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
82                                          HOPI SONGS
Argument. An augmented triad, ga-e-c, rises and falls about its axis, e, which then alternates with, and finally holds, a pitch a semitone higher, f; the triad rising until equally divided as at first, a-f-cd, whereupon the axis rises another semitone, to fg.
In this song A is a downward sequence of two thirds, the lower repeated, and B a rehearsal of the same combination from the mediant instead of the summit. In both segments the lower interval tends rather to be the larger (sometimes a fourth), and the two seem executed each for itself, independently of the relation of their extremes. The movement may be described as a slow balloon-like play of augmented triads about an interior note held exactly constant halfway through the song, to be then alternated with a pitch a semitone higher, transferred to that pitch less closely held, and in the final segment shifted upward another semitone. The major augmented triad of A1 (major third over fourth) becomes in A2 minor (fourth over major third), in A3 a minor triad, and in B1 virtually a major triad. In A4 at the higher level it becomes again the original major augmented triad; and, the lower inter­val being immediately shortened, the new base becomes the starting-point of the final upward shift in the interior note. This results from an expansion of the lower interval in A5 like that in A1, but opposite in sense.
While recognizing the non-diatonic character of this song, the unaided ear could not follow its serpentine elasticity of form, catching only this initial downward expansion which the phonograph shows to have had no cardinal importance in the melody.
Previous Contents Next








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