Folk & Traditional Music of the Western Continents

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labeled A with that labeled A5. Obviously their melodic contours are similar, but at some of the points at which A has a minor third, A5 has a major second, and A5 begins a minor sixth below A but ends on a perfect fifth below A. Now, if we translate the tones into the numbers we have assigned, and compare musical lines A and A5, we have the following sequences:
The relationship between the number sequences is constant because, of course, the principle involved in this transposition is not a constant relationship of the vibration rates, which is what would occur if the interval of transposition were an exact one, but that of tonal trans­position. Presumably the scale used in this song existed, in an uncon­scious sense, in the mind of the composer when he was making up the song, and when he began transposing he did so within the frame­work of the scale, which is made up of both thirds and seconds.
The practice of transposing as an integral part of the composi­tion process seems to have radiated from Hungary to its neighbor
example 5-2. Czech folk song, "Vrt sa devca," learned by the author from oral tradition.
countries. The Slovaks and, to a smaller extent, the Czechs make use of it also. The Slovaks transpose sections largely in the manner of the Hungarians (up or down a fifth), but the Czechs do this more frequently to the intervals of the third or second. Perhaps the differ­ence between the Czechs and Hungarians here is due to the greater

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