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Music from the East.                      23
once having entered, gave a semblance of character and savagery. But I can only speak of this with caution, since an attempt to examine the noted music from which they played was resisted with an unwillingness, almost amounting to such aversion as the natives of certain countries have shown to the magic arts of the portrait-maker.
Be the amount of vitiation what it may, be it conceded that the tunes of certain districts of the East may have been imported from other lands instead of being begotten on the soil (both facts which it is next to impossible to determine by the most patient investigation);4 it is certain that there is a difference in the tunes of the East. Among those the best noted and known, possibly because they are the most regular, are the Hindostanee
melodies, some of which offer examples of vocal
4 When a series of hints and instructions was drawn out at the request of the Anthropological Society for the guidance of collectors of national music, I ventured to suggest an ex­periment which could hardly fail to be attended by some re­sults of interest, and might, in these, advance us a step further in our knowledge of characteristics and their causes. Wherever the native musicians show anything like intelli­gence or culture, I would have ' a test tune' (one, for in­stance, as universally known and easy as ' God save the King') propounded to them, with a view to their adoption of it. From the collection of variorum versions which would be gathered, certain conclusions could hardly fail to be shadowed out though it would be rash to rely on them dog­matically.

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