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ANCIENT EGYPTIAN MUSIC.                21
years ago, or that in witnessing the pirouettes of a ballet dancer, we are amusing ourselves in the ancient Egyptian manner; the latter fact is proved by ancient paintings, however. Other ancient Egyptian dances were similar to the mod­ern jigs, clog dances and breakdowns, as is am­ply shown by figures found both in Upper and Lower Egypt.
The Egyptians had also dances with regular figures, forward and back, swing, etc.; these dances were restricted to the lower orders, the upper classes being forbidden to indulge in them.
If we could transport ourselves back to Thebea in its days of grandeur, we should be somewhat astonished at the slight change, in comparison with what is usually supposed, from our own times. Imagine the time of a great religious fes­tival. The Nile is crowded with boats, loaded to their utmost capacity, with passengers, offerings, etc. Sometimes hundreds of thousands came to Thebes or Memphis, and especially to Bubastis, on such occasions. From each boat is heard playing and singing. Within the city all the streets are full; here march by a troop of Pha­raoh's soldiers, all the privates uniformed alike, their marching regular, and their drill well attended to; at their head is a military band, (picture found at Thebes) of trumpeters, drum­mers beating the drum with their hands, and other performers; along that mighty avenue of Sphinxes is marching a procession to one of the temples: here also musical instruments, partic-

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