Curiosities of Music - online book

Rare facts about the music traditions of many nations & cultures

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24                    CURIOSITIES OF MUSIC.
processions, and Isis is said to have invented the flute.) Tambourines and hand drums; sometimes the Egyptians danced to a rhythmic accompani­ment of these alone.* The flute was generally played by men, and the tambourines by women. Lyres, of various shapes, often played with the hand, but sometimes also with a plectrum, (a short, black stick, with which the strings were struck,) trumpets, cymbals, and some metal instruments of percussion. There are many paintings in which entire orchestras of these instruments are playing together, but probably all in unison.
There exists an excellent painting from a Theban tomb,f in which we see an Egyptian musical par­ty in a private house. Two principal figures are smelling of small nosegays, while two females offer to them refreshments; three females are dancing and singing for the amusement of the guests, who sit around, apparently having a very enjoyable time; below are seen slaves preparing a banquet, which is to follow the music. The Egyptians often had music before dinner.
Another application of music is pictured in a very ancient painting, given by Rosellini,$ in his great work; in it is seen a woman nursing an infant, while a harper and singer are furnishing music, possibly to lull the child to sleep; in almost all these paintings the singers are represented with one hand to their ear in order to catch the pitch of the instruments more readily.
•Wilkinson, p. 240 t Wilkinson, y. 2, p. 222. t V 8. p. 88.

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