Curiosities of Music - online book

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glory. In pursuance of this design, he ordered that everything relating to ancient music, books as well as instruments, should be sent to his court. An immense quantity of books, fragments, memoirs, old and new instruments, etc., were discovered and collected, which were handed over to a committee of savans, whose duty it was to retain the good, reject the bad, and systematize the whole. Much was discovered by this means; books were printed and the art of music received a strong impetus; but still the Chinese held that the full beauty of the ancient art could not be unearthed, perhaps because they could find noth­ing in it equaling their expectations: but Tay-tsung for his efforts in the matter, was ever after held in the highest esteem by the Chinese, who rank him with the great and good rulers, Hoang-ti, Yao, etc.
Tay-tsung also composed, or caused to be com­posed, a war dance, accompanied with the appropriate music; it was intended to inspire the soldiers with virtue and courage, and to make them emulate heroes.
Under the emperors who came immediately after, comedy and theatrical representations flourished. The musicians were always kept within the limits of their caste however. A chief comedian once permitted himself to make an allusion to state affairs, in a plajT; the emperor listened to him with much attention, (the Chinese politeness is such that they will accord the most respectful vttention to a person whom they would like to

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