The National Music Of The World

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

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40              National Music of the World.
claim attaches to some of the melodies habitually used in the synagogues, which almost bewilders the mind by the vast sweep which it takes back to the early days of that peculiar people, whom the Most High deigned to guide and protect in their wander­ings with 'a pillar of cloud by day, and a pillar of fire by night.' Compared, I say, with other distant echoes which have reached us from the ancient world, the symmetry and grandeur of some of the portions of the Hebrew Temple service—and these reputed the oldest—are almost as remarkable after their kind as are the Psalms of the Royal Poet, for dignity of language and beauty of suggestion to the 'chief musicians' and 'singers.' I must beg, however, those who bear me company to bear in mind also my habitual caution in dealing with tradition—not to say, mistrust of it—even when it is handed down to us by conscientious and learned men.
To the work of two of these every student of Hebrew music must be largely indebted : the un­ambitious but carefully executed collection of ancient melodies of the Spanish and Portuguese Hebrews, by Mr. Edward Aguilar, with an instructive preface by M. de Sola, the priest of the Spanish and Portu-

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