Traditional Hopi Songs - online book

Native American Songs With Sheet Music, Notation & Commentary

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52                                          HOPI SONGS
purpose. During this time I used three fresh batteries, the rate of the instru­ment being somewhat more constant than it had been during the notation of Sumyacoli and Mana.
To sum up: as to the constancy of the phonograph during the in­scription of these melodies in Arizona, and during the subsequent use of these inscriptions for notation, the following conclusions may be drawn from the data gathered : —
In the inscriptions: possibly the standard constancy, but more prob­ably either a continuous variation through ratios equivalent to audible fractions of a tone or an occasional ephemeral and marked aberration.
In the reproductions : no departure from constancy during any song equivalent to an interval of much more than one tenth of a tone, this change being in all cases spread over a number of notes, and gen­erally over the greater part of the song.
From these conclusions the following inferences may be drawn as to the faithfulness to their original intervals of the reproductions from which these notations have been made: (a) distant segments of the re­produced performances may not infrequently have been displaced one upon another through an interval large enough to be reflected in a notation according to the method hereafter to be described; (6) within individual periods of the songs the distortion has probably in general been insufficient to affect the notations, although some may have con­tained one or two spots of more or less marked aberration. That is, for the most part, the notations of separate periods of the performances do not differ from what they would have been were the phonograph an absolutely perfect instrument.
Returning finally to the distinction touched upon in section 1, it may be claimed that notations of primitive performances by the present method are for the first time records of their facts of form, a little, and yet but very little, blurred and distorted by the medium through which they become accessible to study.
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