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MAIHAI-KATCINA                                   169
adiatonic, and a few alterations sufficed to bring it within the scale. The chief obstacle was the upper tone of A2 and A3, but from this the anomalous initial minor third of A1 provided an escape.
A comparison of C2 and C3, the two segments of the song which are most nearly simple repetitions one of the other, well illustrates a lesson of all this music. Up to the point in each where the judgments began to be doubtful, half of the intervals diverged in various ways at least tone from harmonic standards, yet the notes diverged the second timetone at most from their previous pitch in more than half the cases. In the interim the singer had executed a number of move­ments much lower in pitch. Harmonically his performance was a se­ries of gross blunders; melodically it showed an exactness that makes want of will rather than want of skill the probable interpretation of its deficiencies. The inference is that this singer did not aim at intervals but at a melody. He did not try and fail to combine recognized stand­ards of pitch distance into a sequence, but successfully followed a pro­gression by pitch relations which had otherwise no precise existence in his mind. This progression was to him a familiar habit of fancy and voice, very exact in some features, structural and other, and approximate or variable elsewhere. It expressed his inclination toward the intervals of simple ratio directly and not through the choice of these or any others as standards.
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E-Book - An Annotated Compendium of Old Time American Songs by James Alverson III