Review: He has no ear for music. (So much of Lamb’s writing depends on digressions, sometimes in the form of—to me—archaic references and allusions that I find it difficult to follow his line of thought. In having to stop to try to recall the allusions, many of which I cannot, I forget his train of thought.) But the gist of this essay is that he has no ear for music.
“I even think that sentimentally I am disposed to harmony. But organically, I am incapable of a tune.”
“Scientifically, I could never be made to understand…what a note in music is or how one note should differ from another. Much less in voices can I distinguish a soprano from a tenor.”
“I am constitutionally susceptible to noises.”
“Above all, those insufferable concertos, and pieces of music, as they are called, do plague and embitter my apprehension….”
The Art of the Personal Essay: An Anthology from the Classical Era to the Present. Ed. Phillip Lopate.
: Anchor Books. A Division of Random House, Inc. 1995. New York