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Music from the North. 133
MUSIC FROM THE NORTH.
I DEALT in the last essay with national music which may have derived much of its colour, as in Italy, from emotion—as in France, from the intellectual predilections of the people.
The domain to be now entered is one largely pervaded by the fantastic element.
In lands of mists and of mountains—of long winters, and summers all the more precious because they are so short, days of grace snatched out of a dark year—the influences of scenery are more clearly to be discerned than in regions where nature is more uniformly favourable. He the national music of the North natural or gay, it is for the most part fresh. The sadness of it is seldom tinctured with languor; the sweetness has something in it that braces as well as that charms the sense.
This even may be remarked when the minor key predominates so largely, as in the tunes of the districts to which I shall first advert.