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

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X. § 115.]        TONIC SOL-FA NOTATION.                   215
with a fairly good ear to sing at sight, than there is in making him read ordinary print at sight. A vocalist who can sing only a few elaborately pre­pared songs ought to be regarded as on a level with a school-boy who should be unable to read except out of his own book. If evidence be wanted to make good this assertion, it is at once to hand in the fact that the youngest children, when well trained on the Tonic Sol-Fa system, soon obtain a power of steady and accurate sight-singing, and will even tell you whether a new tune pleases them after merely looking it over without uttering a sound.
The reader is requested to observe that the above remarks are strictly limited to the achievements of the Tonic Sol-Fa system in vocal Music. I express no opinion as to the applicability of its notation to in­strumental Music, nor do I wish to maintain that even in the vocal branch it has arrived at perfection. On the contrary, I am doubtful whether its time-notation, when applied to very complicated rhythmic divisions, does not become more difficult than the system in ordinary use, and I consider the notation adopted for the Minor mode to be unquestionably defective. On the main point, however, viz. the decisive superiority of its pitch-notation over that of the established system, and the vitally important consequences as to purity of intonation which neces-
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E-Book - An Annotated Compendium of Old Time American Songs by James Alverson III