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268 CURIOSITIES OF MUSIC.
stones in their gourd-flasks, and clash together their bits of wood."
The dances of these people are similar in wild-ness to their music. The performers wear iron rings, with balls attached, around their ankles, and clash these together with such energy that their feet are often bathed in blood.
The Mittoo tribe rank very high among the African tribes, in their musical attainments; their melodies are quite agreeable to the cultivated ear and the pains which they take in mastering the intricacies of a musical composition, recall to the mind the difficulties which beset the path of the civilized musical student.
"We have seen a transcription of one of their songs, which would require but little alteration to transform it into a very fair " slumber song."
Many of them are quite skillful upon the flute, and have been described by Nubian travellers as equal to the best Frankish (European) performers who reside in Cairo.
The Monbuttoo also have a strong passion for music, so much so that the king sometimes dances before his wives and subjects, to the accompaniment of the royal band.
In his court concerts he has horn-men, who can modulate their tones from infinite tenderness to the sound of a lion's roar; and can perform upon a horn so cumbrous that it can scarcely be held, passages of runs, trills and shakes, which would be even difficult upon a flute.
Court fools, iesters and mimics also appertain