The National Music Of The World

Styles & Characteristics Of Regional Music With Sheet Music Examples - Online Book

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io8             National Music of the World.
French dress when composing the choruses for Racine's 'Athalie.'
Further, as consistent with the above theory, there has never been such a nation of song-singers as the French, beginning with the troubadour days of romance, and going on to the later times, when the lay of ' The Armed Man' went through Europe as a ditty, in such favour that fifty Italian masses were based on it—I presume, on Rowland Hill's well-known principle. Dreary must have been the notions of melody that could accept such a theme. The charm must have lain in the tale of chivalry or adventure recited; in the warlike feats of Roland, or in the picaroon exploits of 'Count Ory.' Never­theless, it cannot have been altogether the import of the words which contented the listeners. That they must have taken a real pleasure in monotonous and prosy tunes is evident, since the Geneva hymns to the Psalms of David, translated by Clement Marot, were popular among the ladies and gentlemen of not the most devout court in Europe.
But, however persevering as singers of words the French have been, their natural endowments as vocalists appear to have been always singular and restricted.

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