Curiosities of Music - online book

Rare facts about the music traditions of many nations & cultures

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gave a practical illustration of it in the last cen­tury, by writing a not very monotonous tune, on three notes. But an instrument founded on so few notes might also have been used to give the pitch to the voice in reciting, or half-singing a poem. We must remember that the poems of Greece were chauted in public; and even in modern days, orators pitch their voices higher than in con­versation, when addressing an assembly.
Early Grecian music experienced its first real onward movement, when Egypt was thrown open to foreigners. Up to the reign of Psammetichus I., (664 b. c.) Egypt was closed to aliens, exactly as China has been closed in days not long gone by. Psammetichus first opened his kingdom to the Greeks, and Pythagoras learned enough in Egypt to greatly change the character of Greek music. Though some Greek writers with an excess of zeal, have made the statement that he taught the Egyptians, by bringing to them the seven-stringed lyre. Considering the fact that the Egyptians had as many as twenty-two strings, the claim is rather audacious.
But what placed the Greeks in advance of all other ancient nations, in music, was the fact that they early recognized its rank as &Jine art.

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