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Music from the East.
43
melody than Luther's well-known psalm tune, 'Kin' feste Burg,' which incited Meyerbeer—an Israelite indeed in whom there was much guile—to create that imperishable opera betwixt the two warring Christian faiths. And yet, what is the date of Luther's psalm tune, as compared with the age of this melody? Tradition, M. de Sola assures us, refers it to the days and deeds recorded in Exodus, when Miriam the Prophetess, the sister of Aaron, answered those who bore her company with timbrels and with dances—by her victorious chant of triumph over the destruction of Pharaoh's chariots, and all his host that pursued the children of Israel --—while she Eang how ' the horse and his rider were thrown into the sea.'
It must not be overlooked, that in the carefully executed preface to this excellent collection of tunes, M. de Sola, as all honest observers must do, takes his part in weakening our belief in tradition, which is strained to the utmost by the legend attached to this noble tune; for he informs us that at an early period—even as happened in other countries, where Roman Catholic masses were built upon such secular ditties as ' L'homme arme'—the custom was adopted among the Spanish and Portuguese Hebrews of







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