Through teaching we teach ourselves

“It is by teaching that we teach ourselves, by relating that we observe, by affirming that we examine, by showing that we look, by writing that we think, by pumping that we draw water into the well.”

—Henri Frederic Amiel.  Swiss philosopher, poet & critic.

H. F. Amiel, Amiel’s Journal, trans. H. Ward, London, Macmillan & Co, 1885, p. 65.  Digitally archived at, accessed 20 September 2021.




Featured Content

Don’t wish me luck
“From here on out, I declare that no one ever wish me again to ‘break a leg’”. Joyce DiDonato, American mezzo soprano, shortly after having broken a leg on stage in a production of The Barber of Serville at the Royal Opera House. DiDonato insisted on continuing the performance in a wheel chair. Source: Kirkup, […]
The cleansing power of music
Each art endeavors to isolate itself, to remain independent of all others. But a play without music is like a feast without wine. Music cleanses the soul from the dust and dross of every day life and seems to say to every one: ‘You are no longer in your office, in the barracks, or in […]
The development of keyboard technique
Before the time of Bach, keyboardists would often only use the middle three fingers of each hand and tended to keep their hands flat. Bach taught his students under the new principle of using all the fingers. Beethoven asked his pupils to curve the hand. Source: Marek, George (1969) Beethoven: Biography of a Genius. London: William […]
What Cage couldn’t stand
“John Cage once said he couldn’t abide the Dominant Seventh, and the saxophone.” Ned Rorem (2000) Lies: A Diary 1986-1999.  Cambridge: MA: Da Capo Press, p.65.
Schubert’s progress
Schubert’s report card in in the Music of the Court Chapel Choir-Boys in the I. & R. Seminary, 1st term, 1809: Name Morals Studies Singing Pianoforte Violin Remarks Schubert Franz v. good good v. good good v. good A musical talent Report card for the Scholars of the First Grammar Class at the University Preparatory […]
Conducting gloves
The practice of wearing white gloves whilst conducting was common in the nineteenth century. The Musical times reported in July 1884 that: “A German conductor,” we are told, “in order that the public may be more deeply impressed with the feeling of grief intended to be produced by the Funeral March in Beethoven’s ‘Eroica Symphony,’ wears […]
Examination findings
Some curious answers for the Society of Arts published in the Musical Times (English Journal), July 1888: The Examiner’s report on the papers worked by the candidates in the recent Theoretical Examinations of the Society of Arts shows some very curious facts. … Mistakes in spelling have not been accredited with loss to to the […]
Lord,When Your Glory Appears (Setting II) – Psalm 16 (17)
Title: Lord, when your glory appears (Setting II) Text: Psalm 16 (17): 1, 5-6, 8, 15 Composer: Greg Smith Instrumentation: SATB and piano Product medium: PDF score and part Sample:
Whatever we are faced with, people will continue to create
Gus Fairbairn (aka Alabaster dePlume) on the challenges of the 2020 pandemic: There is an invitation for me to respond to this pandemic with frustration, but it has allowed me the time to not spend all summer playing festivals and actually focus on my own creativity. It’s all gold. Go forth in the courage of your love as […]
You Have Been Our Refuge – Psalm 89 (90)
TITLE: You Have Been Our Refuge (In Every Age, O Lord, You Have Been Our Refuge) TEXT: Psalm 89 (90):3-6, 12-14, 17 INSTRUMENTATION: SATB and piano PRODUCT MEDIUM: PDF score and part SAMPLE: