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THE COMPOSER AT WORK. His composition Is taken down by the recorder, which is in the closet behind the piano. A wire at the rear o( the piano connects an electric light current with the dynamo which operates the recorder.
He may add, for your edification, that many of the ablest minds in the commercial field of music have been turned to the solution of this problem—that of devising a means for the making of music that shall be an actual and permanent record of a performance, instead of a mere musical score, and have pronounced it an impossibility.
There is a man in C h icago, however, Melville Clark, for whom the word impossible has never held terrors. So he quietly set to work a couple of years ago, convinced in his own mind that he would succeed where others had failed. Mr. Clark is generally acknowledged to be one of the greatest designers and builders of pianos and piano players
in the world. He was the first to build a piano player to operate over the entire keyboard.
Consequently when he announced a short time ago that he had perfected a device which would not only make a permanent record of a performance on
a piano, but do it so faithfully and accurately that not a single eccentricity of the pianist's individuality would be lost, the respectful attention of the musical world was immediately forthcoming.
Naturally there were many skeptics — men who desired to be shown. One of these was a pianist and composer of international reputation.
"Of course. Clark," he said, when told of the new invention. "I know you have accomplished wonders in your line. But in this case your claims sound, ah—" • "Preposterous?" said Mr. Clark. "Sure! I don't blame you at all for thinking so. But just come along to my office and see for yourself."
Together they repaired to Mr. Clark's private office, where a piano was in readiness. In one corner of the room stood a little closet. The pianist also noticed that a wire ran from the electric light fixture in the middle of the room into the closet.
"Just a moment," said Mr.
test the instrument to the limit of its capabilities he improvised a selection as fiery and brilliant as a thunderstorm.
When he had finished, Mr. Clark went into the closet and returned with a roll of paper, similar in appearance to those used on piano players. Placing the roll in another piano with a reproducing attachment, he set the reproducer in motion with his feet.
The effect was startling. The exactness of the record—even to the cunningly introduced "accidentals"— made the very presence of the composer at the piano seem a certainty. His tempo, his style, his pedaling, the power of his stroke on the keys, and the sensuous element—the expression—were reproduced in such an accurate way that the mechanism seemed to be endowed with a human mind.
The operation of Mr. Clark's device—which he calls a recorder—may best be explained in the simple statement that the pressure of a button, turning on the electric current, sensitizes every playing part of the piano—keys, pedals, and all—to the slightest touch of the performer, and secures in perfect relation every playing movement made.
While the importance of this achievement in the field of the mechanical player can be readily appreciated, its influence upon the development of musical history represents its chief value. It is from this standpoint that it appeals most to its inventor. He
frankly states that he does not think it has commercial value.
To be able to sit down at the piano, imprint one's individuality in all its phases upon the interpretation of any given musical composition, have the music so produced cut, and then to use it on a piano player and hear oneself play, certainly seems the fulfilment of the composer's wildest dream.
But that is not all. The recorder relieves the composer of the manual drudgery of putting his thoughts down on paper with pen or pencil. Also, it enables him to preserve the continuity of his thoughts, which is difficult when he is forced to stop to jot down his composition.
She—"I am sure there arc many girls who could make you happier than I could."
He—"That's just the difficulty; they could, but they won't."—Boston Transcript.
The Real Reason
"may I ask," inquires the interviewer, "why you paint none but nudes?"
"Certainly," replies the painter. "The styles change so rapidly in clothing that a picture would be out of date almost before the paint is dry."—Chicago Post.
Hans Schmidt, proprietor of a western Minnesota sawmill, used for fuel the sawdust from the lumber. It cost him nothing, but it kept four men busy shoveling it. Recently he was persuaded to put in new equipment which would reduce the amount of fuel one half.
After the machinery had been installed the agent called, expecting to be congratulated. But the German eyed him gloomily.
"What's the matter, Mr. Schmidt? Doesn't the new plant do all I claimed?" he asked.
"Ya; but I oberlooks sometings," replied Hans.
"What was that?"
"Veil, it dakes only dwo mens to handle de fuel, but it dakes de udder dwo mens to haul avay vat ve don't use, und a team, pesides."— The Hampton Magazine.