Observational Science and Applied Science

The professor of singing, on the other hand, must apply the results of science by imparting to his students the established facts of science. Nor must he rest satisfied with simply accepting more recent theories. He must endeavour to approach the truth by his own observation, for anatomical and physiological research have by no means solved all the mysteries of the production of voice. Yet we have of late made great strides in advance.

Galilei, when, at the age of nineteen, he observed the swinging of a lamp in the cathedral in Pisa, was led to the discovery of the theory of the pendulum, which he first laid down, and employed in the mensuration of time.

How many saw swinging lamps before Galilei? And it is likely that the world would have existed without his thinking and inquiring. But who can tell if, without him, we would know the law of the pendulum to-day? In the same way, I believe that further observations made on the swinging vocal chords will perhaps give us more light on the development of the voice, and ultimately lead to perfect results.

Intelligent inquiry and indefatigable searching after truth are the real attributes of man. Goethe indeed says, “Man errs as long as he is striving;” yet at all ages the active and inquiring minds have profited the world more than the idle onlookers.

Bach, Albert Bernhard. Musical education and vocal culture for vocalists and teachers of singing. Kegan Paul, Trench, Trübner & Company, 1898.

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