Curiosities of Music - online book

Rare facts about the music traditions of many nations & cultures

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264                  CURIOSITIES OF MUSIC.
consists of a bow of bamboo, with the string tightly strained across it, and this is struck by a slender slip of bamboo.
The mouth of the player performs the office of sounding board; he holds the instrument to his mouth with one hand, and manages the string with the other. Performers may often be seen sitting for hours together with an instrument of this sort; they stick one end of the bow into the ground, and fasten the string over a cavity cover­ed with bark, which opens into an aperture for the escape of the sound. They pass one hand from one part of the bow to the other, and with the other they play upon the string with the bamboo twig, and produce a considerable variety of buzzing and humming airs which are really rather pretty. This is quite a common pastime with the lads who are put in charge of the goats. I have seen them apply themselves very earnestly and with obvious interest to their musical prac­tice, and the ingenious use to which they apply the simplest means for obtaining harmonious tones testifies to their penetration into the secrets of the theory of sound.
As appeals however to the sense of sound, the great festivals of the Bongo abound with meas­ures much more thrilling than any of these minor performances. On these occasions the orchestral results might perhaps be fairly characterised as cats' music run wild.
Unwearied thumping of drums, the bellowings of gigantic trumpets, for the manufacture of

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