ACANTHUS

MUSIC IN THE SERVICE OF MAN

PERCY GRAINGER - 'IN A NUTSHELL'.

- or something of Percy Grainger's 'fighting creed' -


1927. "I do not mean to exalt music over the other arts when I say that it is more largely than they are, an Art of Love..."


1942. "I feel that if we are to go on spending as much time (for instance in schools) as we do on music, that at least a considerable part of that music should fit us to face the complicated facts and problems of modern life (Cosmopolitanism, racial questions, aviation, chemistry, engineering & how other human forces & natural forces act & counteract)....If music is not going to play its part in making mankind more loving, compassionate, understanding, thoughtful, restrained, scientific & concentrated I do not know why we are giving so much time to it.....

"...I cannot do otherwise than judge all things (including music) by their relation to Peace and Love (or understanding, if one prefers that term to 'love')."


1924. "As I see it today, the greatest need of music today is the need of universalism in every aspect of the word. The only healthy thing today is to be able as far as possible to admire the products of all ages, all races, all styles and all schools"


1915. 'Grainger looked forward to a time when... "the bulk of civilised men and women will again possess sufficient mental leisure in their lives to enable them to devote themselves to artistic pleasures on so large a scale as do the members of uncivilised communities...Then the present gulf between the mentality of composers and performers will be bridged.'"


1939. "Music should belong to the people, and we can best bring them to an understanding and enjoyment of the greatest music through folk-music, the natural expression of the people."


1929. "I do not even care if the players are skilful as long as they sound the right individuals and keep the right intervals and keep the aforesaid tonal balance...so long as they play badly enough to Still Enjoy Playing."


1948. "Art should never compete, but only pile up."


Mail: sally@acanthus3.plus.com?subject=Percy Grainger in a Nutshell

Sally Brown

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