Curiosities of Music - online book

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120                  CURIOSITIES OF MUSIC.
preceded the discoveries of Pythagoras hy many centuries; Ling-lun went back to the emperor's court and there measured and fixed the pitch of the Chinese scale forever. Bells were also made of the official pitch, that it might easily be perpet­uated.
Hoang-ti also had immense trumpets made which imitated " the voice of dragons," and drums which sounded " like thunder." This monarch was as great and good in all arts and sciences, as he was in music. He seems to have been a Chinese " king Alfred." After him, came Chao-hao, at whose accession the Foang-hoang again appeared, intimating thereby another prosperous reign in this line of good and musical emperors. Chao-hao invented the idea of marking the divis­ions of the night by strokes of a drum, and also had founded a set of twelve copper bells, to represent the twelve months of the year. He used all his efforts to make music popular, and invented new modes of playing, making the yang and yn less distinct from each other, that is uniting the more powerful tones (male) with the weaker (female). It is said that he first intro­duced songs in honor of the ancestors, which play a very important part in Chinese music, and that these hymns were performed for the first time, in honor of the amiable emperor Hoang-ti.
The emperors next following, all protected and encouraged music. The first songs, that is of a secular style, were composed about 2456 b. c. \t this time also, many new instruments were

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