Curiosities of Music - online book

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ittJ                  CURIOSITIES OF MUSIC.
the burdens of state are to him, and thanks his ancestors for their spiritual assistance. He con­cludes with the statement that he can do very little to testify his appreciation of all their benefits, but what he is able to do he has done.
14 Three times with respect, have I offered the triple sacrifice; not being able to do more, my vows are satisfied." The hymn being finished, the emperor retires with his ministers and cortege in the same order in which they entered the hall. The music continues until he has reached his own apartments. Dancers participate in this ceremony and are sumptuously clad and really assume a role of much importance. As with the ancient Greeks and Romans, they are not to be thought of as being jumpers or twirlers; they express by their motions the sentiments which actuate the emperor as he eulogizes his ancestors, expresses his own unworthiness, his gratitude, pride, and other emotions. The music of this august ceremonial, is entirely written in whole notes, without any change of rhythm whatever. It is rather monoto­nous than distressing to our ears.
This is not the case with other vocal composi­tions of the Chinese; nearly all travellers agree in saying that their music, in this branch especially, resembles far more the cries of the nocturnal cat than the human voice. The composers seem to have an aversion to progression by degrees, in their songs, and a decided penchant for long skips. We do not intend a slur upon the Scotch musu when we say that there are points of resemblan<"






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