Curiosities of Music - online book

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10                    CURIOSITIES OF MUSIC.
to his neck in the river Djumna, and began: he had not finished more than half of his lay when the water around him began to boil; he paused (at boiling point) but the relentless, or curious Akber, demanded the rest, and with the end of the song the singer burst into flames and was con­sumed. Another melody caused clouds to rise and rain to fall; a female singer is said once to have saved Bengal from famine and drought in this manner. Another lay caused the sun to dis­appear and night to come at midday, or another could change winter to spring or rain to sunshine. All these typify beautifully the might of music with this race. Of the four chief tone systems, two also have divine origin, from Iswara and from Hanuman (the Indian Pan), the others come from Bharata Muni who invented the drama with music and dance, and from Calinath.
"When Chrishna was upon the earth as a shep­herd, there were sixteen thousand pastoral Nymphs or Shepherdesses who fell in love with him. — They all tried to win his heart by music, and each one sang him a song, and each one sang in a different key, (let us hope not all at once). Thence sprang the sixteen thousand keys, which accord­ing to tradition once existed in India.
In order that the full extent of Hindoo Musical Mythology may be conceived, we will now sketch the tones which are employed.
We have stated that there are seven chief tones; these tones have short monosyllabic names; as we give to our notes the syllables, do, re, mi, etc., the

E-Book - An Annotated Compendium of Old Time American Songs by James Alverson III