Curiosities of Music - online book

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276                  CURIOSITIES OF MUSIC.
•'The men did not share in the dance, but Bquatted upon the rocks in great numbers to admire the music and to witness the efforts of their wives and daughters."*
Sir Samuel Baker also once used music for quite a different purpose. He was quartered near the town of Masindi, where dwelt Kabba Rega, King of the Unyori, when one evening, he noticed a most unusual stillness in the town, where ordinarily drunken songs and horn-blowing were the rule. Suddenly there sounded the deep tones of a nogara, or drum. This ceased in a moment; and then came a burst of terrific noise, which caused every man in camp to rush to his post. It was a din, caused by many thousands yelling and shrieking like maniacs. At least a thousand drums were beating; horns, whistles, and every instrument which could add to the confusion, was blowing and sounding, yet no human being was visible.
The dragoman, on being questioned by the commander, laughed, and said it was " to make him afraid, and exhibit the large number of peo­ple collected in the town."
Gen. Baker on ascertaining this determined to act as though it were a compliment which he felt bound to return. He ordered the regimental band to strike up, and play their loudest. This nonchalance had its effect, for, after a short time, the bugles, drums, and clashing cymbals of his own band, were the only sounds heard; the tumult in Masindi had subsided, and soon Gen.

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