Curiosities of Music - online book

Rare facts about the music traditions of many nations & cultures

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168                  CURIOSITIES OF MUSIC
ently flung together without link or affinity; and even the confusion of sounds to make it worse, Instead of finishing in a quiescing cadence, passes Deyond what is looked for as the last note, and sometimes ends with what we should call a flatted keynote, leaving the listeners in amost uncomfort­able state of suspense and uncertainty as to what may follow. For my own part, I have not been able as yet to discover whether the Chinese recognise such a thing as a keynote among the parts of song, or whether their composers begin, continue, and end their tunes ad libitum."
We have inserted the above that the reader may judge how strongly the music distresses the musical European at first hearing; but it is also not to be forgotten that the Eastern, (Hindoo and Arabian) music had a similar effect upon persons who a year later were obliged to acknowledge that they had begun to find beauty, and take pleasure in it.
Of other court musical ceremonies, the emper­or's birthday, the harvest sacrifice, the feast of agriculture, and the fifteenth day of the first moon, are the most important. The first occasion is described by Lord Macartney, who heard it on the 17th of September, 1793. It began with a slow majestic sound of deep-toned bells and muffled drums, in the distance. This impressive music was occasionally interrupted by sudden pauses; with equal suddenness the whole force of singers and instrumentalists would burst out with their utmost strength, while the entire court bowed






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