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The National Music of America. 147
man hears a melody in a foreign land, or in the midst of a battle (with a ground-bass of shot and shell), he will care very little for the historian who coldly tells him that the tune did not originate with his nation, or the contrapuntist who haughtily explains that it is very trashy music; it represents the land he loves, and that is enough. Many a man thinks he is being thrilled by music, when he is really being moved by memories.
Yet, if we subject our national melodies to strict musical or historical tests the result is unsatisfactory.
Richard Grant White, although making many errors in his historical statements regarding American national music, is not altogether wrong, although needlessly harsh, when he speaks of our three chief melodies as follows :'
1 " National Hymns: how they are written and how they are not written," pp. 18-22.