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HISTORY OF CHINESE MUSIC.            129
These ballet dancers seem also to have been talented singers, and were of similar station, though far inferior in talents, to the Hetarce. of ancient Greece. In the time of the last named ruler, there were found on the bank of a river, sixteen ancient musical stones or kings, and the fact that the sovereign esteemed this one of the most glorious events of his reign, shows how earnest and persistent was the endeavor to reclaim the old school of music from oblivion.
Between the years a. d. 8, and 23, many books relative to music were written; the Chinese, how­ever, assert that all of these were founded on a false system and contained many errors. About A. D. 60, the president of the tribunal of rites and music, made great efforts to collect the remains of ancient knowledge, and place music once more upon its old, pure basis. The work written by him was highly esteemed by the literati but unfortunately, the musicians had become used entirely to the newer, and less pure style of music, and were too lazy to care about learning any new modes; therefore all manner of difficulties were placed in the way of Pao-ye*, and the reform was unsuccessful.
Tching-ti, A. d. 280, had at his court ten thou­sand women, who were all proficient singers and players. Ngai-ti, one of his successors, tried to remedy the luxury and effeminacy which had crept into every department of music. He dismissed all his musicians, except those who performed at sacred rites, or in military music






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