Chapter 7 Songs and Songmakers

Page 4 of 6

Transcription - Page 9

of his race. His voice is a baritone of average compass and not
unpleasing quality. His ear is also fairly quick and accurate,
though occasionally he would pause long as if trying to recall
the test sounds before repeating them; and his patience, good
temper, and evident pleasure at seeing his songs committed to
paper, were very remarkable.

In order to obtain the compass of this aboriginal's voice, and
his power of retaining and expressing some distinct musical idea
a simple solfeggio passage was sung to him. After a brief
silence, and without attempting to repeat the given sounds, he
began slowly and deliberately and with much emphasis on each
note, the following impromptu:-

[written music]
La La La La La La La La

As an ear test, he then repeated accurately, pausing first as

[written music]
La La La

an effort which the bard voluntarily supplemented by:-

[wirtten music]
La La La

evidently much pleased with his own performance, and the
applause of his auditors.

The appended native songs, jotted down as nearly as possible in
modern notation, will help to illustrate the foregoing observation
The bard was in each case allowed to choose his own starting note
and generally pitched on, or about, D in the base.

Page 4 of 6

Document Details

Letter From
Letter To
Author Howitt, Mr Alfred William
Country Australia
Holding Institution Museums Victoria
Collection Name Alfred W. Howitt Collection
Registration Number XM 461
Medium Notes
Summary "Draft for A.W. Howitt's Chapter 7 of ""Native Tribes of South East Australia"" 1904. Content relating to the use of song and ceremony."
Physical Description Draft notes, typed and handwritten, undated. Twelve sheets, thirteen pages. Cover sheet. Annotations throughout. Condition: tattered edges; foxing.