The Fine Arts: Music Appreciation

Figure 1.--Here we see an illustration for an article about music appreciation in "The American Magazine" during 1913.

The concept of music appreciation I believe is a relatively recent phenomenon. Of course music has been appreciated since time immemorial. The issue of music appreciation appears to have surfaced in Europe and America with the industrial revolution and the emense expansion of the middleclass. Families were able to achieve income levels never before achieved by such a wide section of scociety. Many mothers were intent tht their children obtain an appreciation of culture that was often lacking in the family. Some mothers saw this as an aspect of education or social advancement. For others it was seen as an important aspect of education and a complete life. For the most part music appreciation was accomplished through family music making and instrumental lessons. We also note music appreciation classes in schools. We note articles in women's and family magazines about music appreciation. Here is an interesting illustration of a boy and girl listening to a music teacher play the piano from an article on Music Appreciation that appeared in The American Magazine (November, 1913, p. 69). The article is about music appreciation as a way of inciting children to learn instruments--i.e., the piano in this case. It's also about the need for children to practice if they take music lessons. I think we are meant to assume that the older man playing the piano is the childen's piano teacher, but I'm not quite sure about that. The boy in the illustration would be about 8 years old (figure 1). (I say this not because of the depiction, but because of the costuming.) He wears a tunic suit that probably would have been called a Russian blouse with a belt and an opening down the left side of his chest. It has a round soft white collar. With his bloomer-style knickers he wears light brown long stockings--a departure from the more usual black.


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Created: 5:31 PM 3/8/2005
Last updated: 6:25 PM 3/8/2005