Mirror of Literature,  12 (1828), 146–48.

Why Are Not the English a Musical People?





Astronomy, Music, Technology, Progress, Steam-power

    The essay begins: 'Astronomy, music, and architecture, are the floating topics of the day'. Discusses the second of these, regretting that 'nothing is done in England towards the advancement of music as a science'. Enquires: 'Why should we, who are marching in every other direction, stand still in this? But no; what Orpehus did with music, we are striving to accomplish by steam; what he effected by quietly touching his lyre, we study with the atmospheres and condensers of high and low pressure engines'. (146) Observes that if an Englishman were to play like Orpheus 'the disposal of Mr. Cross's menagerie [might] be no longer a question, since the animals might be allowed to ramble about the Strand' (147).

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