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Caste of Musicians



Here are relevant references from the Books where the Caste of Musicians is mentioned.
It is not meant to be anything other than the facts of the matter.
Arrive at your own conclusions.

I wish you well,
Fogaban






Supporting References

"I will tame you at my pleasure," replies the young man, and signals to the musicians.
The music begins again. Perhaps the girl hesitates. There is a slave whip on the wall. Then, to the barbaric, intoxicating music of the flute and drums, she dances for her captor, the bells on her ankles marking each of her movements, the movements of a girl stolen from her home, who must now live to please the bold stranger whose binding fiber she had felt, whose collar she wore.
Outlaw of Gor     Book 2     Page 53


It was customary to find diversions other than Paga in the Paga Taverns, as well, but in gray Tharna the cymbals, drums and flutes of the musicians, the clashing of bangles on the ankles of dancing girls would be unfamiliar sounds.
Outlaw of Gor     Book 2     Page 75


From behind three or four of the low tables, to the left of the counter, a band of sweating musicians sat happily cross-legged on the rug, somehow producing from those unlikely pipes and strings and drums and disks and wires the ever intriguing, wild, enchanting beautiful barbaric melodies of Gor.
I wondered at this for the Caste of Musicians had been, like the Caste of Poets, exiled from Tharna. Theirs, like the Caste of Poets, had been a caste regarded by the sober masks of Tharna as not belonging in a city of serious and dedicated folk, for music, like Paga and song, can set men's hearts aflame and when men's hearts are aflame it is not easy to know where the flame may spread.
Outlaw of Gor     Book 2     Pages 223 - 224


They threw back their heads and lifted their arms and to the barbaric cadence set by the musicians danced before us.
Outlaw of Gor     Book 2     Page 225


The street was lined by throngs of Tuchuks and slaves. Among them, too, were soothsayers and haruspexes, and singers and musicians, and, here and there, small peddlers and merchants, of various cities, for such are occasionally permitted by the Tuchuks, who crave their wares, to approach the wagons. Each of these, I was later to learn, wore on his forearm a tiny brand, in the form of spreading bosk horns, which guaranteed his passage, at certain seasons, across the plains of the Wagon Peoples. The difficulty, of course is in first obtaining the brand. If, in the case of a singer, the song is rejected, or in the case of a merchant, his merchandise is rejected, he is slain out of hand. This acceptance brand, of course, carries with it a certain stain of ignominy, suggesting that those who approach the wagons do so as slaves.
Nomads of Gor     Book 4     Pages 34 - 35


I turned away and watched a fire swallower perform to the leaping melodies of the musicians.
Nomads of Gor     Book 4     Page 86


More than once we encountered a line of musicians dancing single file down the center of the street, playing on their flutes and drums, perhaps on their way to a feast.
Nomads of Gor     Book 4     Page 87


Aphris nodded her head to the feast steward and he sent the acrobats running and tumbling from the room and the musicians began to play soft, honeyed melodies.
Nomads of Gor     Book 4     Pages 93 - 94


To one side, across a clearing from the fire, a bit in the background, was a group of nine musicians. They were not as yet playing, though one of them was absently tapping a rhythm on a small hand drum, the kaska; two others, with stringed instruments, were tuning them, putting their ears to the instruments. One of the instruments was an eight-stringed czehar, rather like a large flat oblong box; it is held across the lap when sitting cross-legged and is played with a horn pick; the other was the kalika, a six-stringed instrument; it, like the czehar, is flat-bridged and its strings are adjusted by means of small wooden cranks; on the other hand, it less resembles a low, flat box and suggests affinities to the banjo or guitar, though the sound box is hemispheric and the neck rather long; it, too, of course, like the czehar, is plucked; I have never seen a bowed instrument on Gor; also, I might mention, I have never on Gor seen any written music; I do not know if a notation exists; melodies are passed on from father to son, from master to apprentice. There was another kalika player, as well, but he was sitting there holding his instrument, watching the slave girls in the audience. The three flutists were polishing their instruments and talking together; it was shop talk I gathered, because one or the other would stop to illustrate some remark by a passage on his flute, and then one of the others would attempt to correct or improve on what he had done; occasionally their discussion grew heated. There was also a second drummer, also with kaska, and another fellow, a younger one, who sat very seriously before what appeared to me to be a pile of objects; among them was a notched stick, played by sliding a polished tem-wood stick across its surface; cymbals of various sorts; what was obviously a tambourine; and several other instruments of a percussion variety, bits of metal on wires, gourds filled with pebbles, slave bells mounted on hand rings, and such. These various things, from time to time, would be used not only by himself but by others in the group, probably the second kaska player and the third flutist. Among Gorean musicians, incidentally, czehar players have the most prestige; there was only one in this group, I noted, and he was their leader; next follow the flutists and then the players of the kalika; the players of the drums come next; and the farthest fellow down the list is the man who keeps the bag of miscellaneous instruments, playing them and parceling them out to others as needed. Lastly it might be mentioned, thinking it is of some interest, musicians on Gor are never enslaved; they may, of course, be exiled, tortured, slain and such; it is said, perhaps truly, that he who makes music must, like the tarn and the Vosk gull, be free.
Nomads of Gor     Book 4     Pages 153 - 154


Now that the sport was done some Musicians filed in, taking up positions to one side. There was a czehar player, two players of the kalika, four flutists and a pair of kaska drummers.
Assassin of Gor     Book 5     Page 88


I have always enjoyed the melodies of Gor, though they tend on the whole to a certain wild, barbaric quality.
Assassin of Gor     Book 5     Page 89


To one side there was a set of mats for Musicians, who almost invariably were present at the sessions, for even the exercises of the girls, which were carefully selected and frequently performed, are done to music; against one wall were several bars, also used in exercise, not unlike a training room in ballet except that there were four parallel bars fastened in the wall, which are used in a variety of exercises.
Assassin of Gor     Book 5     Page 193


A number of Musicians now filed out from the door at the foot of the block and took their places about it, sitting cross-legged on the floor. Those with string instruments began to tune them; there was a czehar player, the group's leader, some katika players, some flutists, players of the kaska, small drums, and others. Each of these, in his way, prepared himself for the evening, sketching out melodies or sound patterns, lost with himself.
Assassin of Gor     Book 5     Page 291


Musicians wildly, drunkenly, picked and pounded at their instruments.
Assassin of Gor     Book 5     Page 311


Clitus, after returning to our quarters, had left and returned with four musicians, bleary-eyed, routed from their mats well past the Twentieth Hour, but, lured by the jingling of a pair of silver tarsks, ready to play for us, past the dawn if need be. We soon had them drunk as well and though it did not improve their playing, I was pleased to see them join with us in our festivities, helping as to make our feast.
Raiders of Gor     Book 6     Page 114


I turned to the musicians. Do you know, asked, I, "the Love Dance of the Newly Collared Slave Girl?"
"Port Kar's?" asked the leader of the musicians.
"Yes," I said.
"Of course," said he.
Raiders of Gor     Book 6     Pages 115 - 116


Behind him came musicians, with their trumpets, and cymbals and drums. They, too, wore skins, and the heads of forest panthers.
Captive of Gor     Book 7     Page 209


Rask clapped his hands once, and four musicians, who had been waiting outside, entered the tent, and took a place to one side. Two had small drums, one a flute, the other a stringed instrument.
Captive of Gor     Book 7     Page 302


The music of those of the caste of musicians was heady, like the wine.
Captive of Gor     Book 7     Page 324


Players, incidentally, are free to travel where they wish on the surface of Gor, no matter what might be their city. By custom, they, like musicians, are held free of the threat of enslavement. Like musicians, and like singers, there are few courts at which they are not welcome.
Hunters of Gor     Book 8     Page 148


The musicians, to one side, stirred, readying themselves. Their leader was a czehar player.
Tribesmen of Gor     Book 10     Page 8


In most cities it is regarded, incidentally, as a criminal offense to enslave one of the caste of players. A similar decree, in most cities, stands against the enslavement of one who is of the caste of musicians.
Beasts of Gor     Book 12     Page 44


"The Assassin," he said, "is like a musician, a surgeon. The Warrior is like a butcher. He is a ravaging, bloodthirsty lout."
Beasts of Gor     Book 12     Page 413


As we spoke some five musicians entered the room and took their places to one side. There was a czehar player, two flutists, a kalika player, and a player on the kaska, a small hand drum.
Fighting Slave of Gor     Book 14     Page 277


The dinner proceeded in a leisurely fashion through seven of its courses. There was light banter and charming conversation. The playing of the musicians was pleasant, and unobtrusive.
Fighting Slave of Gor     Book 14     Page 286


The musicians then again began to play, the sensuous, melodious, exciting, wild music of Gor.
Rogue of Gor     Book 15     Page 190


There were seven musicians, who furnished the music for the dancers, a czehar player, their leader, two kalika players, three flutists and a kaska player.
Guardsmen of Gor     Book 16     Page 234


The musicians were free. Musicians on Gor, that is, members of the caste of musicians, are seldom, if ever, enslaved. Their immunity from bondage, or practical immunity from bondage, is a matter of custom. There is a saying to the effect that he who makes music must, like the tarn and the Vosk gull, be free. This is a saying, however, which I suspect was invented by the caste of musicians, to protect itself from bondage. For example, there are many musicians on Gor, not members of the caste, who are enslaved. For example, it is quite common on Gor to train a slave girl in the use of a musical instrument, that she might be more pleasing to masters.
Kajira of Gor     Book 19     Pages 297 - 298


Samos signaled again to the musicians, and they began to play a sensual, slow, adagio melody.
Players of Gor     Book 20     Page 19


To be sure, there tend to be few restrictions on the movements of players on Gor. They tend to travel about, on the whole, pretty much as they please. They tend to have free access almost everywhere, being welcomed, unquestioned, in most Gorean camps, villages, towns and cities. In this respect, they tend to resemble musicians, who generally enjoy similar privileges. There is a saying on Gor, "No musician can be a stranger." This saying is sometimes, too, applied to members of the caste of players.
Players of Gor     Book 20     Page 294


Hendow gestured with his head to the musicians, and they made their way, one by one, through the beaded curtain. There were five of them, a czehar player, two kalika players, a flautist and a drummer.
Dancer of Gor     Book 22     Page 179


The czehar player, sitting cross-legged, now had his instrument across his lap. He was the leader of the musicians. He had his horn pick in hand.
Dancer of Gor     Book 22     Page 191


I have known extremely intelligent men on Gor, incidentally, who could not read. Illiteracy, or, more kindly, an inability to read and write, is not taken on Gor as a mark of stupidity. These things tend rather, in many cases, to be associated with the caste structure and cultural traditions. Some warriors, as I have indicated earlier, seem to feel it is somewhat undignified for them to know how to read, or, at least, how to read well, perhaps because that sort of thing is more in the line of, say, the scribes. One hires a warrior for one thing, one hires a scribe for another. One does not expect a scribe to know the sword. Why, then, should one expect the warrior to know the pen? An excellent example of this sort of thing is the caste of musicians which has, as a whole, resisted many attempts to develop and standardize a musical notation. Songs and melodies tend to be handed down within the caste, from one generation to another. If something is worth playing, it is worth remembering, they say. On the other hand, I suspect that they fear too broad a dissemination of the caste knowledge.
Magicians of Gor     Book 25     Pages 393 - 394


I went even to the musicians and moved, presenting myself as a slave, before them. Were they not, too, men, and thus such as before whom it was appropriate that I present myself, hoping for their approbation? In the eyes of the musicians I read something that I had not expected to find, that they were not displeased with the sight of the slave before them.
Witness of Gor     Book 26     Page 381


She walked about the circle once more, the veil closely about her, concealing even her features.
The whip master, whom she noted with care, seemed puzzled, but tolerant. Certainly his hand was not clutched menacingly upon his whip, the coiled blade of which, visibly, bore stains of blood, that of her humbled predecessor. The first czehar player, in whose charge were the musicians, appeared puzzled as well, but continued to elicit from his instrument, held across his knees, subtle melodies which sang of life and nature, which hinted of men and women, and masters and slaves.
Prize of Gor     Book 27     Page 439


There were no musicians. The dancing sand was empty. Given the nature and paucity of its custom, The Sea Sleen could afford to hire musicians only at the height of the season.
Mariners of Gor     Book 30     Page 2


Musicians are expensive, but girls are cheap. In a paga tavern one may rely on the quality of the girls, more so, I fear, than on the quality of the food, or paga.
Mariners of Gor     Book 30     Page 6


It is not our fault if we do not know what you know, your caste customs, your legends, your political arrangements, the histories of your cities, your holidays, your famous generals, musicians, poets, and such. How could we? We may be ignorant, but we are not stupid.
Conspirators of Gor     Book 31     Page 143






























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