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226
ORTHOMETRY.
Kingsley's " Three Fishers" and " Sands o* Dee" are specimens.
And, lastly, there is the Comic Song, which, in these days of " penny dreadfuls," is rapidly becom­ing a popular favourite.
Before concluding this brief notice of lyric art, it seems necessary to say a few words respecting those more complex compositions of the kind that are specially designed for elaborate musical treat­ment, embracing solo, chorus, and recitative, viz., the librettos of the Oratorio, the Opera, and the Cantata.
The Oratorio, always sacred in its theme, and the Opera, always secular, resemble each other in nearly every other respect. Both are essentially dramatic: they have separate characters with distinct r61es, and depict changing scenes and con­tinuous action. The latter is always acted, and embellished with all the accessories of a regular drama; the former, no doubt solely on account of its subject matter, is rendered with the pictur­esque effects of sound only; but no one can listen to an adequate representation of such an oratorio as Mendelssohn's Elijah without mentally realis­ing the dramatic situations as though they were visibly before him. In both, also, the lyrical element takes the form of song, duet, trio and chorus, the narrative portion being rendered in recitative.
The Cantata is usually devoid of the dramatic element altogether. It gives expression to the






E-Book - An Annotated Compendium of Old Time American Songs by James Alverson III