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Music from the North.                   161
district is one sparingly visited by tourists, though it would well bear being ransacked. The farmers and rural folk, who live about among the hills, we are assured by those who know the recesses of the country, have long had a heritage of musical capa­city, and for a century past, at least, considerable training among themselves and in their village schools; by which an average instrumental pro­ficiency more than respectable has been obtained. From serving the purposes of village festivals, sacred and secular, they were drawn gradually into the sphere of outward notice by the resort to watering places, which during the last century began to be an indulgence, and has since grown into an epidemic.
These men have long largely furnished forth the military bands and the dance orchestras of southern Germany, on the strength of nothing more than such teaching as has been described, during the long winter evening hours to be beguiled in an in­hospitable climate. I shall not engage the sympathy of some of my readers, by saying that what may be called the off-scourings of these districts find their way largely into foreign countries, and into the London streets. The best have risen; some, of them­selves, separating themselves from their old haunts
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E-Book - An Annotated Compendium of Old Time American Songs by James Alverson III