The prospect of having to lug one’s possessions in and out of a vehicle and up and down stairs (in the summertime, no less) helps put a new laser focus to weeding out the things that you don’t really need anymore. But sometimes it also feels a bit like a treasure hunt in that you re-discover lots of forgotten things in the process.

For instance, I came across an article I photocopied for research on a school paper (that’s right. Photocopied. From a book, in the school library). The footnotes are excellent. Some of the sources listed:

  • ‘What Child is this? What Interval was that? Familiar Tunes and Music Perception in Novice Listeners’, Cognition (by J.D. Smith et al).
  • Against Filthy Writing, and such like Delighting, by Thomas Brice (1561)
  • Reflections on Ancient and Modern Musick, with the Application to the Cure of Diseases, by R. Brockleby (1749).

Here’s an excerpt from the article itself:

It seems that English people of the period had clear ideas about proper and improper uses of melodies, and the borderline between the two could be a sensitive area. Those who sang ‘psalms to hornpipes’ or ‘Trenchmore to the tune of Laugh and lye downe’ were misguided in some way. In 1597, a vicar from Kent was troubled by the allegation that he had led a rendition of the 25th psalm to the tune of ‘Greensleeves’, and sued his congregation for slander.

– from ‘The Sound of Print in early modern England’ by Christopher Marsh


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