The National Music Of The World

Styles & Characteristics Of Regional Music With Sheet Music Examples - Online Book

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32              National Music of the World.
passes, with the Chinese for music to be enjoyed, distances barbarian sympathies and defies barbarian analysis. The specimens noted by Barrow, Amiot, Du Halde, Irving, and by Herr Engel (with the one re­markable exception, of which mention has been made), are so hideously at variance with every one of our feelings, fancies, practices in art, or ideas of beauty, that one can only look at them and wonder. For won­derful it is, that a people so rich and ancient as the Chinese—one so advanced in the knowledge of secrets of colour, refinement of texture, peculiarity of form (though in beauty of the same they are obviously surpassed by the Japanese)—so skilled in exquisite caligraphy—a people, to boot, who possess a philo­sophy, a fiction, and a drama of their own, all indicating a separate, not an undeveloped civilisa­tion—should appear to us, who can allow for and admire their excellences, so utterly savage and re­pulsive in their musical tendencies. It will not alto­gether fit the case, to appeal to the total absence of perspective, conventionality of outline, and flagrancy of form (often amounting to deformity), which distinguish the pictures and tissues of the country, when most refined in texture, gorgeous in material, or rich in colour. What we know of Chinese melody

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