excerpt from 'My Musical Life' pp. 74-5 (239 words)

excerpt from 'My Musical Life' pp. 74-5 (239 words)

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My Musical Life

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There are some people whose musical organisation is so fine, and whose instinctive method is so true, that without that stern discipline usually essential to the production of the voice, they have managed to teach themselves how to sing modestly but faultlessly, as far as they go, although not knowing even their notes. Those people will sing you a national ballad with true pathos, and even a certain technical finish, which many a skilled professional might envy. I remember delighting in LORD HEADLEY'S singing, which was of this kind. He lived close to us, in Brunswick Square, and I often heard him after dinner sing his Irish ballads not invariably MOORE, but some wilder still, and some quite unfamiliar to me. He used to throw back his rather large head, and display a very broad white waistcoat; and standing with his two thumbs thrust into the arm- holes of his waistcoat, and his fingers spread out and twitching nervously with emotion, he would pour out his ditty with the truest instinct and often finest pathos. In this, without knowing a note of music, he evidently took exceeding delight himself, and so did we. He who loves the sound of his own voice is not always so fortunate. LORD HEADLEY'S voice was small, flexible, and exquisitely sympathetic, and made me always think of TOM MOORE'S graceful musical declamation of the Irish melodies, which, of course, I had only read about.

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excerpt from 'My Musical Life' pp. 74-5 (239 words)


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