Franklin Square Song Collection - online songbook

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Inside that curled part of the labyrinth, which looks like a snail-shell and is called the cochlea, there is a most wonderful apparatus of more than three thousand fine stretched filaments or threads, and these act like the strings of a harp, and make us hear different tones. If we go near to a harp or a piano, and sing any par­ticular note very loudly, we may hear this note sounding in the instrument, because we will set just that particular string quivering which gives the note we sang. The air-waves set going by the voice touch that string, be­cause it can quiver in time with them, while none of the other strings can do so. Now, just in the same way the tiny instrument of three thousand strings in the ear, which is called Corti's organ, vibrates to the air-
waves, one thread to one set of waves, another to another, and according to the fibre that quivers, will be the sound we hear. Here, then, we see how nature speaks to us. All the movements going on outside, however violent and varied they may be, cannot of themselves make sound. But here, in this little space behind the drum of our ear, the air-waves are sorted and sent on to our brain, where they speak as sound. The Bible contains the songs and prophecies that burst from human souls when the moral idea first dawned upon them in all its sublime grandeur; and those first expressions of astonishment, enthusiasm and i self-forgetful love have never been equalled by any sub­sequent expressions for freshness and might.—Adlar.
J. W. Callcott.

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