Favorite Songs and Hymns For School and Home, page: 0256

450 Of The World's Best Songs And Hymns, With Lyrics & Sheet music for voice & piano.

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Oriental Music.�The music of the ancient Egyptians has survived by tradition, as has also their language�many of the words and phrases which are carved in phonetic hieroglyphics still being heard in the mouths of the Copts, and even borrowed by their Arab conquerors. Hebrew music could have no other source than from the music of Egypt. The present practitioners of music in the East have no musical notation, and even express astonishment at the idea of musical notes being represented on paper. They are ignorant, and their profession is held in much dis�credit. The use of music is forbidden by the Koran, although, as if in defiance of its own precept, the Koran itself is chanted. The history of Arabian
music has its marvels and its miracles, like that o! all ancient nations. Such is the enthusiasm of the nations of the East for music, that, to give an idea of its power, they have all had recourse to fiction�yet the profession of musician is considered disgraceful amongst the Arabs. Eminent musicians have seized with avidity every opportunity of endeavoring to make themselves practically and experimentally acquainted with the insurmountable difficulties of the Eastern music, and have labored, without much success, to represent it by the intervals of our scale. The singularity of their music consists principally in this, that each note is divided into three parts: that is, the progression is by intervals equal each to about
one-third of a diatonic interval in our scale, so that the octave consists of eighteen notes instead of thirteen. The running up their scale has no other effect upon a western ear than that of a slide of the voice, or such an effect as is produced by sliding the finger along a violin string. M. Fetis speaks of the music of the Arabs as the most singular, the least rational, which exists in respect to the formation of the musical scale. A French musician, he tells us, discovered that the disagreeable sensation which he experienced from the song of an Arab proceeded from this cause, namely, that the division of the scale of sounds had no analogy with that to which he was accustomed. This scale, 10 singular and eccentric to us, so natural to the
car of the inhabitants of a great part of Africa and Asia, is divided into thirds of tones, in such a man�ner that instead of containing the usual sounds in the extent of an octave, it admits eighteen. It is certain that these people have no idea of harmony; they know nothing whatever beyond the rude melody. " I knew in Paris," says the writer just quoted, " an Arab who was passionately fond of the Marseillaise, and wha often asked me to play that air for him on the piano; but when I attempted to play it with its harmony, he stopped my left hand and said, ' No, not that air; only the other;' my bass was to his ear a second air, which prevented his hearing the Marseillaise. Such is the effect of education on the organs of sense."�Moore.
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E-Book - An Annotated Compendium of Old Time American Songs by James Alverson III