Curiosities of Music - online book

Rare facts about the music traditions of many nations & cultures

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The most ancient music with the Chinese as with all people, seems to have consisted of hymns to the Deity, rendering thanks to Him for the benefits given to man in the various departments of labor. These were divided according to the class which used them, into agricultural, military, piscatorial, etc. Very soon after these, there came into existence that reverential ceremony in memory of the ancestors, which is so characteristically Chinese, and which became, of all their festivals, the most important and the most musical.
This ceremonial as conducted by the emperor is as follows. In the vestibule of the hall are retainers who bear a particular kind of standards, which show that the coming of the sovereign is expected. Here also are seen bells, drums, and musicians, as well as officers of the guards, all standing in symmetrical figure, and motionless in their position. On entering the hall one sees, right and left, the performers on the cheng and king, and the minor instruments, all arranged in their proper order. In the middle are -la^ed the

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