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HISTORY OF CHINESE MUSIC. 139
iie emperor); the melodies of our music pass :'rom the ear to the heart, and from the heart to .he soul. We feel them, and we understand them; those which you have just played, have no such effect upon us. The airs of our ancient music were something quite different; one needed but to hear them, to be ravished with them. Oui books give to them the most pompous eulogies; but they tell us at the same time, that we have, in a great measure, lost the excellent method by which the ancients produced such marvellous effects."* It is interesting to placp these remarks beside the reiterated opinion of many writers that the Chinese music is not worthv of being called "music" at all; and then to turn to that most proper definition of the art,—" Music is the art of moving the feelings by combinations of sounds."
The same obstacles exist to-day against change in the music of the Chinese, as in the days of Kang-hi.
This emperor, in his later days added to the long list of his musical efforts, a volume treating of dances, and also a collection of the most celebrated ancient songs. The missionaiy who mentions this latter work,f assures us that he dares not translate it, lest he should be accused of placing the sentiments of the most noble psalms ai the mouth of the Chinese.
During Kang-hi's reign the flute became quite hshionable in China, the people becoming
•Amlot. Mus. des Chinois, p. 3.
t Cibot Essai sur les Caracteres Coidois