Curiosities of Music - online book

Rare facts about the music traditions of many nations & cultures

Home Main Menu Singing & Playing Order & Order Info Support Search Voucher Codes



Share page  Visit Us On FB

Previous Contents Next
CHINESE MUSICAL INSTRUMENTS.        153
participate somewhat in the general clatter pro­duced by the other wooden instruments; they are about fourteen inches long, and one inch wide, are twelve in number, to commemorate the twelve sounds of the scale, and serve to beat the measure of the music, by being struck lightly against the palm of the left hand. The twelve pieces are attached to each other by means of cords.
There is besides, a military instrument of wood (though also scarcely to be classed as musical) which is carved in the form of a fish, and is suspended in front of the general's tent. When any person requires to see that official, he has but to strike this fish with two wooden sticks which are lying near by, and the audience is immediately granted; so greatly have the Chinese reduced language to various musical sounds, that by the mode of striking with the sticks, the applicant intimates, in a general manner, concerning what description of business the audience is requested.
There also exist in China a few other instru­ments of wood, from which regular series of tones can be produced, and upon which tunes can be played, but these latter seem not to be really Chinese in their origin, and are spoken of by the musical commentators of the country, as " strange instruments which have come into use in China."
THE SOUND OF BAMBOO.
It seems, at first sight, as if this class of instru­ments should be placed under the head of "wood;" but the Chinese draw a very wide distinction






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