MAKING OUR HOME BEAUTIFUL 203
taken enough interest in your father, and it is high time you found out. Don't be afraid that papa's taste in music will be too low; the chances are that men of his generation will be much more likely to prefer "Bonnie Doon" or "Mary of Argyle" to the cheap two-step and vapid popular song that lower present-day taste; and it is a great thing to be able to play "Bonnie Doon" or "Mary of Argyle" with a lovely flow≠ing cantabile, so that it sings under your fingers. Think for one moment of the one who pays all the bills for all those practice hours. Even as a simple business proposition, don't you think the one who finances an enterprise has a right to receive a report once in a while?
If there should chance to be some one in the family who plays some other instrument and wants you to accompany, there is your chance. Perhaps if you remember about serving with your music, you will not dodge when your brother, let us say, wants you to play the piano part for his violin, al≠though he may play rather badly. The beauty of this sort of work is that, like all forms of social service, it helps the giver more than the receiver. My grandfather used to play the flute, and when his dear daughter died he pressed me into service to play the piano with him. I was a little bit of a thing; notes were still hard to read; it took me a long time to bungle through the hymn he wantedóbut I shall never for≠get the strange and beautiful sensation I experienced when I could play that with him. We were making music together, and I was at last free of the world of tone.
In a like manner he used to play the violin without notes, wandering from tune to tune at will, and I had to scramble after him on the piano, making chords to fit. Somehow that made me think and feel musicóand all the time I thought I was only helping grandpa to have a good time.
And then you have friends. Some, perhaps, may be ill. If you have ever been ill for a long time, you know how, after the stress of pain is over and you can bear to hear sounds, you begin to think of the piano downstairs, and your fingers ache for the touch of smooth, cool ivory and your ears for the sound of musicófamiliar music. Even the organ