The National Music Of The World

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

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216             National Music of the World.
But then, if foreigners have laid a wholesale claim on all our tunes as Scotch tunes, they have also chosen to ascribe to some of the best of North British melodies a foreign origin.
Rizzio, say they, brought over his Italian science and skill into Mary Stuart's Court, and from this issued modes and habits that altered the cast of the Northern melodies. A more baseless fancy, 1 con≠ceive, never entered mortal brain. Let us look at a fact or two :
Rizzio was a harper. There is small trace of the harp in the old Scottish melodies, which are wild, wandering, containing all manner of illogical inter≠vals and incomplete closes; thus serving, so far as 1 can guess (recalling former definitions), to be a sort of compound of the chant set to words of fresh and real beauty, with the sounds ot a rude instrumentó the pipe.
And though, as has been said, the presence of Irish harpers may have been occasional, if not frequent, in Scotland, I do not find many traces of the harp-spirit in the tunes of Scotland, beyond that similarity in the omission of certain intervals which has reference to one common origin, and which may have caused many of the fierce

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