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Music from the East.                      19
a fierce climate, and flung abroad into desolate space. So long ago as the time when Kepler wrote, the close of the sixteenth century—a time at which melody (as we understand the word) was hardly formed, the writer complained of the manner of singing 1 which the Turks and Hungarians are accustomed to,' as 'resembling the voices of brute animals, rather than the sounds of the human voice.' If the tones have become sweeter since Kepler's day (which may be doubted), the vocal tunes, as distinguished from dancing rhythms, have made little advance. They are still wayward to disorderliness. Their closes are habitually imperfect and drawn out. These, however, are peculiarities belonging to other wild music than that of the East. Here is a specimen of a Priest's song, noted by Mr. Layard,2 which in structure, if such a word can be employed, and in division of notes, resembles, and not distantly, the ' Ranz des Vaches' of the Swiss.
2 It may be as well to state, that since this specimen was selected from among a mass of similar tunes, it has appeared in Herr Engel's valuable volume, having probably been sug­gested to him also by the extreme strength with which its characteristics are marked. I would have withdrawn it and substituted another (to avoid the smallest semblance of col­lision) were it not particularly necessary to me in the com­parison I desired to illustrate ; and did not coincidence in selection add force to my argument.
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E-Book - An Annotated Compendium of Old Time American Songs by James Alverson III