Source type: magazine
Document type: news column
Document title: “Music Notes”
Author(s): ApMadoc, William
Date of publication: November 1901
Volume number: 21
Issue number: 11
Pagination: 497-500 (excerpt below includes only pages 498-99)
|ApMadoc, William. “Music Notes.” Cambrian Nov. 1901 v21n11: pp. 497-500.|
|anarchism (dealing with); James White; James White (public statements).|
|William McKinley; James White.|
From page 498: By William ApMadoc, Chicago.
Music Notes [excerpt]
The English musician who suggested music as a
cure for anarchy, has caused a ripple of laughter to go all round. Magazines
and newspapers make fun of his remarks, yet much can be said in favor of music
in social utility. He writes: “When all the world has learned to sing, there
will no longer be room in the human breast for rage or terror or murder or anarchy.”
Alas! how far away all this must be. It was only last May 3 that the New Orleans
Chief of Police locked up one James White, a pianist and song writer, in order
to prevent any attempt on the prisoner’s part to assassinate President McKinley
during his visit to that city. The pianist is known to the police as a crank,
and the wild remark and threats which he made led to his arrest. He said, “The
horoscope of President McKinley is plain. It says he is to fall by my hands.
He comes to New Orleans to-morrow. When the eyes of James White fall upon him
the world will be shocked. The nation, perhaps, will grieve, but James White
will glory in his deed.”
This is the way the “Chicago Record-Herald,” in an editorial, takes off the remarks quoted above  from the English music teacher: “This is merely a return to the old dictum that ‘music hath charms to soothe the savage breast’ and it may be true that music does possess this magic. The great trouble, however, is to find out what kind of music will do the business. We are inclined to believe Wagnerian outbursts, for instance, will never be likely to keep anarchy down. Indeed a good rip roaring Wagnerian performance is about as likely as not to make the most sensible and sedate citizen a wild bomb thrower.
“As for ragtime, we do not believe there is any reason to hope that it will ever serve the purpose of removing rage from the catalogue of human passions—certainly not so long as it is played by little German bands and on street pianos.
“Church music may be said to have an elevating influence, and yet we have seen that it has thrown a Chicago professor into conniptions. We must, therefore, decline to accept music as a remedy for anarchy. The anarchists themselves may be satisfied to wait and try its effects, but the public will have no justification for countenancing any such experiment.
“In treating with the anarchist it will be necessary to use something more convincing in the way of a weapon than an ćolian harp or a mere mouth organ.”