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MALO-KATCINA                                      115
base, the singer finds ample space in its lower octave to execute a com­plete tetrad of the normal dimensions.
Force of example solely, and no inner constraint of the music, seems to explain Masi-umtiwa's assumption of the identical new base in his B's. The key to the structure of the song appears in Kano's version, the influence of which upon Masi-umtiwa is possibly also to be seen in his tritonus ascent in In both performances of B by both singers the
notes of the octave fall were too rapid to follow with entire security even in the phonograph, as some of the earlier notes had already been. While suspecting that the appearance of a chord of the dominant sev­enth in this sequence was a figment of the harmonic sense, the ear was powerless to penetrate the disguise.
The semitone axial displacement from A to B, its anticipation in Kano'sand hence, if the foregoing auditory explanation of its
occurrence be correct, a cardinal element in the musical content of the song, are unrecorded in the staff notation. Apart from a few wholly recalcitrant notes, the ear made very easy work of putting
the melody into the diatonic key of major. In this process a was stretched a semitone beyond the span given it by both singers, and Kano's adiatonic major reading of the tetrad was set aside for Masi-umtiwa's minor reading, which falls within diatonic limits; while numer­ous isolated notes outside the scale were neglected en masse as waifs. This staff notation well illustrates the process of unconscious selection by which the ear tends to retain from a rapid performance only such features as approximately embody diatonic form, rejecting others, except in glaring cases, as negligible aberrations. Through this innocent petitio principii the case for the diatonic scale is won in advance.
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E-Book - An Annotated Compendium of Old Time American Songs by James Alverson III