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THE MUSIC OF BOHEMIA
are that people who live in the northwestern part of Hungary, called Slovakia, which with Bohemia forms the present republic and nation of the Czechoslovaks.
Bohemian music is not so well known in America as its artistic value and quality deserve. The reasons why it is not so well known are: first, that it was often classed as German music, since it was printed by German publishers; and secondly, it was handicapped by false criticisms by Germans, who saw in this Bohemian musical enthusiasm a desire to further national aims. It is true that the artistic works of great masters help much to foster racial pride and are great moral supports to national efforts,
- Unfortunately, the proper term "Bohemian" has been confused with its other meaning, a synonym of the word "Gypsy." Some Gypsies coming from Bohemia to France in the Middle Ages were called "Bohemiens" through a misunderstanding. The British composer Balfe, in the overture to his opera The Bohemian Girl, introduced by mistake a Bohemian (Czech) folk-melody as a characteristic Gypsy tune. See the Allegro theme.
As Gypsies are characterized by their carefree and adventurous life, the term, thus misapplied, assumed an entirely different meaning: a class of people such as would-be artists, or people unhampered by convention.