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FRANKLIN-SQUARE SONG COLLECTION.
87
The natural history of music is full of wonders. It is as if the Giver of all good gifts had presided over the creation of this with especial love and ten­derness, fencing it round with every possible natural security for its safe development, and planting it among those instincts we have least power to pervert. The sense of time, which is music's first law, is alone a marvelous guarantee. It is the first condition of musical being—a natural regularity, which we can only beai to hear transgressed from the pleasurable surprise in which the mind is kept for its return. But the true timist is time all over; ste the orchestra conductor, with his little wand, by which he may communicate to hundreds of performers the electric flow of true musical measure, and by which the evanescent vibrations of sound seem knit together for action. And then the readiness with which the
memory lends itself to the service of music, is a very marked phenomenon peculiar to this faculty. What a paradox it is, that what the mind receives with most pas>iveness, it retains with most fidelity—laying up choicest things in musical thought or expression, to be ready at any moment for spontaneous reproduc­tion? For not even the exertion of our will is re­quisite—a thought, nay, the slightest breath of a hint, is sufficient to set the exquisitely sensitive strings of musical memory vibrating, and the emotions that have lain buried for years will come back with a melody. Pictures, poetry, loves, hatreds, and prom­ises of course, are all more fleeting than tunes. There is no such pitiless invoker of the ghosts of the past as one bar of a melody that has been connected with them. No such sigh or sob escapes from the heart, as that in the train of some musical reminiscence.
GUADALQUIVER.







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