This book concludes with Coffin's notion that the truths of music are “apprehended rather than comprehended.” If the precise definitions differ little, the former carries the idea of sensing and feeling rather than rational understanding. Music always had special power in Coffin's life. It gave him a language for his emotions and influence over others. Music took him to Paris and gave him entree to Russian and to Manya's world. It served him as a lingua franca wherever he traveled. The author once observed Coffin giving a late evening speech to several hundred people at the United Church of Christ biennial General Synod. Before beginning, Coffin sat down at the piano on the stage, and he played and sang Russian folk songs, and through this thoroughly entranced the audience.
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