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s, in designing, drawing is of chief and primary importance, I would impress upon all my readers of an artistic turn of mind to discard all idea of introducing colour into their compositions or designs until they are well practised in drawing, for they may rest assured a well
drawn subject but indifferently coloured, will have a much more pleasing effect, and more likely to escape the lash of the critic than a picture gaudily coloured but indifferently drawn.
It is by no means of unusual occurrence to find many persons attempting to produce pictures, either originals or copies, who are very indifferently acquainted with drawing, and almost entirely ignorant of a knowledge of composition of light and shade, and the theory of colours. Of course their progress is very unsatisfactory.
Having given the best theory in my power on drawing, and offered such practical precepts and information, drawn from my own experience, as may be useful to the pupil or amateur, I will now endeavour to arrest my reader's attention upon COLOUR ; and attempt to communicate the elements of an art which decorates with beauty all the works of nature and man,-into which, however, I shall enter no farther than may be expedient to improvement by practice, and a correct understanding of PRINCIPLES. Without, therefore, entering too largely upon details, which more frequently confound by their exuberance than they enlighten, I shall bring the elements of colour under no further consideration than their truth and practical utility.
The elements or natural powers by which colours are produced, are the positive and negative principles of light and darkness; and these in painting are represented by white and black, which are thence elementary colours, between the extremes of which exist an infinite gradation of tints, shades, or mixtures, which are called GREYS,—affording a scale of neutral colours.
Before proceeding any further I deem it advisable to offer a few explanatory observations on the word GREYS. GREY must not be confounded with GRAY: one (the former) being neutral, and the other semineutral.
Greys are an infinite series of tints composed by the mixture of the neutrals, black and white ; but grays denote a class of cool cenereous colours faint of hue, in which blue predominates : whence we have bluegrays, olive-grays, and green-grays, &c., but no yellow or red-grays, the predominance of such hues carrying the compounds into the classes of browns and marones, of which gray is the natural opposite. Greys are degradations of black and its allies, and are the natural cold correlatives of the semi-warm neutral browns ; hence blue added to brown throws it into or towards gray,—and from that grays are abundant in nature, and necessary in art. Grays favour the effects and force of warm colours, which also in their turn give value to grays, and by reconciling opposites give repose to the eye. In recapitulating I would observe that GRAY is a semi-neutral colour in which blue predominates over red
and yellow ; and GREY is an infinite series of tints, compounded of black and white.
I shall now proceed to make a few remarks upon another class of semi-neutral colours,—browns. Brown is a colour which, in its widest acceptation, has been used to comprehend every denomination of dark, warm, broken colour, and, in a more limited sense, is the rather indefinite appellation of a very extensive class of colours of a thorny hue, so that we have browns of every denomination of colour except blue : yellow, red, purple, and orange browns. The reason of there being no blue-brown, I think, from what I have observed of the nature of the class of semi-neutral grays, will be very evident, as the admixture of blue would immediately carry a semi-neutral brown into a semi-neutral gray, ashen, slate, or lead colour.
The term brown, then, denotes a warm, broken colour, of which yellow is the principal constituent. Brown is in some measure to shade, what yellow is to light. Equal quantities of the three primaries, three secondaries, or three tertiaries, produce variously a brown mixture, but if the quantity of blue exceeds the yellow or red in ever so small a quantity, the result would be not a brown, but a gray. And here let me impress upon the reader that all my observations are made with the understanding that black and white are neutral colours, and their effect would simply be to make any semi-neutral colour lighter or darker.
Having explained the nature, value, and properties of semi-neutral colours in as detailed length as the subject will admit, to be intelligible, I will now arrest your attention upon the neutral black. Black is the last and lowest in the series or scale of colours descending,—the opposite extreme of white ascending. To be perfect it must be neutral of all other colours individually.
Its use in painting is to represent shade or depth, of which it is the element in a picture, as white is of light.
Impure black is a brown, as lamp-black ; but black in its purity is a cold colour, and communicates this property to all light colours—blue, white, green, yellow, purple, and red ; and degrades blue and other colours.
The effect of black in painting is retiring,—à property it communicates to all other colours in mixing.
It heightens the effect of warm, as well as of light colours, by a double contrast when opposed to them; and in like manner subdues that of cold and deep colours : but in mixture or glazing these, effects are reversed, by reason of the predominance of cold colour in black. Holding, therefore, among colours, the double position of colour and shade, black is perhaps the most important of all colours to the artist, both as to its use and disuse.
CONDITION OF MUSICAL EDUCATION IN ENGLAND.
BY J. TILLEARD. OTWITHSTANDING the eminence which our countrymen have attained in other arts and sciences, in Music they hold but a fourth-rate position among civilized nations.
The condition of musical education among the English
16 as a nation, is exceedingly defective ; and, as yet, no English composer has caused himself to be acknowledged by the world as one of the great masters of the divine art.
Nowhere is the defective state of musical education among us more apparent than in the singing of our parish churches. It is true that many churches, especially in the northern counties, have now trained and efficient choirs, and that in many others the clergy are making praiseworthy efforts to establish choirs. But these are the exceptions, not the rule. Most of our churches have no choir at all. The leading of the singing is generally entrusted to the school-children. The air of the few tunes that can be ventured on is either drawled forth by the whole body of them, packed away out of sight, as part of the machinery of the organ, or is screeched out by a few, selected for the purpose, and stuck up in most uncomfortable prominence in front of that instrument. And then, as to the congregation, very few of them take part in the singing at all, and those who do, having nothing to depend upon but their ears, necessarily follow the lead of the children, and sing, or attempt to sing, the air. The consequence is, that the melody is heard, with all sorts of variations, in all the different registers of the human voice, the time is dragged, the rhythm is lost.
This practice of singing only the melody has unavoidably led to the employment of a class of tunes of very inferior character as choral compositions. The melody being the only part of the tune that was sung, and the congregation having to learn it by ear from the schoolchildren, it was natural and even necessary that such tunes should be employed as possessed ornate and striking melodies. Only such tunes could have a chance of being liked and learned by the congregation. Accordingly psalm and hymn tunes composed in the severe ecclesiastical style are, for the most part, discarded, and the tunes usually sung are characterized by the same frivolous prettiness which pleases us in a secular song. Indeed one or two of them are actually taken from old songs, operatic airs, or even dance-music ; and people, who would shrink with indignation and abhorrence from wittingly associating the music of the world with the things of God in his sanctuary, do so unwittingly whenever these tunes are sung.
But even supposing that the singing of the melody of the tunes were in itself perfect, and that the tunes themselves were entirely free from objection, still this would not satisfy the requirements of divine worship; for the solemn and religious effects of music are not derived from melody, but from harmony. Melody, which involves few and simple relations of sound, is superficial in its influence on the feelings ; harmony, which involves numerous and complex relations, penetrates to the very depths of the soul. Harmony is the soul of music. Language appeals, in the first instance, to the head, and the effect of language is, accordingly, in proportion to the definiteness of the ideas which it conveys. But music appeals to the heart, and the effect of music is in proportion to the indefiniteness of the feelings which it excites. For the reasons which we have mentioned, the impression produced on the feelings by a melody is clear and intelligible, the impression produced by harmony is vague and mysterious. Harmony is thus pre-eminently adapted to sustain and deepen the feelings which the contemplation of the mysteries of religion inspires. One single chord of the organ is more powerful in this way than an entire melody. The most solemn ecclesiastical psalm tunes are almost devoid of melody. Indeed it is absolutely necessary in a good psalm tune, that there should not be any very striking melody, which would attract too much attention to itself, and weaken the general impression produced by the tune as a whole.
Thus, in the majority of our churches, that which mainly constitutes music the handmaid of religion is neglected, except in so far as it is supplied by the organ; and, as we have seen, the little that is attempted is badly done, and leads to pernicious consequences as regards the tunes employed.
In our schools the defective state of musical education is scarcely less apparent. In the great majority of schools of all classes singing is either taught very imperfectly, or is not taught at all as a part of the regular instruction. In ordinary cases, the most that has been accomplished is to teach the children the melody of a few hymn tunes and songs; and in some cases, which are not a few, even this much has not been done with any degree of success. A teacher, who had just taken charge of a school in one of the southern counties, described the attempt of the boys to sing the Morning Hymn as being like a continued buzzing in his ears for at least twenty minutes. The number of schools in which the children are taught systematically to read music from notes, and can sing simple sacred and secular tunes in parts, is comparatively small. To this the reports of Her Majesty's Inspectors of Schools bear testimony.
Then, again, the defective cultivation of the art is evinced in our social meetings, where it is usually a matter of much difficulty to get together the requisite number of singers for sustaining the parts of a glee or part-song: and in connection with this, we may notice the fact that the quantity of secular part-music issued from the houses of our music publishers is exceedingly small, in comparison with the quantity of secular solo-music. For every part-song that is published in London, there are at least a hundred solo-songs. Indeed, the music-publishers hesitate very much to publish part-music, there is so little demand for it. This would tell us plainly enough, if we did not already know it, that musical knowledge is not diffused among our people, but is confined to individuals scattered here and there. We are yet very far from that diffused acquaintance with the elements of the art which enables the people of Germany and Switzerland, when they meet together in an ordinary way, to enjoy the pleasure of uniting in the production of sweet harmony. It is under such circumstances that Music exerts her full social influence, inspiring the singers with the desire to feel and act in harmony through the perception of the harmony resulting from the
union of their voices, and thus knitting them together more closely in in the bonds of friendship and love.
It is consistent with this defective state of the cultivation of the art that the general standard of musical taste among the great body of our people is rather low. We cannot expect persons who have not received musical training to appreciate and enjoy classical music. The pleasure derived from music arises from the perception of beautiful relations existing among the sounds, and increases in proportion to the number of relations perceived. The ear in an untrained state is capable of perceiving only a few relations ; but, as it is trained, it becomes capable of perceiving more and more. Hence simple and striking melodies please the uncultivated ear most, while the cultivated ear seeks for more artistic and elaborate structures. Accordingly, there is very little demand for classical music in this country, as any music-publisher will tell you, but a comparatively large demand for ballads and dancemusic. While it is often difficult or impossible to obtain an English edition of a standard musical work, compositions such as “The Red, White, and Blue” and “ Pop goes the Weasel” are seen and heard everywhere. Enterprising publishers like Mr. Davidson and Mr. Novello, who would bring good music within the reach of the million, have to create the demand which they would supply ; but much is to be hoped for from their praiseworthy efforts.
This, then, is the defective side of our cultivation of the art. Musical education, like other education, is imperfectly diffused among the people, and it is necessarily in the rear of other education. On the other hand, it is gratifying to know that the pursuit of music by a portion of the community is marked not only by good general success, but by some points of peculiar excellence. Our professional musicians will bear a comparison with those of any country. We have always an abundance of native artists, vocalists and instrumentalists, capable of interpreting music of the highest class, although they labour under the heavy disadvantage of having to make way against a not unnatural prepossession of the public mind in favour of foreigners. By a large number of amateurs very great proficiency is attained both in vocal and instrumental music. Our choral societies, fostered by our great musical festivals, attain a degree of excellence in chorus-singing which is nowhere surpassed. In the singing of the great sacred choruses of Handel they are nowhere equalled. In the performance of the anthem and the glee, our cathedral choirs and glee-clubs have a skill which, like these two kinds of composition, is peculiar to this country. These facts inspire bright hopes as to the future progress of our nation in the cultivation of the musical art.
The limited extent to which music has hitherto been cultivated in this country is, to our inind, a sufficient explanation of the fact that we have had no native composers of superlative genius. It is self-evident that the chances of the growth of pre-eminent musical genius in any country are numerous in proportion to the area over which the cultivation of the art extends; and we consider that musical genius will always embody the characteristic musical feeling of the land of its birth and training; but that to be universal, it must possess and exert the power of concentrating and embodying the characteristic musical feeling of wide areas of civilized mankind. The most universal musical genius