The National Music of America - online book

The Sources & Factors Influential In Forming America's Music.

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The National Music of America. 265
romantic life in pathetic music ; the West has not yet developed a singer who can picture ranch life in beautiful tones; only the South, possessing characteristic surroundings, and a race of natural singers in its coloured popu­lation, has developed something akin to an especial folk-song, distinctly different from the music of other nations. A great composer, coming to America from a country which is rich in folk-song (Dvorak, of Bohemia), at once seized upon this music' as the most graphic expression of a phase of American life.
It has been objected that the singers in this case are not Americans but Africans, yet we may be sure that though the negroes had remained in Africa a thousand years more, they would not have produced this music; it is the direct outgrowth of American sur­roundings, of Southern life. Besides, not all of the singers are negroes; the note is so definite and clear that many writers and com­posers, living in the North, have caught its
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