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
64                                          HOPI SONGS
judgments of various repetitions of the same note in a melody given on the (specially tuned) harmonical, the intervals of the scale of this instrument were estimated in a majority of cases within a fourteenth tone of their actual span. (See the appendix to my paper on the Chinese Musical System.) These records were taken from the harmo­nium, with the aid of the tin horn commonly employed for the purpose, and had, therefore, the characteristic phonographic timbre resulting from the use of this form of receiver. The fact that I was nevertheless able to reach conclusions as to the intervals of the original performance which were so near the truth indicates that the influence of the change from the timbre of the original which occurs in good phonographic records upon judgment of the pitch of the notes involved may be but slight. In regard to the Hopi records, it is to be considered that they were not taken with the tin horn, but with the rubber mouthpiece used in records of speech, and that they sound like what one would suppose them from this fact to be, comparatively close approximations to the original timbre. An instance occurred in writing these songs in which the evidences are that the note judged was hardly at all nearer any other fourteenth tone than the one which we interpret as that chosen. During the examination of Qoyohim-katcina in a reestimate, at a differ­ent phonograph rate, of the initial note, originally judged in unison with the harmonium g, I found its proper representation to be g. Assuming here a sharping from g through the interval represented by the two phonograph rates (which was calculated after the judgment), viz., about 20c, the note had risen to a point very nearly halfway between the tones assumed as the interpretation of the two signs (-) and -, the latter of which was chosen to indicate it.
7. Deficiencies Several sources of inaccuracy in, or uncertainty about, and improvements these notations which I noted or surmised during my work may here be mentioned. As is indicated by the perpetual recurrence of slurs in the records, these performances often have more the character of continuous streams of sound than of structures of discrete notes. On first hearing, many passages of the songs impressed me as a kind
Previous Contents Next








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