Curiosities of Music - online book

Rare facts about the music traditions of many nations & cultures

Home Main Menu Singing & Playing Order & Order Info Support Search Voucher Codes



Share page  Visit Us On FB

Previous Contents Next
102                    CURIOSITIES OF MUSIC.
this curious emperor, as he may siand as a type (although an exaggerated one) of the soulless and sensual musical virtuosi of his era. In giving his history (so far as it relates to music) we follow mainly the version of Suetonius.
He studied music in his early youth, and first appeared publicly in the games of the Roman youth, entitled the Juvenalia;* here he seems to have made no remarkable impression, either by his voice or dramatic action. Immediately on his accession to the throne, he sent for the famous harper Terpnus, and took the greatest pleasure in his performances; it was his habit to sit with him after supper till late into the night. At last he began to practice upon the instrument himself; and at the same time he began to apply himself assiduously to the cultivation of his voice, although it is the testimony of all his historians, that his voice was rather thin and husky.
The care he lavished upon the preservation of his voice, far out-does that of any modern prima donna; he would lie on his back during part of each day, with a sheet of lead on his stomach, or sliest; he used emetics and clysters copiously when it seemed at all out of order; his food was always regulated with reference to its effect upon his voice, and he forbore from eating many fruits and pickles, because they were prejudicial to it
He never delivered any addresses to his army because he feared that he might thereby strain it; all his speeches to the soldiers were delivered by
•Tacittu. Bk. XX.






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