The National Music Of The World

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Music from the South.                   107
tion applies to their serious as well as to their comic. music; to the psalmodic recitations, relieved by sharply cut dancing airs, in their grand or serious operas, to the sprightly tunes of their Vaudevilles, so often and again set off by a drone or pedal bass. In brief, though the esprit of French music, old or new, cannot fascinate anyone, except he be a French­man born, it gives most active occupation to the intellect that would appreciate, to the curiosity that is in quest of individuality. It has by this power of attraction drawn within its circle, and imposed laws on artists belonging to all countries renowned in connection with our art. From the days when opera formed itself; when Lulli (to whom, by the way, the well-known melody ' Au clair de la lune' is attributed) was writing for Louis the Fourteenth; when Mouret was making diversions for the country palace of the Duchess of Maine; when Campra was surreptitiously creeping away from his church organ in order to try his fortune on the stage; and when the comic opera, the 'Theatre de la Foire,' took its shape, precursor of the Vaudeville—the dismal regularity of what stood in stead of melody re­mained long a constant quality. Even Mendelssohn, the last of the great Germans, put himself into

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