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CHINESE MUSICAL INSTRUMENTS.        146
take place in presence of the emperor) effecting this not in our manner, but by covering the instru­ment with ornamented draperies of cloth, which absorb part of the sound.
OF THE SOUND OF STONE.
The custom of making a systematic use of stone, in music, is peculiarly a Chinese institu­tion. In the Chouking, one of the most ancient of Chinese chronicles, we read that already in the almost mythological days of Yao and Chun, the Chinese had observed that certain kinds of stone were adapted to giving out musical sounds, and that these tones occupied the place between the sound of metal and of wood, being less sharp and penetrating than the former, and more sonorous than the latter, and more brilliant and sweet than either.
Even in those days they carved and shaped the stones, in order to extract from them the regular notes of their scale, and made instruments of them which even to-day are used in China, and are named king.
These musical stones were highly valued, and received as tribute as early as 2250 b. c. Those found on the surface of the earth, and near the banks of the rivers, were most esteemed, as it was supposed that their exposure gave clearness and purity to their tone.
These stones, called Tu, are found near the mountain streams and torrents of Yun-nan. They are of extreme hardness and are polished in 10






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