From the Archive: October 1939

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The Strad responds to the declaration of war on 3 September with advice on how cellists can do their bit by programming feel-good standards for troops and civilians

Since the publication of the September issue of this journal, Britain has been plunged again into the horrors of a great war and the whole structure of her citizens’ lives has been fundamentally shaken. For the moment, before a natural re-adjustment has taken place, many may find that it is practically impossible to give constructive thought to purely academic or instrumental matters. During these first weeks those who never knew or who have forgotten the part that amateur music played in the last war, may even feel that music itself is an anachronism. Readers, however, whose memories go back to 1914-1918 can bear witness that this is a mistake. One has only to recall the innumerable hospital and camp concerts and the enthusiasm displayed there to realise the supreme importance of musical performance to our fighting men; while players to whom chamber-music makes a particular appeal can surely remember long hours during which their joy in interpreting the beauties of favourite trios, quartets and quintets, enabled them momentarily to forget the troubles without.

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