Curiosities of Music - online book

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music of the people around them; thus the same psalms are sung in a different manner by German, Polish, Spanish, or Portuguese Jews.
One little trace of their primitive music remains; on the occasion of their Xew Year, a ram's horn is blown, and between the blasts on this excruciat­ing instrument the following phrases are addressed to the performer,—
Tahkee-oo, Schivoorim, Taru-o.
These words, which also have a reverential mean­ing, may possibly at one time have been addressed to the ancient musicians, to give to them the order of the music. Strong presumptive proof that this blowing of the trumpet is the same as it was in King David's time is found in the fact that it is blown in the same rhythm, by the Jews all over the world. It certainly requires no forced interpre­tation to call the Ram's horn (Schof er) one of their early instruments, as it would be their most natural signal-call both in peace and war.
In all the Jewish theocracy, the music naturally took a theosophical character, and is seldom detached from religious rites; we shall find the same spirit running through other of the ancient civilizations, even barbarians seeming to share in the almost universal impulse to praise the Deity with this art, and this should prove to supercilious critics that however ill-sounding the music of other races may appear to our ears, to them it was a highly considered art, and as such, merits oui attention.

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