Did Watson like Holmes' music?
"[Elgar's] fame began with the `Enigma' Variations, a turning point for English music, for Elgar grew up in a country that had lost touch with a venerable musical tradition. Before the Engima Variations arrived, the national sound consisted of gentlemen amateurs imitating Mendelssohn; it is amazing that Elgar matured in so unstimulating an environment."One of those amateurs, albeit a fictional one, was Sherlock Holmes. The Enigma Variations' publication in 1899 places them smack in the middle of Holmes' own career as consulting detective and amateur violinist. So, for all you musicians and crime fiction readers: What role does music play in the Sherlock Holmes stories? Was Conan Doyle a stodgy conservative when it came to music? Was Holmes? Did Conan Doyle throw his hero into Reichenbach Falls out of despair that advances in English music were about to pass him by?
(For more on Sherlock Holmes and music, see Ted Friedman's article "Music of Sherlock Holmes." Incidentally, I discovered as I prepared this post that Holmes never said, "Elementary, my dear Watson," at least not in any of Conan Doyle's stories.)
© Peter Rozovsky 2009