chapter  I
18 Pages

GREGORIAN CHANT

MUSICOLOGICAL research has not as yet provided us with suffioient material to enable us to give a reliable

description of the musio of primitive raoes or of non-European oivilizations suoh as India or China, and our oomplete ignorance ooncerning the systems of notation employed in anoient times -if, indeed, any were employed at all-eifectively prevents us from knowing anything whatsoever of the early history of musio. No really authentio examples of Greek musio even have oome down to us with the exception of one or two fragments so unintelligible as to justify the suspioion that our interpretation of the Greek system of notation is, if not wholly wrong, at least very inadequate. Apart from them, all of it that has been discovered and transoribed up to the present time consists of a few hymns and miscellaneous oddments supposed to date from about the time of Hadrian, together with a small quantity of purely theoretical writings. It will be readily understood, therefore, that an attempt to arrive at an idea of what Greek musio was like from such slight and not altogether trustworthy evidenoe as this is like trying to deduce and reconstruct Greek drama from fragments of the H ercule& FureM of Seneca, Greek sculpture from a few se'Cond-rate busts of Roman emperors, or Greek painting from the descriptions of it which are to be found in the pages of Pausanias or Aohilles Tatius. Yet many writers have attempted this well-nigh impossible feat. Gevaert has written two volumes, oontaining about a thousand pages, on the musio of classical antiquity; Riemann and Ambros have both dedicated whole volumes to it in their respective histories of music, and many others too numerous to mention have similarly devoted a vast amount of time, energy and enthusiasm to its study without, however, any of them succeeding in giving us more than the vaguest idea of what it was actually like. Even on the most elementary and fundamental issues there is

st.ill considerable divergence of opinion among the best authorities.