The Story of a Musical Life: An Autobiography

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John Church Company, 1891 - Composers - 256 pages

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Page 138 - I have said, when anything happened that could be voiced in a song, or when the heart of the Nation was moved by particular circumstances or conditions caused by the war, I wrote what I thought would then express the emotions of the soldiers or the people.
Page 100 - I am one who, from such resources as he finds within himself, makes music for the people, having always a particular need in view. This, it seems to me, is a thing that one may do with some success without being either a genius or a great composer.
Page 246 - So we're springing to the call from the East and from the West, Shouting the battle cry of freedom; And well hurl the rebel crew from the land we love the best, Shouting the battle cry of freedom.
Page 138 - ... the battle. In April, four months later, after the war was over, he had sufficiently recovered to travel, when he came to Franklin, as he stated, expressly to get the young ladies to finish the song, and relieve his ears. His wife and more than a dozen officers accompanied him. He found the ladies, and they sang and played the piece through for him in the presence of all the officers, and they wept like children.
Page 99 - It is easy to write correctly a simple song, but so to use the material of which such a song must be made that it will be received and live in the hearts of the people is quite another matter.
Page 101 - Later, when I took up the melody to harmonize it, it seemed so very simple and commonplace that I hesitated about setting the other parts to it. I finally decided that it might be useful to somebody, and I completed it, though it was not printed until some months afterward. In after years I examined it in an endeavor to account for its great popularity — but in vain. To the musician there is not one reason in melody or harmony, scientifically...
Page 98 - Convince a man against his will, he's of the same opinion still ; ' is that it ? Well, I like your spirit.
Page 29 - If my getting on so fast in a city like Boston seems unaccountable, I must explain again that music was in a very different condition then from what it is now. It was just emerging from the florid but crude melodies and the imperfect harmonies of the older time. Lowell Mason had but just commenced what proved to be a revolution in the "plain song...
Page 85 - Rosalie, the Prairie Flower" [1855] were the best known of those so written. It was not until I imbibed more of Dr. Mason's spirit, and went more among the people of the country, that I saw these things in a truer light, and respected myself, and was thankful when I could write something that all the people would sing.

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