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324                    CURIOSITIES OF MUSIC.
persecuted them and put them to death. The bards iu Wales had an organization similar to that which we shall presently find among the troubadours and minne-singers. They were divid­ed into two classes,—poets, and musicians. Each of these classes were subdivided into three divis­ions. The first class of poet-bards was composed of those who understood history, and dabbled some­what in sorcery, thus being held in awe as prophets and diviners. The second class consisted of bards attached to private families, whose duties were to chant the praises of the heroes of their particular house. The third class were the heraldic bards, who wrote the national annals and prescribed the laws of etiquette and precedence. These must have exerted a powerful influence on a nation which clung so strictly to ceremony and the privi­leges of lineage.
The musicians were also divided into three classes, of which the first were harpers, and pos­sessed the title of Doctors of Music ; the second class were the players upon the crouth or chrotta, a smaller stringed instrument; the third class con­sisted of the singers. Many laws and regulations were made to define the privileges of each class, and the classification of new bards took place at an assemblage called the Eisteddfod, which met triennially, and conferred degrees. The highest degree could only be obtained after nine years faithful study. From the thirteenth century Wales also possessed a class of wandering mu­sicians entitled, " Clery dom." The harps used

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