Curiosities of Music - online book

Rare facts about the music traditions of many nations & cultures

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,74                    CURIOSITIES OF MUSIC.
Irummer who does not have some very especial wrong to complain of; he is immediately soundly bastinadoed.
At eclipses of the moon, the Chinese use their musical instruments in a purposely hideous manner. This is done to frighten away the dragon which is supposed to be eating up the oib of night. Instruments of percussion are chiefly used on this occasion. The same instruments (i. e. gongs, drums, trumpets and tarn tarns) are used to aid the marching of the army.
The musicul language such as we use in directing the movements of cavalry and artillery, is much more extended, though differently used in China; such musical signals are used in commanding civil as well as military personages. Various trades have their especial songs also, which they sing at their work.
But the music of China, although extending into every department of social and official life, is totally incapable of any advancement. Musical martinets are continually exclaiming against the changes iu style of composition, which innovators are constantly introducing into our art,* but it is these changes which give the surest signs of real life and intrinsic merit to modern music.
In China, precisely as formerly in ancient Egypt, no such changes are possible; the music for eajh and every event is as carefully mapped
•Kiret It was Haydn, then Handel, then Mozart, then Beethoven and to-day Wagner (a few years ago, Schumann) whose bold eagle-flights .lisinayed the more timid owls.

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