英日対訳:パーシー・A・グレンジャーThe Impress of Personality in Unwritten Music(1915) 第1回(全6回)

The Impress of Personality in Unwritten Music 

Percy Grainger  




The Musical Quarterly, Vol. 1, No. 3 (Jul., 1915), pp. 416-435  

(22 pages) 

The Musical Quarterly(季刊誌「音楽」)1915年7月号掲載寄稿 



Contribution from Oxford University Press 







It seems to me a very hopeful sign that the present widespread interest in unwritten music (be it European or Afro-American folk-songs and dances or native music from any quarter of the globe) apparently does not emanate from any reaction against the latest iconoclastic developments of our written art-music, but that, on the contrary, it is mainly in the ranks of the most highly cultured musicians (men whose depth of heart and brain makes them equally capable of appreciating the glorious creations of the great classics and the no less thrilling achievements of the most extreme modernists of to-day) that we meet with the keenest interest in this "back to the land" movement. Among those who have recently devoted themselves most ardently to the labor of actually collecting so-called "primitive" music of various kinds or in whose creative work direct or indirect contact with it has proved the most fruitful we find the names of such advanced composers as Stravinsky, Debussy, Ravel, Albeniz, Granados, Cyril Scott, Vaughan Williams, Balfour Gardiner and Ferruccio Busoni, while the great Frederick Delius (to my mind perhaps the rarest and most precious musical genius of our age) owes the fact of his be coming a composer at all to the inspiration he received from hearing Negro workers sing on his father's plantation in Florida, which determined him to give up a commercial career in order to study music in Leipzig; a debt to unwritten music that he has fittingly repayed by basing three of his loveliest works on themes of "primitive" origin: "Appalachia," on a Negro-American tune, "Brigg Fair" on the English peasant song of that name from my collection, and his recent "On hearing the first cuckoo in spring" on the Norwegian "I Ola Dalom "(published in Grieg's Op. 66).  



In an essay in "The North American Review" for February, 1913, full of insight and rare understanding, by that champion of Russian and other modern music, Mr. Kurt Schindler, on "Boris Godounoff; and the life of Moussorgsky," we read how incalculably much the inspired art of that composer owed to close contact with both the life and the music of Russian peasants.  

The North American Review(北米公論)の1913年2月号に寄稿されたエッセイに、しっかりとした洞察に基づき、類稀な理解の力を示す記事がある。ロシア音楽、そして他にも現代音楽の第一人者である、カート・シンドラーが書いたものだ。「歌劇『ボリス・ゴドゥノフ』と、ムソルグスキーの生涯について」である。これを読むと、この一大芸術作品を作ったムソルグスキーという作曲家が、ロシアの農民達に、彼の人生も音楽作品も、如何に近しい関係を保ち、その恩義を受けているかが、よく分かる。 







While so many of the greatest musical geniuses listen spell-bound to the unconscious, effortless musical utterances of primitive man, the general educated public, on the other hand, though willing enough to applaud adaptations of folk-songs by popular composers, shows little or no appreciation of such art in its unembellished original state, when, indeed, it generally is far too complex (as regards rhythm, dynamics, and scales) to appeal to listeners whose ears have not been subjected to the ultra-refining influence of close association with the subtle developments of our latest Western art-music.  



The case of Grieg is typical. For over thirty years his popularity has been almost universally accredited to "national" traits supposed to have been drawn by him from Norwegian folk songs; but few indeed, at home or abroad, can have taken the trouble to study these elements in their native purity, or they would have discovered for themselves what has been left to Grieg's greatest and most sympathetic biographer, Mr. Henry T. Finck, to point out often and ably: how much more the Norwegian genius owed the unique originality of his music to the strength of his own purely personal inventiveness than to any particular external or "national" source whatever. They would also have been in a position to more fully realize the generosity with which Grieg threw the richness of his strong personality into the task of making the wonders of the peasant music accessible in such avowed "arrangements" as Op. 30, 66, and 72. In these volumes (still strangely little known) we find some of the most inspired examples of his harmonic daring; the more extreme methods of to-day being foreshadowed, again and again, some twenty years ago, with the prophetic quality of true genius. 








As a rule folk-music finds its way to the hearts of the general public and of the less erudite musicians only after it has been "simplified" (generally in the process of notation by well-meaning collectors ignorant of those more ornate subtleties of our notation alone fitted for the task) out of all resemblance to its original self. Nor is this altogether surprising when we come to compare town populations with the country-side or "savage" folk to whom we go for the unwritten material. 








With regard to music, our modern Western civilization produces, broadly speaking, two main types of educated men. On the one hand the professional musician or leisured amateur-enthusiast who spends the bulk of his waking hours making music, and on the other hand all those many millions of men and women whose lives are far too overworked and arduous, or too completely immersed in the ambitions and labyrinths of our material civilization, to be able to devote any reasonable proportion of their time to music or artistic expression of any kind at all. How different from either of these types is the bulk of uneducated and "un civilized" humanity of every race and color, with whom natural musical expression may be said to be a universal, highly prized habit that seldom, if ever, degenerates into the drudgery of a mere means of livelihood. 








Mental leisure and ample opportunity for indulging in the natural instinct for untrammeled and uncriticised and untaught artistic self-expression; these are the conditions imperative for the production and continuance of all unwritten music. Now primitive modes of living, however terrible some of them may appear to some educated and refined people, are seldom so barren of "mental leisure" as the bulk of our civilized careers. The old ignorant, unambitious English yokel, for instance, had plenty of opportunities for giving way to his passion for singing. He sang at his work (plough-songs are very general) just as the women folk sang when "waulking" wool. I need hardly mention that "work-songs" of every description form a very considerable part of the music of primitive races the world over. 








Not only does the commercial slavery of our civilization hold out to the average man insufficient leisure for the normal growth of the habit of artistic expression (unless he shows talents exceptional enough to warrant his becoming a professional artist) but the many decorums of modern society deny to most of us any very generous opportunities for using even our various (unartistic) life-instincts to the full; "sich ausleben" as the Germans so well put it. It is therefore not surprising that with us art frequently becomes the vehicle of expression for accumulated forces, thoughts and desires,  which, under less civilized conditions, more often find their normal outlet in actions. This state of things no doubt in part accounts for the desire of the composers of programme-music to cram their scores with passages reflecting psychological conflicts or depicting Fate or windmills or critics (I am not cavilling at this, for I adore Strauss's Symphonic Poems) and also accounts for the everlasting presence of erotic problems (of which Bernard Shaw has written so deliciously in his Prelude to "Plays for Puritans") in most modern literature. 

私達は現代文明の中で商売ビジネス縛られて暮らしていると普通の人だと芸術活動を通して自己表現を楽しむことを、習慣としたくても、普通に支障なくそのための力をつけようにも、十分な余暇が与えられていないのが現実だ(プロ級になるとの本人の言を、周りが認める位の、ずば抜けた才能があれば、話は別だが)。だが、現代社会は、お行儀よくしていなければならない掟が沢山あり、ドイツ語で「Sich ausleben」、つまり、人生を堪能し尽くすような、多種多様で無尽蔵の機会というものを、否定してしまう。それ故に、今更驚く話ではないが、私達にとって芸術活動は、しばしば、溜め込んだ力や思いや願いを表現する原動力となる。それら「溜め込んだもの」は、現代文明の影響が比較的少ない環境では、普段の立ち居振る舞いの中に、そのはけ口を見出すことが出来る。この現状が、間違いなく、部分的に構成するものがある。まずは、標題音楽を手掛ける作曲家達の野望だ。彼らが五線紙に、次々と書き並べてゆくパッセージは、人の心の葛藤を反映させるし、非業の死(交響詩死と変容」)だの、風車小屋(交響詩ドン・キホーテ」)だの、文句ばかり言う連中(交響詩英雄の生涯」)だのといったものを、絵のように描いてみせる。それから、大概の現代文学に、男女の情事に伴う諸問題を、いつもいつでも登場させる(このことについては、ジョージ・バーナード・ショーが、「清教徒達のための3つの戯曲」の序文で、面白可笑しく書いている)。 







In short, with us moderns life is apt to encroach upon art, whereas with uneducated or primitive folk the reverse seems more often to be the case. Their lives, their speech, their manners, even their clothes all show the indelible impress of a superabundance of artistic impulses and interests. A modern Scandinavian has said of the old Norsemen: "They were always ready to throw away their lives for a witty saying"; and much the same literary attitude towards every-day speech may be observed in the queer old illiterate cronies from whom we get the English peasant songs or sea chanties. They show little or no keenness about money or desire to "better" themselves, but they love to be "wags," and crowd every moment of the day with quaint and humorous sayings and antics. When finishing a song they will add: "No harm done," or some equally abstract remark. One of the best folk singers I ever knew, who had had the varied career of ship's cook, brick-maker and coal merchant, won a prize ("a fine silver pencil") for dancing at the age of 54, performing to the playing of his brother, who was a "left-handed fiddler," i. e., bowed with his left hand, and fingered with his right. There is a ballad called 'Bold William Taylor' found all over Great Britain that tells how Sally Gray, abandoned by her faithless lover, William Taylor, dons "man's apparel" and follows him to the wars, where she is informed that "he's got married to an Irish lady," whereupon the two concluding verses run:  



And then she called for a brace of pistols,  

A brace of pistols at her command;  

And there she shot bold William Taylor  

With his bride at his right hand.  

而して彼女は 拳銃2丁を用意せし 


驕れる者たる ウィリアム・テイラーを討ち取りぬ 

男は右手に 己に嫁ぎし女を掴みて 絶命す 


And then the Captain was well pleased,  

Was well pleased what she had done;  

And then he made her a great commander  

Aboard of a ship, over all his men. 

将は大いに 喜びぬ 

彼女の手柄を 喜びぬ 

而して将は その後彼女を 将と成し 

軍船上にて 閲兵す 


One of the best songsters I ever met, whose name happened to be Joseph Taylor (of Saxby-All-Saints, Lincolnshire) had picked up this ditty on a short absence from home when a young man. On his return he found his mother in bed and her new-born baby beside her. "What shall we call him?" he was asked, and being just then full of the newest addition to his repertoire of "ballets" (as they are called by the rural singers) he replied: "Christen him Bold William Taylor," and his advice was followed. I wonder how many babies of the educated classes have been named after a song?  



H. G. Wells, the novelist, who was with me during a "folk song hunt" in Gloucestershire, on noticing that I noted down not merely the music and dialect details of the songs, but also many characteristic scraps of banter that passed between the old agriculturalists around us, once said to me: "You are trying to do a more difficult thing than record folk-songs; you are trying to record life"; and I remember the whimsical, almost wistful, look which accompanied the remark.  




But I felt then, as I feel now, that it was the superabundance of art in these men's lives, rather than any superabundance of life in their art, that made me so anxious to preserve their old saws and note their littlest habits; for I realized that the every-day events of their lives appealed to these dirty and magnificently ignorant rustics chiefly in so far as they offered them opportunities for displaying the abstract qualities of their inner natures (indeed, they showed comparatively small interest in the actual material results involved), and that their placid comments upon men and things so often preferred to adopt the unpassionate formal and patterned habits of "art" (so familiar to us in rural proverbs) rather than resemble the more passionate unordered behavior of inartistic "life."