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The author of the following pages has been in the habit of listening to sounds of every description, and that with more than ordinary attention; but none have interested him so much as the cries of animals, and the song of birds. In the busy world, or in quiet and repose, he has amused himself with taking down these germs of melody; and, had his pursuits led him more into rural life, a more ample collection might have been made. The instances here recorded are a faithful transcript of the voice of Nature, and it will strike every one, that music has had its origin in these simple and immutable expressions. With these facts before him, he has taken a philosophical view of the science, and endeavored to explain the true principles of musical taste and expression; but not confining himself to this enquiry, he has ventured to treat upon other matters in which sound is concerned. Many of these are for the first time considered, and he is aware that some of his opinions may be called in question, and excite much controversy. In the chapter on the Analysis of Utterance, the author begs to acknowledge the able assistance of a friend, who has carried the research to a greater depth than was at first contemplated. The novelty of the subjects may claim for this book some attention; and if it does not elucidate every point upon which the author has touched, he ventures to presume that it will suggest to the reader many facts, curious, entertaining, and instructive.

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