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Music from the South.                     75
had already made some rude progress; though orthodoxy had not so far settled the uses of the new decoration, as to proscribe the intrusion of Charon and his boat, transferred from the ancient mythol­ogy, into the Christian artist's vision of 'the Last Judgment.' There were—if there be not still— stranger ensigns of a more sensual Pagan legend than this to be seen in the churches of Southern Italy. Thus, too, the barbaric chants—(that it would be strange to find occurring among the Greeks, had we not cause to deny the contemporaneous perfection of the arts)—the 'modes of the lyre' which had figured in the hymns to Jupiter or to Venus—which had helped, as the people of Athens and Corinth thought, to set off the odes of Pindar and the chor­uses of the great dramatists—were appropriated, arranged, and methodised, so as to serve in the form of music's offerings to the rites of the Christian temples, earliest established in Italy. It may be that the land, harassed and heterogeneously peopled, had nothing indigenous to offer.
Meanwhile, in Italy, from a remote period, there may be traced, whether among churchmen or nobles, indications of a gracious, liberal, and sympathising spirit as regards art, to which love and honour are







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