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230                  CURIOSITIES OF MUSIC.
almost directly from nature; and here the musi­cal instruments of primitive man stopped; and here also (in drums, clappers of wood, and trum­pets) the catalogue of musical instruments, of the more savage peoples, of the present, ceases.
But among the more advanced tribes of savages, we shall find instruments that will cause us to coincide with Solomon's opinion, that " there is nothing new under the sun."
"With these, who did not stop contented at the rude percussion and trumpet instruments, the next step was probably to cut reeds of various lengths and to discover that the length regulated the tone. Here was the first real discovery in music, for no sooner were high and deep tones known than pleasant alternations would suggest themselves, and as a consequence, melodies (how­ever uncouth) sprang into being. Possibly at the same mystic era, the tension of the sinews of some animal, left exposed to the breeze, would fore-shadow string music. Then a thought was required to find that the sounds varied with tension of the sinews, and that a frame on which several threads and sinews were extended in different degrees of tension, could be made to give the same variety of tones, but of different quality of sound (timbre) from the reed pipes. This already made demands upon the inventive faculties, and in the infancy of music, as in the modern orchestra, stringed instruments take the lead.*
* Ambros, Oesch d. Musik, t. I, p. 4.






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