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The progress of art, unlike that of science, does not present an almost unbroken triumphal march from the earliest times to the present day. The achievements of the " maker " in one age are not the starting-points of advance in the next. No poet commences his song with the accumulated knowledge and mastery of forces achieved by his predecessors, as the man of science begins his work. The discovery of nature's laws and the application of her forces to the physical needs of humanity may be regarded as practically illimitable, but it is not so with respect to the requirements and aspirations of the aesthetic side of human nature. Ideals of sensuous beauty of eye and ear, and of the loftier conceptions of our intellectual and emotional nature have already been attained and embodied in con­crete forms which satisfy our finite capacities. The divinely gifted masters who have appeared in the world at rare intervals, have produced models of perfection beyond which we dare not hope to advance nor even emulate. What artist in marble, colours, or sound nowadays dreams of rivalling the beauty of a mediaeval cathedral, or the Madonna of a master-hand, or a symphony by Beethoven i

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