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290                    CURIOSITIES OF MUSIC.
Ever)" embellishment is represented by a charac­ter; rising and falling inflections by others, and comparative length of notes by yet others.
It will therefore be seen that although the notation is decidedly complicated, there is a com­prehensible system followed, by consulting which, we attain certain information as to one branch of the early church.*
The works found in the old monasteries of the Orient are almost invaluable to the musical anti­quary. We believe that many more will yet be discovered among the monks of Mt. Athos, those strange and illiterate custodians of some of the rarest manuscripts in existence, relative to this
subject, f
We are sorry that a thorough description of this subject (though full of interest) would demand much space and many engravings. The effect of the sinking of this church in its oriental branches is very similar to that of the Hebrews in their services of the present day.
We now turn to the early Christian church of Syria, founded by the Apostles Paul and Barnabas.
One of the earliest in existence, the church of Antioch soon became the metropolis of Syrian Christianity. Yet it was in this church also that the first heresy took place, by the rise of the
* A good explanation of the system is to be found in Fetis, v. 4, pp. 29-66.
t See Curzon'i " Monasteries of the LeTant," or Proust's " Voyage on Mt. Athos."

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