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CHINESE MUSICAL COMPOSITIONS.        173
him thither, besides bringing him numerous presents.
Music is employed at funerals, but the friends of the deceased, are not allowed to perform it; for months after, etiquette forbids their touching any musical instruments.
The mourning for a parent, or grandparent is very strict and protracted. In China filial love and obedience are the virtues most insisted upon. If the descendants give forth any musical sounds at all it is only to howl dismally a chant respecting the virtues of the defunct; there are many of these compositions, or " lamentations " in exist­ence, of which the poetry is by no means despica­ble. When the funeral ceremony is taking place, some trumpets and a drum placed at the door, announce the arrival of visitors who come with their condolences to the afflicted family. After the body is buried with the ancestors, the bonzes, (Chinese priests) chant the office of the dead, for nine days, and in the procession itself drums, trumpets, tarn tams, flutes, etc., play a discordant dirge.
"We have already mentioned the wooden fish suspended at the tent door of military commanders to summon them to audiences concerning public and private affairs. Mandarins have, in like manner, a drum in the outer hall of their palaces, by means of which they can be summoned to give audience to any applicant; they are obliged to give immediate attention to the complaint of any person beating the drum, but woe to the audacious






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