The Ancient Library

Scanned text contains errors.

On this page: Museum – Music



worship. At both these places were their oldest sanctuaries. According to the general belief, the favourite haunts of the Muses were certain springs, near which temples and statues had beeu erected in their honour: Castalla, at the foot of Mount Parnassus, and Aganippe and Hipp5crene, on Helicon, near the towns of Ascra and Thespise. After the decline of Ascra, the inhabitants of Thespise attended to the worship of the Muses and to the arrange­ments for the musical contests in their honour that took place once in five years. They were also adored in many other places in Greece. Thus the Athenians offered them sacrifices in the schools, while the Spartans did so before battle. As the in­spiring Nymphs of springs they were early connected with Dionysus; the god of poets, Apollo, is looked on as their leader (Musa-getls), with whom they share the knowledge of past, present, and future. As beings that gladden men and gods with their song, Hesiod describes them as dwelling on Olym-pua along with the Charltes and HimerSs. They were represented in art as virgin god­desses with long garments of many folds, and frequently with a cloak besides; they were not distinguished by special attributes till comparatively later times. The Roman ! poets identified them with the Italian Camence, prophetic Nymphs of springs and goddesses of birth, who had a grove at Rome outside the Porta CdpSna. (See egeria.) The Greeks gave the title of Muses to their nine most distinguished poetesses: Praxilla, Moero, Anyte, Erinna, Telesilla, Cfirinna, Nossis, Myrtis, and Sappho. Museum. See museion. Music (Gr. musice, " art of the Muses ") included among the Greeks everything that belonged to a higher intellectual and artistic education. [Plato in his Republic, p. 136, while discussing education, says: " Can we find any better than the old-fashioned sort, gymnastic for the body and music for the soul ? " and adds; "When you speak of music, do you rank literature under music or not ? " " I do."] Music in the narrower sense was regarded by the Greeks not only as an [ agreeable amusement, but also as one of the I most effective means of cultivating the ; feelings and the character. The great im- j portance they attached to music is also shown j by their idea that it was of divine origin; I Hermes or Apollo were said to have in­vented the lyre, Athene the simple flute, Pan the shepherd's pipe. Besides these gods and the Muses, Dionysus also was con-

nected with music Numerous myths, as for instance those concerning Amphlon and Orpheus, tell of its mighty power, and testify to the Greeks having cultivated music at a very early epoch. It was always intimately allied to poetry. Originally, epic poems were also sung to the accompaniment of the cithArd, and the old heroes of poetry, such as Orpheus and Musaeus, are at the same time heroes of music, just as in historical times the lyric and dramatic poets were at the same time the composers of their works. It was not until the Alexandrian times that the poet ceased to be also a musician. Owing to its connexion with poetry, music developed in the same proportion, and flourished at the same period, as lyric and dramatic poetry. Of the Greek races, the Dorians and ^Eolians had a special genius and capacity for music, and among both we find the first traces of its development as an art.

The actual foundation of the classical music of the Greeks is ascribed to ter-pander (q.v.),o( the ^Eolian island of Lesbos, who, in Dorian Sparta (about b.c. 675) first gave a truly artistic form to song accom­panied by the cithara or cithdrodlcg, and especially to the citharodic nomOs (q.v.). In the Peloponnesian school of the Ter-pandrldce, who followed his teaching and formed a closely united guild, citharodice received its further artistic development. What Terpander had done for citharodice was done not long afterwards by CkONAS of Thebes or Tggea for aulodice, or song accompanied by the flute. The artistic flute-playing which had been elaborated by the Phrygian olympus in Asia, was intro­duced by Clonas into the Peloponnesus, which long remained the principal sep.t of all musical art. Of the two kinds of inde­pendent instrumental music, which through­out presupposes the development of vocal music and always adapts itself to this as its model, the earlier is the music on the flute, auleiicS, which was especially brought into favourable notice by sacadas of Argos (about B.C. 580), while the music on stringed instruments, cUhdristlce, is later. Music was much promoted by the contests at the public festivals, above all, by those at the Pythian games. Its highest point of deve­lopment was attained in the time of the Persian Wars, which seems to have seen the completion of the ancient system as it had been elaborated by the tradition of the schools. The lyric poets of this time, aa Pindar and Sinionides, the dramatists, as

About | First | Index



page #  
Search this site
All non-public domain material, including introductions, markup, and OCR © 2005 Tim Spalding.