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52 National Music of the World.
easy to define or specify in what the style of their music consists, beyond a vocal lawlessness which marks its Oriental origin, and a certain wild fertility of improvisation in which the instrumental players are encouraged to give vent to their fancies as they rise.
The voices of the gipsy singers are generally detestable; and this may not be altogether owing to the coarse, feverish, comfortless lives they lead, or their fondness for drink : —the natural poverty and offence may belong to the race. I can call to mind nothing so intolerable as the hoarse yet piercing screams emitted by a troupe whose performances I heard in Granada. How, with so much obvious feeling for rhythm as the people possess, they can endure discords so atrocious, is a matter only to be explained by the separation which certainly exists in music between sense of tone and sense of time. I was assured that these were practitioners of the lowest class. They were, however, possibly none the less genuine for not being trained, tamed and sophisticated for public exhibition, as are the more notorious gipsies of the Triana at Seville. And indeed, with reference to this very subject, the Abbe Liszt tells us that the real, pure (or rather impure)