Curiosities of Music - online book

Rare facts about the music traditions of many nations & cultures

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It is a singular fact, that while the Japanese have in all ages given a great deal of attention to poetry the kindred art of music has been suffered to remain almost neglected. Their musical system has never been carefully formed or elucidated, and although they may vie with the Chinese in the beauty of their poetical effusions, in the field of music their research is nothing, when compared with the immense patience and study which the latter people have given to the subject.
Although there are few treatises on the art, yet the practice of music is now deemed an essen­tial part of the education of a Japanese young lady, for contrary to Chinese custom, we find that in Japan, the female sex are proficient in the art.
Although at first glance there seems to be much affinity between Japanese and Chinese music, (so much so, that it seems natural to suppose that the former was an outgrowth of the latter) yet, upon closer analysis, these resemblances are found to be few, and the contradictions many and irre­concilable.
The Japanese songs do not appear to have been founded on the Chinese pentatonic scale,but ra ther upon the chromatic.

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