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THE PHONOGRAPHIC METHOD                         45
so with batteries which have been charged a number o£ days, even when little used. Thus with Battery 1, after disuse of ten days, the note of Cylinder B was given in general with about the customary height­ening of one fortieth of a tone, excepting for one or two marked devia­tions in pitch, generally ephemeral in each reproduction. With Battery 2, which was not used until a month after charging, the reproduction of B varied continuously through fractions of a tone large enough to be audible. With Battery 3, also unused until a month after charg­ing, while the variation could not in general be detected by the ear, it was sometimes as much as a quarter of a tone, in other reproductions being almost zero. Battery 4 gave with Cylinder B a note constant to within the customary fortieth of a tone, both when first used and after an interim of three days.
As an apparatus for the reproduction of textures of interval, the phonograph may fairly be called an instrument of precision. The tests indicate that under proper conditions, as notes are taken farther apart in an inscribed sequence, the distortion of the interval they form gradu­ally increases from zero to a maximum of about a fortieth of a tone, which is generally reached only when they approach the extremes of a complete inscription. If, as may plausibly be claimed, such a distor­tion would always be either too small or too long in emerging to be recognized even by the ears of a Mozart, the phonograph is a practi­cally perfect means of reproducing the major elements of musical form.
The application of these data to our ultimate inquiry, viz., whether these notations record observations of the same set of facts of interval as were presented in the origi­ nal performances, involves the question as to the constancy of rotation of the phonograph cylinder during both the inscription and the repeated reproduction of this music.
The same phonograph was used in both these processes. Dr. Fewkes took with him from Kansas City, and employed at the Pueblo for taking all these songs, a single storage battery of 150 amperes. It may have been in use in all three or four hours, a fifth or sixth part of the time
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E-Book - An Annotated Compendium of Old Time American Songs by James Alverson III