Curiosities of Music - online book

Rare facts about the music traditions of many nations & cultures

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David may be regarded as the real founder of Hebrew music. He must have possessed great skill even in his youth, as the instance of his being able to soothe Saul's crazed mind with his music, proves. This may be regarded as one of the earliest notices of the effects of music in mental disease. What the nature of his inventions and reforms in music afterwards were, and how far he remodelled the style which had been brought from Egypt, cannot now be known, as Jerusalem has been pil­laged nearly twenty times since his reign, and every monument, or inscription which might solve the enigma, has long been destroyed.
There are still marks and inflections in the He­brew Scriptures which are evidently intended to show the style in which they were to be chanted.
Regarding the instruments spoken of in Scrip­ture as being used in the Temple there is also no certainty. In the Talmud there is mention of an organ which had but ten pipes, yet gave one hundred different tones; this instrument is placed about the beginning of the Christian Era, and is called Magrepha; it is said of it, that its tones were so powerful that when it was played, the people in Jerusalem could not hear each other talk. Pfeiffer conjectures that it was probably not an organ, but a very loud drum. There are other authorities who have endeavored to prove that the Magrepha was simply a fre shovel; they contend that it was used at the sacrifices of the Temple to build up the fire, and was then thrown down, with a loud noise, to inform people outside how far the

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