In Europe music sprang from the ground and it is the folk-songs and folk-dances of the 고소득알바 peasant that have gradually—refined and developed in the hands of the great composers—worked their way upward and become the possession and delight of the cultured classes.

In this country we have no peasantry, and what slight remains of folk-songs and folk-dances we possess, apart from the music of the negro, have only recently been dug out of the isolated mountain fastnesses of Kentucky and Tennessee. These are generally of British origin and cannot be considered as having been part and parcel of our national life. As against the rich subsoil of the folk-songs of Germany, Bohemia, Russia, France, and Scotland we can show but the thinnest artificial layer of music, and this has been created and carefully nurtured by a small educated class.

The dreary social life of the early Puritan settlers and their frowning attitude toward the joys of life further retarded the growth of the arts among us.

I do not think there has ever been a country whose musical development has been fostered so almost exclusively by women as America.

Musical education began among the well-to-do classes who could afford to engage the European musicians who immigrated to America to teach their daughters—but not, alas, their sons. A strong feeling existed that music was essentially an effeminate art, and that its cultivation by a man took away that much from his manliness and, above all, made him unfit to worship at the most sacred shrine of business. I am speaking now of fifty years ago. Conditions have improved since that time, but not sufficiently as yet to produce normal and healthy conditions regarding the civilization of our people.

Women’s musical clubs began to form in many a village, town, and city, and these clubs became the active and efficient nucleus of the entire musical life of the community, but, alas, again principally the feminine community. It is to these women’s clubs that the managers turn for fat guarantees for appearances of their artists, and it is before audiences of whom seventy-five per cent are women that these artists disport themselves.

The result of this has been that the cultural life of American women has often been absolutely a thing apart from their relations with their men-folk. It has become accepted that of course men do not and need not share the women’s interest in the arts; and while business does not perhaps monopolize the American man in quite as unhealthy a fashion as in former years, the principal change which has been brought about is the introduction of golf, at least an occupation in which men and women may share. What a pity that the elusive ball is not composed of a little Beethoven and Brahms instead of the mysterious mixture of concrete and gutta-percha, and that family life, which is the very fortress of civilization, cannot make use of the cultivation of music as one of the strongest ties to bind husband and wife, sons and daughters together!

Some of us are too prone to look upon modern plumbing, telephones, and motor-cars as evidences of high civilization or even culture, when they are really only more or less agreeable conveniences which minister to our comfort but not to our heart or head.

In Europe men and women share more equally in the love and cultivation of music, and the emotional and personal attitude of the women is offset by the more impersonal and mental attitude of the men. The result of this is shown in audiences in which neither sex predominates and, above all, in the cultivation of chamber-music at home in which professionals and amateurs, men and women, participate to their mutual pleasure and development. Nothing more charming can be imagined than such family evenings of music, during which the players indulge themselves in the string quartets and piano trios of Mozart, Beethoven, and Brahms, with perhaps a small audience of enthusiasts composed of other members of the family and half a dozen friends who afterward all join in a jolly supper of bread and cold meats, together with a good bottle of wine or beer.

My father carried this lovely custom into the New World, and I owe almost my entire education in chamber-music to the Sunday afternoons at his house, the tranquil and spiritual atmosphere of which is unforgettable.

A few years ago a meeting was held in the mayor’s office at City Hall at which I had been asked to speak in behalf of good music for the people on Sunday afternoons and evenings. A clergyman from Brooklyn had made a tremendous appeal against any Sunday recreations and wanted the aldermen to revive the old blue laws of two hundred years ago. The room was crowded with people, and when I spoke of what the chamber-music on Sunday afternoons at my father’s house had meant to me as a boy, this audience broke into such enthusiastic applause that there was no mistaking the general attitude, and my Sunday symphony concerts, which I was the first to inaugurate in New York, have only once been interfered with by municipal authorities.