Curiosities of Music - online book

Rare facts about the music traditions of many nations & cultures

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Among the strolling musicians, there are man? *ho make their living by going to private festivals of the middle classes, such as weddings, birthdays, and other rejoicings, even when uninvited; these are similar to our ball room musicians, but also bear some resemblance to the itinerant performers of early Eastern nations. In Poland there still exists a similar class.
For the poorer class, there are also, numerous blind musicians, who travel from house to house, sometimes in bands, sometimes alone. "We have already compared these to our own organ-grinders, but they differ from them in one particular; they do not rely so much upon making music indis­criminately, but go, with much tact, to those places where their services are likely to be required.
In China the custom of celebrating the birth­day anniversary is universal; these wandering minstrels recollect the date of the birth of each individual for miles around, with unerring exact­ness, and when a birthday fete, occurs in any family, they may calculate with some degree of certainty that the music will come without being sent for.
There are other occasions, where these shrewd disciples of the muses can turn an honest penny; if a skillful physician has saved the life of the wife or child of some rich man no higher compliment can be given to him (besides his fee) by the grateful nabob, than to invite him to a great feast, and to send an escort of eight musicians to convey

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