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succession of sounds is the first thing which catches our attention, while the evolutions of harmony pass over the ear of most persons unnoticed. It is said that in China, and the eastern nations of the world, harmony is not yet introduced into their music They have no music in parts as we have, and the voices and instruments join in performing the tune only. If that is the case, it betrays a want of apprehension and knowledge, that can only be equalled . by their known ignorance in painting; in which art, they have not yet discovered the laws of perspective. Harmony is an intellectual enjoyment it affects not the passions, it is addressed more to the understanding than the emotions of the heart. It is melody alone that touches the feelings, as it imitates the tones and expressions of the human voice. M. Castil Blaze observes, 'that melody be' longs entirely to the imagination; it is the result of a happy inspiration, not of the calculations of science. Indeed we do not learn sentiment. Vigorous and sublime traits, fine or simple thoughts, which we meet with in Corneille and Racine, Molière and La Fontaine, are not the fruit of study. Art máy embellish the works of genius, but the gift of invention we receive directly from nature. With imagination and taste, every person is able to form melodies. In the fields of Provence, the laborer following his oxen, the shepherd of Lebanon guarding his flock, sing airs, which they sometimes compose at the moment. In these irregular, and little

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varying melodies, we often meet with traits of character, original turns, passages of which the charm strikes the musician in such a lively manner, that he is eager to collect them. The forests and mountains have also their composers. The Russian, Swiss, Scotch, Tyrolian airs, and those of the muleteers of Estremadura, have all been formed by rustic singers. Persons of taste, ignorant of the rules of composition, have given us vaudevilles full of openness, charming romances, and hymns of great beauty. Adam, Beaumarchais, Rousseau, and Rouget de l'Isle, are true troubadours : the airs they have invented will remain-Nature has dictated them.

CHAPTER XXXVIII.

THOROUGH BASS

Is the art of expressing by figures any combination of notes to be struck with the right hand upon the organ or piano-forte, to any given note in the bass. These figures are a sort of short hand, which describes the accord, and in which is contained the harmony of the full score. If C is taken as the tonic or key-note, the natural harmony belonging to it consists of the 3d, 5th, and 8th, making the common chord of C.

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Common chords, whether major or minor,* require no figures, though formerly they were marked with one or both of the figures z.

The order in which the sounds are built upon the bass note is at the taste of the performer, i. e., whether the 3d shall come next to the tonic, lie in the middle, or be uppermost, thus :

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Whenever the bass note steps out of its place into that of the 3d of the key, this change is called the first derivative of the chord, is marked with the figure 6, and is termed the chord of the 6th, as it takes the harmony of the sixth note above it.

When the bass in another move steps into the place of the 5th, or dominant,f it is called the

* A key is minor when the 3d is at the distance of four semitones from the tonic, and major when at five.

† The dominant of the key is always the fifth note above the key

note.

second derivative of the chord, and takes the figures 9, or simply 4.

An example of a succession of the chord of the

sixth.

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• The figures denote the intervals above the bašs note. Simply a sharp or flat placed under a note, signifies that the 3d is to be sharp or flat.

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