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The Theory Of Sound Which Constitutes The Physical Basis Of The Art Of Music.

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VIII. § 92.] IMPORTANCE OF OVERTONES.              185
the Minor Third nearly up to the Fifth, and from a little above the Fifth up to the Major Seventh, ought to sound equally smooth. This conclusion is probably very inconsistent with the views of Musical theorists, who are apt to regard concord and discord as entirely independent of quality, but it is strictly borne out by experiment. The intervals lying between the Minor and Major Thirds, and between the Minor and Major Sixths, though sounding some­what strange, are entirely free from roughness, and therefore cannot be described as dissonant.
Helmholtz advises such of his readers as have access to an organ to try the effect of playing alter­nately the smoothest concords and the most extreme discords which the Musical scale contains on stops yielding only simple tones, such e.g., as the flute, or stopped diapason. The vivid contrasts which such a proceeding calls out on instruments of bright timbre, like the pianoforte and harmonium, or the more bril­liant stops of the organ such as principal, hautbois, trumpet &c, are here blurred and effaced, and every­thing sounds dull and inanimate in consequence. Nothing can show more decisively than such an experiment that the presence of overtones confers on Music its most characteristic charms.
Thus the remark put into the mouth of a sup­posed objector in § 89 turns out to be no objection
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E-Book - An Annotated Compendium of Old Time American Songs by James Alverson III