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the performer.* Some of the best of these effusions were unquestionably preserved and possi­bly even admitted iuto the regular service of the church The songs may have been rough and uncouth, but they were given with a fervor which compensated for any short-comings. They were unaccompanied, for two reasons; first, it would have been difficult to have formed an instrumental accompaniment to such variable and primitive songs, (sometimes a mere intonation of the voice, scarcely to be called music or even chanting); and second, because all the instruments of the heathen were in daily use at the sacrifices and theatres; and it would have seemed sacrilegious to have used them in the celebration of a Christian f esti­va!, f
The summing up of the legends, surmises, and few statements concerning the music of the earliest Christians, are well expressed in Ambros.f
"We can conclude regarding the music of the earliest Christian times, that it was at first a species of Folk-song, founded upon the school of music then in vogue, but elevated and impreg­nated with a new religious spirit. But this simplic­ity soon was changed: profiting by the experience of the Eomans in uniting all art and beauty in their theatres, (whereby the theatre grew, and the church declined;) the early Christians soon found it wise to unite every art, in the service of their
•Tertullian, Apologia, 39. Evidently a custom derived from tb« skolion of Greece, t Ambros, Geschichte d. Masik, t. II, p. 6. tGesch. d. Masik, t. II p. 11

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