MY LOVE AFFAIR WITH MUSIC
Lloyd Alexander's love affair with music consists of a long, arduous, and largely unsuccessful courtship. It begins in earnest when the author is seven years old and in possession of an ancient Bellac piano. A past master of the kazoo and mouth organ, he attacks the more sophisticated instrument with gusto, only to discover that the piano demands a more complicated technique than his childish hands are capable of grasping easily. Determined, he pursues his passion with the help of an unfrocked priest and a patient woman teacher, but is dismayed, in his teens, to find that he has not yet mastered the piano, nor for that matter, any instrument. Equally fruitless are his encounters with the guitar, cymbal, harmonium, voice and violin. All fail to yield beyond a certain point to his minute talent, no matter how intensely he works. A middle-aged man, he no longer attempts to master Saint Cecilia, but humbly accepts the role of a devoted and unfavored lover. A loose collection of reminiscences, which, though they alternate pleasingly between sadness and gaiety, lack the substance one hopes to find in a full length book.