MUSICAL INSTRUMENTS - online book

The History And Development Of Musical Instruments From The Earliest Times.

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MUSICAL INSTRUMENTS
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in so far as they have made ethnologists more exactly acquainted with the habits and predilections of the American aborigines than would otherwise have been the case. For, as the advocates of each hypothesis have carefully collected and adduced every evidence they were able to obtain tending to support their views, the result is that (so to say) no stone has been left un­turned. Nevertheless, any such hints as suggest themselves from an examination of musical instruments have hitherto re­mained unheeded. It may therefore perhaps interest the reader to have his attention drawn to a few suggestive similarities occur­ring between instruments of the American Indians and of certain nations inhabiting the eastern hemisphere.
We have seen that the Mexican pipe and the Peruvian syrinx were purposely constructed so as to produce the intervals of the pentatonic scale only. There are some additional indications of this scale having been at one time in use with the American Indians. For instance, the music of the Peruvian dance cachua is described as having been very similar to some Scotch national dances; and the most conspicuous characteristics of the Scotch tunes are occasioned by the frequently exclusive employment of intervals appertaining to the pentatonic scale. We find precisely the same series of intervals adopted on certain Chinese instruments, and evidences are not wanting of the pentatonic scale having been popular among various races in Asia at a remote period. The series of intervals appertaining to the Chiriqui pipe, mentioned page 61, consisted of a semitone and two whole tones, like the ntrachord of the ancient Greeks.
In the Peruvian huayra-puhwa made of talc some of the pipes possess lateral holes. This contrivance, which is rather unusual, occurs on the Chinese cheng. The chayna, mentioned page 64, seems to have been provided with a reed, like the oboe: and in Hindustan we find a species of oboe called shehna. The ture of the Indian tribes on the Amazon, mentioned page 69, reminds us of the trumpets toorce, or tootooree, of the Hindus. The name
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E-Book - An Annotated Compendium of Old Time American Songs by James Alverson III