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Various suggestions are made in the answers given in this article as to the proper steps to be taken to assist in remedying the present unsatisfactory condition of Chinese music. The almost unanimous proposal that prizes should be offered for the composition of original Chinese hymns on certain themes and also for the preparation of melodies, is one that should be acted upon at once by those who are in a position to do so.
In regard to the use of tunes, it must not be forgotten that we are dealing with a very limited musical capacity on the part of the vast majority of our church members, and the question we have to answer is, Whether it is not wiser and more conducive to satisfactory development to content ourselves with a narrow range of vocal praise well-executed, leading on by degrees to something more advanced as the growing generation developes in musical taste and capacity rather than to produce vocal riot among our congregations by forcing them to attempt music which is entirely beyond their ability and their range ? Two points are distinctly noted in the answers given. The first is that while the Chinese voice, as such, may be trained to do almost anything that the foreigner can accomplish, with regard to the vast majority of the Christians of to-day it is next to impossible to teach them the use of the Western scale. Avoid semi-tones, that is, if you want good congregational singing. Tlie other deduction from the answers is that, taken early enough and properly trained, the Chinese voice can easily acquire the knowledge of Western forms of music and faithfully reproduce them.
them. So long, therefore, as the policy is to continue to use tunes which have been in vogue in the Western churches without having regard to the limited vocal capacity and ear of the average member of the Chinese congregations, so long will both the best and the worst of the tunes of the West be murdered week by week to the glory of God and the discomfort of listening man.
How great a variety of opinion regarding the use of instruments is held by those who have taken part in this symposium can only be realized by a careful perusal of the answers to Question IV. There is an almost unanimous expression of objection to the use of stringed instruments as having low associations and being therefore altogether derogatory to the dignity of sacred worship. The use of the organ or harmonium is generally considered advisable and good, and on the whole it would seem that the use of certain wind instru
ments-presumably the cornet and fute—is approved. One reply suggests what is a fact, that the advance in vocal music in the West was largely consequent upon the development of musical instruments, by means of which the voice was taught the shades of the chromatic scale. Vocal harmony (partsinging) owed its rise and development very largely to the advance in capacity of instrumental music. Still there seems to be, especially in some of the Chinese answers, a fear that the use of instruments is not consistent with the highest sense of reverence. It will perhaps, therefore, be found that the ideal use of musical instruments is in connection with the teaching of song rather than in the actual church services. Reference is made to the musical instruments of ancient China and to the music of the Yu dynasty, which do not help us very much since we have neither the one available nor the other known.
The answers to Question V tend to show that, generally, the use of mixed choirs at the present time is inadvisable, and that fact in itself adds emphasis to the suggestion that, except in fairly advanced places, there should be little attempt made at part-singing in church services, and the further hint is given that it is a mistake to play the harmony of a hymn-tune which is not very well known, but more useful to produce the air in double octaves, since upon ninety per cent. of our congregations the airs themselves have not made the necessary impression.
The opinion expressed in several of the answers that it would be a very useful thing to prepare a book of simple melodies which could be used in homes, is worth bearing in mind. It will be remembered by those who have studied the matter that there is in being a Chinese notation which might be made use of in connection or combination with staff notation for tunes prepared on a pentatonic scale. It is not suggested that this should be a stopping place, since the training of the young for the full development of the Chinese voice and the ultimate standardising of Chinese music with that of the West must still go on. There is no reason, bowever, why some attempt should not be made to deal with the problem which is presented by adult Chinese Christians who desire to sing praises with the spirit and with the understanding, but whose capacity is not yet equal to the task of adding sweetness to light. That they would enjoy the singing
of many hymns to tunes prepared in the pentatonic scale is fully proven by the joy that is evident when such tunes as are already available in this scale are used in church service.
The suggestion of one of our Chinese contributors that original Chinese hymns for marriage and funeral services should be secnred, might be taken up immediately.
If the acknowledgment of shortcoming is the first step on the road to betterment we ought to be at the point of a distinct step forward at this time in the matter of church praise. When it is generally conceded that adequate and successful progress in this most important service of the church must depend almost entirely on the development of Christian art within the Chinese church, it would be well to give practical effect to this view by the personal encouragement of such gifts as may appear in the Christian young men and women of our day. It is particularly ineffective for the missionary to say: I shall never accomplish this, it is a question for the Chinese; and thereafter to fold his hands. It is his privilege to encourage others to this work by stirring up the gift which is in them. And he must be ready to let his inherited and acquired prejudices in this, as in many other matters relating to his work, come under the fair criticism of competent Chinese. The determination to allow every future revision of hymn and tune books to be subject to the full consideration of the Chinese point of view, would prove a great gain along the whole line of church praise.
Those who desire to look more closely into the question of Chinese music in relation to the needs of the Christian church may be referred to the standard work on Chinese music by J. A. Van Aalst (published by Messrs. Kelly and Walsh), to the pamphlets issued by the late Mrs. Timothy Richard, also to the excellent articles on this subject to be found in previous numbers of the CHINESE RECORDER: by the Rev. W. E. Soothill in Vol. xxi, May and July, 1890, aud to Mrs. Richard's article in the same volume, July and August issues. A number of airs founded on the pentatonic scale will be found in Vol. xxii, p. 313, and on page 311 a suggestion in regard to the writing of music for Chinese use in three notatioas appears in an article by Mr. J. W. H. John. An article by the Rev. G. F. Fitch in Vol. xxvi on Hymns and Hymnbooks for the Chinese" may be referred to with profit. In Vol. Xxxvii we have two articles from workers in Fuhkien province, “ Pentatonic Music : some suggestions and experiences,” by the Rev. J. E. Walker, and " Psalmody in Foochow," by the Rev. C. S. Champness.
In the musical supplement will be found a reproduction of a few airs written on the pentatonic scale, and also an original contribution by one of our Chinese correspondents, Dr. S. E. Chiu, which itself will go to prove that musical talent of the type required is already available in some measure,
Ernest John Eitel, Ph.D.-An Appreciation
BY REV. T. W. PEARCE.
"A succourer of many and of myself also.”-St. Paul.
church has before her in this part of her world-wide field not a few workers of consummate ability, of commanding intelligence, and of brilliant gifts.
Men and women who figure among the more prominent landmarks of a mission's age have been with us in service for the Chinese ; "workers together” with us in the cause of the Gospel to the glory of God and for the highest good of the race. Wherein they have exalted our ideals, kindled anew our aspirations and opened up to us larger possibilities of well doing, the inspiration of their lives abides and is perpetuated in us who seek to follow their good example.
The consciousness of large indebtedness is not always the best preparation for such acknowledgment as this 'In Memoriam' notice would fain render to the memory of Dr. Eitel.
He was my friend during many years. There were few with whom it was given me to enjoy closer or more helpful intimacy during the later period of his residence in Hongkong.
Our acquaintance began at the end of 1879, on my arrival in the colony on the way to Canton there to enter upon work under the auspices of the L. M. S., a Mission which Dr. Eitel had recently left in order to become inspector of schools under the Hongkong government and also private secretary to the Governor, Sir John Pope Henessy. The causes of severance from a stated and formal connection with our Missionary Society do not fall within the scope of this paper.
Dr. Eitel never withdrew from missionary work his close whole-hearted sympathy, his wise kindly counsel or his timely practical aid as a preacher, teacher and writer. His main lifepurpose remained unchanged, and the extent to which that purpose was realized, was the measure of his helpfulness to the cause of Christianity in China. Herein is the keynote of his strong character and of his strenuous career. Of Charles Kingsley, Dean Stanley said: “He was, we might almost say, a layman in the guise of a clergyman. .... Yet human, genial