Curiosities of Music - online book

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146                    CURIOSITIES OF MUSIC.
the same manner as agate and precious stones* Large specimens are extremely rare; those which Amiot saw at the Imperial palace, were three feet by one foot eight inches in size, but they were considered unique.
Their weight (specific gravity) is also very wonderful, for stones which seem to be not too heavy a burden for one man, require four men to move them.* Those in the palace were of many colors, milk-white, sky-blue, indigo-blue, yellow, orange, pale green, sea-green, red and gray. Those most esteemed were of a single color throughout, though when five colors blended, it was considered a valuable specimen. It may be mentioned in this connection that the number five seems to acquire a mystical significance among the Chinese, for their music has five principal tones, they recognize five elements, five virtues, five senses, five duties, and five principal ceremo­nies, f
Some of these stones resemble marble, and others seem to be petrifactions of some sort. "We are unaware whether those belonging to the emperor have been examined by any recent geologist. The Duke de Chaulnes in the last century, came to the conclusion that the stone was marble, but that its organization differed in some respects from ours; and that iron entered into its composition.
It is very difficult to complete an octave with
•Amlot, Essai sur les pierres sonores.
* L'AbW Rouuier, Annotations sur Ainio?






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