Curiosities of Music - online book

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invented, and old ones improved. "With the reign of Yao, 2357 B. c, the chronological record of Chinese emperors and their doings becomes much clearer. Under this emperor, China had a season of great peace and prosperity. He invented the instrument of musical stones, called the king, (to be described later) and received the stones specially adapted to its manufacture, as tributo from various provinces.
Chun, who succeeded him, though of low birth (he was nominated to the throne by Yao) continu­ed to advance the progress of music, and used it, as the Greek philosophers did later, to prepare himself for public business.
"It was to the sound of the kin," says the Chinese historian,* " that the great emperor Chun prepared to deal with the affairs of the empire, and to the melody of the kin is due the love and care which he constantly gave to his people." Chun composed the following song, words and music, on the above instrument; it may be taken as a specimen of very early Chinese improvisation.
"The breeze of midday brings warmth and dispels sorrow; may it be the same with Chun; may he be the joy and the consolation of his people. The breeze of midday causes the grain to grow, which is the hope of the people; even so Oh, Chunl be thou the hope and the wealth of thy subjects,1' etc.
• Quoted by La Fage, Hist. 4e Hoi., >. 47.

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