Curiosities of Music - online book

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350                  CURIOSITIES OF MUSIC.
invented a new style of rhyme. Almost all ibe members came from the lower classes, and the result of such tyros endeavoring to strike ^ut paths which would have been difficult even to genius, can be imagined.
Hans Sachs (a Nuremberg shoe-maker) and a couple of others, were probably all that sang with real poetic feeling.
Their songs were also accompanied with music. There was a severe set of rules regulating the poetical and musical contests; and the Guild spread over all Germany; the last vestige of it did not disappear until as recently as 1839.
But while this stultified mode of music was going on in Nuremberg, a truer musical plant was growing beside it: at this time the Volks-lied (folk song) took its rise in Germany.
The first form of the volks-lied was religious, and it was of a simplicity which adapted it to the wants of the people. The pedantry of the Meis-ter-singers had an excellent effect upon this class of composition, for it added counterpoint and harmony (even if driven to excess) to a class of music which was able to bear it.
Another order of music was that connected with the miracle plays, where scriptural events were represented upon the stage, with music. Much of this music was taken bodily from the ecclesias­tical chants of the period.
"With the commencement of the reformation, the music of Germany was lifted to a very elevat­ed sphere, in being applied to the stately chorals

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