Afro-American Folksongs - online book

A Study In Racial And National Music, With Sample Sheet Music & Lyrics.

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SATIRICAL SONGS OF THE CREOLES
it is necessary to catch something of the spirit of the peo計le to whom it is, or at least it seems, idiomatic. A na負ive-born American ought to be able to do this quicker and better than a foreigner, but he will not be able to do it at all unless he have the gift of transmuting whatever he sees or feels into music; if he have it not, he will not write music at all; he might as well be a Hottentot as an American.
Though it has been charged against me, by intimation at least, it has never occurred to me in the articles which I have written on the subject to claim that with his sympho要y Dr. Dvorak founded a national school of composition. The only thing that I have urged in the matter is, that he has shown that there are the same possibilities latent in the folksongs which have grown up in America as in the folksongs of other peoples. These folksongs are accom計lished facts. They will not be added to, for the reason that their creators have outgrown the conditions which alone made them possible. It is inconceivable that America shall add to her store of folksongs. Whatever characteristics of scales or rhythm the possible future American school of com計osition is to have must, therefore, be derived from the songs which are now existent. Only a small fraction of these songs have been written down, and to those which have been preserved the scientific method has not yet fully been applied. My effort, as I have confessed, is tentative. It ought to be looked upon as a privilege, if not a duty, to save them, and the bestequipped man in the world to do this, and afterward to utilize the material in the manner suggested by Dr. Dvorak, ought to be the American com計oser. Musicians have never been so conscious as now of the value of folksong elements. Music is seeking new vehicles of expression, and is seeking them where they are most sure to be foundin the field of the folksong. We have such a field; it is rich, and should be cultivated.
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E-Book - An Annotated Compendium of Old Time American Songs by James Alverson III