His words ring so truly in contrast to the arm slapping style in which Indians describe their classical music, as greater than the greatest. It is undoubtedly great, that is not what I dispute. Just read his theory. I agree
How true it is that to every music lover and learner there is a grade of music in which he lives, so to speak â€” where he feels most at home and enjoys himself best. When he hears or studies music that is above that grade, if he is sensible he simply says : " That is above me; I am not there yet." If he is not sensible, he is liable to say : " There's no music in that." The conversation of two gentlemen at one of our recent Thomas concerts is a good illustration of that condition of things. One says: " Do you call that music? " The other answers: "Yes; and the best there is â€” it is a composition by Wagner." To which his friend responds: ' Well, for my part, I think Wagner had better stick to his sleeping cars, and let music alone." People change their musical homes, or rather add to them, as they progress in musical appreciation. At first they care only for the little way-side flowers and simple scenery of the land of tonic, dominant and subdominant. They regard the musical world outside of that boundary as a kind of desert, entirely unfit to live in, and I may add once more, what has often been said in substance, that many people remain in this musical condition all their lives. But those who progress, begin, by and by, to see some beauty in the sturdier growths and the more varied scenery, and after awhile realize that the still unexplored regions beyond may be yet more beautiful when they are reached. But here there is a danger. People in this state are apt to grow conceited, and to despise the simple conditions
they once enjoyed. " Unworthy, narrow and bigoted " are the proper terms to apply to such. The way-side flower has its place in the economy of God's creation as truly as the oak, and the little hill and the brooklet are as truly beautiful as the mountain and torrent are grand. " But," some one says, " there is so much trash in the simple music of the day." There is trash at every musical grade, even to the highest. How much that is grotesque and senseless is seen in the ambitious attempts of those who follow Wagner, or would rival him in new paths, but have nothing of his transcendent genius. Such are usually among the despisers of the elementary conditions through which all must pass, and in which a majority of the music-loving world must always be. "Trash" of course; so there are offensive plants and flowers and disagreeable scenes, but the proportion is small, and I contend that most of the simple music that lives is no more trash than Mozart's " O dolce concento" or "Rousseau's Dream," than which nothing is written that is simpler or more perfect.