A History of Music

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Face to face with a great law pervading the development of all Musics, and that the music of individual nations or individual races must necessarily pass through the same phases of growth as the Music of that general nation or race whose history we pick out from the ways and doings of modern savages, and whom we acknowledge as the Author and Creator of us all under the name of Primitive Man. And he thinks that when individual nations or races parted or separated themselves from the originally collective human stock, they did but work out over again under more complex surroundings the same problems which had been solved before in a state of simplicity, and that they solved them and still continue to solve them in much the same way as at first. In this way he believes, that had we sufficiency of materials for reconstructing the complete history of music among each of those ancient nations whom we have been considering in this Book, we should find that in each case there was a Rhythmic Period at the beginning, then a Melodic, and then a Harmonic Period, as these three periods went evenly off in that mythology of History which we call Prehistoric Times. But when we come to that particular branch of the human race to which we ourselves belong, and which was so much slower of ripening than the precocious Hamites, Semites, or Mongoloid families, and whose end is not yet, he fancies that by peering into its past, and treating the present as its bloom and lustre, he will be able to set forth the characteristics of what we may call the Rhythmic Period of Music ln all its minuteness. For over and above the penchants and peculiarities of races, and the complete consummation of our three periods in the finished history of individual nations, whose life and death form separate.

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