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106                                        HOPI SONGS
within a sixth tone. The lower limit of the intermediate semitone varies \ tone, but the upper limit remains absolutely constant through the two complete strophes. Its third tone fall in commencing the third strophe appears the faltering announcement of the end of the song, which forthwith sinks prematurely through the initial minor third with the suddenness of a falling breeze.
The vivid expression, in this song, of depressed emotion, — lassitude or melancholy,— notable in its small downward shifts and expansions, and in the narrow timidity of its intervals, only ephemerally redeemed in C3 and C4, passed unrecognized by the unaided ear, to which it lay in the major diatonic key of Actually, assuming that the singer meant
a semitone by his intermediate transitions averaging less than that inter­val, it lies withinminor with major seventh. The distinction of a tone in span between the opening salient interval and all the others, particu­larly expressive through its slower delivery, also passed unnoticed ; and the final note was heard a semitone from where it was. Thus unwit­tingly mutilated, the melody lost both its gleam of light and its pervad­ing shadow.
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E-Book - An Annotated Compendium of Old Time American Songs by James Alverson III