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Music from the East.
21
The above are chants, not melodies: both of them obviously calls, intended to be heard at a distance, executed by defective voices—probably in­correctly noted—calculated to lay hold of the ear by iteration as much as by variety; but whereas in the first chant there may be implied something of the apathy of oriental existence, in the latter fancy may hear a tone of the echo from the mountain peak ringing freshly down the valley.
When the transforming power of the apathy of the East is adverted to, one of the most curious illustrations which has turned up in these later days must not be lost sight of. This is the controversy set on foot in regard to the parentage of the tune 1 Malbrouk'—a tune so insipid as not to be worth quarrelling about—a tune which may have got into the East by the agency of recent French armies : which may have come from the East in the days of the Crusaders—as persons of the time being have been bold enough to assert—but which, as the world has agreed to accept it, has such an air of Paris and of the singers belonging to Paris as no one can mis-







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