Traditional Hopi Songs - online book

Native American Songs With Sheet Music, Notation & Commentary

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songs. To do justice to this music without overdoing has not been easy. The wiles of the heavenly maid are well known to all her pursuers. Analogies and rhythms and coincidences and laws throng every step of the student of music, delighting and bewildering him by their beauty and profusion. All are true, perhaps, and none as they appear. He is wise and well-balanced indeed who can preserve perfect sobriety of judgment. Most of what is claimed for the present songs will, it is be­lieved, be found simply a way of describing the facts of the notations; and the residue of interpretation infers not to a conscious but instinct­ive purpose.
The science of music, although ancient, counts few votaries. The reason is plain. Essentially fugitive, music must in the main be studied indirectly, through a difficult and always.imperfect symbolism that tends to reduce the most passionate form of artistic expression to a datum for abstract inquiry. "Musical works," wrote von Winterfeld,1 "do not readily offer themselves to investigation, as do the works of the mate­rial arts. They must be recalled to life out of dead signs, and is their imaginative contemplation insufficient, performers must be gathered and trained in order to obtain the actual impression of sense. For this reason most investigators have devoted themselves to the inquiry into musical theory."
Through the invention of the phonograph the actual impression of sense is henceforth in a measure open to exact — if still exacting — investigation. The study of performance attempted for the Zunis has since been taken up for many other non-European peoples. The field is a wide one, the harvest will be of value not alone to musical science, and those who aid should no longer be few.
Cambridge, Mass., July, 1908.
1 J. Gabrieli, 1834, vol. i, p. 63.
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