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characters which are addressed to the eye, and which constitute the visible symbols or signs by which musical relations are represented to the sense of sight, forms in reality but a small part (we might, indeed, say almost no part) of the science of music. Their relation to it may be illustrated by that of the alphabet to the science of language. The eye alone, it is true, can take cognizance of the forms of the letters, but beyond this, everything relating to the nature and power of letters, and their various arrangements and combinations in forming syllables and words, as well as everything else relating to the structure of language, is addressed primarily to the ear, or perhaps more properly comprehended by the mind.
If this view of the subject be correct, it will follow as a natural inference, that the principal qualification in a music teacher must be a correct and cultivated musical ear, and a mind familiar with the nature and various relations of musical sounds; and in the case of instrumental music, an acquaintance with the genius of the particular instrument intended to be taught. It will scarcely be contended, that these conditions cannot be met in the case of the blind. I am far from assuming that blindness is not in itself a real disadvantage, but then so are numerous other things that very successful teachers have to encounter, as for instance, the want of a knowledge of the language in which instruction is attempted to be communicated. And in vocal music, the want of compass, clearness, fullness, flexibility, or any other
of those qualities which go to constitute a good voice for singing. All these, and many more disadvantages that might be named, have been successfully met and overcome by teachers of music, who have, in spite of them, enrolled their names high on the list of fame.
I should hardly be justified, perhaps, in adverting to my own experience in this connection, and yet were the names of Oliva, Shaw, Lana, and others, (who, in spite of blindness, have distinguished themselves in this department,) blotted from the page of history, still I should have the consolation of knowing that if substantial attainments in the science and practice of music are of any value to mankind, I have not lived and labored in vain.
Mr. Lemuel Rockwell has been known to me for a little more than a year past. He has attended the lectures given to teachers of music in this place the present year, and also last year. I feel certain that he has a very thorough and accurate knowledge of music, and also that his taste and style of performance are highly creditable to him. Notwithstanding his want of sight, I believe him to be well qualified to teach singing schools; indeed, this is not saying quite enough, for if I am not very much in error, he is in an extraordinary degree qualified for such teaching. I have not any doubt but that, as a teacher, he will make himself uncommonly useful, and I feel as
if I could cordially recommend him to societies or communities in want of a teacher of a singing school. Let not the fact that he is blind prevent his being employed. Music is addressed to the ear-and it is this that is to be principally cultivated, (together with the voice,) in singing. Many teachers fail from the very fact that they rest satisfied with an explanation of those signs addressed to the eye, while they neglect the things signified in sounds addressed to the ear. I might say much more, but this must suffice. Try Mr. Rockwell, and you will soon know the rest. LOWEL MASON, of Boston. Rochester, N. Y., Sept. 19th, 1844.
This is also fully and cheerfully endorsed by Professors WEBB, JOHNSON, and RooT.
BY L. V. HALL, AND OTHER BLIND AUTHORS.
FROM THE REMINISCENCES OF UNCLE TOBY, PURPORTING TO HAVE BEEN FOUND AMONG THE PAPERS OF A DECEASED
One sultry eve in summer time
I sauntered forth to make some rhyme
Upon the moon, or some fair thing
About which poets love to sing:
The stars looked down but wondrous shy,
As if they half suspected I
Had come to sing, as oft I'd done,
And scorned my mission; well he might,
Or sadder still, had racked my brain,
The dust will fill a critic's eye,
So through it he cannot descry
The grossest error, right! 'twill do!
While frogdom, from her ugly throats
To mould it with a sculptor's skill,