Curiosities of Music - online book

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130                    CURIOSITIES OF MUSIC
(these being countenanced by ancient usage) and all the troupes of singing girls were also broken up. The poor musicians thus thrown out of employ­ment numbered four hundred and forty. The singing girls were yet more numerous.
These reforms seem to have been of short duration, for almost always, after an emperor who enthusiastically attacked these abuses, came one who with equal fervor, protected them.
One sovereign, A. D. 289, had at his palace five thousand actresses, and the fourth successor of the reformer who dismissed his musicians, named Tsin-ou-ti, although a lover of music, was also a great lover of luxury. His greatest delight was to enervate the officials of high rank by inviting them to carousals which he would extend far into the night,           JVhen the censors remonstrated
with him on his course, he heard them patiently; he would then invite them to dinner for the same day, and there cause them to drink so copiously that they had to be carried home.*
An emperor who reigned about 503 A. D. ban­ished comedy and music from the palace, and also established the funeral festival in honor of Confu­cius, in which sacred music played a part.
Tay-tsung, who asceaded the throne A. D. 626, was an active and thorough reformer in music as in all other arts which needed his helping hand. In the year 640, he turned his attention, after having brought the empire to a state of peace, to bringing musk back to its ancient and pristine
• U Fage 69. D* Mail] i 131.

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