Curiosities of Music - online book

Rare facts about the music traditions of many nations & cultures

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132                  CURIOSITIES OF MUSIC.
strangle,) but after the performance called the actor aside and told him that he kept his troupe to amuse, not to advise him, and sent the poor fellow into exile.
Another time a very talented musician commit­ted a murder, and was sentenced to death there­for; several officials endeavored to obtain his pardon, and a number of musicians presented a a petition to the emperor acknowledging that the culprit was very guilty and fully deserved his fate, but that his talents in music could not be replaced, and that therefore his life should be spared. The emperor's reply was a worthy one, 11 you fear damage to the art of music " said he, "but I fear damage to the laws and government of the empire." The sentence was executed. One emperor dared to raise a musician to special rank, and thus defied the strong respect for caste, which existed in China.
Y-tsung, the causer of this great scandal, had in his service a great performer, named Li-ko-ki, who was an especial favorite. One day when Li-ko-ki had composed a specially agreeable song, the emperor, without considering his profession, gave him the post of captain of the guards. It caused an immense excitement among the sticklers for etiquette, for all previous emperors, when they gave office to their musicians, first caused them to renounce their profession, while Li-ko-ki still continued in the practice of music; the emperor however carried his point. Y-tsung also showered other unusual honors upop *he members of this

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