Quebec History Marianopolis College

Date Published:
June 2005

L’Encyclopédie de l’histoire du Québec / The Quebec History Encyclopedia


Music in Canada


[This article was published in 1948; for the exact citation, see the end of the text.]

Music. The art of composition and the art of performance together form that which we term "music". A survey of music in Canada is therefore a record of achievement in these two respects.




That all branches of composition may be mentioned, it is necessary as a preliminary to point out that it may be classified as (1) primitive and (2) tutored. To the first class belong the native music (that of the North American Indian and the Eskimo) and the folk-music. Briefly, this may be defined as music of the solo and single idea type. As originally written, such music was unaccompanied, and was considered sufficient unto itself. To the second group belongs all music of the plural-idea type. This occurs when melodies are accompanied, are developed, and are joined to other melodies. The first type has survived through the memory of oral tradition; the second presupposes notation and publishers.


Native Music.

Since the North American Indian is found in the United States as well as Canada, the native music of Canada may be considered a branch of the native music of the continent. In recent years, both American and Canadian governments have devoted time to its study. The results already gained include the collection of about 3,000 records of Indian songs these were taken in Canada-and also


the acquiring Of much knowledge not only regarding the artistic side of this music, but also as to the ethnological problems which the Indian race represents. The last offers many points of interest, of which one, noticed by Marius Barbeau, is the striking resemblance between the music of the Indians of the North West and that of the Siberians and Chinese. This presupposes that intercourse between Alaska and Siberia (via the Bering strait, which is dotted with islands, is frozen in winter, and is only 40 miles in length) was very general in bygone days, and that its influence extended to cultural matters as well as to the exchange of commodities. Further, the use of words, meaningless to the Indians who sing them, but familiar to students of Buddhist rituals, the similarity of the drums (Indian drums and Siberian drums are alike in structure and in size), still more the similarities in the funeral rites, customs, traits, myths, and stories which are found to exist in both countries have led ethnologists to think that the origin of the north-western Indian is to be found in Asia.


Apart from ethnological considerations, two points remain which are of sufficient general interest to be briefly considered. One is that of the characteristics of the music itself; the second is that of its influence on composers. The first is technical, and is too long to be treated adequately in this article. But, briefly, some of the more important features are (1) rhythm, which is complex and distinctive; (2) scales, which have been conceived downwards, and which also show a likeness to medieval tonal systems; (3) intervals, which often verge on the use of quartertones; (4) purpose, which for the most part is that of assistance at ceremonials, dancing, and pantomime, and of dramatic expression. Of these the rhythm, with its freedom from the rigidity of bar lines, with its drum accompaniments-these often maintaining regularity in time and accent, yet at cross purposes to the song they accompany is perhaps the most characteristic. Certainly it is a trait which tutored musicians find difficult to imitate. The second consideration-that of influence on the course of tutored composition-is one that has not affected Canada as yet. At the first Quebec Festival, sponsored by the Canadian Pacific Railway and held in 1927, some treatments of Indian melodies appeared in string quartet form. A few transcriptions of Indian melodies into songs with accompaniments have also been published. But so far these must be regarded as experiments only. Naturally, more has been done in the United States. For a time, and before the coming of "jazz", the American composer was prone to receive the impress of Indian music as something valuable, as a germ cell on which to build. Latterly, however, this trend seems less evident. But for information on this, and for a bibliography of such works, the reader is referred to the excellent article on Indian music in the American supplement to Groves 's Dictionary of music and musicians.


Folk Music.

Canadian folk music is mostly found in the province of Quebec. Under government direction, and with the help of many searchers (among whom the name of Marius Barbeau will always be remembered), some 7,000 records of songs or versions of songs are now in safe-keeping. Most of these exist in phonograph records, and many are to be found in the National Museum at Ottawa. Of the points of general interest, three are important and can be mentioned briefly. The first, that of origin, has been the subject of mach recent research. This has shown that the greater part, perhaps 90 per cent., came with the tide of immigration which flowed from the Loire and Normandy to the shores of the St. Lawrence between 1608 and 1673. Of the remaining 10 per cent., half have come from


France since the seventeenth century, and the rest have been written in Canada. It is clear, therefore, that while the bulk of Canada's folk-song repertory is not indigenous, yet Canada provided the right conditions for its survival. The second, which is that of general and musical character, has likewise been the subject of much investigation. In this it has been pointed out that the roots of this music are to be found in the art of the jongleur; and further, that these music and verse-makers, who flourished in France until the beginning of the seventeenth century, showed certain characteristics which their Canadian descendants retained. For instance, they wrote for popular rather than aristocratic appeal; they rarely committed their writings to print; and they were profoundly affected by their surroundings. When in Normandy they composed ballads and narrative songs, when in the Loire they wrote more in the lyrical style. Consequently French-Canadian songs possess similar distinctions. Those that have been found near, and south-west of, Montreal - where the Loire immigrants settled - follow the lyrical impulse. Those found east of Quebec partake of the story kind. And thus we get ballads, narratives, complaintes (tragic songs), besides love, work, exploring, religious, and comic songs. Of the musical aspect, it may be claimed that they are very tuneful. In many there are vigorous rhythms; in most there is conformance to standardized scales; in many there is distinct grace and charm. While not perhaps of such exceptional beauty as the Irish, for instance, yet in artistic worth they can be compared to the heritage of many other countries. The third point, which is that of influence, is shown in published compositions bearing the impress of the Canadian folksong. Although the appearance of French-Canadian melodies in print is of recent date-none appeared before 1865 - yet this is already of some importance. Fortunately much information on this is obtainable. A bibliography, giving information not only as to books and articles, but also as to compositions which have been inspired by this inheritance is to be found in Folk-songs of old Quebec by Marius Barbeau, published by the National Museum of Canada.


Canadian Composition.

In composition, apart from native and folk music, Canada as yet has produced very little. For this many reasons may be given. First, it is questionable if there is the necessary environment - this implying publishers and public, with the latter willing to accept new works as news. Second, Canadian composers lack patrons and are too dependent on other work for their livelihood. Third, the copious literatures of other countries are sufficient to satisfy the needs of Canadian performers. Fourth, Canadian temperament and character is not sufficiently homogeneous to influence composers in the forming of national traits, or a national school.


Nevertheless, there has been some noted individualistic effort. In the domain of church, choral, and organ music, Healey Willan is known throughout Canada, in many parts of the United States, and in England. His published compositions include over two hundred works. He is already regarded as a leader in the movement to a return towards the older and more impersonal style of church music. Of other noted work, much has been done by Alfred Laliberté, Claude Champagne, Achille Fortier, Alfred Whitehead, and Sir Ernest Macmillan. But this list by no means covers all that should be mentioned. Much, of course, has been written in Canada which has not yet found a publisher, and a good deal has been written by Canadians who have settled in the United States. It is unfortunate that, apart from the Dictionary of modern music and musicians published in 1923, little information regarding this is obtainable from books.


Efforts to stimulate composition by competition and prize-giving have been made from time to time. The most recent of these is that known as the Jean Lallemand prize. Of the value of $500, it is given annually in Montreal. To date, however, it is impossible to say whether this, or former prizes of a like kind, have met with real success.


A word must be added about popular music. Those engaged on the production of seriously minded works are very prone to scoff at what may be termed commercial productions. Yet it is significant that this popular music is of great appeal. In point of business, it occupies by far the larger part of that which is printed and sold. But while Canada is alike with other countries in this, yet little of such music has been written by Canadian musicians. In the main the American influence - seen in the great output of "Rag-time", "Jazz", "Blues", "Swing-music" - has dominated the Canadian market. And except that some of this is now printed in Canada, and that there have been a few cases of Canadians achieving notable successes in popular songs, and also in patriotic songs, it must be admitted that Canadian popular music is American in style and authorship, and that Canada was the first of foreign countries to succumb to its appeal.


In the domain of national songs, three are familiar to Canadians. The first is the British national anthem. The singing or playing of this at public functions is regarded as an emblem of loyalty to the Crown. Two others are "O Canada", written by Lavallée a little more than fifty years ago, and "The Maple Leaf for Ever" written in 1867 by Alexander Muir .




Apart from the competitive festivals, public performance of music by the trained executant is an art essentially belonging to the cities. Observers and musicologists of the United States have declared that music on the continent of America appears only as a noteworthy factor when cities reach a population of 25,000 or more. In dealing with music in Canada, it must be remembered that such cities are few, and that they are separated for the most part by great distances. Added to this geographical separation is a demarcation caused by difference of race. Ontario knows little of the musical endeavours of Quebec, and Quebec, except at a meeting point in Montreal, has little knowledge or interest in the doings of Ontario and the West. For such reasons a review of musical performance in Canadian cities is difficult. At best it can resemble a number of snap-shots, some taken at short distance, some at long. And it is inevitable that opinion will disagree as to the merits of those which have been chosen for review. As far as chronological order can be traced, musical development in the cities began with church music. Following this came the formation of musical clubs, of choral societies, of educational efforts-these fostering at first the teaching of singing and piano-playing and more recently, of orchestral societies and chamber music organizations.


In church music, the existence of a great number of non-Anglican Protestant churches has led to the cultivation of the more personal style. This includes the admission of men and women singers, of solo work, and the singing of anthems both a cappella and with organ accompaniment. In general, a high standard has been achieved. In many cases, choir-training has proved an excellent preliminary for larger choral work, and many choral societies can trace their inception to a successful beginning in some particular church. In churches of the older religions, where a more impersonal style is demanded, and where the older music is performed, much is being done at the present time. Achievement to date, however, is limited rather than general, this indicating that distinguished work of this kind requires traditions which have hardly arrived in Canada as yet, but which are rapidly being acquired.


The organ work in church music has been considered important for many years. A Canadian College of Organists, founded in 1909, similar in its purpose to that of the Royal College of Organists of England, conducts examinations, awards a diploma, and is becoming an important factor in matters relative to church musical affairs. To the influence of the church also is to be attributed the success of Canadian organ-builders. One firm in particular - Casavant Frères of St. Hyacinthe , Quebec - has had the distinction of some notable installations in the United States , and it is conceded both by native and foreign organists that their work is of the highest kind.


Musical clubs, mostly founded and conducted by women, trace their origin to the United States. They are to be found in the cities and in many towns. A few, like the Morning Musical Club of Montreal, already can point to over forty years of activity. Unquestionably the musical life of many districts has been the richer for their endeavours. A difficulty in the musical life of a new country (and one which the club tends to mitigate) is the introduction of new artists, new mediums, and new works. Before a certain musical-mindedness has been obtained, communities are prone to be unresponsive to the ordinary methods of concert advertising. But an organization with fixed membership, with certain social allurements, is able to do much to lessen this difficulty. That this has been done, and that the Canadian women may claim their share in the creating of musical appreciation, and in the development of musical taste, is unquestionable. The success attending these various women's clubs has had some counterpart in the organizing of men's clubs of a similar nature. Most important of these is that of the Men's Musical Club of Winnipeg, founded in 1915, an organization which has done a great deal towards musical developments of all kinds in that city. Of late Canadian musical clubs have been helping student and local effort. Many give valuable scholarships that the winners may obtain tuition in the best centres. This is of great value because Canadian governments-federal, provincial, and civic-follow English precedence in their dislike of monetary grants to musical enterprise. Excepting the Quebec government, which gives an annual scholarship of the value of $3,000, and which supports the Concerts Symphoniques de Montreal, musical enterprise is mostly under private management. While this avoids certain disadvantages associated with political influence, it suffers with the vagaries of trade conditions.


Choral Singing.

Choral singing in Canada may be considered in the front rank of Canadian musical achievement. This is due to three things: one, the possession of good voices; two, the presence of good choral conductors; three, the temperament akin to that of the English, which likes democratic rather than highly professional effort, and which will impel a body of amateur singers to submit to months of severe drilling, when the objective is but a short hour of triumph at the end of the season. It is with choral singing that Canada discovered that (musically speaking) she could export as well as import. This occurred when the Mendelssohn Choir of Toronto successfully carried their concert-giving to the United States. The history of this organization tells a fine achievement. Founded in 1894 by the late Augustus Vogt, it was conducted by him from that date until 1917, and since then by Herbert Austin Fricker. Besides its concerts and festivals in Toronto, it has undertaken one tour in eastern Ontario and Quebec, and thirteen tours (with thirty-seven concerts) in the United States. Its programmes have been noted for the inclusion of all kinds of choral music. Major works, old and modern, in which chorus and orchestra are together, unaccompanied choral works, of the madrigal, motet, and modern part-song-type-have been regular features since the society's inception. Its early policy of engaging such orchestras as the Chicago, Philadelphia, and Cincinnati unquestionably sowed the seed of orchestral appreciation in the city of Toronto in which they appeared.


Among other choral societies that have gained distinction abroad as well as at home the following are important. First, the Winnipeg Male Choir, founded in 1916, has had two successful tours in the United States , and one in eastern Canada . Its fortunes have been directed by many conductors, of whom Hugh Ross is particularly remembered, since it was during his régime that the society first won its wider attention and successes. Second, the Schubert Choir of Brantford, founded in 1906 by Henri Jordan, and conducted by him since its inception, has appeared in the United States - where it won first place in the American National Eisteddfodd (at Scranton , Pa. , in 1929) - and has made four successful appearances in Toronto. Third, the Canadian Choir, also of Brantford , founded in 1929, is a smaller organization of about sixty voices. In 1930 it accomplished a tour in England , under the baton of Frederick Lord. Many concerts were given both in Scotland and in England , and the choir had the distinction of competing against some of the best British choirs at the Blackpool festival, and of winning second place in the preliminaries and fourth in the finals. Four, the Junior Elgar Choir of Vancouver and New Westminster has had, too, the distinction of two journeys to England. It has also appeared at the Canadian National Exhibition, and has won high praise in both English and Canadian cities.


Besides the above, a number of excellent choral organizations are to be found in different cities, which have not, however, travelled beyond Canada. The Ulgar Choir of Hamilton , Ontario, conducted by Bruce Carey, William Hewlett, and for one year by Roy Fenwick, has done much to create a musical taste in that city. The Philharmonic Choir of Winnipeg, conducted respectively by Hugh Ross, Douglas Clarke, Peter Temple, and Bernard Naylor, has played a prominent part in musical affairs in Winnipeg - as has also the Winnipeg Boy's Choir, which has been directed by Ethel Kinley. Further west, the Bach Choir of Vancouver, conducted by Professor Ira Dilworth, is regarded as one of the most important musical assets of that city.


Orchestral Music. Orchestral music in Canada has come much into prominence during the last few years. The influence of American example, where in mangy cities the orchestra is the centre of musical activities, as well as the improvement in the technique of playing, and the discovery that among native musicians were some with exceptional technique for conducting-all have contributed their impress on Canadian opinion. This has been very noticeable in Toronto and Montreal , arid to a slightly less extent in Calgary and Vancouver. In Toronto, orchestral history records four important organizations. The first, the Toronto Symphony Orchestra, which started in 1908, with between seventy and eighty professional players, and with Frank Welsman as conductor and Herbert Cox as patron, gave regular concerts in Toronto, and occasional concerts in other towns of Ontario, and in Quebec. The second, under the baton of Luigi van Kunits, which eventually also took the same name, gave twilight concerts in Toronto between 1924 and 1931. It was during this time that players and conductor agreed to a policy of cooperation and share-receiving, and succeeded thereby in carrying on without financial guarantees. From 1932 to 1936 a third Toronto Symphony Orchestra, formed on the nucleus of the second, and with Sir Ernest Macmillan as conductor, has reverted to the policy of evening concerts, and has concentrated on the performing of major orchestral works. This last period has witnessed important gains and successes, and has shown that public opinion has veered towards accepting orchestral music, as the most vital of the musical arts. It has also witnessed a fourth orchestral organization, known as the Promenade Symphony Orchestra, this conducted by Reginald Stewart, which began concerts in the 'Varsity Arena in 1934, and which had already completed three seasons. This last, begun more or less as a relief measure (that of giving work to musicians during the summer months, and operated on a share basis) has been remarkably successful. Planned on good but popular lines, these concerts have attracted a general public rather than a musical minority. They have shown also that concert-giving may extend into the summer; for in both 1934 and 1935. attendances were far in excess of any hitherto known in the Dominion.


In the other cities already mentioned, orchestral music records the following events. In Montreal, an organization known as the Montreal Orchestra, with Douglas Clarke as conductor, has completed five seasons of weekly concerts. A similar organization, known as Les Concerts Symphoniques de Montréal, conducted by Wilfred Pelletier, has completed one season. In Calgary, a symphony orchestra of thirty-six professionals and thirty-nine amateurs was organized in 1930 under the baton of Grigori Garbovitsky. It has given about four concerts annually since then. In Vancouver a symphony orchestra was formed in 1919. This organization disbanded in 1922, on account of the difficulty of holding Sunday concerts. It was re-organized in 1930 with Allard de Ridder as conductor and Mrs. B. T. Rogers as president. Its programmes now include six annual concerts, besides a number of open-air concerts, which are given in Stanley Park . In the mid-west, Winnipeg has experienced some vicissitudes of fortune. Good orchestral work has been done, but at the moment of writing is not being continued. In Regina, however, an orchestra under Knight Wilson has had many active and successful years.


The smaller orchestra, once an adjunct to the theatre and "silent" picture theatre, suffered with the introduction of the talking machine. The days when " Main Street " had an orchestra seem to be past, in Canada as elsewhere. For except in a few cases, where the old theatre still exists, or where large theatres operate both pictures and vaudeville, these smaller bands have ceased to exist.


In chamber music, Canadian effort has come to the fore in recent years. String quartets and other ensemble organizations of Toronto and Montreal began regular concerts and short tours more than thirty years ago. In 1924 a more important organization known as the Hart House Quartet was formed in Toronto , and through the efforts of the Hon. Vincent Massey became the recipient of an endowment - this placing it on a similar footing to other quartets which had come into existence in the States. To Canada this gave a quartet which could give chamber music its first attention. As a result Canadian effort in this has extended abroad, for this organization already has visited different parts of Canada, the United States, England, and the continent of Europ .


To conclude this brief survey of concert work in Canada, two points should be mentioned. First, concertgiving is dependent on the existence of concert halls. In earlier days there were very few; and churches, skating arenas, and theatres (the last very unsuitable) were the only places available. With the erection of Massey Hall in 1892 (a gift to the city of Toronto by the late Hart Massey), the building of proper concert auditoriums in Canada may be said to have begun. Since then further buildings, which have been completed, and which are proving very valuable, are Darke Hall (a gift to Regina from F. N. Darke) in 1929, the Civic Auditorium (a gift to Winnipeg from the federal, provincial, and civic governments) in 1932, the Eaton Auditorium, in Toronto, Hart House Theatre, in Toronto, the Little Theatre of Ottawa, and the various concert halls to be. found in some of the large railway hotels. Secondly, attention should be called to the Musical Protective Association, which is the result of American influence, and is far-reaching in its extent. With the exception of parts of Quebec, most of the Canadian unions are branches or "locals" of the American Federation of Musicians, with headquarters in New York . The policy pursued, like that of most labour unions, s one of control of prices by the enforcement of the closed shop. In general, it affects instrumentalists rather than singers. While criticism against Canadians submitting to American labour jurisdiction is sometimes heard, it does not seem likely that there will be any change in the immediate future. Until the coming of the "talkie" and machine-music, the American unions were able to secure very high wages for its members. The memory of this, together with the sense of collective security, seems to point to the continuance of this alliance.


Educational Work.

This may be divided as follows-that done (1) by the universities, (2) by the musical colleges, (3) by the schools, (4) by the private teachers. The first functions more in examination work than in actual teaching, though a trend towards giving instruction in theoretical work is becoming more general. Six universities give degrees in music, these being Toronto, McGill, Dalhousie, Bishops, Acadia, and Mount Allison. As in Englan, the requirements in the main deal with the technique of composition. Most of the universities accept music as an optional subject in their entrance examinations. Formerly this was of a theoretical kind. Recently, however, practical music was included. Of musical colleges there are many. The two largest are the Toronto Conservatory of Music, which celebrates its fiftieth anniversary in 1937, and the McGill Conservatorium. The first is now a department of the University of Toronto ; the second, of McGill University. Both these colleges give diplomas, and their examinations are conducted in all parts of the country. In general, college instruction is managed on different lines to those in force in some of the principal English colleges. There the desire is to provide for the all-time student-this embracing instruction in a principal and secondary studies. Here, it seems more necessary to cater to the part-time or specializing student and to allow him choice in that which he undertakes. A broadening influence, however, is that of the college diploma, this requiring a general knowledge of the grammar of music and its developments, besides proficiency in a special study.


The teaching of music in the schools varies according to district and province. The present signs are towards its greater use and towards a more liberal recognition of its educational value. Classsinging is fairly general in the elementary schools, and the efforts of the Canadian Bureau for the Advancement of Music are being directed towards the forming of class instruction in instrumental work.


Private teaching, including the work of those who give private lessons at colleges, has advanced to a high level. Prior to the Great War, many Canadians studied in Europe . With the results accrued and with the coming of a few noted European performers and teachers, this necessity seems to be lessening. To date the best achievements have been done in piano work. Incidentally the great interest in piano work has resulted in the manufacture of pianos in Canada . Among notable firms engaged in this work are Heintzman of Toronto, Mason and Risch of Toronto, Sherlock Manning and Weber, both of Ontario, and Lesage and Quidoz, both of Quebec.


Competitive Festivals.

Though of recent growth, this movement already has become a very important factor in Canadian musical work. Its origin belongs to England, where it began about forty-five years ago. In Canada, the three prairie provinces were first in the field. Alberta took the lead with a festival in Edmonton in 1907. Saskatchewan followed in 1909, and Manitoba in 1919. Ontario and British Columbia both began in 1923, while Nova Scotia, the last comer, held its first festival at Halifax in the spring of 1935. In 1926 the necessity for cooperation in the matter of adjudicators led to an amalgamation of the four western provinces into an interprovincial association. This has become affiliated with the British Federation of Musical Competition Festivals, a federation incorporated by an Act of parliament in 1921, which now claims an interest in over two hundred inter-empire major festivals.


Of the results shown by the evidence to date, it would seem beyond question that Canadians, like the English, respond to the introduction of the competitive element in their musical art. This is shown in two ways. First, with the notable exception of Toronto, where the initial experiment failed, and where it has not been tried again, many cities show a great increase in their figures. Entries of competitors, classes, and audiences have increased from small to large numbers. Secondly, smaller towns, where musical activities were usually confined to teaching and the occasional or rare visit of a concert party from without, have followed in step, and now have well-organised festivals of their own. Statistics from Alberta, for instance, show that besides two provincial or major festivals held in the cities, there are now ten minor or local festivals occurring in all parts of the country, even including the Peace river district. Saskatchewan likewise can point to two provincial festivals and twelve "locals", these also distributed over a wide area. Similar conditions exist in Manitoba and British Columbia, where the figures point to one "provincial" and six "locals". In Ontario, the movement has shown progress in the towns, but not in the cities. So far, however, a more local policy has been in evidence. Towns work independently of each other, with their respective local committees appointing the adjudicators. In all cases, however, they claim a growing interest. It is beyond dispute, therefore, that the movement has produced decentralization, and has stimulated musical interest.



In opera little has been accomplished. So far Canadian opinion has shown a tendency to follow English opinion, which, in the main, finds the conventions of grand opera somewhat foreign and unnatural, but which delights in light opera with its compromise between both speech and song, and gayety and art. In the largest cities, notably Toronto, a few sporadic efforts to perform opera with native singers and players have been made from time to time. These cities have also been visited by opera companies from the United States. It should be added, however, that at the present time the trend of opinion seems to indicate that opera appreciation may be on the increase. But monetary difficulties (opera is the most expensive of the arts) and the absence of opera houses are still difficulties which have to be overcome.



In company with many other countries, Canadians have become radio listeners. The history of Canadian radio control with its problems of private versus government managements will be treated elsewhere. See Radio. Musically its effects have shown that American influence is very noticeable. Both in light and serious programmes the excellent from without, such as programmes from the United States , rather overshadows the good from within. There is evidence, however, to show that governments are aware of some of the disadvantages that this incurs. As a matter of history it may be mentioned that the first Canadian broadcast occurred in Toronto in 1922, and was under the direction of the Daily Star, and that the first programme of Canadian music to be given an empire-wide broadcast was one performed by the British Broadcasting Corporation in 1935.



In conclusion, and as a summary, it is necessary to resort to comparison. If the golden age of German music - that of the nineteenth century - be taken as an example, it is noticed that the German people of that day possessed all the elements that were needed. They had their great composers, writing in the manner of their own schools; they had publishers willing to print these works, and a public willing to consider such publications as news; they had their great performers; they had their great writers, explaining and . popularizing the claims of music, and awakening interest in the music of the past; they had their conductors, fine concert auditoriums, excellent teachers and schools, and governments willing, often enough, to free their opera houses and concert organizations from financial anxiety. Turning to Canada , we can see that music here is far from that stage. Instead of being "settled in fullest capacity"; it is rather "in course of construction". But the abundance of native talent as shown already in performance, the good teaching facilities that already exist, above all the change in the attitude of educational leadersnow more tolerant to the view that music may be ranked as an educational subject-all go towards the view that the outlook is bright. Canadians are becoming more musically-minded, and that is proof that Canadian musicians possess the most essential of qualities, that of vitality.



Articles or books dealing with the history of music in Canada are not numerous; but reference should be made to the, following: Mrs. S. Frances Harrison, Historical sketch of music in Canada, in J. Castell Hopkins (ed.), Canada: An encyclopedia of the country (Toronto, 1898); O. G. Sonneck, "A survey of music in America", in Essays in music (New York, 1916) ; E. Z. Massicotte and M. Barbeau, Chants populaires canadiens (Journal of American Folk-Lore, 1919) ; Leo Smith, "A survey of music in Canada," in Handbook of Canada (Toronto, 1924); L. Spell, Music in New France in the seventeenth century (Can. hist. rev., 1927); M. Barbeau, Folk songs of French Canada (Music and Letters, 1932), Songs of the north west (Musical Quarterly, 1933), Asiatic survivals in Indian songs (Musical Quarterly, 1934), The Siberian origin of our north west Indians (Proceedings of the Fifth Pacific Science Congress, 1934), and Folk-songs of old Quebec (Anthropological Series, Bulletin No. 16, Ottawa, 1934) ; "G Sharp Minor" (pseud.), Crescendo: A business man's romance (Winnipeg, 1934); and the article on "Indian music" in Grove's Dictionary of music, and musicians (New York, 1935). In the Toronto Mail of December 21, 1878 , there was printed a valuable survey of Music in Toronto, covering the half-century from 1828 to 1878. In 1936 ten articles covering the works of noted Canadian composers appeared in the Toronto Globe (May 30-August 29).

Source: Leo SMITH, "Music", in W. Stewart WALLACE, ed., The Encyclopedia of Canada, Vol. IV, Toronto, University Associates of Canada, 1948, 400p., pp. 363-372.

© 2005 Claude Bélanger, Marianopolis College