Curiosities of Music - online book

Rare facts about the music traditions of many nations & cultures

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100                    CURIOSITIES OF MUSIC.
which the tragedians sang, by humming along with them. It is related of him.* that during the height of his power and tyranny, he sent, one night, a summons to three men of consular rank, to attend him at once at his palace; in fear and terror, the three hastened to obey, scarcely doubt­ing that the night was to be their last on earth; on arriving, they were most agreeably surprised to hear the sound of flutes, and the emperor himself suddenly burst out before them, arrayed in full theatrical costume, and sang them a song, after which he bowed and retired, upon which they were dismissed, and returned to their anxious families; we can imagine that, under the circum­stances, Caligula received very hearty applause that night.
Vespasian established musical games, and gave large sums to actors and singers, f
Titus was a good singer and player.
In the later days of paganism, when the music of the Christian church had already manifested its power and superiority, the Emperor Julian endeavored to bolster up the religion of the ancestors, and fight the church with one of its own weapons. He therefore sought to make an extensive reform in the religious and sacrificial music. He endeavored to form music schools at Alexandria, in Egypt, where a new school of singing and composition might be inculcated, and whence Rome might draw the material for a
• Suetonius Calig. LIV.
* Suetonioua Vesp. XIX.

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