The National Music Of The World

Styles & Characteristics Of Regional Music With Sheet Music Examples - Online Book

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16              National Music of the World.
two)—otherwise of the instruments which are played (the French expressively say, pinched) by the fingers, or are caressed by the plectrum or bow—those of pipes of every quality, whether they be blown by the mouth, or the wind within them set in motion by the elbow—painted on the walls of the temples and tombs of Egypt during the times when the one were reared behind their avenues of sphinxes, and the others locked up in the heart of some mountainous pyramid —have a meaning not to be misread. They indicate a state of constancy in their fabrication; as, too, in the ornamental luxury applied to their garniture. Each of these must have had its own ascertained scale, to which (for better, for worse) certain refer­ence could be made. There is no proof that con­temporary voices were trained to utter sounds of corresponding precision or approach to sweetness.
My belief has long been fixed, that National melody has never, in its beginnings, been derived from Song so largely as from Dance—from instru­ments employed to accompany numbers moving in regular figures. For in the dance, as also in the march, there must be rhythm, and without rhythm there can be no melody more regular than such fitful breathings as the ^Eolian harp murmurs,

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