Curiosities of Music - online book

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HINDOO MUSIC.
9
Gods, Goddesses, good and evil spirits and Gand-harbas (Genii of music), and Apsarasas (Genii of Dance), and these became the musicians of the Gods, before man knew of the art. Then Saris-vati, Goddess of Speech and Oratory, consort of Brahma, at Brahma's command brought the art to man and gave him also his finest musical In­strument, the Yina, of which hereafter. Music then found a protector in the demi-god Nared, one of the chief Indian musical deities, while Maheda Chrishna helped it along by allowing five keys, or modes, to spring from his head (a la Minerva) in the shape of Nymphs, and his wife Parbuti, added one more; then Brahma added thirty lesser keys, or modes, and all these modes were also Nymphs.
The Hindoo scale has seven chief tones and these tones are represented as so many heavenly sisters.
In the Indian legends, music is represented as of immense might. All men, all animals, all in­animate nature listened to the singing of Maheda and Parbuti with ecstasy.
Some modes were never to be sung by mortals, as they were so fiery that the singer would be consumed by them. In the time of Akber, it is "elated, that ruler commanded Naik Gobaul, a famous singer, to sing the Baagni* of Fire; the poor singer entreated in vain, to be allowed to sing a less dangerous strain; then he plunged up
*The Raagni is the popular mode of singing in India; it is a fre« Fantasia, or improvisation.






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