North America Indian Story & Song - online book

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the sole means of musical expression, — a period which antedated the invention of instruments by an immeasurable time. They prove, therefore, that musical form was not developed, as has sometimes been stated, by the use of instruments, but that it took its rise in a mental necessity similar to that which gave structure to language.
The influence of song upon story is seen in the attempt to bend prose to a poetic form.
Many Indian songs have no words at all, vocables only being used to float the voice. On classifying these wordless songs, we discover that those which are expressive of the gentle emotions have flowing, breathing vocables, but, where warlike feelings dominate the song, the vocables are aspirate and explosive. In this determinate use of vocables we happen upon what seems to represent the most prim­itive attempt yet discovered to give intellectual definition in verbal form to an emotion voiced in rythm and melody.
In songs where words are employed, we also find vocables which are in accord with the spirit of the song, used to make the words conform to the mu­sical phrase. These vocables are either appended to the word or else inserted between its syllables,
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