19 MAY 1923, Page 24

Potent as a propagandist of bad music, the gramophone is

not yet fully appreciated as an agent in improving musical taste. Many people who profess to know nothing about music buy records of Beethoven or Wagner in preference to those of the latest ballad or fox-trot. This sort of musical apprecia- tion is spontaneous but unstable, and such people should fortify their choice by studying Mr. Bavin's little book, which is written with special reference to the gramophone. There are, of course, the invaluable H.M.V. educational records made by Dr. Walford Davies last year, and the Columbia Company has just issued three records showing the characteristics of individual orchestral instruments, each of which plays a phrase from Beethoven. Both companies also publish book- lets describing their records in detail and containing music type illustrations, but Mr. Bavin goes right to the bottom of things. He analyses melody and form, describes with dia- grams the nature and capabilities of orchestral instruments, examines fully the construction of many works, like the Tannhduser Overture, and finally gives a list, six pages long, of suitable records. Teachers who are contemplating lessons in musical appreciation should obtain this book.