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HISTORY OF CHINESF MUSIC.              117
It was not as an amusement, but as a means of popularizing his thoughts on all sciences, that he regulated and arranged the system of music. His first song celebrated his triumph over ignorance and barbarism; soon after he composed the "Fisher's song " in which he relates how he had taught modes of fishing to the natives. He invented the kin, a stringed instrument in the style of the modern zither, but with cords of silk, and in it he symbolized all manner of things.
He rounded the upper part to represent Heaven; he flattened the lower part to resemble the earth; one part of the instrument was called " The abode of the dragon" (representing the breezes of Heaven); another part was entitled " The nest of the Foang-hoang" (to betoken the seasons of the year). By means of this instrument he could regulate his heart, and curb his passions.*
" Those who would play the Kin," says the Chinese commentator, " and draw sounds from it which can charm, must have a grave countenance and well regulated interior, they should pick it lightly, and give a tone neither too high, nor
low."f
Many Chinese writers attribute some of the inventions which are credited to Fo-hi, to his wife Niu-va, a supernatural personage who was regard­ed as a holy and miraculous virgin in the Chinese annals. J The truth about Fo-hi seems to be that
* Amiot De la Mas. des Chinois, p. 64. t Amiot, p. 67.
tit is singular that a similar personage exists in the Hindoo enythoJogj.






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