June 16, 1917
Page 42
Why So Many Women Fall In Love with Musicians

THE poet deals in words, while the painter deals in color and form, but the musician deals in emotions and therefore his appeal to women is always more swift, as it is always more subtle, than the appeal of any other artist.
Such, summed up by a writer in the Philadelphia North American, is the latest theory to explain the lure of music for women and the attraction of the dark-eyed, long-haired musician himself.
The average woman, say the theorists, is hedged in with conventions that make her feel a prudish discomfort if a book or a poem talks too openly of what she thinks of, but never puts into words. With a picture it is the same way, but in the music, she hears with emotional delight all the romanticism, all the beauty and all the vague dreams which she hides so closely from the world. In consequence she reads into the music her own feelings, and then she confuses the musician with his music. He, too, is keyed up to a high tension; he feels telepathically the emotion he has communicated and so a spark is kindled between them. As for the result—well, sometimes it is love, sometimes a momentary infatuation—that all depends upon how much music they hear together and how much pent-up nervous emotionalism lies buried in the woman’s soul.
“Emotions,” say the pedants, “are always more powerful than thoughts or common sense, and music is the symbol of emotion, with its notes attuned not only to a fixed sound, but to a corresponding nerve in the human body which vibrates in response to it so that the scale of emotions and the scale of music are identical. The result is that listening to music, provided your nerves are emotionally attuned to it, has the same physical effect as great pleasure or excitement, causing exhilaration, an increased pulse and a quickened heartbeat. What wonder, then, that the woman listening loses her mental balance and believes that the musician rather than the composer whose music he plays is the cause of her delight.”
“The only safeguard,” say psychologists, “lies in the fact that not all women are what one might call attuned to the same key as the music they hear. To be candid, it is usually the woman of more shallow emotions who responds so openly that she follows the piping of the modern Pan. The woman whose nerves are steady and emotions deep but hidden, feels the music, but she responds inwardly instead of outwardly, and therefore does not confuse the man with his music, and as a result gains self-control rather than loses it in the wild melodies of a tone poem, a passionate rhythmic dance or the intricate harmonies of a symphony.
“But the butterfly woman whose days are spent in the pursuit of pleasure and who lives a life that keeps her continually tense lets her emotions have full sway when she feels the delicate harmonies of tonal beauty tugging at her nerves, and the result is that she looks upon music and those who make it for her with a feeling of sensuous delight. She lets herself be swayed by it. She pictures wonderful love dramas in which the musician plays the leading role with her, and the consequence is that it is not long before she believes herself hopelessly in love with him, and through sheer romanticism is ready to ‘fly with him’ if he asks it.
“The worst of it is that modern life, with its extravagance and luxury, its round of pleasures and excitement and the continual haste that speeding trains and automobiles engender, is developing more and more women of this high-strung nervous type, and in consequence there are more and more worshippers at the shrine of musicians.”
“Soul Atmosphere”
Another student of music and the emotions declares that the woman’s search for a “soul atmosphere” is the reason why she is so ready to succumb to the·wooing of a musician. “Women,” he says, “are incurably romantic, and incurably emotional. They are forever seeking the perfect lover and the perfect wooing. They don’t like to descend to the material things if it is possible to avoid it, and in consequence they are always attracted by poets, artists and musicians. But the truth remains that both painters and poets are creators and as creators they are workers, and are often astoundingly practical, but the musician need not create—he need only interpret. Thus he can possess the emotional and romantic personality that women delight in, and while he works just as hard as any other artist, and sometimes harder, it does not leave him dully human as the work of the other men is apt to do.
“Then, of course, there is music itself to lend him a halo; there is the touch of the foreign which musicians, even American ones, seem somehow to acquire; there is the memory of dark eyes, of poetically long hair; of artistic white, well-kept hands; of a huge audience held enthralled by the one man—and there you have enough to chain any woman to the music case of the musician whatever sort of music he gives to the world.
“Even the orchestra leader in the café has this power and this charm. So has the violinist, while at summer resorts the conquests of the musicians are innumerable, for then they have the languorous beauty of the season to help them. So unless they are unusual enough to turn their backs upon the soul atmosphere they create they will continue to be modern Pied Pipers drawing after them women, both young and old.”
That many musicians, whether singers, players or conductors, do turn their backs upon this soul atmosphere is proved by the many successful artists who are real home bodies, but they do it in defiance of the women who write them notes, send them invitations and sigh for personally autographed photographs. They may be armed themselves against the lure of the music, but they cannot arm their hearers, and that makes loyalty and morality very difficult to the average musician.
Hard to Hold Aloof
“You see,” says one of them, “the man—let us say the violinist—plays the music which some great composer has written. When he wrote it he was dreaming a great dream, and he has probably written into it much of human love and joy. Very good; then this is what the musician tries to express in his playing, and because to express it he must feel it, he flings himself into his music. Then there comes to him telepathically what the audience feels. It is not always the same—for often the music is no more than a key that unlocks new emotions or dreams in his hearers’ hearts, but he feels the wave after wave of emotion that beats against the platform—and that, too, sways him. So when it is over and the women crowd around him he is still strung to a high pitch, and he sees in bright eyes all kinds of invitations, and realizes that he—he alone, has the power to enthrall them—and, well, you can see that it is very hard for the man to be cold and distant and aloof, and never to enter into little flirtations.
“Of course, there are those who would have us believe that the duty of the musician is as much to promote morality as to produce pleasure, since music is the most sublime of arts; but no matter how moral the artist may be, or how much he may restrict his reading of the music, he cannot in any way control the manner in which that music will act upon his audience. To one it is mere harmonious sound; to another it is the call of the primitive; to a third, an urge to thrust aside conventions, to live the life of romance—and there you have it. The women follow the musician because they each make him the embodiment of what the music says to them, and whether he wants to or not, he pipes to then, with the call of a Pied Piper.”


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