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the beautiful in nature and art, in the revelations of Almighty Power in natural phenomena, and in the manifestation of artistic skill in the accumulated monuments of art; for such a characteristic will in all times increase the happiness, whilst it adds to the prosperity, of the nation.
Let us reverently hope that a country which has fulfilled some of the conditions of this distinction may also
reap some of its rewards. As the greatest living writer on art has expressed it, “ We may abandon the hope, or, if you like the words better, we may disdain the temptation, of the pomp and grace of Italy in her youth. For us there. can be no more the throne of marble, for us no more the vault of gold : but for us there is the loftier and lovelier privilege of bringing the power and charm of art within the reach of the humble and the poor ; and, as the magnificence of past ages failed by its narrowness and its pride, ours may prevail and continue by its universality and its lowliness.
“ The paintings of Raphael and of Buonarotti gave force to the falsehoods of superstition, and majesty to the imagination of sin; but our art may have for its task to inform the soul with truth, and touch the heart with compassion.
“ The steel of Toledo and the silk of Genoa did but give strength to oppression, and lustre to pride. Let it be for our furnaces and our looms, as they have already richly earned, still more abundantly to bestow comfort on the indigent, civilization on the rude, and to dispense through the peaceful homes of nations the grace and the preciousness of simple adornment and useful possession.”
The art of the future will recognize no feasts of the gods, nor martyrdoms of saints. “ We have no need of sensuality, no place for superstition or costly insolence.” But there is in us, as there has been in all great epochs of the world's history, a yearning after the beautiful in thought and language, and form and color ; and the country in which love of art is the most general, and its practice in the highest branches the most thorough, shall now, as in the past, be the representative to all future ages of the civilization of mankind.
AS A BRANCH OF EDUCATION IN OUR
BY J. BAXTER UPHAM, M. D.
BEFORE acceding to the request of your Honorable President that I would present to the Institute a paper upon the subject of musical instruction in our public schools, I felt bound to confess that all I should be likely to say on this occasion had already been said, at different times and in various forms, in my Official Reports as a member of the Music Committee of the Boston schools, and might mainly be found in the manuscript and published annals of the School Board. Premising this, I have endeavored to bring together the main points of these expressed views and opinions, and offer them, with such additions and modifications as my further experience can suggest, for the consideration of the Institute.
It is pleasant, in this connection, to recall to your minds the fact that just forty-two years ago, at the
first meeting of this Association, held in Representatives' Hall at the State House in Boston, a lecture was delivered by Mr. William C. Woodbridge, the eminent Geographer, urging the introduction and adoption of vocal music as a branch of common school education. Mr. Woodbridge had then just returned from an extensive tour of observation among the educational institutions of Europe, and brought back with him a confirmed conviction of the utility and easy practicability of such general musical instruction. He presented his opinions with much clearness and force, laboring earnestly and eloquently, as it was then necessary to do, to convince our educators and the community at large of the importance of his subject. He was fortunate in being able to illustrate his views by a class of pupils which he had trained for that purpose, and whose performances were then looked upon as a miracle of juvenile accomplishment. This effort of Mr. Woodbridge produced a profound impression at the time. By it the first impulse was given to music as a branch of common education in our schools in America.
In December, 1831, Mr. George H. Snelling, in behalf of a special committee appointed at his suggestion, presented to the Primary School Board of the city of Boston an elaborate report strongly urging the adoption of music as a regular study in our primary schools. This Report was, after much discussion, and not without serious opposition, accepted on the 17th of January, 1832, and its recommendations adopted. The experiment received a partial
trial, but the plan proposed was never fully carried into-effect. This was the first practical effort towards recognizing the claims of music as a branch of elementary instruction in the common schools in this country.
Shortly afterwards, the Boston Academy of Music was founded, having for one of its objects, as set forth in its first annual report published in 1833, to establish the instruction of vocal music in the public schools. At a meeting of the School Committee held on the 10th of August, 1836, a memorial was received from the government of the Academy supported by two petitions from sundry respectable citizens of Boston, praying that vocal music might be introduced as a branch of popular instruction into the schools of that city. This memorial was referred to a select committee of gentlemen competent to weigh and judge upon the merits of so important a question, who, after a patient and careful investigation of the whole matter, offered a report in its favor on the 24th of August, 1837. This report is signed by T. Kemper Davis as chairman of the committee, and is a most able and interesting document. On the 19th of September following the report, with its accompanying orders, was considered and accepted by the School Board, and the resolves as they came from the committee were passed. But, failing to obtain from the City Council the appropriations necessary to carry their plans into effect, the measure was, for the time, defeated. Meanwhile, one of the Professors of the Academy (the late venerable Dr.