Curiosities of Music - online book

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CHAPTER XVIII.
MUSIC OF SAVAGE NATIONS.
The music of savage tribes, should properly begin a chronological account of the music of the world. It can scarce be doubted that the strains which to-day delight the ears of the rudest peoples, were similar to those which gave pleasure to the uncultivated denizens of the earth in pre-historic times. The scientific inquirer, even to-day, finds unexpected points of resem­blance in music of nations and tribes, separated from each other in distance, custom, climate and religion; resemblances which are so numerous that they can only be accounted for by the hypothesis that the strains have come down from an earlier, homogeneous race. Of course the earliest efforts of primitive man were rather rhythmical than musical, and even at present the music of the least civilized races is altogether rhythmical. The ease of the discovery that a regular clapping of the hands, or stamping of the feet, or striking two pieces of wood together, could produce a pleasing effect, is so apparent that it puts all discussion as to the origin of music, out of sight; a fortunate occurrence, since there are enough points of dispute yet left for our wiseacres to contend over.
The discovery of drums and horns also came






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