Pagina-afbeeldingen
PDF
ePub

14. To Secure Forward Placing of Tone. Practice Tone Drills Nos 24, 26, 46, 63, 64, 89, 157, 200, 208.

15. To Secure Resonance and Volume Practice Tone Drills Nos. 8, 10, 19, 32, 33, 34, 35, 40, 41, 61, 96, 110, 137, 152, 154, 181, 189, 194, 207.

16. To Develop Musical Quality. Practice Tone Drills Nos. 36, 110, 136, 150, 166, 168, 181, 189, 207, 213.

[ocr errors]
[ocr errors]

INTERPRETATION

1

1. Interpretation Implies Conception and Execution By conception is meant the clear and complete apprehension of all that the author intended in his composition. By execution is meant the complete portrayal of the conception to the listener. Conception implies knowing, execution implies showing. It is plain that before a person can portray a picture or tell a story effectively to others he must himself know completely such story or picture. Execution is, therefore, lame and impotent without conception.

2. A United Aim--Unity-Implies that Nothing Stands for Itself.--Every line, every word, every syllable of a worthy composition is a necessary part of the whole, has some use, is for some purpose. They all coöperate in producing the writer's conception; they have a United Aim. If, then, the student does not realize this coöperative aim he cannot be said to read well. Without understanding the coöperative purpose of all, he cannot tell the relative value of words, phrases, sentences and parts, and his interpretation (?) will be a hap-hazard affair in which the writer's thoughts and feelings run the risk of not being expressed at all. Here is a short poem from Tennyson:

BREAK, BREAK, BREAK.

Break, break, break,

On thy cold gray stones, 0 Sea !
And I would that my tongue could utter
The thoughts that arise in me.

O well for the fisherman's boy,

That he shouts with his sister at play!
O well for the sailor lad,

That he sings in his boat on the bay !

[ocr errors]

And the stately ships go on

To their haven under the hill ;
But O for the touch of a vanish'd hand,

And the sound of a voice that is still.

Break, break, break,

At the foot of thy crags, O Sea !
But the tender grace of a day that is dead

Will never come back to me.

Suppose the student ignores the existence of a united aim in this poem and reads each line as related to nothing but itself. He comes to the line “O well for the fisherman's lad that he shouts with his sister at play." "Ah," says this haphazard student. "Shouting at play, why that's a jolly thing, so I'll show my audience how a boy can shout. I'll just read that in a rollicking, roaring, shouting style that will make plain the fun the boy and his sister are having." And he does it!

Had this student perceived that poetry and all good writing are not patchwork, but harmonic growih, he would have read and reread this poem until he had found coöperative purpose, a united aim. Sooner or later he would have discovered that every syllable helps to set forth melancholy's wail and that, therefore, the slightest intrusion of jollity would horribly mutilate one of the poet's purest creations. Conception then demands a clear understanding of the United Aim. Without it a student is a ship without a rudder; he will drift.

3. The United Aim Comprises Both a Dominant Thought ! and a Dominant Feeling.-In every piece of literature there is the idea itself—the thing told, and there is the emotional attitude or feeling of the author (or character) towards this idea or thing. Thus, in the preceding poem we have seen that there is the tale of loneliness itself (the thought) and the feeling of melancholy in respect to this loneliness. In Lincoln's Dedication of Gettysburg Cemetery we have the story of the national importance of the occasion—Dominant Thought, and the feeling of solemnity in respect to this importance-Dominant Feeling, the two comprising the United Aim.

ILLUSTRATION OF TONING A SELECTION.

4. To make plain the process of toning let us take an example—this poem on William Tell:

“Place there the boy," the tyrant said;
"Fix me the apple on his head.
Ha! rebel, now!
There's a fair mark for your shaft;
To yonder shining apple waft
An arrow.” And the tyrant laughed.

With quivering brow
Bold Tell looked there; his cheek turned pale;
His proud lips throbbed as if would fail

Their quivering breath.
"Ha! doth he blanch ?" fierce Gesler cried,
“I've conquered, slave, thy soul of pride."
No voice to that stern taunt replied,

All mute as death.
“And what the meed?” at length Tell asked.
"Bold fool, when slaves like thee are tasked,

It is my will.

But that thine eye may keener be,
And nerved to such nice archery,
If thou cleav’st yon, thou goest free.

What! pause you still?
Give him a bow and arrow there;
One shaft—but one.” Gleams of despair
Rush for a moment o’er the Switzer's face:
Then passed away each stormy trace,
And high resolve came in their place.

Unmoved, yet flushed,
"I take thy terms," he muttered low,
Grasped eagerly the proffered bow-

The quiver searched,
Sought out an arrow keen and long,
Fit for a sinewy arm and strong,
And placed it on the sounding thong,

The tough yew arched.
He drew the bow, whilst all around
That thronging crowd there was no sound,

No step, no word, no breath.
All gazed with an unerring eye,
To see the fearful arrow fly;
The light wind died into a sigh,

And scarcely stirred.
Afar the boy stood, firm and mute;
He saw the strong bow curved to shoot,

But never moved.
He knew the daring coolness of that hand,
He knew it was a father scanned

The boy he loved. The Switzer gazed—the arrow hung, “My only boy!” sobbed on his tongue;

He could not shoot. “Ha!” cried the tyrant, “doth he quail ?

« VorigeDoorgaan »