American music? What next?

by Instant Noodle


Somebody writing from Naples, about Music, to a fashionable contemporary, says:—

“I know, too, more than half-a-dozen Americans who have left their gold cupidity behind them, and are now in Italy, living in small dirty back rooms with a piano-forte, practising solfeggios, with the intention of becoming singers of Italian opera.”

The development and cultivation of music in the soul of America may, perhaps, tend to arrest the progress of Filibusterism, and other stratagems and spoils; including the spoliation of black liberty: and to render the airs which Jonathan sometimes gives himself—on the fishery question for instance—tolerable. But it will in all probability produce results yet more extraordinary. A go-ahead people will not be content to stop short at operas and concerts. Music will be utilized; applied to political and social purposes; employed to enhance the charms of eloquence, and adorn the wisdom of statesmanship. Patriots will sing bravuras at caucus or in Congress on behalf of freedom: and Presidents will express themselves in notes arranged to form symphonies; whilst the foreign policy of the States will take the form of overtures. The unseemly contests which sometimes occur in the Legislature will be replaced by grand scenas; and the stump-orator that now is will become a stump-warbler: whilst the mob will respond in chorus. American song will be famous all the world over, and command immense engagements, being paid for—as no doubt it will be delivered—through the nose

(September 1853)