The National Music Of The World

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

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134            National Music of the World.
On the subject of keys, it may be asked, if we have not unreasonably cherished fancies arising from peculiarities in executive power, rather than any intrinsic gravity or gaiety of sound. Every musician's ear has its own predilections, as has every painter's eye for a peculiar colour. The Mozart progression, the Rossini close—so cleverly compared by Liszt to the signature, ' Yours truly I which finishes a letter—the Mendelssohn chords, are as distinctive of their owners as Domenichino's mari­gold yellow, or Cenerino's ash-grey, in the pictures of those masters. I have dared to entertain a heresy, that the setting of a particular tone in its place is of as much consequence as its intrinsic quality; and that the wholesale definitions of sharps as brilliant, and of flats as melancholy, have been traded on to an extremity.
To offer a simple illustration.
In these days of ours, every composer who at­tempts a funeral march thinks it necessary to pile flat upon flat in the minor key, because Beethoven did so in the march from the well-known Sonata, Opus 26, and in the still more solemn example (yet less flat by four flats) from his 'Eroica' symphony. Now, somehow, our great old Handel outdid these

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