- Museum number
- Object: A German mountebank blowing his own trumpet at a dutch concert of 500 piano fortes!!
The title continues: 'or A natural [followed by A natural in musical notation] from the "Scale of Nature" according to the Logier [altered to "Logger"]-head—ian System!!' Plate on the first page of a doubled folio sheet, the two inner pages having an engraved text headed: 'A Flourish of Trumpets! / or / an address to the Public by the Musical Shew Man!!' Logier, the music-master, is delivering one of his musical lectures with demonstrations by his pupils. He capers vigorously on a grand piano, right leg extended, left arm raised, blowing a trumpet inscribed 'Made by Logier at his Brass Manufactory— Dublin.' From it issue the words (parodying Burns):
"Of all the airs the Wind can blow
There's none that puffs like Self & C°"
Below are three bars of music: 'air harmonized by Mr Log'. On the piano are a book: 'a Companion to the Chiroplast,' and a paper: 'Mr Log-Ears Impositions and derangements [altered to "compositions" and "arrangements"] in Music adapted as a Handel for Pupils'. The room is filled with pianos at which pupils are playing; the patent Chiroplast for training the hands is fixed to the keyboards, so that each finger of the performer is under one of a set of adjacent hoops. A young woman (left) plays at the grand piano, looking up at the trumpet-blower. A little girl (right) plays at a square piano placed against the end of the grand piano. In front and in the foreground a tiny child in back view plays at a miniature square piano, a little boy and girl standing by. The most prominent foreground figure is an obese man of Germanic appearance (? Kalkbrenner) who gazes in admiring astonishment at Logier's antics. Behind the grand piano rows of square pianos recede in perspective, each with its player, man or woman, in back view. Spectators stand round the room, listening and gazing, some astonished, some amused, some holding their hands to their tortured ears. Against the wall forming a background is a large notice: 'Scale of Nature with a flat 7th!' above a line of music showing a succession of chords in consecutive 5ths, with the inscriptions: 'Generators to produce the Scale derived from the Lord knows what'; 'The Scale thus deduced is harmonized with consecutive 5th & 8ths!!'; 'Query—how is the Minor Scale produced on these principles?—' Below the title: 'Dedicated to his Countryman The Prince of Humbug [Hesse-Homburg, see No. 12986] and all those double flats that are not sharp enough to secure their Notes from being transposed into the pockets of an ignorant Pretender.' (Musical puns are introduced by the repetition of 'double flats' and by 'sharp' in musical notation.)
1 April 1818
- Production date
Height: 275 millimetres
Width: 225 millimetres
- Curator's comments
- (Description and comment from M. Dorothy George, 'Catalogue of Political and Personal Satires in the British Museum', IX, 1949)
The text is an elaborate attack on Logier interspersed with words in musical notation (deed, fee, &c.). Logier (1777-1846), a German of French extraction, came to London from Ireland; after being bandmaster to the Kilkenny Militia he had opened a music shop in Dublin. He invented the chiroplast, a device for training the hands in piano-playing, and taught on a system of making a number of pupils play simultaneously at different pianos. His career, his system of teaching, and of harmonics, deduced from a supposed 'Scale of Nature' (which, it is pointed out, does not apply to the minor scale, and is derived from the fallacious theories of Rameau and Tartini) are ridiculed. He is a 'Bubble-vender', accused of taking a fee of 100 guineas from teachers of music for the use of his system, though what was good in it was 'what every "good" music Master "always taught"', Paddon of London and Clarke of Edinburgh being instanced. For purposes of advertisement he is said to have imparted his system gratis to 'Messrs Kalkbrenner, Cooke &c.'.
A comprehensive attack on Logier, including a reasoned criticism of his harmonics which is a contribution to the pamphlet war (1817-18) on the merits of the system. John Paddon, who in 1818 published 'A System of Musical Education', wrote to the 'Examiner' (24 May) protesting that he had long used a system of music like that of Logier, apart from the chiroplast. William Clarke (c. 1780-1825) was a teacher of the pianoforte in Edinburgh. Kalkbrenner (178 8-1849) was from 1814-23 a performer and a fashionable piano-teacher in London, where he championed Logier's chiroplast and system. Thomas Simpson Cooke (1782-1848), afterwards director of music and conductor at Drury Lane and Covent Garden, had, like Logier, kept a music shop in Dublin. The foreign charlatan who extracts money from John Bull is a recurrent theme, cf. Nos. 6325, 6652. See also No. 13036.
Reid, No. 771. Colin, No. 350.
- Not on display
- Acquisition date
- Prints and Drawings
- Registration number