Curiosities of Music - online book

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inhabitants of Tibur to their aid, and ihest pre­tended to give a great feast, to welcome the flute-players. At this feast, the musicians were all made very drunk, and while asleep from the effects of their liquor, they were bundled into chariots and driven back to Rome, where all their old privileges were restored, and newer, and greater ones added.
They received the right to give public represen­tations, and spectacles, in Rome; but at these they were always masked, the reason given, being their shame at the manner of their inglorious return to the city.
Flutes were used at funerals, and it appears that at one time the luxury and pomp of Roman obsequies grew so excessive that a law was passed limiting the number of flute-players on such occasions to ten.
Only at one time did the flute disappear from any public worship, and that was when the worship of Bacchus was introduced into Rome. To this rite the kithara was used; but this worship which was somewhat refined, though jovial, among the Greeks, became among the Romans so debauched and uxorious, that it was soon prohibited by law.
The flute was used in combination with othei instruments at times. Apuleius speaks of a con cert of flutes, kitharas and chorus, and mentioned its deliciously sweet effect. It was also used as a pitch pipe, to give orators a guide in modulating their voices when addressing an assembly; thus Cains Gracchus always on such occasions, had a

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