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236 National Music of the World.
newer or more fresh in words or melody than 'Woodman, spare that tree.'
The Americans have shown a marvellous proclivity, in instrumental music, towards that which is occult and incomprehensible; and, to judge from what reaches the old country in the shape of printed opinion, are already far in advance of us in comprehending that which seems full of darkness and doubt to our eyes. Whether in this they are not beginning at the end of music, may be reserved for others to decide.
As a close to these essays, which are only within their permitted dimensions so many mere sketches, I may be allowed to point attention to the subject as one the richness of which renders it almost intractable.
To prepare them, I have looked through between two and three thousand tunes, and thus can feel better than most of my readers how much could have been said: how much I have of necessity been obliged to omit.