Curiosities of Music - online book

Rare facts about the music traditions of many nations & cultures

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296                  CURIOSITIES OF MUSIC.
a grand religious dance, to the sound of these instruments, while the chorus sing a litany and all mark the time by a clapping of hands.
That the art of music was esteemed among the more educated of the early Christians is very strongly shown by a fresco in the cemetery of Domitilla (in Rome). This painting which seems to be of the first or second century of our era, represents Christ as Orpheus, charming all nature by his music* It is probably only an allegorical figure, representing his divine gifts, but the figure must be a shock to all who are accustomed to see the face of Jesus, as drawn by the Leonardo da Vinci. Instead of the meek and beautiful form, we see here a lank loosely-built young man, sitting in a very uncomfortable attitude, on a rock, and twanging away at a four-stringed lyre.
Regarding the origin of the present pictures of Christ (although not strictly belonging to our subject) we are tempted to make the following remarks.
It is believed by some scholars that the head of Christ was first copied from the statue of Jupiter (or the Greek Zeus), which was, in the early centuries regarded as the most perfect model of manly beauty. It is scarcely to be doubted that the general model of the Pagan sculptures was followed in the early representations of the
Rambo8Bon, Harmonies du Son, p. 21.

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