[Ansteorra] Can someone confirm/deny for me?

Jeffrey Clark jmclark85 at gmail.com
Wed Aug 18 12:58:54 PDT 2010

Slightly Off-Topic,

I think that it would be interesting to do a study on the mutation of music
in the oral-tradition. It would be interesting to see how a song released
into the group -- but never recorded or engraved -- changed over time, as
well as to see how the author's memory of it also changed over 30+ years;
compared to the original.

We have mounds of period examples of works that are accidental derivations
or even things that were written due to faulty memory. Most of the works in
the Fitzwilliam Virginal Book have mixed up notes and phrases in the
melodies because the person who wrote it didn't remember the songs
correctly. Then again, look at how many different versions of songs like
Packington's Pound there are.

A more familiar example would be the "Happy Birthday" song. The large leap
in the middle of the song has shifted down by a half-step, and that shift
has become so ingrained in people's memory that even musicians try to play
it that way (then get confused when the rest of that phrase doesn't work).

-AS Zorzi

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