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Unifying Devices                              93
All the ingenuities here mentioned will not be within the ordinary range of the keyboard student, but that need not discourage him. We may here bear in mind the Horatian maxim: "Est quadam prodire tenus, si non datur ultra" (It is always possible to reach a certain point, if not to go beyond).
Some of these many devices may and should be carefully studied. It is intelligent development and econ­omy of existing material that mark off genuine musical meaning from mere futile meandering.
Exercise 30.
(a)   Invent a musical figure of one measure, in any key and any time preferred, commit it to memory, perhaps writing it down, then repeat it exactly for the next measure, following it with two more measures in decided contrast ending with a semicadence or modulation.
(b)   Do this again with variations of the initial figure, first by adding ornamental notes and then by changing a characteristic interval (do not make this a sequence) and finish as before.
(c)   Reproduce the same figure in sequence, try it one, two, and three steps higher, and one, two, and three steps lower. Reject ineffective positions; conclude those that are successful with two further measures, as before.
(d)   Take the same figure and repeat it in contrary motion. This may occur at the same pitch or at any interval, higher or lower.
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E-Book - An Annotated Compendium of Old Time American Songs by James Alverson III