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Music from the East.                      31
1 nasnum is an instrument resembling our oboe, but
' it is louder, shriller, coarser. The bands which
1 saunter about the bazaars and perform at weddings
1 generally consist of two musicians, both playing the
' nasnum, the second a protracted pedal note. The
'tom-tom is indispensable to all Indian music. The
1 second oboe player has often amused me by his
' power of holding out the note without any interrup-
' tion. I have never been able to understand how.
1 The first nasnum seems every now and then to rest
1 for a few bars, whilst the second goes on fortissimo
' without interruption, and apparently without any
1 effort. I once observed such a player very closely, and
1 found, by my watch, that he held out his note fully
' five-and-twenty minutes. He seemed, however, to
'move his nostrils slightly and regularly, and the
1 whole process did not appear to give himmore trouble
1 than the player has who touches the key of an organ/1
' Such an accomplishment wrould be something like a
'miracle to English players, since every one of them
'knows how difficult it is to hold out a note for
'three-quarters, or even one-half a minute.'
A large portion of that which has passed, and still
6 This is not a surprising feat. A chemist keeps up his blow-pipe without intermission by his mouth, breathing meanwhile regularly through his nose.Ed.







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