HOW MUSICIANS ARE PROTECTED
By Charles G. Mortimer
on what principles lie bases his criticism. Is be concerned merely with stating his own personal likes and dislikes, or has lie always before his mind sonic ideal with which he consciously or unconsciously compares the i work that he is Studying. Sir Henry Hadow has recently put the matter in
ithis way. "Part of the function of criticism," Us eayS, "is to distinguish between the shallow little fashion which will have dried up to-morrow •and the unplumbed depths of geniue which will last for ever; and this function, if It Is to be of any service, it must a.ccomplish betimes. It is no use deferring arbitration until the parties have left the court."
A Difficult Ideal
No doubt Sir Henry, Ha.dow is right, but at the same time it is asking a good deal of the musical critic, who is generally tempted, if he is a prudent man, to leave himself a loophole for self-correction. It depends very much at what period of musical history the musical critic is horn. If he is born in a time Of revolution it Isas difficult for ie him to estimate the worth and stability of new types of music as of new types of polity or government. It should be possible, of course, for any educated man to forma a rough general idea he such matters, but mistakes will never be avoided. It is best to confess that a very rare gift of penetration is needed in such times of revolution to see the shape that matters will eventually take. Thet is the main reason why it is premattire to judge SO niuch of the ne\vest nulsic of to-day.
Theee Ni•cu-ks are themselves in a state of then iii composers are themselves Inaklug experiatents, They may be 801110 Promised Land, or they may have lost themselves in some blind alley.
Don't Ask Too Much: In other respects the art of criticism is not so .1.■eset with difficulty. For instance, olio who is thoroughly acquainted with and has had some time to study the output of an individual man, should certainly be able to say what are the best and what are the second-best achievements of the composer. Often, too, lie is able to expose eecond_rate mueic which is 1uasqueradlug under false colours owing to the temporary support of fashion. But it is a mistake to eel: too much of the crate. The more valuable work lie can perform is often in the expression of Ids own positive appreciation and interest in what he hears, for by this means he may illuminate the minds of others and kindle in them the sante fire which warms his own heart.
A ffiusioal "Who's Who" Material is now being collected for a rather imposing book called "Who's Who in Music"—a work which the Shaw Publishing Co., Ltd., is adding to its Standard Reference series. The editor is Sir Landon Ronald. This book will contain not only the names of those who are already well known to the public, hut also that host of "lesser stars" who add their radiance to the musical heavens. More than 30,000 questionnaire forme are being sent out and all members of the Performing Flights Society are being asked to supply the necessary information about themselves.
The membership of this latter society has now reached nearly 1200, and since the year 1026 the large majority of
(Continued at foot of next columns) British publishers have become members of this society. Perhaps a few words would not be amiss to explain once more the status and object of the P.R.S.
Protecting Musiciian's Money Its business is to protect copyright music and to see that composers receive payment for the performance of copyright works. This is a very right and necessary object in these days for two inain reasons; in the first place, there Is an increasing number of concert halls, dance halls, cinemas and the like, which use copyright music, and it is only fair they should be made to pay for the performance.
In the second place, one of the main sources of revenue for composers in times gone by has now, for some mysterious reason, dried up to a large extent—the sale of sheet music. On such sales composers receive a royalty in accordance with their contract with the publisher, unless, of course, they eell their work outright; but sheet music does not sell to-day in anything like the quantity that could once he expected, owing chiefly to what we may call the mechanical revolution. It must not be imagined for a moment that there is no sale for sheet music. On the contrary, millions of copies are sold, especially of the cheaper linsks of sixpenny and shilling music. But ihere Is not the same sale for music that is more highly priced, and the composer would obtain scanty reward for his labour and his success if he depended only upon this source of income. His performing rights to-day do (something to make up for the deficit, Melo Has Its Price If it is asked whence Is the money obtained to pay for these performing rights, the answer is, chiefly from the licences which proprietors of concert halls and the like are hound to take out from the society; or again, a fee must be paid for using copyright music in any way, where money is taken for the performance. Supposing, or instance, I organised a concert, and In order to entertain the audience availed myself of the work of three composers, A. B. and C., and supposing I charged for seats at My Concert. then it is only fair that the said composers should receive a share of the profits.
It will be remembered, perhaps, that a few years ago an attempt was made In Parliament to overthrow this state of affairs, but the manifest injustice of the Bill then introduced was detected on all hands and the whole scheme was thrown out.
English people are gradually being tutored not to feel any resentment if they are asked to pay for using musical ideas and the work of creative brains. These, after all, are products which must be paid for in the open market in the same way as other commodities or luxuries of life.
As regards the methods of the PALS. I paid a brief tour of inspection recently, by the courtesy of the secretary, and was allowed to see in operation the modern business of filing and checking all the detailed information that weirs into Copyright House in Margaret Street—an amazing hive of industry.
Recent Concerts Sheridan Russell gave a violoncello recital at the Wigmore /fall on Tuesday, April 16. He gave a good rendering of Brahms's F. major Sonata, but the best item of his concert was Boccherini's 13 flat concerto, which was handled with great charm and delicacy. He was accempanied by Mr Myers Foggin. On the satire date Raphael Lanes gave a violoncello recital at the Aeolian Hall. Mr Lanes is a pupil of Cabals and leading 'cellist in the famous Amsterdam Orchestra. He played a sonata of Schubert's which was originally written for an instrument called the arpeggione —which has long since become a musetun curiosity. However, it was played like a 'cello. Mr Lanes interpreted the sonata admirably, as well as Chopin's G minor sonata.
Oh Good Friday Sir Henry Wood conducted the Philharmonic Choir and the B.B.C. Orchestra in a performance of Bach's St John Passion; but a version of this music was used which entailed the addition of many instruments to the score which Bach never had in mind. The soloists were Eric Greene, Elsie Suddaby and Roy Holder:AM.
C. G, M.