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Music from the South.                   103
singer's extreme age and hunger; but the perpetual murmuring of the same travestied and trivial melody seemed to comfort him.
I may assume, then, that the triple rhythm is predominant throughout such national music of Italy, north or south, as is not scenic. For look among the chamber music of its best national com­posers. When the thing is not to be an opera scene, they seem by some unexplained instinct to fall into the form of three notes or bars, as the French do into the more active tramp of a four-in-a-bar or two-in-a-bar rhythm.
In Signor Rossini's exquisite chamber composi­tions, the same undulating movement prevails; and so again, it predominates in the canzonets of Signor Gordigiani, the last Italian composer who may be said to have produced something original.
For marked predilections like these there is no accounting. As little can it be explained why, seeing that the Italians were foremost in the manufacture of instruments, and are admirably skilled as players, instrumental composition, save in the most showy form of solitary display, should have fallen into such disesteem. In the concert-room, whether the arena be a theatre, or the Place of St. Mark's, or







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