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202 CURIOSITIES OF MUSIC.
It is very possible, that the music of Japan had its rise long ago, within the limits of the island. Unfortunately, in this branch of history, we can as yet, come to no definite conclusion; the absence of all knowledge of the system (if there be one worthy of the name) on which their melodies are formed, and the very slight knowledge of the ancient history of the people, confine us altogether to conjecture and inference. That China exerted some influence upon the musical style of Japan, is undeniable. In the year (A. d.) 57, an embassy was sent from the island, to the Emperor of China, with presents. The return of this expedition, brought to the (at that time) totally rude and uncultivated people, the fruits of the older Chinese civilization, and it was probably at that epoch, that the Chinese instruments, which still exist in Japan, were introduced.
The instruments of Japan, though resembling, are much cruder than their Chinese, prototj^pes. The che, of China, is found under the name of koto. It is larger than the che, but has fewer strings; the latter are of silk, lightly lacquered. The sam-sin is a guitar, with a very long neck, and has three strings. These instruments are among the indispensable articles of the wedding outfit of every bride.*
Of wind instruments they have many styles of flutes and a trumpet, made of a conch shell.f The cheng (small mouth organ) is also possessed
• Japan, Aime Uumbert, p. 173. t Anibros, Gescb L Mus. t. 1, p. 38,