Outspoken Essays on Music (Classic Reprint)
'La Musique est dans tout, un Hymne sort du Monde,' said Victor Hugo, who did not understand music, though he felt intuitively the importance and beauty of that vapeur de I'art which became condensed in wonder-producing forms, as well as of those vapourous condensations of the atmosphere into splendid and glorious clouds, the fabled abode of the thunderbolts fashioned by the gods of old.
Primitive men, the higher they rose in the animal scale of evolution, doubtless modulated their savage cries and discovered ... singing! Curious to relate, birds sing: whereas the mammalia, for which so grand a future was in store, do not sing. It was necessary that man should appear on the stage of life before song ... and subsequently music ... were forthcoming. Music therefore is the most plastic, as well as the youngest, of the arts. Why is this? Because music applies to two different arts based on sound, just as painting and engraving have their one common origin in drawing.
'Primary' music, that which appeared simultaneously with the human race itself, consists of two elements: melody and rhythm. It held sway throughout Europe up to the time of the Middle Ages and still reigns throughout both the Near and the Far East.
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