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218                                         HOPI SONGS
which the Hopi singers apparently find an outlet for their emotional
vivacity and instinct for novelty.
In the staff notation Sumyacoli is dull, as mother-of-pearl would be dull in a color-print. The gap, g-fg, in the lower fifth of A was noted, and the upward shift in B, but neither the origin of the former in the penumbralnor the motive of the latter in the two tritonuses.
The pitch of the upper fifth was misread and the final modulation up­ward represented as a return to it instead of an ascent from it. In a word, what with much confidence may be asserted to be the spirit of the song, or a prime essential in its spirit, does not survive the Procrustean mutilation of its form to which the diatonic consciousness unwittingly subjects it. We learn again the lesson that, venial fault as it may (or may not) be in an agent of European civilization to dress non-European men and things in the garb of Christendom before he has further to do with them, it is the unpardonable sin in a critic aiming not to mould native life but understand it.
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E-Book - An Annotated Compendium of Old Time American Songs by James Alverson III