Moussorgsky (1839-1881) and Borodin (1833-1887), although these composers were never studied individually.

Some characteristics of Cedric Glover’s programmes include:

  • Comprised of songs and instrumental works.
  • A list of at least 6 instrumental pieces and songs.
  • Listed available gramophone records, in addition to sheet music.
  • Expanded biographical and musical information connected to other composers.
  • Recommended Parry’s Studies of Great Composers and other books to supplement the Parents’ Review
  • Some selections adapted for playability.
  • Almost exclusively focused on a single composer (Bach, Mozart, Beethoven, Schumann, Greig, Brahms, Debussy, Schubert, Wagner, Moussorgsky & Borodin, Handel, Dvořák).
  • Musical form and history included in article.
  • Set page numbers in Musical Groundwork by Shera.

Charlotte Mason and A Philosophy of Education

In 1922 Mrs. Howard Glover, who remained very involved in the PNEU even after she stopped writing music programmes, gave a lecture on musical appreciation at the twenty-fourth annual conference. She spoke about how it all began and inferred they were at the head of the movement:

But the P.N.E.U. must still be pioneers and teach Musical Appreciation as well as it can be done. Many public schools and some elementary schools were now doing it with success. (E. Glover, 1922, p. 507)

Mrs. Glover commented on how the gramophone was being used in schools:

The Gramophone Companies quite realised what they could do in the educational way, and had their Education Department from which records were going out to schools in all directions…The gramophone was further of use in that it could reproduce an orchestra. (E. Glover, p. 508)

Later in the same lecture she mentioned the assistance it could provide parents:

Musical Appreciation need not be taught by a professional music teacher; it could be done by an ordinary governess or by the parents. Many people felt incapable of playing the illustrations, but it was now possible to supplement with gramophone or pianola. All the greatest works were to be had in this way. (E. Glover, p. 507)

She shared details about how it was studied in the Parents’ Union Schools and encouraged teachers to implement it:

The month before the opening of each term, an article on the composer to be studied appeared in the “Review.” Names of books on the subject were given and a programme of music to be performed for the children to listen to, with suggestions as to easier pieces which children might play themselves. Notes on each of the pieces in the programme were given—more particularly on things which were not to be found in books. (p. 508)

She hoped they would try and do Musical Appreciation in their posts, and would encourage children to take the examination at the end of the term. (p. 509)

The remainder of her address seemed designed to illustrate a Musical Evening Programme with the current term’s composer, Edvard Grieg. This lecture was published in the Parents’ Review.

Shortly before her death in January of 1923, Charlotte Mason finished writing her last volume, An Essay Towards a Philosophy of Education, which was published in 1925. This is the only book in which she mentioned musical appreciation as a subject. Interestingly, she chose to use an excerpt from Mrs. Glover’s lecture on pages 217-218, rather than expand on it herself (C. Mason, 1989f, pp. 217-218). It was not obvious how her death affected music appreciation, but it seems probable there was little immediate impact. Cedric Glover continued writing music programmes for six more terms. But what happened after Mr. Glover’s last music programme? What did the PNEU do for music appreciation when Charlotte Mason’s direct and personal supervision was no longer available? That will be the subject of my next article in the series.

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Dawn Tull has been homeschooling her children using Charlotte Mason’s methods since 2009. Although earning an MS in Business Management has left her underqualified to manage her own household, she has slowly been accepting the fact her four children were born unique persons. After relocating their family numerous times, she and her husband Donnie, currently live near Knoxville, TN in the foothills of the Great Smoky Mountains. Researching and pursuing the truth is important to her and has given her a heart for supporting and encouraging other homeschool families. She enjoys studying and discussing Miss Mason’s philosophy with a local study group and taking advantage of the outdoors with a natural history club.

©2019 Dawn Tull

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