英日対訳:パーシー・A・グレンジャー The Impress of Personality in Unwritten Music (1915) 第4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 







What life is to the writer, and nature to the painter, unwritten music is to many a composer: a kind of mirror of genuineness and naturalness. Through it alone can we come to know something of the incalculable variety of man's instincts for musical expression. From it alone can we glean some insight into what suggests itself as being "vocal" to natural singers whose technique has never been exposed to the influence of arbitrary "methods." In the reiterated physical actions of marching, rowing, reaping, dancing, cradle rocking, etc., that called its work-songs, dance-music, ballads and lullabies into life, we see before our very eyes the origin of the regular rhythms of our art-music and of poetic meters, and are also able to note how quickly these once so rigid rhythms give place to rich and wayward irregularities of every kind as soon as these bodily movements and gestures are abandoned and  he music which originally existed but as an accompaniment to them continues independently as art for art's sake. In such examples as the Polynesian part-songs we can trace the early promptings of polyphony and the habits of concerted improvisation to their very source, and, since all composing is little else than "frozen inspiration," surely this latter experience is of supreme importance; the more so, if there again should dawn an age in which the bulk of civilized men and women will come to again possess sufficient mental leisure in their lives to enable them to devote themselves to artistic pleasures on so large a scale as do the members of uncivilized communities.  



Then the spectacle of one composer producing music for thousands of musical drones (totally uncreative themselves, and hence comparatively out of touch with the whole phenomenon of artistic creation) will no longer seem normal or desirable, and then the present gulf between the mentality of composers and performers will be bridged. 








The fact that art-music has been written down instead of improvised has divided musical creators and executants into two quite separate classes; the former autocratic and the latter com paratively slavish. It has grown to be an important part of the office of the modern composer to leave as few loopholes as possible in his works for the idiosyncrasies of the performer. The considerable increase of exactness in our modes of notation and tempo and expression marks has all been directed toward this end, and though the state of things obtaining among trained musicians for several centuries has been productive of isolated geniuses of an exceptional greatness unthinkable under primitive conditions, it seems to me that it has done so at the expense of the artistry of millions of performers, and to the destruction of natural sym pathy and understanding between them and the creative giants. 








Perhaps it would not be amiss to examine the possible reason for the ancient tendency of cultured musicians gradually to discontinue improvisation, and seek some explanation for the lack of variety with regard to scales, rhythms and dynamics displayed by our Western art-music when compared with the resources of more primitive men in these directions. I believe the birth of harmony in Europe to have been accountable for much; and truly, the acquisition of this most transcendental and soul-reaching of all our means of musical expression has been worth any and every sacrifice. We know how few combinations of intervals sounded euphonious to the pioneers of harmonic consciousness, and can imagine what concentration they must have brought to bear upon accuracies of notation and reliability of matters of pitch in ensemble; possibly to the exclusion of any very vital interest in individualistic traits in performance or in the more subtle pos sibilities of dynamics, color and irregular rhythms. 








With the gradual growth of the all-engrossing chord-sense the power of deep emotional expression through the medium of an unaccompanied single melodic line would likewise tend to atrophy; which perhaps explains why many of those conversant with the strictly solo performances of some branches of unwritten music miss in the melodic invention of the greatest classical geniuses passionately as they may adore their masterliness in other direc tions-the presence of a certain satisfying completeness (from the standpoint of pure line) that may often be noticed in the humblest folk-song.  



It always seems to me strange that modern composers, with the example of Bach's Chaconne and Violin and 'Cello Sonatas as well as of much primitive music before them, do not more often feel tempted to express themselves extensively in single line or unison without harmonic accompaniment of any kind. I have found this a particularly delightful and inspiring medium to work in, and very refreshing after much preoccupation with richly polyphonic styles. Now that we have grown so skilful in our treatment of harmony that this side of our art often tends to outweigh all our other creative accomplishments, some of us feel the need of replenishing our somewhat impoverished resources of melody, rhythm and color, and accordingly turn, and seldom in vain, for inspiration and guidance to those untutored branches of our art that have never ceased to place their chief reliance in these elements. I have already referred to the possibilities of "inexact unison" evinced by Maori and Egyptian music. Similar rich and varied lessons might be learned from Red Indian, East Indian, Javanese, Burmese, and many other Far Eastern musics. 







Being, moreover, the fortunate heirs to the results of those centuries of harmonic experiment in which ever more and more discordant combinations of intervals came to be regarded as concordant, we are now at last in a position from which we can approach such music as the Rarotongan part-songs and similar music of a highly complex discordant nature with that broad minded toleration and enthusiastic appreciation which our painters and writers brought to bear on the arts of non-Europeans so many generations before our musicians could boast of an equally humble, cultured and detached attitude. 








Out in nature, however, men have long known how to enjoy discordant combinations. A telegraph wire humming B flat, a bird piping a flat B natural and factory whistles chiming in with notes resembling D and F sharp; the mournful appeal of such accidental ensembles has frequently awakened emotional response. But a musician in 1890 would have been inclined to enjoy such sounds as merely part of "nature" and with no bearing upon his "art," whereas we to-day are more apt to find compositional hints in such occurrences; not, I most sincerely hope, because we have any desire to "copy nature," or because we could willingly contemplate exchanging, for however brief a moment, the precise choice and formal arrangement of artistic procedure for the choicelessness of "life," but simply because a greater number of discordant harmonic combinations happen to charm our ears to-day than they did in 1890.  



Probably Beethoven was one of the first of the "moderns" to find such suggestions in every-day sounds. The trumpet behind the stage in the third "Leonora" seems an instance of this, while the premature entry of the horn in the first movement of the "Eroica" and the belated notes of the bassoon in the Scherzo of the "Pastoral" show his generous readiness to perpetuate in his scores hints derived from the mistakes of the rehearsal room and the happy-go-lucky ensemble of tavern "Musikanten." 




【Exerpt from “Random Round” by Percy Grainger】 


Percy Grainger's 'Random Round' for 2 pianos, 11 hands from the 2011 Grainger Festival at King's Place, London. Performed by Penelope Thwaites, John Lavender, Jayson Gilham, Sally Wigan, Marie Marchant and Barry Peter Ould playing the 11th hand part.