Traditional Hopi Songs - online book

Native American Songs With Sheet Music, Notation & Commentary

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Symbolically expressed, the illustration of the cycle given in the three performances is as follows : —
1st Singer. A.B.C. — A.B.C. — B.C.
Minor               Major
2d Singer.                         A.B.C. —B.C.
A.B.C.— A.B.C.—
Minor              Major
In A two salient movements outlining a triad (introductory) descend to a movement in a major triad (triad of A) whose mediant is the base of the first and which tends to become a tetrad by the division of the upper interval. Upon this major triad B erects another whose mediant is the summit of the first and which tends in the same way to become a tetrad. C emphasizes the lower octave of the summit of the A triad and generally that of its mediant also, among other pitches touched.
The superposed triads — the main field of A and the field of B — are both major; but that of the introductory movement is made by both singers alternately major and minor. This change with its result upon the remaining texture constitutes the distinction between the minor and major strophes. The mediant of the introductory triad is constant throughout both performances, excepting that when the extremes fall through the approximate semitone that makes the triad major it too falls about a quarter tone, recovering its pitch when they rise to make the triad minor. The accompanying diagram of the cycle of strophes presents more intelligently than can language the alternately looser and closer, minor and major, connection between the tracts occupied by the main movements of the song.
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