Todd Allyn Music Group

The Tood Allyn Music Group is here to
bring you some of the greatest sounds of
the underground.
Hip hop or hip-hop is a subculture and art movement developed in South Bronx in New York City during the late 1970s. While people unfamiliar with hip hop culture often use the expression "hip hop" to refer exclusively to hip hop music (also called "rap"), Hip hop is characterized by nine distinct elements or expressive realms, of which hip hop music is only four elements (rapping, djaying, beatboxing and breaking). Afrika Bambaataa of the hip hop collective Zulu Nation outlined the pillars of hip hop culture, coining the terms: "rapping" (also called MCing or emceeing), a rhythmic vocal rhyming style (orality); DJing (and turntablism), which is making music with record players and DJ mixers (aural/sound and music creation); b-boying/b-girling/breakdancing (movement/dance); and graffiti art, which he called "aerosol writin'", although many say that the graffiti that hip hop adopted had been around years earlier, and had nothing to do with hip hop culture. Other elements of hip hop subculture and arts movements beyond the main four are: hip hop culture and historical knowledge of the movement (intellectual/philosophical); beatboxing, a percussive vocal style; street entrepreneurship; hip hop language; and hip hop fashion and style, among others.

The South Bronx hip hop scene emerged in the 1960s and 1970s from neighborhood block parties thrown by the Ghetto Brothers, a Puerto Rican group that has been described as being a gang, a club, and a music group. Members of the scene plugged in the amplifiers for their instruments and PA speakers into the lampposts on 163rd Street and Prospect Avenue and used their live music events to break down racial barriers between African-Americans, Puerto Ricans, Whites and other ethnic groups. Jamaican immigrant DJ Kool Herc also played a key role in developing hip hop music. At 1520 Sedgwick Avenue, Herc mixed samples of existing records and deejayed percussion "breaks", mixing this music with his own Jamaican-style "toasting" (a style of chanting and boastful talking over a microphone) to rev up the crowd and dancers. Kool Herc is credited as the "father" of hip hop for developing the key DJ techniques that, along with rapping, founded the hip hop music style by creating rhythmic beats by looping "breaks" (small portions of songs emphasizing a percussive pattern) on two turntables. This was later accompanied by "rapping" or "MCing", a rhythmic style of chanting or speaking poetry/lyrics, and beatboxing, a percussive vocal technique used to create beats to go along with an MC or rappers' rhymes. An original form of dancing called breakdancing, which later became accompanied by popping, locking and other dance moves, which was done to the accompaniment of hip hop songs played on boom boxes and particular styles of hip hop dress and hair also developed.

Art historian Robert Farris Thompson describes the youth from the South Bronx in the early 1970s as "English-speaking blacks from Barbados" like Grandmaster Flash, "black Jamaicans" like DJ Kool Herc who introduced the rhythms from Salsa (music), as well as Afro conga and bongo drums, as well as many who emulated the sounds of Tito Puente and Willie Colón. These youths mixed these influences with existing musical styles associated with African-Americans prior to the 1970s, from jazz to funk. Hip hop music became popular outside of the African-American community in the late-1980s, with the mainstream commercial success of Beastie Boys, The Sugarhill Gang, Grandmaster Flash and then emerging hip hop movements such as the Native Tongues, Daisy Age and then later (in the early 1990s) gangsta rap. Critic Greg Tate described the Hip Hop movement as "the only avant-garde still around, still delivering [a] shock" of newness to the wealthy bourgeoisie. Ronald Savage, known by the nickname Bee-Stinger, who was a former member of the Zulu Nation, coined the term "Six elements of the Hip Hop Movement". The "Six Elements of the Hip Hop Movement" are: Consciousness Awareness, Civil Rights Awareness, Activism Awareness, Justice, Political Awareness, and Community Awareness in music. Ronald Savage is known as the Son of The Hip Hop Movement. Hip Is The Culture and Hop is The Movement.

Hip hop culture has spread to both urban and suburban communities throughout the United States and subsequently the world. These elements were adapted and developed considerably, particularly as the art forms spread to new continents and merged with local styles in the 1990s and subsequent decades. Even as the movement continues to expand globally and explore myriad styles and art forms, including hip hop theater and hip hop film, the four foundational elements provide coherence and a strong foundation for hip hop culture. Hip hop is simultaneously a new and old phenomenon; the importance of sampling tracks, beats and basslines from old records to the art form means that much of the culture has revolved around the idea of updating classic recordings, attitudes, and experiences for modern audiences. Sampling older culture and reusing it in a new context or a new format is called "flipping" in hip hop culture. Hip hop music follows in the footsteps of earlier African-American-rooted musical genres such as blues, jazz, rag-time, funk, and disco to become one of the most practiced genres worldwide. It is the language of urban environments and the youth around the world, many who do not know what Hip Hop (the consciousness which makes up the collective culture of Hip Hop) is or what it means to "Be Hip Hop" , have recently begun to attribute being Hip Hop with being black, however that is race , not culture and not consciousness. as KRS-One says "Hip Hop is the only place where you see Martin Luther King Jr. s; 'I have a dream speech' in real life" and "To be Hip Hop you have to have the courage to be you and be Hip Hop all the time not just when it's popular or convenient, and have repped it when it wasn't and you were the only one repping it." He also notes that Hip Hop is beyond something as simple minded as race or gender or nationality, it belongs to the world.






The following lectures were delivered to music students between the
years 1907 and 1915. They have been partly rewritten so as to be
intelligible to a different audience, for in all cases the lectures were
followed by a discussion in which various points not dealt with in the
lectures were elucidated.

An experience of eight years in organizing a training course for
students who wish to teach ear-training on modern lines to classes of
average children in the ordinary curriculum of a school has shown me
that the great need for such students is to realize the problems, not
only of musical education, but of _general_ education.

Owing to the nature of all art work the artist is too often inclined to
see life in reference to his art alone. It is for this reason that he
sometimes finds it difficult to fit in with the requirements of school
life. He feels vaguely that his art matters so much more to the world
than such things as grammar and geography; but when asked to give a
reason for his faith, he is not always able to convince his hearers.

He feels with Ruskin that:

'The end of Art is as serious as that of other beautiful things--of the
blue sky, and the green grass, and the clouds, and the dew. They are
either useless, or they are of much deeper function than giving

But he has not always the gift of words by means of which he can
describe this function.

We want our artists, and their visions, and those of them who can
realize a perspective in which their art takes its place with other
educative forces are among the most valuable educators of the rising

_January, 1916._


CHAP.                                                      PAGE

   I. THE TRAINING OF THE MUSIC TEACHER                      9



  IV. THE SOL-FA METHOD                                     26


  VI. THE TEACHING OF SIGHT-SINGING                         35

VII. THE TEACHING OF TIME AND RHYTHM                       40

VIII. THE TEACHING OF DICTATION                             43



  XI. THE TEACHING OF TRANSPOSITION                         60


XIII. THE TEACHING OF THE PIANO                             70

        DEPARTMENT                                          79



Let us consider the case of a young girl who has finished her school
education, and has supplemented this by a special course of technical
work in music, which has ended in her taking a musical diploma. She now
wishes to teach. What are the chief problems which she will have to
face? She must first of all make up her mind whether she wishes to
confine her work to the teaching of a solo instrument, together with
some work in harmony or counterpoint, along orthodox lines, or whether
she wishes to be in touch with modern methods of guiding the _general_
musical education of children, as taken in some schools in the morning
curriculum. If the latter, she must enter on a course of special

There is also a practical reason why many who wish to teach music at the
present time are entering a training department. In a paper recently
issued by the Teachers' Registration Council we find the following
paragraph dealing with 'Conditions of Registration':

'The applicant must produce evidence satisfactory to the Council of
having completed successfully a course of training in the principles and
methods of teaching, accompanied by practice under supervision. The
course must extend over a period of at least one academic year or its

Now, those who have studied the question of the teaching of music in
accordance with modern methods have realized that music provides a
_language,_ which should be used primarily for self-expression and
intercourse with others. The whole of life depends on the expression of
ourselves in relation to the community. 'Self-expression is a universal
instinct, which can only be crushed by a course of systematic ill
treatment, either self-inflicted or inflicted by others. It is
self-inflicted if we conform to false standards of convention, or create
for ourselves a standard of life which is out of touch with humanity as
a whole. It is inflicted by others if they force us when young into a
wrong educational atmosphere, and paralyse our faculties instead of
developing them.

To the favoured few real creative power comes by instinct, but to a
great many a small degree of this power can be given by education, and
in this way an extra outlet is possible for self-expression. The child
should be trained when quite young to think in terms of music, in the
same way in which it is trained to think in its mother-tongue. The
fundamental work should be taken in class, not at an individual lesson,
and should be compulsory for all children. We do not inquire whether a
child is gifted in languages before we teach him French, and we must not
ask whether he is gifted in the language of music before placing him in
the music class. Again, short frequent lessons are more beneficial to
the young beginner than longer lessons at greater intervals, for, as a
new 'sense' is being opened to the pupil, a long lesson produces an
unhealthy strain.

The scheme of work to be followed in such a class will be dealt with
later, but we may note here that training given in accordance with the
above-mentioned aim will produce a marked increase in the vitality and
general intelligence of a child. The reflex actions of intense
concentration for a short time, followed by the giving out of creative
work, will send a child back to its other lessons with an alert mind and
with increased vigour.

A large number of schools and private families are offering posts to
teachers who are able to teach along such lines. Every year the number
of such posts steadily increases, and it will not be too much to predict
that in the near future few schools in the first rank will be without
teaching of this kind. The salaries offered are naturally higher than
those obtained by the old-fashioned 'orthodox' teacher, as more has to
be done, and classes have to be managed instead of individual pupils.

It is impossible to over-estimate the importance of securing plenty of
experience in teaching classes of average pupils of all ages, under
expert supervision. Many an apparently promising teacher has come to
grief in the first post taken, because the knowledge gained has been too
theoretical, and has not been checked by class experience with really
average pupils. The question of discipline is an easy one with an
individual pupil, but in class work it assumes a different proportion.

For the purpose of teaching ear-training, without instrumental work, a
high degree of musical gift is not necessary. Any one who is fond of
music, sympathetic with children, and willing to work, can manage the
course of work necessary before being able to teach classes up to a fair

The work, which often appears bewilderingly difficult to one who sees it
for the first time, becomes quite simple when approached step by step,
and in company with fellow students. It is also interesting to know that
some of the most satisfactory results obtained in certain schools during
the last few years have been arrived at by teachers possessing only an
average knowledge of an instrument, but who have thrown themselves with
enthusiasm into the study of music as a living language. Such teachers
are bound to succeed, because they are attacking the subject in a
genuinely educational spirit.

A word now on another aspect of the question of training. There is going
to be an enormous difference in the young girl's outlook on life. For
perhaps the first time she has to adopt the attitude of the one who
gives, not of the one who receives. Hitherto she has been receiving
food, clothes, money, education, help in her difficulties, &c., and now,
Fate waves a wand, and the child who has been the centre of interest in
her home and in her school has to learn to give--and to give
generously--as others gave to her.

For the real teacher is never paid for all she does. Her salary is not
augmented in proportion to all the extra help she gives to the backward
or delicate pupil--to the hours of drudgery, outside school hours,
willingly given in order to be prepared for every eventuality of school
life. Such things are never paid for in money, the only reward is in the
partial realization of the standard attempted.

Another point. The ideal teacher must have real personality, and this is
a thing of slow growth, but which can be developed under expert
guidance. There must be sympathy, tact, and humour. In adopting the
attitude of the giver instead of the receiver the young teacher is too
apt to put away the remembrance of childish difficulties, and to forget
the restless vitality which made her, as a child, long to fidget, and do
anything but learn.

There is another thing to bear in mind. The majority of amateurs are
never subject to the same criticism as the professional. Everything is
'watered down'. 'Very good' has often been the verdict of the critic,
but an unspoken addition has been--'for an amateur'.

Now in a training department one of the most valuable points of the
training consists in the outspoken comments. And this does not only
refer to musical work, but to personal faults. We all know that if a
mannerism does not interfere with the unity of a strong personality, it
may be left alone. But there are some mannerisms which merely express
the weaknesses of those who possess them, and which spoil the expression
of the personality. These must be cured, and will be faithfully dealt
with in the training department.

Lastly, if the course of training be taken in connexion with a school,
opportunities will be afforded of getting an insight into general
organization and schemes of work for children of all ages.

An accusation often levelled at the musical members of a staff is that
they keep to themselves, and do not identify themselves with the general
school life. In some cases this may be due to lack of willingness, but
in the large majority it is due to lack of training in, and realization
of, the unity of such life.

A student who takes every opportunity given to her during her year of
training will not only learn how to organize the general musical life of
a school, through the medium of ear-training and song classes, recitals,
music clubs, &c., but will be ready and proud to show initiative in
other directions.

We cannot do without the visions of our artists, and a country or a
school, is the poorer when full use is not made of the driving force of
artistic inspiration.



The musical work in a school falls roughly into four divisions:

1. Ear-training, leading on in later stages to harmony, counterpoint,

2. Voice production and songs.

3. Instrumental work.

4. Concerts, music clubs, &c.

To take these in order:

1. _Ear-training._

When the necessity for this work has been realized the next step is to
consider how the time can be found for it in the school curriculum.
Those who have seen some of the results in schools which have taken the
work for some years are sometimes inclined to think that a large
expenditure of time has been involved. But, provided the children have
begun the training when quite young, it is neither necessary nor
desirable for them to have more than one forty-minute lesson a week
after they have reached the age of twelve years. We must remember that
in all 'language' work the ideal plan is to begin with very short and
fairly frequent lessons. Ear-training which is to be treated on the
lines suggested will be opening up a new 'sense' to the pupil, and the
concentration necessary is such that the children cannot stand the
strain of a long lesson.

The following lengths of lessons are therefore advisable:

For children from four to seven years of age, a quarter of an hour four
days a week.

From eight to twelve years of age, twenty minutes three days a week.

From thirteen years of age upwards, forty minutes once a week.

Now as to schemes of work.

For those between the ages of four and seven the time should be spent in
singing at sight easy melodies in major keys, and in ear tests of two or
three notes at a time.

For those between eight and twelve sight-singing in minor keys and in
two parts should be added, also the dictation of melodies and of
two-part tunes. When this work is securely grasped the treatment of
chords can begin, also extemporizing of melodies with the voice,
together with transposition and harmonizing of easy phrases at the

For children of thirteen years and upwards the above can be continued,
together with sight-singing in three parts, dictation in three and four
parts, extemporizing at the piano, and more definite work in harmony,
counterpoint, and elementary composition.

After the age of fourteen it is well to make the work voluntary. By this
time it is possible to distinguish between children who are sufficiently
interested in music to make it worth while for them to continue the
work and those who will be more profitably employed in other directions.
The latter will have learnt how to take an intelligent interest in
music, and how to 'listen' when music is being performed. The classes
will now become smaller, an advantage for the more detailed work.

It is important to note that the best results in ear-training will only
be obtained if the classes do not exceed twenty-five pupils in number.

2. _Voice Production and Songs_.

These classes can be larger without prejudice to the work, but the above
classification as to age is desirable. Children between four and seven
years of age will probably learn songs connected with their kindergarten
work, so it is difficult to say exactly the amount of time to be spent
in song lessons, as the work will overlap. Those between eight and
twelve should have one song and voice production lesson a week, of not
less than twenty minutes. Those over thirteen will probably be working
at more difficult songs, and will need not less than thirty minutes once
a week.

3. _Instrumental Work_.

It is very desirable that all children up to the age of eight who are
learning an instrument should do so in a _class_ for the first year,
rather than in individual lessons. Much of the fundamental work at an
instrument can become wearisome to a young child unless taken in company
with others of the same age.

A practical consideration involved is that this makes it possible to
charge a smaller fee for each pupil, and this fact may influence a
parent to let a child begin an instrument earlier than would otherwise
be the case.

It has been found that children started in this way develop much more
rapidly than if they had individual lessons. The stimulus of class work
for the average child cannot be over-estimated.

When this preliminary year's work is over, the child can go on either to
three twenty-minute lessons a week by itself, or two half-hours. If
ear-training is being done at the same time, it is possible to shorten
the amount of instrumental practice each day. In few cases should it be
allowed to exceed half an hour up to the age of thirteen, and in many
cases twenty minutes is found sufficient.

After the age of thirteen it is again possible, as was the case with the
ear-training work, to distinguish between the musical children and the
others. The former should increase the amount of practising each day;
the latter, if they continue to learn, should not exceed half an hour.
The piano lessons will in most cases consist of two half-hours a week.

4. _Concerts, Music Clubs, &c._

It is a good plan to arrange for a short recital to be given every term,
at which not only the more advanced pupils will play, but children at
all stages of development. It is wise to insist on all music being
played by heart, as in this way an invaluable training will be given
from the very first.

In the case of a prize-giving or large school function it is of course
necessary to show only the best work.

A music club is a great stimulus to the musical life of a school. A good
plan is to arrange a series of short lectures on such subjects as the
origins of harmony, acoustics, the chief difference between music of
different schools and periods, &c., and to follow these by accounts of
the lives and works of the great composers. Children are delighted to
come to such meetings, especially if their aid be asked in illustrating
the lectures by playing specimens of the music referred to.

In the organization of musical work in a school it is of the utmost
importance that there should be a central musical authority, responsible
for bringing all those engaged in the teaching into touch with each
other. If this be done, not only will overlapping of work in the various
classes and lessons be avoided, but a driving force of musical
comradeship will be initiated which will produce a genuine musical



It is perhaps more rare to find a successful teacher of songs than of
any other subject in the school curriculum. There are many reasons for
this. In many cases a visiting teacher takes the work, who finds it
difficult to learn the names of all the children in one lesson a week,
and who therefore starts at a disadvantage. Then the size of the class
for songs is always larger than that of classes in other subjects, and
there is therefore more inducement to inattention on the part of the

Nothing is more pitiful than to see a young, inexperienced mistress
grappling with a large class of healthy, restless children, who know
from experience that the weekly song lesson may be turned to good
account for their own little games!

There is, of course, the born teacher, who sends an electric shock
through the room directly she enters it, and who, without asking for it,
secures instant silence and eager attention. Such people are rare, and
it must be our task now to give a few practical suggestions to those
less fortunate people who do not possess the innate gift, but who are
willing to learn.

To begin with, the teacher of songs must have real personality; and if
she does not possess this by nature, she must do her best to develop
what she has. She must be full of vitality, she must understand
children, and, above all, she must be genuinely fond of music, in such a
way that she cannot do without it. The last qualification often implies
a certain sensitiveness, which finds a difficulty in accommodating
itself to a workaday world, where people have little time, or
inclination, to study the 'moods' of others. Very artistic people are a
well-known difficulty to the authorities of schools. In order to excel
in their art, they must not only have a 'capacity for taking pains', but
a reserve store of emotional force, on which they draw for
self-expression through their art. Now the possession of such a reserve
store does not always imply a power of keeping it in reserve! During the
course of training the attention of such people should be directed to
the high ideals underlying all true educational work; they should
realize the real function of music in education--that it is not to be
taken as a mere accomplishment, or technical art, but as a means of

We will now consider a special case. Let us suppose that a new mistress
is taking a song lesson with a large class of children, who have the
reputation of being troublesome to manage. On entering the classroom it
is a good plan to go straight to the platform, without speaking a word
to the children on the way, whatever they may be doing. From this
vantage ground the teacher should look the class over for a few seconds,
still without speaking. There is nothing more impressive to a restless
class than the sight of a mistress not in the least disturbed by their
doings, yet taking everything in. If the mistress has cultivated a sense
of repose and self-confidence this action on her part will produce the
feeling of a centre of force in the room--and the force will radiate
from her. The children, without knowing exactly what has happened, will
feel different, and will be pliant and easy to manage. Directly the
mistress is conscious of this change of atmosphere she can start the
lesson. But she must now gradually merge her personality into that of
the class--she must work _with_ them, not outside them. It is difficult
to put this idea into words, but all real teachers will see the meaning.
There is no driving force to equal that which works from within a
community--not from without.

Now for the lesson itself.

It should start with a few simple exercises in voice production.
Excellent suggestions for these will be found in a little book called
_Class Singing for Schools_, with a preface by Sir Charles Stanford,
published by Stainer & Bell, also in the Board of Education Memorandum
on Music. A special point must be dwelt on. Children should never be
allowed to use the chest register. Their voices should be trained
downwards. In the singing of scales there should be a leap to, or a
start on, a note high enough to be out of the chest register--such as
the high E[b]. The descending scale should then be sung. Breathing
exercises should be taken at the beginning of the lesson. A good
exercise is to exhale on the sound 'sh'. The children will stand in easy
positions for this, the hands on the ribs, so that they can feel the
ribs expanding and contracting during inhalation and exhalation. The
shoulders should be kept down. The advantage in using the sound 'sh' is
that the teacher can thereby tell how long each child makes its breath

When these exercises are finished, and a few scales and passages have
been sung, the class should sit down while the teacher speaks about the
new song to be sung. In schools where sight-singing is taken as part of
the regular curriculum it is not necessary to work at this in the song
class. In beginning a new song the chief thing is for the teacher to get
the class to seize the spirit of it. If difficult words occur, they may
be explained later, but it is absolutely essential that the children
shall get hold of some idea which they can express in singing.

Mr. W. Tomlins, who came over from New York in order to show some of his
methods for dealing with large classes, produced some admirable results.
He worked up the enthusiasm of his classes to such an extent that the
effect of their singing was electrical; and it was all due to the few
words he said before the song was sung, not to any corrections he made
later. It is not necessary for a teacher to _conduct_ the songs all the
time during the lesson, or the fact that the class is expected to watch
the baton tends to make them rigid in their attitudes, and therefore, to
a certain extent, in their singing. The best results are obtained when a
class stands to sing. Some well-meaning teachers forget that the
children have probably been sitting in their classrooms for the greater
part of the morning, and are only too glad to stand for a change. They
can sit between the songs, when finding their places, and so on.

Songs should be chosen in which the pitch is not too low. Many people
have the mistaken idea that young children cannot sing high. Listen to
their shouts in the playground, to the notes they use when calling to
each other, and this idea will soon be corrected. The lowest note in the
voice of a young child is generally E, and it can take the high F or G
quite easily.

Droners should not be allowed to sing with the rest of the class, or the
pitch will be lost at once, to say nothing of the spoiling of the
general effect.

Flat singing is often due to bad ventilation of the room, more often
still to boredom. A good plan in this case is to raise the pitch a
semitone; it is often just as easy for singing, and invariably produces
a sense of cheerfulness.

Children should never be allowed to sing loudly, especially when very
young. It is most difficult to cure the habit when once formed.
Attention should be paid to articulation from the very first. A useful
lesson is taught the class if, from time to time, half of them go to the
end of the room, and, with closed books, listen to their companions
singing a verse of a song which is new to them. The difficulty they
experience in following the words will not soon be forgotten.

Attacks should be absolutely precise. The two-and three-part
contrapuntal singing which is done in the sight-singing classes is
admirable for this, as the whole effect is blurred or entirely spoilt
in such clear-cut work by a false entry.

For all large school functions, such as a prize-giving, the songs should
be sung by heart. This is not necessary in ordinary class work, as the
aim there is to teach as many good songs as possible, in order to form a
standard of real musical literature. But at the set performance nothing
is more delightful than to see children rise, and, without any flapping
of pages, or uncomfortable attitudes for seeing the words in a book,
sing straight from their hearts. However simple the music or the words,
the effect will be well worth the little additional trouble.

Our last consideration is that of the songs to be chosen to learn.
Little children should rarely sing anything but unison songs.
Folk-songs, such as those edited by Cecil Sharp and others, and, for the
very little ones, traditional nursery rhymes and game songs are the
best. From the ages of ten to fourteen years such books as Boosey's
_National Songs_ or _Songs of Britain_ should be the staple work, while
for older children the great classical songs may be added. A good book
for these is the _Golden Treasury_, published by Boosey.

Songs by living composers should be strictly limited in number, though
not excluded. These have not stood the test of time. We teach
Shakespeare in our literature classes, not a modern poet--the essays of
Bacon, not those of a modern essayist. And our reason is that the only
way to create a standard of taste is to take our children to the
classical fountains of prose and poetry. We must do the same in music.



To those who are not accustomed to the Sol-fa notation it appears at
first sight a useless encumbrance. Excellent arguments are produced for
this view. Many musical people can scarcely remember when they could not
sing at sight and write melodies from dictation. They picked up this
knowledge instinctively, and cannot see why others should not do the
same. Unfortunately everybody has not proved able to do so, hence a
multitude of 'methods' for teaching them.

The most familiar of these consisted in trying to teach the pupil to
sing intervals, _as_ intervals, at sight. Thirds, fifths, sixths, &c.
were diligently practised. But pupils did not always find it easy to
sing these intervals from all notes of the scale, unless in sequence.
The major third from _doh_ to _me_ seemed easier than that from _fah_ to
_lah_, and so on. Thus in the majority of cases sight-singing in classes
resolved itself into the musical children leading, and the others
following. It is rare to find a large class in which there is not one
musical child, and the only sure test of progress is to make the less
musical children sing at sight alone from time to time.

Now, if those who have 'picked up' the knowledge of sight-singing
without knowing how they did it be asked to explain how they arrive at
their intervals, it will be found that _tonality_ plays a large part in
their consciousness. In other words, they are perfectly certain of their
key-note, and at any moment could sing it, even after complicated

This fact is the root of the Sol-fa system. The child is taught to think
of all the notes of the scale in relation to the key-note. A very
sensible objection is sometimes raised to this, i.e. that it must surely
entail a great deal of detachment from the matter in hand if the mind
has to grope for the key-note between every two consecutive notes of a
melody. But this process becomes automatic very quickly. We are not
conscious of references to the multiplication tables every time we do a
sum, yet we could not do the sum without these. And it is the same with
the Sol-fa system. The child need very rarely actually _sing_ the
key-note when considering another note, she refers the latter to it

There is one curious anomaly in the orthodox Sol-fa system, which has
caused a good deal of amusement to its critics, and has ended by causing
a cleavage on the part of many who are otherwise in cordial agreement
with the broad lines of the method. This is concerned with the treatment
of the minor key. The orthodox Sol-fa teacher relates the notes of the
minor scale, not to the key-note, but to the third of the scale, i.e. to
the key-note of the relative major. The confusion which this plan
produces in the sense of tonality can readily be imagined. When singing
in major keys the pupils are told to refer all notes to the key-note for
'mental effect', but in the minor key this is strictly forbidden. To
take an instance. In the scale of C major the child has been trained to
feel the sharp, bright effect of the note G, the fifth from the key-note
C. It would naturally feel the same effect for the note E in the key of
A minor, when related to the key-note A. But the orthodox Sol-fa teacher
says: 'No. You must feel the calm, soothing effect of E in relation to
C!' Can the child be _really_ trained in this way? If it were merely a
difference in detail of the treatment of the two modes this error could
be forgiven, but it is a difference in fundamental principle.

One of the many difficulties caused occurs in transposition on the
piano. When transposing from, say, C minor to F minor, the child must
first think in E[b] major, so as to get the pivot of reference, then in
A[b] major for the new pivot A[b]. Yet all the time its real sense of
pivot, which, be it noted, has been admirably trained by the Sol-fa
treatment of the major scale, is in favour of C and F respectively.

The method evolved for the minor key by those who wish to uphold the
fundamental principle of the key-note being the pivot of reference for
_all_ keys, major and minor, is a very simple one. It consists in giving
to the third and sixth of the harmonic form of the scale their logical
names of _maw_ and _taw_. The sixth of the ascending scale in the
melodic form will of course be the same in the minor as in the major.

There are two other points in the orthodox Sol-fa system which are
modified by those who wish to use it as a crutch to staff notation. The
first of these concerns the rather complicated time notation of all but
the first sets of exercises. Directly subdivisions of the beat are
introduced the notation becomes difficult to read without putting a
strain on the eyes. The little dots, dashes, commas, &c., worry
children. Experience has proved that when a class is ready for anything
beyond the very simplest time values it can leave the Sol-fa notation
altogether, and keep entirely to the staff notation. This is, of course,
an advantage, and is what is being aimed at.

The other point is connected with the use of what are called
'bridge-notes'. When a modulation is introduced which entails a fairly
long reference to a new key, the note leading directly to it is of
course accidental in the first key and diatonic in the second. This is
called a bridge-note, and must be thought of in two ways, first in the
old key, then in the new. Thus its name must be changed, as a prelude to
using the new pivot.

Now, in teaching staff notation it is neither wise nor necessary to
introduce extended modulations very early. The aim is to make it
possible for children to sing fairly easy melodies in all keys, major
and minor, with incidental modulations, as soon as possible--then to
revise the work, introducing more difficult modulations. This end will
be attained by deferring the use of bridge-notes until the children are
ready to sing melodies in the minor keys which
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