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Critical & Historical Essays

Lectures delivered at Columbia University

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Published: 1912
Language: English
Wordcount: 70,338 / 215 pg
Flesch-Kincaid Reading Ease: 66.2
LoC Category: ML
Downloads: 1,229
Added to site: 2005.07.25
mnybks.net#: 11060
Genre: Music
Excerpt

no musical instruments of any kind. Retracing our steps to the Antipodes we find among the Weddahs or "wild hunters" of Ceylon exactly the same state of things. The same description applies without distinction equally well to the natives in the interior of Borneo, to the Semangs of the Malay Peninsula, and to the now extinct aborigines of Tasmania. According to Virchow their dance is demon worship of a purely anthropomorphic character; no musical instrument of any kind was known to them. Even the simple expression of emotions by the voice, which we have seen is its most primitive medium, has not been replaced to any extent among these races since their discovery of speech, for the Tierra del Fuegians, Andamans, and Weddahs have but one sound to represent emotion, namely, a cry to express joy; having no other means for the expression of sorrow, they paint themselves when mourning.

It is granted that all this, in itself, is not conclusive; but it will be found that no matter in what wilderness one may hear

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