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
SUMYACOLI                                        217
figure is the repetition of a melodic phrase with certain of its notes displaced. In this music the displacement commonly does not exceed a semitone, is often upward, generally affects all the notes approxi­mately of a certain pitch, and is apt to be followed as it is in Su-myacoli by a similar movement of the rest of the notes. In illus­tration suggested by the present song the interval order of the original movement, in semitones from below upward, is; and this is shaped to, reverting to the first sequence at a semitone higher level.
(1) Mutation has points of resemblance with both discord and modula­tion. Like resolution, the restoration of figure has the form of a return, of expectation satisfied. Commonly it is like modulation in altering the pitch of the figure. Otherwise it differs from both. Both involve a scale, to whose structure resolution adjusts divergent combinations of pitch, and whose steps modulation shifts from one pitch to another. Mutation is hardly compatible with the hypothesis of scale. The cen­tral diagram illustrating the conception of fragmentary modulation, of zones of tone simultaneously referred to different keys, makes its im­probability visible. Here the arrows show that the outlined fragments of the scale have completed their journey, the black having theirs still before them. (2) Discord and mutation are mutually independent. Resolution does not involve restoration, but might wholly differ from either the discord or preceding concord. Restoration does not involve resolution, for it may reproduce a discord which the shaping resolved. (3) Modulation and mutation are likewise independent, a modulated figure being shaped or not at will, and a shaped figure often reverting to the original pitch. (Snake Song Nos. 1 and 3.)
In these essential respects mutation of figure is a different means of musical effect from either of those upon which European music is largely based. The shaping of minor melody by repetition in the major mode (" La Marche des Rois" from the overture to "L'Arle-sienne"; "Prayer from Moses in Egypt"), since it always affects the same steps (often but one) of a complex otherwise invariable, instead of any note of varying complexes, is a special case of the device in
Previous Contents Next

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