Negro Folk Rhymes Wise & Otherwise - online book

A detailed study of Negro folk music, includes lyrics & sheet music samples.

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instruments alone. In the Rhyme "Devilish Pigs" four lines were used at a time. Each time that the music theme of the composition was repeated, an­other set of Rhyme lines was repeated; and the variations in the music theme were played in each repeat which recalled the newly repeated words of the Rhyme. The ideal in composition from an in­strumental viewpoint might quite well remind one of the ideal in piano compositions, which consists of a theme with variations. The first movement of Beethoven's Sonata, Opus 26, illustrates the music ideal in composition to which I refer.
So far as I know no Caucasian instrumental music composer has ever ordered the performers un­der his direction to sing a few of the first measures of his composition while the string division of the orchestra played its opening chords. Only the ignorant Negro composer has done this. Some white composers have made little approaches to it. A fair sample of an approach is found in the Idylls of Ed­ward McDowell, for piano, where every exquisite little tone picture is headed by some gem in verse, reading which the less musically gifted may gain a deeper insight into the philosophical tone discourse set forth in the notes and chords of the composition.
The Negro Folk Rh)^me, then, furnished the ideas