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SONG AND DANCE AMONG THE INDIANS
While studying Indian life and thought through the sharing, as far as possible, of native conditions, I discovered Indian music. In the loneliness that naturally belonged to my circumstances this discovery was like finding a flower hidden in a tangle hard to penetrate. I had heard Indians "singing," but the noise of the drum, the singers' stress of voice, so overlaid the little song that its very existence was not even suspected. Circumstances at length arose, incident to my convalescence after a long illness, when, to give me pleasure, my Indian friends came and sang softly to me, without the drum. Great was my surprise to hear music; to be told that I was listening to the same songs that the earnest men and women had previously sung but which for me had been buried under a tumultuous din. Thenceforth my ears were opened and never again, no matter how confusing the conditions, did I fail to catch the hidden melody. As my appreciation of the value of Indian music grew, I determined to gather and to preserve these wild flowers of song. I wanted them not merely as a contribution to the study of music but that they might help to vibrate the chords that belong to a common humanity.
Of the songs I heard in solitude, some were published over thirty years ago. Since then many of my gleaning have been used by different composers and the musical message sent far and wide.