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78 MUSICAL INSTRUMENTS.
musical performances of the ancient Indians; since an acquaintance with the nature of the performances is likely to afford additional assistance in appreciating the characteristics of the instruments. In Peru, where the military system was carefully organised, each division of the army had its trumpeters, called cqueppacamayo, and its drummers, called huancarcamayo. When the Inca returned with his troops victorious from battle his first act was to repair to the temple of the Sun in order to offer up thanksgiving ; and after the conclusion of this ceremony the people celebrated the event with festivities, of which music and dancing constituted a principal part. Musical performances appear to have been considered indispensable on occasions of public celebrations ; and frequent mention is made of them by historians who have described the festivals annually observed by the Peruvians.
About the month of October the Peruvians celebrated a solemn feast in honour of the dead, at which ceremony they executed lugubrious songs and plaintive instrumental music. Compositions of a similar character were performed on occasion of the decease of a monarch. As soon as it was made known to the people that their Inca had been " called home to the mansions of his father the sun " they prepared to celebrate his obsequies with becoming solemnity. Prescott, in his graphic description of these observances, says : " At stated intervals, for a year, the people assembled to renew the expressions of their sorrow; processions were made displaying the banner of the departed monarch ; bards and minstrels were appointed to chronicle his achievements, and their songs continued to be rehearsed at high festivals in the presence of the reigning monarch,—thus stimulating the living by the glorious example of the dead." The Peruvians had also particular agricultural songs, which they were in the habit of singing while engaged in tilling the lands of the Inca; a duty which devolved upon the whole nation. The subject of these songs, or rather hymns, referred especially to the noble deeds and glorious achievements of the Inca and his dynasty. While thus singing.