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14                                           HOPI SONGS
by two others, marks out the diatonic scale less one step, Fa, which the first interval of the final descent supplies by expanding from a fourth to a fifth. It would appear that while still disembodied music tends to remain adiatonic, though always of necessity diatonoid. Only when incarnate by instrumental constraint does it choose, because it must, the best of all possible yokes.
Once thus embodied in composite instruments, other factors than the tendency of the voice toward intervals of simplest ratio influence the development of the scale. The ear may choose equality of tone-distance as an ideal. Instruments being permanent utensils, ease of manufacture, or use, and charm of appearance may influence the make of their parts, the tones they give, and the interval-orders they embody. Scales may result with which the voice has had little to do, giving back to music, at the convenience and pleasure of ear and hand and eye, a semblance of the liberty of its vocal stage.
What, then, is the character of this singular music, containing neither a scale nor the promise of any?
In one word, this character is the freedom which the white race personifies in the American Indian. Apart from the tendency to consonant intervals no metes and bounds to invention manifest themselves in these melodies, and they may apparently be altered by every performer.1 Such exactness as the songs possess does not lie in the individual intervals which constantly vary and are often exchanged, but in the course of the melodies which sometimes coincide precisely in the repetition at points far removed. (b) Melodic            These correspondences betoken the attainment of an
instead of har- ,
monk norms. ideal radically differing from the harmonic precision which
1 It is a noteworthy fact that the anato­mists of the Hemenway Southwestern Ex­pedition found the hyoid bone of the an­cient skeletons exhumed on the Rio Salado exceptionally elastic in structure. The position of this bone at the base of the tongue makes it an important factor both
in speech and song. (J. L. Wortman and H. F. C. ten Kate, On an Anatomical Characteristic of the Hyoid Bone of Pre-Columbian Pueblo Indians of Arizona, U.S.A. Congres Internationale des Ame'r-icanistes. Compte Rendu de la 7mc Session, Berlin, 1888. Berlin, 1890, pp. 263-270.)
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E-Book - An Annotated Compendium of Old Time American Songs by James Alverson III