Curiosities of Music - online book

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each other; but, by the constant introduction ol embellishments, shakes, and cadenzas, the connec­tion was soon lost.
This taste for ornamentation in sacred music was driven to far greater excess in the Greek church, than even in Rome; the taste forfioritura is to-day, and always has been, a characteristic of most Eastern nations. This is driven to such excess in the Greek church, that (in the churches of the Orient, at least), the hymns are executed by two singers, one of whom sings the hymns, while the other sustains the key note or principal tone only.
This note the singer gives out with regularity and monotony, its only object being to keep the principal singer in bounds and to prevent him from straying away from the key on account of the numerous trills and fiorituri which he is expected to introduce into the song.
It may be well to mention here, as we shall not recur to the music of the Eastern Greek church again, that its style of notation, and singing has altered very little, v\ the course of centuries; it is totally different from that of all other countries, and consists wholly of signs, which are not in any manner measured off into bars, but somewhat resemble the chants of the Catholic church. The notes are only relative in value, and the scale on which the melodies are founded, may be represent­ed thus,—
Re, Mi, Fa, Sol, La, Si, Do, Re. Pa, Bou, Ga, Di, Ke, Zd, He, Pa. 19

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