- Museum number
- Object: The Logierian system, or unveiling the new light to ye musical world!!With the discovery of a general thoro base bass discord in the old school-
Logier, with two supporters, stands on a platform, drawing aside a curtain from an irradiated woman's head, with classical features and a laurel wreath. In a lozenge on her forehead are the figures '3, 5, 8'. The rays strike solid clouds which rise from a part of the audience representing 'the Old school', and on which their words are inscribed. Next Logier stands a handsome young man wearing a long coat and trousers, who resembles Thomas Simpson Cooke, then a vocalist at Drury Lane, and an older man wearing knee-breeches, who points to the centre of a large spider's web (left), showing that he is Samuel Webbe. They say in unison: "Honesty is the best policy! We want no private Consultation or inventions, let us be Judged of according to our works!" The web is covered with tiny men with flies' wings, struggling to get free: 'Professional flies & other useless insects entangled by attacking the Webb of Justice & Industry.' Under the web are papers: 'Hints from C. Sharp to be natural & a flat for the rest of your life' and 'Dry study—or the Old System of Keeping pupils in the Dark' [which a dog is befouling]. Under Webbe's foot is an open music book: The Devil among ye Tailors with new Variations— modulated into ye Devil among the Music Masters in a Minor Key.' At Logier's feet is a scroll: 'Glorious Apollo a Glee for three Voices to be sung by Mes . . . L . . .'
The platform is placed at an angle, so that one side faces the enthusiastic public, the other (right) a group of elderly and much caricatured music-masters, whose bodies are composed of lyres. All but a small group on the right wear grotesque old-fashioned wigs, showing that they are 'big-wigs'. On the left sits John Bull, a fat 'cit', with carbuncled face, who applauds vociferously: "Bravo! Bravo! Bravo! I always thought we were fleeced by those Musical Scamps." Two dandies, a tiny child, and others applaud; "Bravo" is repeated and hats are waved. The old-fashioned music-masters turn aside from the platform to discuss the situation, registering burlesqued disgust. One with a small trumpet for a nose asks: "Can't we invent some Caricature or Satirical work to turn the thing into ridicule? John Bull is but a simple fellow & if you can only make him laugh you get the weak side of him." His friend answers: "Aye! Aye! but where is the man of genius among us? (except for money making): look what productions have already been published; neither wit nor common sense: nor even grammar or spelling! they have done the cause more harm than good: & one fool so proud of his Barbarisms has put several portraits of himself (Mr Goose the Author) in divers attitudes." The other speeches, which rise above the speakers' heads on cloud or smoke to the upper margin:  "Our only chance is now to keep all the Amateurs as much in the dark as we have very wisely done before; by uniting firmly to persuade them that this new discovery is all a take in; for they know so little that they cannot—dare not,—form their opinions without consulting us."  "Yes! yes! all this may be very well, but when John Bull finds he has been imposed upon he does'nt want for pluck; & we must allow we have hitherto made a pretty good tool of him."  "I dont know what my friend Mr Keepscholar means by his vulgar epithat [sic] of "Tool" but I beg to ask whether it is not fair that a man who has expended the half of his life in a laborious study should not at least speculate to make it turn to the most profitable harvest for the other half:— for my part I am free to confess that I never wish to keep a scholar for less than 14 Years tho' I know as well as Mr Low-jeer that the business may be done in a quarter of the time but wod a conjurer be such a curst fool as to shew his Tricks before he had fill'd his purse by practicing them on the public? or wod a Doctor be silly enough to cure his patient without making a good Bill, & even leaving him in a fair way to require assistance at a future time? No! No! No!!!"  "Bravo! Bravo! Doctor you were always a staunch friend to the drain-pocket system; & tho' yr talent in Music is very inferior as a man to what it was when a boy yet you have displayed new genius in a much more useful way by advocating (& even sacrificing yourself as an example of) the tedious System, so well calculated to support our families: Let us unite one & all & we must Blow him For D—me if any man can resist a mob!"  "Now after all that has pass'd not one word has been or can be, said to the purpose! we have pretty well pigeon'd John Bull & at last he has hired two d—d Germans to detect us: we will of course boldly plead "Not Guilty" but I fear we must all go to Pot!!!"  "Well! Well! But, every attempt against such a serious invasion on our rights & secrets is truly laudable." This conference is watched from the extreme right by a group of thin and melancholy music-masters, also with lyres for bodies. They say: "We must trust to the Big Wigs to lie thro thick & thin for us under-strappers & if they fail—why D—me we must earn our bread honestly as this man does, who has exposed all our Tricks."
From the upper margin hangs a pair of scales, illuminated by the rays of the 'New Light', and above the heads of the mercenary professors. In the lower (right) scale stands a tiny figure, Logier, reaching out towards a half circle surmounted by a crown and containing the numbers '3, 5, 8'. This symbol is above a chord in the treble clef: f, a, c, with the inscription 'Gold or the Root'. The other scale flies upwards, despite the attempts of a number of antiquated professors, one wearing a mortar-board cap (? William Crotch), to pull it down. It contains large open books, the pages sprinkled with musical notes, and with the inscription 'Gilt [altered from "Guilt"] on the leaves'.
23 April 1818
- Production date
Height: 270 millimetres
Width: 400 millimetres
- Curator's comments
- (Description and comment from M. Dorothy George, 'Catalogue of Political and Personal Satires in the British Museum', IX, 1949)
A counter-blast to No. 13035 and a defence of Logier's system of Harmonics, based on the 'Common Chord' or 'scale of nature' in consecutive 5ths and 8ths, here represented by '3, 5, 8'. The opposition is stigmatized as that of an antiquated set who have long preyed upon the public, and whose dishonest methods are symbolized by the lyre. Samuel Webbe (c. 1770-1843) had first introduced Logier's system in London, after a visit to Dublin, and was one of his chief supporters. His father composed the glee 'Glorious Apollo', the first glee performed at every meeting of the Glee Club, cf. No. 6913. For Cooke's use of Logier's method see No. 13035. The other 'd—d German' is presumably Kalkbrenner. In the controversy on the merits of Logier's system, one of the pamphlets was 'published by a committee of professors in London', among whom were Attwood (1765-1838), Dr. Crotch (1775-1847), Latour (b. Paris 1766, pianist to the Prince of Wales, and composer), and Ries (1784-1838, composer, pianist, and teacher, one of the most conspicuous figures of the London musical world, 1813-24). This evoked a 'Refutation . . .' from Logier, which was countered by satirical pamphlets attempting to ridicule him. The publicity resulting from these attacks established Logier in popular favour. Fétis, 'Biographie universelle des Musiciens'; Grove, 'Dict, of Music'.
Reid, No. 772. Cohn, No. 1325.
- Not on display
- Acquisition date
- Prints and Drawings
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