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HISTORY OF CHINESE MUSIC.            125
meaning of the whole, Kong, the instructor, or master. This was Latinized hy the Jesuit mission­aries into Confucius. This philosopher cultivated the study of music and seems to have esteemed it as highly as the Greek philosophers did a century later. He revised and arranged many of the old books on musical ceremonies and rites. He learnt the art in a distant province, as in his native place music was but little known.
"While in the kingdom of Tchi, Confucius heard some of the ancient music of the days of Chun performed. The effect on him was so marvellous, that for three months he scarcely could eat, for thinking of it. " I should never have believed," he said, " that composers could reach such a pinnacle of perfection."*
It is also said that Confucius was an excellent performer on the musical stones of the king. Once while playing on this instrument a passer by struck with the beauty of his performance, paused to listen, and exclaimed " surely one who can play thus, must have his soul occupied with great thoughts."
In the later days of his wanderings, when he was reduced to the extremity of poverty and starvation, he sang and played as usual, showing no signs of depression or despondency. One of his disciples ventured a reproach, asking how he could sing when they were all famishing; he replied; "the wise man seeks by music, to strengthen the weakness of his soul, the thought-
• Amlot da la M as. des Chinols, p. 11






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