Bauhaus-Universität Weimar

Psychology of Music 
in the world of musical performance, especially in the phrasing, or 
what is generally called “playing with feeling.” One reason for this 
lies in the fact that for pitch and time we have absolute standards 
and deviations from these are readily checked and noted by teachers 
and performers. The need of training in this field is, however, just 
as great as in pitch or time. This is especially true as regards the 
necessity of isolating this factor and making it a special object 
of attack in the acquisition of musical skill. Improvement will lie 
largely in the consciousness of differences in intensity. The execu¬ 
tion of the differences is different for voice and each of the 
Reading of such an excellent recent book as Klein’s66 Great 
Women Singers I Have Known is irritating to the psychologist on 
account of the loose, airy, and emotional terminology that the 
writer uses. In all that has been written on phrasing in music, 
there seems to be very little embodying any scientific conception 
of the dynamics involved. We have the terms “loud” and “soft,” 
and all their cognates, equivalents, and shades; but nothing is 
said in regard to what constitutes loudness and only a little about 
its mastery. The time has come for analysis of the problem into 
its constituent factors, the measurement of capacity and the basing 
of training for the acquisition of the dynamic skills in music upon 
these ascertained factors. 
Indeed, the whole problem of dynamic aspect of the esthetics 
of music must be reviewed to show (1) what are the media for the 
expression of beauty through intensity, (2) what are the prevailing 
types of error, and (3) what new principles of art in this field can 
be discovered by the objective method. Basic to all these is the 
technical mastery of dynamic control. 
The intensity meter. There are various forms of so-called output 
meters available for this purpose. The types of meters used in 
radio studios are serviceable for training exercises. The intensity 
of any sound in a particular position before the microphone is 
registered in terms of decibels. 
Three types of exercises are regarded as basic : (1) The reproduc¬ 
tion of a given intensity either for a single tone or for a given 
period of musical performance. (2) A capacity for fine shading in 
intensity. For this purpose the phonograph record for intensity in 
the Measures of Musical Talent may be played in front of the 
microphone, setting up a definite series of degrees of difference in


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