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Studio: international art — 11.1897

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The Lay Figure "At I Iodic" with Music

THE I \Y FIGURE "AT HOME" done for music what the Century Cuild did for

WITH MUSIC. decoration: that is, he has brought to light for-
gotten works of art, and set them forth daintily

"Decorative music!" said the Lay and delightfully. A sympathetic few will before

Figure musingly. " I rather distrust k discover a new movement and ignore his

that phrase; it is pretty, but like 'impressionist effortSj much as most chroniclers of the present

architecture,' one wonders if there is anything « t an(1 crafts> movement forget some of its

behind the title. pioneers, especially Messrs. Macmurdo, Selwyn

"Yes, 1 think there is such a thing, although Image5 Home, and the rest of The Hobby Horse
few modern composers have recognised it," said


the Enthusiast. « \ rather like your suggestion," the Man with


" 1)(» you mean to imply that Wagner's music is Clay pipe observed. " I think native music of all

not decorative?" said the Decadent with a drawl. countries, the old Wessex songs Mr. Baring Could

" I thought even the most artless art-craftsman to- has collected, the songs of the Czecks and of the

day found inspiration in Wagner. I am sure I read Muscovites, and the music of Japan, might be

some such statement lately." studied. Miyako Dori, the delightful collection

' I think," said the Enthusiastic Amateur who which Mr> paul Bevan issued in our own notation,


had launched the phrase "decorative music" wm give you an idea of the charm of the latter,

among a crowd of designers and writers, " I think Surely for domestic music we might hark back to

what I mean is that we might go back in music to these and other sources. Wagner does not fit a

the earliest fine flowering of the art, and develop suburban drawing-room, he is several sizes too

it anew, much as we have gone back to the sim- large . yet music is a polite art we are in danger

plicity of early stained glass and Italian sculpture 0f banishing to professional experts instead of

of the Donatello period, and to Cimabue, Giotto, keeping in daily life."

Durerand the rest, instead of trying to carry farther « The opera [s the fresco," said the Journalist,

the efforts of Brahms or Wagner. In short, not to c< the symphony, the cathedral, the sonata, the

take as our starting point the musical equivalent of sculpture of music. Isn't that what you mean r

the last magnificence of the Gothic Perpendicular, That all these forms suit public monuments, palaces

the Italian Renaissance, or the Rococo of Rubens anj tne 1^ Dut don't go particularly well with a

or Michel Angelo. ^5o house."

" I wouldn't even try the latter if I were you," « Something like that," said the Enthusiast,

said the Man with a Clay Pipe sneeringly; "it would «an(j you cannot satisfy the appetite of the cul-

really be unfair to your own individuality, and to tured iayman by reproductions of old work alone.

Michel Angelo, to base yourself on him." He wants, and has a right to expect, new creations

"But where are your art-and-crafty tunes to be in music that are in the mood of to-day."
found?" said the Decadent. "Not in England "Surely he has the song with waltz refrain and

surely. Purcell bores one to death ; he wrote ' Rule sufficient inanity already," said the Decadent.
Britannia,' didn't he? I should have thought that « Yes ; musical equivalents of the cheap chromo

was much too beef-inspired for your taste." lithograph and the halfpenny Christmas card,"

" I think," said the Enthusiast, "that you should the Enthusiast replied. "I want the etching, the

add to your unparalleled ignorance of things artistic Morris cretonne, the Voysey wall paper, and the

a new section specially devoted to music. Do rest to find their exponents in music."
you know the Purcell of the Yorkshire Feast Song; « When you ask for it see that you get it,"

the dances and airs of William Byrd; in short, the said the Journalist flippantly. "How would you

people who fitted music and tunes to the masques begin?"

and lyrics of Campion and the rest that you are " Possibly by re-introducing the spinet, the

never weary of praising?" harpsichord, viol d'amore, viol de gamba and the

"If I did, I have forgotten them. Are they rest," said the Enthusiast; "and so to re-impose

like the dreamy, poetic stuff Arnold Dolmetsch forgotten limitations, as the pioneers of decorative

plays at his concerts? I rather liked some things art re-imposed them in confident hope that alter a

he does," the Decadent said meekly. period of imitation antique the new growth would

"The pieces of music he has revived are splendid appear without conscious effort as it has in decora-
examples on which I base my theory," said the tion based on precedent, but not slavishly obedient
Enthusiast. "I think Mr. Dolmetsch has really to pedantic rules." the Lay figure.
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