Curiosities of Music - online book

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282                  CURIOSITIES OF MUSIC.
are concerned, is very apparent. The apostles and their followers, started unencumbered in the musical field. The theory of Greek music was a most difficult one to master, and the converts were at first almost wholly among the humbler classes. It would have been impossible to have trained them in the elaborate Hellenic school, therefore, the more ear-catching melodies were at first used, combined probably with a simple chant. The same cause operated in the foundation of a newer and simpler theory of music; hence, although our modern music is the child of the ancient Greek school, yet it did not go in the same course, or arrive at the same goal which would have resulted, had the old Greek civilization been continued two thousand years longer.
We hold that the Greeks were too much devot­ed to the plastic arts, ever to have brought music deeply into the inner life.
Before the liturgy had been well established, improvisation was much employed; a result always to be anticipated when uncultivated persons become musical. At the evening meal, the twen­ty-third Psalm was usually chanted.* Other passages of scripture were also used, such as Exodus xv., and Daniel in.
When the water was passed around for the washing of hands, each one of the company was asked in turn to praise God in song, and the selec­tion might either be taken from Scripture, or improvised, according to the taste or ability of
•According to Clemens Roman us, a con temporary of St. Paul.

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