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HISTORY OF CHINESE MUSIC. 12&
sentiments as these show a keen appreciation of the art, which seems all the more singular when we think of the peculiar music to which it relates. The music of the time of Chun, is rapturously eulogized by Confucius.
Yu, the great, only followed the example of his predecessors in setting to music the most moral precepts and praising virtue, in song. It may perhaps have been this association of high thoughts and ideas, the noble character of the poetry, which gave music such a charm in the eyes of the ancient Chinese. Yu made use of some primitive instruments, in a new and very laudable manner;* desirous of being easily accessible to all his subjects, he caused to be placed at a gate of his palace, five instruments of percussion, which were to be struck by any applicant, according to the nature of his business with the emperor.
A large bell announced a person who desired to complain of an injustice; a drum signified a communication respecting the manners of the empire; and a small bell, private or confidential business; a tam-tam, a public or private misfortune; a tambourine, an accusation of crime which was appealed from some lower tribunal to the adjudication of the emperor.
This kindly emperor, regulated what was still deficient in music, and did it so thoroughly that no further changes were necessary until the Hia dynasty became extinct. The last of the above
•lAFage. p 60.