Traditional Hopi Songs - online book

Native American Songs With Sheet Music, Notation & Commentary

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8                                             HOPI SONGS
The illusions of apperception here illustrated anew are common in all fields of sensation, and may possess any degree of verisimilitude. We recognize as our arbitrary creation the familiar phrase repeated in the rattle of a railway train, or the diatonic melody heard in dropping water. But old-time British tars had doubtless a haunting sense that it was only the imperfect command of the French over human speech that distorted in their mouths the plain injunction "Wheel'em along" to the outlandish " Ville de Milan " ; and the ship's company bringing the Empress Eugenie to England is said to have welcomed the cry " Beef, brandy, and cheese," suggested impromptu by Cecil Rhodes, as the familiar " Vive l'lmperatrice" delivered as well as English tongues and channel breezes would permit. The apperceptive task is no greater in the case of melody. To hear any sequence of tone whatever as a rude essay at the diatonic scale, we have to draw any note but a fraction of a semitone from its actual position. When the performers themselves aim at approximate diatonic intervals, the task is still more easily within the power of the group of tones diatonically spaced which are continually sounding in the fancy of the European listener. Of this the subsequent staff notations offer abundant evidence.
Many adiatonic features of the songs are shown to be intentional by repetition.
The curious dress of the following phonographic notations is a development from the attempt at an impartial record of Zuni melodies, and still more plainly signifies that the writing of music has entered upon a new phase. The extent of the departure of both from the cus­tomary staff notation may easily be underestimated. The step taken is no otjier than that separating the indicative from the imperative mood, the real from the ideal. Written music as otherwise known is not a record of occurrence but of purpose. It expresses a scheme of pitch, time, and stress at which, in the case of music observed, we assume a performer to have aimed, and toward which we direct future performers. The Zuni notations did not add another to such interpre­tations, but gave memoranda of observation. They were the roughly
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