Page:Popular Science Monthly Volume 21.djvu/390

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378
THE POPULAR SCIENCE MONTHLY.

been directed. The observations of one person are of no value as a foundation for argument; but it would perhaps here be pertinent for the writer to mention that, in her own experience of life, she has seen women who have not impressed her as inferior in mental ability to the men with whom they associated, and to whom the exercise of their duties, as the heads of households and the guardians of childhood (involving the many questions, abstract and practical, which these duties do involve), has seemed to afford scope for the greatest intellectual activity.

Considering the want of knowledge, of all but the most fragmentary facts, which meets us at the threshold of this question, it would seem that all the arguments on either side are wasted breath, and that those advocates deserve reprobation who would throw a false veil of scientific reasoning over their ignorance. It is a sufficient sign that no real study of the question has yet been made, when we find on. both sides suppositions and feelings brought forward as arguments.

The only way in which such a problem can be properly approached is by the scientific methods of study which are now applied to other subjects: the painstaking accumulation, from all available sources and by many collaborators, of all the statistics and facts bearing upon it, the patient search for such truths connected with it as we are still ignorant of, and the application to all alike of unprejudiced investigation and strict logic. This has never yet been attempted.

 

THE RELATION OF MUSIC TO MENTAL PROGRESS.
By S. AUSTEN PEARCE, Mus. Doc, Oxon.

THE nature of music is threefold, like that of man to whom it appeals. Therefore, it may be regarded as a sensuous art, in that it delights the ear; as a psychologic art, in that it records the emotions, and requires mental operations on the part of the hearer for its due appreciation; and, as it involves agreements, differences, symmetries, complexities, etc., and order in apparent disorder, it may be regarded as a branch of science closely allied to mathematics.

The distances between the holes of a flute, the tension of a drum-head, the lengths of organ-pipes, the rapidity of vibrations, the intervals between recurring accents—in fact, all that may be surveyed and expressed in numbers in this art—give evidence of the mental power of the musician, irrespective of all considerations respecting the imagination or creative power in originating compositions.

The music of a people may be considered in direct relation to their supersensuous natures. From this point of view alone, strongly marked differences may be noted; for, by comparing modern Italian