Curiosities of Music - online book

Rare facts about the music traditions of many nations & cultures

Home Main Menu Singing & Playing Order & Order Info Support Search Voucher Codes



Share page  Visit Us On FB

Previous Contents Next
MUSIC IN EUROPE.                     315
But the constant change of, and addition to the Neumes, bore evidence, that it was but a pathway to a more complete system. The next great reformer in music gave his attention to abolishing the uncertainty which clung around the pneumata.
Hucbald, Monk of St. Amand, in Flanders, (born about 840, died 932.) made the first prac­tical effort to fix notes permanently. To him is due the germ of the idea which afterwards culminated in the modern clefs and staff.
He took (unfortunately) the Greek system for his starting point, and this led him into many errors, and much lessened the permanent value of his work. He took the tetrachord (or suc­cession of four notes) as the foundation of music, but he applied it in a most strange manner; his scale was as follows:*
it will be readily seen that the above scale contains some incongruities, which are precisely similar to those noticed in the music of the Hindoos; that is the octave comes out a semi-tone sharp; B nat­ural being octave to B flat, F sharp to F, etc.
Xaturally, in singing it is not to be conceived that the singers took any such outlandish system as to substitute this for an octave, but it must have allowed great license to the singers,
* The semitone falling always between the second and third note, u the only regularity apparent.






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