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314                  CURIOSITIES OF MUSIC.
The exclamation and interrogation point, are in language, what Neumes were at first in music, they roughly sketched out the inflection of the voice. The connection between them, and our modern notation is very evident; in our musical notation the requirements of the eye, have been well attended to; not entirely perhaps, as regards the length of notes, but certainly in the matter of ascending and descending passages, etc.;* the old Greek notation, with its upturned and fragment­ary letters, meant nothing to the untutored eye; but the Neumes of the middle ages, were the first attempt to express a meaning by their arrangement. Thus the tripunctum ( .•' ) would denote three notes ascending, though not which ones; it might mean
It being a system which was evolved by slow degrees, it is not astonishing that there are various signs, about which opinions differ. The system though seemingly barbarous, was in reality an improvement; although not developed so exten­sively as the GreEk notation which preceded it. it bore the germ of a more natural style of musical characters.
* It has been suggested by some recent writers on this subject, that eren this should be met by forming the notes of various lengths, thus,
a whol« note--------, a half note-----, a quarter —, etc., but thi»
difficulty can be obviated, in spacing, by any good music engraver, and dews not require so radical a change

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