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134                    CURIOSITIES OF MUSIC.
subsequent emperor (a la Nero) took to the stage himself, in spite of the horror of his remonstrat­ing censors.
Music and art took a new impetus under the Song dynasty (a. d. 960 to 1279), and very many books were written, on music especially, but alas! there was now so much uncertainty in the field of ancient (and therefore in Chinese eyes correct) music, that the commentators fell into the same pit which engulfed the modern decipherers of ancient Greek music, i. e., they speedily came to all kinds of varying and irreconcilable conclusions. One thing they resolved however, which was that the bells which gave the official scale were not correct; they therefore founded a new set, which were so satisfactory to the emperor and his advisers, that the former ordered his own official bells to be given to the founders for recasting. The musicians were very ill pleased with the new system, although obliged to conform to it, and yet determined that all trace of the ancient scale should not be lost. They managed by connivance with some officials to save a complete set. The bells were indeed removed from the tribunal of music and rites, but instead of being thrown into the furnace, they were with the tacit consent of high authorities, buried in a court-yard of the palace, and long afterward exhumed.
Tsai-yu, one of the later emperors, studied deeply to place music on a secure footing,* and it
• Amio* <\e la Mus. de Chin, p 33.

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