Curiosities of Music - online book

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CHINESE MUSICAL COMPOSITIONS.        171
certs. Another great festival, where music plays a leading part, takes place on the fifteenth day of the eighth moon. On this evening the Chinese imagine that a hare is seen in the moon, and to the sound of many instruments, the entire popula­tion turn out to look at it. It is customary for friends to send each other cakes, on which the figure of a hare is moulded, in sugar. Concerts are an important accessory to this festival with both rich and poor; the former make every effort to secure the best singers and performers for their entertainment on this holiday; the latter, not being able to have the more delicate instruments content themselves with a clatter of basins, pots and frying-pans, and make with these a sort of burlesque concert.
At each full moon there takes place a festival in which gongs and cannons rather than musical instruments are heard. Besides these festivals which are celebrated throughout the empire, there are also local ones, which are numberless. The richest class generally keep their private troupe of musicians, whom they own almost as slaves. Often also they educate young children of both sexes, in the musical art with the utmost care, in order that when grown up thej'may swell theranksof their musical retinue. Amongtheseare often special artists whom they will not allow to appear on ordinary occasions, but reserve to perform before their own family, or intimate friends to whom they wish to show especial honor* at such times, the ordinary performers are sent awav.






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