Traditional Hopi Songs - online book

Native American Songs With Sheet Music, Notation & Commentary

Home Main Menu Singing & Playing Order & Order Info Support Search Voucher Codes

Share page  Visit Us On FB

Previous Contents Next
18                                           HOPI SONGS
nently. Multiple progressive mutation is illustrated by Snake Song No. 2, where a semitone rise in the extremes of a triad is followed by a similar rise of the mediant, the extremes adjusting themselves as at first, and the mediant thereupon rising again; and in Snake Song No. 4, where the mediant rises by successive quarter tones in four out of five repetitions of the melody, the extremes alternately delaying and follow­ing. Incomplete mutation is illustrated in Malo-katcina as performed by Kano, where the lower extreme of the theme is raised a semitone in repeating it; by Anonymous II, where each of two superposed fourths exhibits in the repetition the predominant division that was originally predominant in the other; and in Sumyacoli, where the lower notes of each of two themes rise a semitone in the repetition. Neither in Malo-katcina nor in Sumyacoli is the arrest of mutation definitive, for in codas to those songs the outlines (or octave outlines) of the themes, though not the figures themselves, appear completely shifted.
Three songs of the seventeen show no important mutation of figure and no displacement of a cardinal note. The modulation of the theme through a fourth seems to engross the thoughts of the singer of Snake Song No. 6, and this he executes again with precision, diverging now and then rather by an inveterate habitude of variety than by definite purpose. Haikaya also modulates the theme through a fourth, and also repeats the process without any variation indicative of purpose, although a final access of fervor stretches the modulated figure beyond all bounds. Anonymous I repeats without mutation a loose-jointed melody, that forthwith expands or contracts every step it takes. These instances in which the impulse to vocal freedom, denied expression in the larger features of the songs, finds an outlet in the smaller, makes their exposi­tion of the device of mutation complete.
Mutation results in the substitution of other intervals for
Its motives                                                                           m                                     ....
all those formed by a certain pitch or certain pitches in the figure shaped. The initial change of span, if not a chance result, may be ascribed to caprice, to a desire for novelty, or to pleasure in vocal skill; and the correspondingly altered span of subsequent movements involv-
Previous Contents Next

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