Folk & Traditional Music of the Western Continents

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song. Actually, relatively few of the songs are strictly pentatonic, while the majority (again, except for the old layer of children's and related songs) seems to be heptatonic or hexatonic. It is sometimes useful to examine the functions of the various tones in a scale, how­ever, for often it will be evident that the most important and most common tones are indeed five in number, while the other two are subsidiary or used only in ornaments. Also, the scale structure of the individual phrases or lines may be pentatonic. For instance, in Ex­ample 4-3, the first half of the song uses a common kind of penta­tonic scale-D, F-sharp, G, A, B; the other tones, E and C-sharp, are brought in only later. This kind of thing is also found in Example 4-4, in which the important tones are B, C (tonic), E, F, and G. Ex­ample 4-6, a version of Child 53, uses six tones, but one of them, F, appears only in ornaments. This song also is a good example of the kind of pentatonism found in English folk music.
example 4-6. English folk song, "Lord Bateman," from Bruno Nettl, "The Musical Style of English Ballads Collected in Indiana," Acta Mu-sicologica 27 (1955), 83.
Bela Bartok6 has divided Hungarian folk singing into two types, which he called "parlando-rubato" (mentioned in Chapter 1) and "tempo-giusto." The distinction between these two ways of singing does not always emerge from printed music, since it involves the singer's interpretation of rhythm and tempo. Parlando-rubato sing­ing emphasizes the words, frequently uses elaborate ornamentation
6Bela Bartok, Hungarian Folk Music (London; Oxford University Press, 1931).                                                                                                              y

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