Franklin Square Song Collection - online songbook

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Music is a language, the ideal of speech: we can imagine its existence before articulate speech was known. Birds sang in the garden of Eden before Adam gave them a name. A singing-bird was the first music-master; the wind breathing through water-reeds, sighing through the forest, hissing through tall grasses, the rhythmic beat of the crested waves, the monotonous bass of the water-fall, made harmony and melody before Pythagoras dreamed of the music of the spheres, or Hermes declared music to be the
knowledge of the order of all things. We call it a pretty conceit of the old philosopher who believed the order of the stars to be a written scroll of music, two stars (which are said to have appeared centuries after his death in the places he designated) only wanting to complete the celestial harmony. There is an extremely poetic belief among the Highlanders that the sense of hearing becomes so exquisitely keen at the approach of death that nature's divine sym­phony can be heard with all its ravishing sweetness,
German Air.
dulling the sense of pain and reconciling the soul to its departure. From this superstition, if we will, comes their custom, as the last moment approaches, of bearing the dying from the close shealing to the open air, where undisturbed he can listen, in the words of Humboldt, to '' the thousand voices of nature speaking to the thoughtful and pious soul of man." The following is from " Paul Faber, Surgeon," by George Macdonald : The best of her undoubtedly ap­peared in her music, in which she was fundamentally far
superior to Helen, though by no means so well trained, taught, or practiced in it; whence Helen had the un­speakable delight, one which only a humble, large and lofty mind can ever have, of consciously ministering to the growth of another in the very thing wherein that other is naturally the superior. The way to the blessed­ness that is in music, as to all other blessedness, lies through weary labors, and the master must suffer with the disciple. Helen took Juliet like a child, set her to scales and exercises, and made her practice hours a day.

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