Traditional Hopi Songs - online book

Native American Songs With Sheet Music, Notation & Commentary

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THE PHONOGRAPHIC METHOD                         55
page, accidentals involve their representation by symbols on a level. Certainly in part, and not improbably as a whole, the above described development of the Zuni symbolism is an extension of this conventional element in notation. Using the sign < to indicate " lower than," the following judgments as to higher and lower are a part of the results of the comparisons above named : —
Thus the judgments of higher and lower contained in and inferrible from the special symbolism which resulted from my endeavor to give the comparison of this music with the harmonium all reasonable exact­ness involves the recognition of seven distinctions of pitch to the semitone.
The notations made on this system of signs appeared upon a review of them impracticably complicated; and it seemed wiser to transcribe them upon another record which, while using, as the first had done, the customary notes and the customary signs of time, should dispense altogether with the conventional element commonly represented by accidentals, and present every distinction of above and below in pitch by higher and lower on the written page. To this end there was needed, besides a hypothesis as to the order of the symbols in pitch, an assumption restricting the meaning of the series to the steps of a defi­nite subdivision of the semitone. The simplest subdivision, that of approximately equal intervals, was the one adopted. The following nota­tions of performance are not, therefore, a simple record of observation;
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