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The 22.214.171.124 meter especially lends itself to Chinese composition. I think the Chinese vocal capacity is quite equal to foreign melodies.
4. Vocal music in China has deteriorated and has poor associations in our minds. And so it is pretty difficult to adapt Chinese musical compositions to Christian use just now. We have to stick to the Western tunes. But to secure original Chinese hymns it should not be very difficult. To suggest one way: Let the various Christian periodicals and papers in the Chinese language give their assistance by inserting a few lines on the need of original Chinese compositions and hymns for the Chinese church, and at the same time hold out suitable awards for such hymns composed on given subjects and tunes and other conditions. These awards may or may not be in terms of silver ; books, free subscriptions to these papers, and periodicals, will do well as awards.
5. The use of foreign tunes is all right, but not of the Sankey type.
6. Western hymn tunes are not suitable to the Chinese characters, each of which has its own value. Eventually there will be Chinese who will write hymns and compose melodies to suit them.
7. I believe the present tunes are good, and would sug. gest having some more translations with strict adherence to the meaning of the originals.
8. As the hymns used throughout Christendom are sung with practically the same music, it is not feasible to adopt any music that is peculiar to the Chinese. To improve music, it would be better to have music (air only) printed in all hymns, thus educating the people on the lines of music.
9. The use of Western tunes is not objectionable in itself, but the composition of original tunes and the preparation of original hymns should be encouraged. QUESTION III. What steps may best be taken to encourage the preparation
of original Chinese hymns and the composition of melodies better suited
to Chinese vocal capacity? ANSWERS. Foreign.
That is a question I cannot answer. b. (a) I do not know. My attempts have been singularly unsuccessful. (b) The best way seems to be to put the matter
in the hands of Western musical men. In conservatories, in Germany, for example, composition of airs in other than diatonic scales, is a regular part of the curriculum.
For the encouragement of preparation of original hymns and the composition of suitable melodies, greater attention might be paid to the whole subject of music by foreign missionaries who are capable of the work, and they should not rest content with teaching the mere art of singing, but should encourage Chinese to go on with definite study of music for the benefit of the Christian Church. The proposal to inaugurate regular competitions and offer prizes is good. Later on it might be possible to organize musical gatherings of those interested in the subject along the lines of the Welsh Eisteddfod.
d. Hymns should be asked for as contributions to the Chinese Christian newspapers, and perhaps tunes also. But, as queried above, it may be that the Chinese Christians are not yet far enough advanced, or that the person is not yet born.
Chinese hymns to Chinese melodies will come in the fulness of time and as a result of inspiration. Vocal capacity is largely the result of training. The youtlı of China can be trained to anything which the youth of other lands are capable of. It is only the youth of the land who will learn the art of either Western or Chinese music, therefore help the adults but train the youth, and in the fulness of time the youth will be inspired to write hymns and melodies which we cannot but use in the worship of God. Chinese.
It is a difficult question whether original Chinese hymns and tunes are preferable to those translated. It seems to me that unless this question is treated with great care it will be detrimental to the church music. I do not believe the time has come for those original Chinese tunes to be adopted for the use of the church. I can safely pronounce that all the Chinese tuues in existence are not worthy to be used in the church. The best Chinese musics are not to be found anywhere now, and the popular ones are devoid of moral integrity.
The untrained Chinese voices on an average are low and cannot manage the high F with ease and in the proper way. Their sense of half-tones is more or less defective. Of course there are exceptions to this rule. But to compose a song for these people all things must be considered, so that great benefit may be derived. I believe that the day will come when we shall be favoured with Chinese Christians of musical ability and good Chinese poetic bent, who will do much for the music of this country. But at present foreign help is indispensable in this line of work. The best Chinese scholars should be employed to compose original Chinese hymns. They are to be given the subjects for their composition, with perfect understanding that by no means is the original idea of the subject to be altered. They are to be directed by foreign missionaries who are all well-versed in Chinese literature, and at the same time qualified in music, so that not only are the verses well rhymed, but also accented in the proper places. I think this would work a decided improvement in the Chinese hymnals if properly carried out.
2. It would be a splendid thing if some Chinese scholars, having good knowledge of church music, could be entrusted to undertake to compose Chinese sacred hymns, and I think the vocal capacity in Chinese is quite suitable or agreeable to that of foreign melodies, if not better.
3. See reply to Question II.
6. In the first place, ask a few leading Chinese Chris. tians to write ten hymns of praise. Publish these in one of the monthly magazines and invite musicians to compose tunes for them according to Chinese ideas of music. A committee might be appointed to determine which of these hymns were most suitable for use in public worship. The melodies should not follow Western rules, but may be written in staff notation.
7. Offering prizes is a good plan.
8. As far as the singing goes it is very good, but I would suggest that the hymns be made to rhyme better and be written in the style of Chinese poems.
9. The help of those qualified among the Chinese clergy should be sought in making improvements on the old hymnology.
QUESTION IV. Do you think that the use of instruments, either stringed or
wind, would be acceptable to the body of Chinese Christians ? Would they assist in the service of praise and prove consistent with a sense of reverence?
For our actual singing the less we have of instruments the better. The harmonium is only needed to supply the parts in a tune which depends on its harmonies for its effect, and we should do better, as a rule, if we only played the air in octaves in other cases and by degrees taught part singing (air and bass). I should hesitate long before I introduced native instruments, and never would I do so for Western tunes.
b. I am greatly in favour of the use of instruments ; not only to assist in keeping up the pitch, but as the best way of accustoming Chinese ears to the notes (e.g., semitones) which their own music does not supply. It appears probable that in the West the transition from pentatonic to diatonic scale was made possible through the new sounds being first heard played by instruments. From the point of view of seemliness, perhaps wind instruments are best.
The use of instruments of a proper kind, that is, wind instruments—certainly not stringed—to assist in the leading of the singing and for the distinct enunciation of the air is useful, and so far as my experience goes, not unacceptable to the general body of Christians. For the present stringed instruments should be avoided and the whole use of instruments should be made definitely subservient to the service of praise. The avoidance of anything like musical show in connection with worship is essential.
d. I approve heartily of the use of instruments, especially of the organ and the cornet, and believe them to be a great help in the service of praise and their use quite consistent with a sense of reverence.
e. Anything more than a good organ in our regular church services I do not care for. A cornet may be a help, but it is not so always. More instruments would serve, one fears, to introduce the spectacular. Chinese.
Most of the churches are now prepared for the introduction of stringed or wind instruments. These instruments add a great deal of beauty to the songs and afford wonderful help in the leading of congregational singing. They will prove consistent with a sense of reverence so long as the players are reliable and the service well-conducted.
By allineans do not allow or suggest the use of Chinese instruments in the church, as Chinese music is not only inconsistent with a sense of reverence but would really do more harm than good, as the playing of such instruments can only be heard in low-class rooms and drives people's minds to think of evil things.
3. I am decidedly against the use Chinese instruments of any kind, which, on account of their low associations are inconsistent with a sense of reverence. Some time
I was not a little scandalised by the use of Chinese instruments for sacred music.
4. The organ has become a recognised piece of church furniture. But some brass instruments, as the cornet, may not be out of place, as has been successfully tried at Christmas and at Easter in some churches. 5.
I do not believe in the use of Chinese instruments of music.
6. Yes, wind and stringed instruments are alike conducive to reverence and would be acceptable to the majority of Christians.
7. With the exception of the mouth organ () all the native musical intruments have irreverent associations.
8. The instruments will certainly lead the singing and keep the congregation in tune. 9.
The use of instruments would lower the standard of church music, as the Chinese musical instruments do not appear suitable for any such purpose. QUESTION V. Is it possible, and if possible is it wise, to encourage at the
present time the formation of choirs containing both men and women
singers to lead in the church service ? ANSWERS. Foreign.
Neither possible nor wise in my opinion. Choirs are poor things unless they can sing to the congregation. For ordinary purposes the congregation should do its own singing.
b. In the interior, I should say, unwise and undesirable to a degree, but doubtless at the ports things are different.
c. In the treaty ports it is possible now to use mixed choirs, provided the men and the women are separated in some way. In places where scholars of both sexes take part in the service, the practice of selecting a few from both the boys' and