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168                                         HOP I SONGS
while the closing three movements of C1 preceding the new strophe are narrower than those of C2 preceding the close of the song. The singer's intent in both cases is obvious. The two strophes present an inverse rhythm of A's and B's: (1) A minor-B major-A major: (2) A major-B minor-A minor; and were the connecting C to remain major throughout, there would be no change of sentiment to mark the passage to the new strophe. The minor close of C1 becomes the pivot on which the performer turns his fabric to show it again in the reverse colors. On the other hand, were C2 to remain minor throughout, a contrast between the final repeated segments of the song would take the place of the more natural intensification of the one by the other. As the melody was delivered,enforceslesson of good the final
goal of ill, by a major opening and a maximal close; running on into a pianissimo coda of fifths tending toward octaves that recalls the old-time major close of minor music.
The complete rhythm is the following:
The movement of the major A's (A2 and A3) outlines a fifth extended downward a tone. In the minor A's the initial fifth becomes a fourth by the retraction of both the extremes and is extended a minor third. In the A's before the C's (A2 and A4) the movement is carried a fourth lower still. The base of the fifth is touched in the third and fourth movement, of all the A's, and the next semitone higher appears in the first movement of the minor A's (A1, A4) and the last movement of the A's before the C's (A2, A4). In the first strophe this base is pitched at ga; but in beginning the wide sweeps of C1 the singer twice moves from about ga to about a, and the latter pitch becomes the base of the fifth in the second strophe.
The staff notation contains no hint of the alternative forms which give this song its striking dramatic suggestiveness. The point of the double strophe was missed. The structure of the melody is not conspicuously
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E-Book - An Annotated Compendium of Old Time American Songs by James Alverson III