Gaspar da Cruz in China - the 1560's

from Purchas His Pilgrims:

They began not all together, but the one tarried for to enter with the other, making many divisions in the process of the music, some staying, other playing; and the most times the played all together in four parts. The parts were two small bandoraes for tenor [given as violas in the original Portuguese text], a great one for counter-tenor, a harpsichord that followed the rest [elsewhere da Crux mentions ‘a certain manner of harpsichord that hath many wire strings, upon which they play with their finger-nails for which purpose they let them grow long’] and sometimes a rebec [rabecas] and…   more >>
cite as

Samuel Purchas, Purchas His Pilgrims (1625). accessed: 22 February, 2024

location of experience: China


Listening to

hide composers
Chinese music

Experience Information

Date/Time the 1560's
Medium live
Listening Environment in the company of others


The Portuguese Dominican Friar Gaspar da Cruz’s Treatise in which the Things of China are related at Great Length, was published in Portuguese in 1569-70 and translated in 1625 in the 3rd volume of Samuel Purchas’s Purchas His Pilgrimes He (da Cruz) notes that all the players begin by carefully tuning their instruments, and then describes various aspects of the performance itself:

Originally submitted by Ivan Hewett on Sat, 08 Mar 2014 17:42:15 +0000