Songs Every Child Should Know - online book

The Best Songs Of All Nations For Young People With Sheet Music & Lyrics.

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xii                              Foreword
of the rag-time song is prompted by literary dis­cretion. But, on the whole, its extreme syncopation is likely to have a more or less universal effect upon musical composition. Whatever is eminently char­acteristic is bound to record itself.
The Foster music, not excepting even " My Old Kentucky Home," could have no proper place in musical art; but it has its place among the songs that every child should know, because it reflects the white man's idea of how the negro music should sound. Foster's " negro " melodies bear no relation to negro harmonics or melody, negro music being mostly recorded in minor cadences and with inter­vals peculiar to no other music. Once it is identi­fied, even by the uninitiated, it can no more be mistaken again than could Tzigane music. The Foster songs tell of the sentimentalist's notion of the negro's temperament. To the sentimentalist, the negro emotionalizes after a dreary legato fashion, which is altogether bathotic. To the musician, however, the remarkable minors and the harmonic-gymnastics of the demi-semi tone reveal an untam-ability, — a sort of temperamental despair.
Such songs as " Roll, Jordan, Roll" are written along the lines of original Afro-American song, — slightly formulated by the white man.
Before the Civil War the popular poetry, the popular " buck-eye" painture, and the popular music generally represented the untoward death or withdrawal of, or separation from, some beloved person or thing; this is remarked by Fitz-Gerald in his " Stories of Famous Songs." " Old Dog
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E-Book - An Annotated Compendium of Old Time American Songs by James Alverson III