National Music Week and Its Growing Significance
THE MUSIC FIELD
THE first week in May will see a more widespread observance of National Music Week than ever before.
The growth of the Music Week movement, now in its fourth year of nationalization, is shown by the fact that previous to the first national observance of the week in 1924, there had been only 150 cities that had ever held a Music Week. Last year 1400 cities and towns took part. From all indications and reports this number will be greatly exceeded the present year.
The Music Week movement has spread from one end of the country to the other and has evidently come to stay. The reason is that the people are awakening to a realization that music is needed by every one and has a place in every phase of daily life.
The music of the cultured few has expanded into the music of the eager many. Nor can there be any doubt that music is destined to play a larger part in our lives in the future than it has in the past. So it is but natural and appropriate that there should be some means whereby all classes and all ages may participate in music at one time. The city-wide Music Week seems to furnish the opportunity and its great success indicates that the people are ready to respond to a remarkable extent.
The strength of Music Week comes from the universal yet sometimes unconscious human need for music and participation ranges all the way from the elaborate concert and pageant to the simple home musicale with a place on the program even for the five-finger-exercise beginner.
It was Oliver Wendell Holmes who wrote: “Take a music bath once or twice a week for a few seasons. You will find it is to the soul what a water bath is to the body. It elevates and tends to maintain tone to one’s mind. Seek, therefore, every clean opportunity for hearing it. Purchase some kind of instrument for the home and see that its beneficent harmonies are often heard. Let music be as much a part of a day’s routine as eating or reading or working.”
With the increasingly diversified functions of music in modern life a wider understanding of the value of music has become more and more necessary. Music Week is but one factor in helping to extend this appreciation. Broadly democratic in its scope, it appeals to every one in the community and encourages all forms of musical expression both vocal and instrumental.
The cumulative power of an idea when its devotees concentrate their efforts in its behalf during a stated period can accomplish much that is of permanent value besides supplying temporary pleasure and inspiration. So with Music Week. And one of the definite purposes of the National Music Week Committee is to foster musical activities that will function permanently in the life of the community and the home.
To this end the local Music Week Committees are being helped to develop on a year-round basis the special activities started in connection with this particular week.