Excerpt from The Lure of Music: Picturing the Human Side of Great Composers, With Stories of Their Inspired Creations
A Friend of mine had a graphophone which he occasionally enjoyed. He used to say that he "wasn't musical," but he "knew what he liked." His repertory was small, but pleasing to him, since, thanks to the records, he had become acquainted with some half-dozen pieces of fairly good music, and could even whistle scraps of them from memory.
He never knew how musical he was until he chanced one day on a paragraph in a book his daughter was reading, about one of the compositions that he liked. He suddenly realized that this composition told the story of an episode in the life of another man, a human being who lived, struggled, rejoiced, and narrated his experiences in the language of tones.
Having read the story, he played the record over again, and discovered that it meant far more to him than it ever had before. He wondered whether there were stories about his other records, and after much searching obtained a little information on the subject that now absorbed his leisure moments. He then invited a number of friends to his home and read them the stories of the records which he played. His friends were delighted and surprised to discover all that the music, thus explained, meant to them.
When my friend told me this, he convinced me that a great need of to-day is a book which shall bring to every home the treasures of the musical world.
It is to him and to his friends, and to all those who love music and wish to know its meaning, that this book is dedicated, in the belief that they will find in the messages of the masters the enjoyment, solace, and inspiration intended for every human heart.
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