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316                  CURIOSITIES OF MUSIC.
and the whole must have given rise to much ambiguity. •
His improvement in the method of notation consisted (a perfect anticipation of clef and staff) in placing the letters of the notes employed, before each line of the words, and then writing each syllable of the song, opposite to (and level with) the note to which it belonged. As he adopted the clumsy Greek method of lettering (using only four letters, and placing them upright, reversed, backwards, and sideways) we will give an example with English letters.*
The words being " Laudate Dominum de coelis."
The harmony of Hucbald was as peculiar and barbaric as his scale system.
He followed the principle of the ancients in treating intervals of thirds and sixths as dissonan­ts, and therefore did not allow them to appear in his works. In common with some of his pred­ecessors, he held that the only pure intervals were fifths and fourths. To us this succession of discords appears most appalling, but it is probable that in the practical use of music it was ameliora­ted somewhat. At this time when the organ was in such a primitive state that the organist btruck the keys heavily with his Jist in playing,
•Stainers Dictionary, p. 811.






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