Curiosities of Music - online book

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profession, for it was his custom to give a dozen festivals each month, when the musical corps were allowed to eat at his own table.
In travelling, of which he was very fond, he rarely took along less than five hundred musicians.
Under the last prince of the Tang dynasty there came many disasters upon the Chinese empire, and the successful inroads of the Tartar invaders, were most of all prejudicial to music; at one time the emperor was forced to fly from the capital, his palace was pillaged, and the musical instruments in it, either destroyed, or carried off to Tartary. When peace had been concluded and tranquillity reigned again, there was an earnest effort made to manufacture new instruments, but in doing this, great obstacles had to be surmount­ed, the models were dispersed or lost, and the official pitch was uncertain. A great search was made for the set of bells which represented the authorized ancient scale, but in vain; large sums were offered to the Tartars if they would make restitution of those which had been carried off at the sacking of the imperial palace, but these savages, after long delays, replied that they could not ascertain what had become of the captured instruments.
Thus another disturbing influence was im­ported into the Chinese music; but it was still as highly-prized an art as of old, for soon after these calamities came rulers who were passionately devoted to it; Tchowang-song, gave two prov-Nices to a pair of favorite musicians; and a

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