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On this page: Terpnus – Terpsfchora – Terpsicles – Terpsjon




D TrapavT]TT]



C rptrrj

B Trapa/necTT]

a m ]

1 1

A juear}

G. f Ai%CW0.9

F TrapvTrdrirj

The interval between the extreme notes is an octave, or, as the Greeks called it, 5t& iracrwv. Plutarch (de Mus. 19) adduces arguments to prove that the omission of the third string was intentional ; but whether the reason was, the opinion that it could well be dispensed with, or some theoretical pre­ference for the number 7, we are not informed. It was afterwards restored, so that the lyre had eight strings. The following table (from Plehn) shows the names of the strings, and the intervals between them, in the descending order, for each lyre: —






B rpirrj





1 tone.




E virarr)

The invention of the seven-stringed lyre, or heptachord, is not only ascribed to Terpander by several ancient writers, but it is also referred to in two verses of his own still extant (Eucl. Introd. Harm. p. 19; Strab. xiii. p. 618): —

ri. 5' TiiAeis rerpdynpw cbrocTTep^aj/Tes aoifidv


It remained in use even as late as the time of Pindar (Pyth. ii. 70, Ncm. v. 22). The invention of the barbiton or magadis, an instrument of greater compass than an octave, is ascribed to Terpander by Pindar, but probably erroneously (Pind. ap. Ath. xiv. p. 635, d.; Plehn, Lesb. p. 153). It is impossible here to enter on the question whether the lyre of Terpander could be adapted, by tuning its strings differently, to the different modes and genera of Greek music ; and whether his own compositions were in any other mode than the Dorian, (See Diet, of Ant. art. Musica.)

While Terpander thus enlarged the compass of the lyre, he appears to have been the first who regularly set poetry to music. (Clem. Alex. Strom. vol. i. p. 364, b.) Plutarch (de Mus. 3) tells us that he set his own verses and-those of Homer to certain citharoedic nomes, and sang them in the musical contests ; and that he was the first who gave names to the various citharoedic nomes. These nomes were simple tunes, from which others could be derived by slight variations ; and these latter were called /ueAr;. That the nomes of Terpander were entirely of his own composition, is not very probable, and indeed there is evidence to prove that some of them were derived from old tunes, ascribed to the ancient bards, and others from national melodies. Neither were they all adapted to the rhythm of the heroic hexameter; for among




them we find mention made of Trochaic nomes and of Orthian nomes, which consisted in a great extension of certain feet ; and there is still extant a fragment of Terpander, which aifords a good specimen of those Spondaic hymns which were sung at festivals of peculiar solemnity, and the music of which would of course be in keeping with the gravity of the rhythm and of the meaning (Clem. Alex. Strom. vi. p. 784):

ravrav v/j.vcav ap%v.

The question, whether any of Terpander's nomes were aulodic, cannot be decided with absolute certainty. Nearly all that we know of him is any connection with citharoedic music ; and the argu­ments adduced to prove that he also used the flute are by no means conclusive ; while, on the other hand, the improvement of that species of music is expressly ascribed to other composers, as Olympus and Clonas, who stand in much the same relation to aulodic music as Terpander does to that of the lyre. It is also uncertain whether his nomes were embodied in any written sj^stem of musical notation, or whether they were handed down by tradition in the school which he founded. Be this as it may, they remained for a very long period the standard melodies used at religious festivals, and the school of Terpander flourished for many gene­rations at Sparta, and in Lesbos, and throughout Greece. At the festival of the Carneia, where Terpander had been the first to obtain a victory, the prize for lyric music was gained in regular succession by members of his school down to pericleitus, about b. c. 550. Respecting the improvements in citharoedic music after the time of Terpander, see thaletas.

The remains of Terpander's poetry, which no doubt consisted entirely of religious hymns, are comprised in the two fragments already quoted, and in two others, the one of one hexameter verse (Schol. Arist. Nub. 591), and the other of one and a half (Pint. Lye. 21), and one reference. (Bb'ckh, Plehn, and Mtiller, as above quoted ; Ulrici, Gesch. d. Hellen DichtJc. vol. ii. pp. 341, foil. ; Bode, vol. ii. passim ,• Bergk, Poet. Lyr. Graec. pp. 537, 538.) [P. S.]

TERPNUS, was the most celebrated citharoe-dus of his time, and taught Nero to play and sing to the cithara. The master was wise enough to let his imperial pupil conquer him in the Grecian games. Terpnus continued to enjoy a great repu­tation under Vespasian. (Suet. Ner. 20 ; Dion Cass. Ixiii. 8; Suet. Vesp. 19 ; Philostr. Vit. Apol-lon. v. 7.)

M. TERPO'LIUS, tribune of the plebs, b. c. 77, in the consulship of D. Brutus and M. Lepiclus. (Cic. Cornel. Frag. 7, p. 453 ; Ascon. in Cornel, p. 81, ed. Orelli.)

TERPSFCHORA (Tepfyxtpa), one of the nine Muses, presided over choral song and dancing. (Hes. Theog, 78 ; Pind. Isthm. ii. 7 ; Plat. Phaedr. p. 259 ; comp. musae.) [L. S.]

TERPSICLES (TepiJ/t/cA7}s), wrote a work, Tlepl 3A<ppoo'i(riwv. (Athen. vii. p. 325, d.. ix. p. 391, e. f.)

TERPSJON (Te/^iW), a Megarian, mentioned by Suidas (s. v. SwKpdrrjs) as one of the disciples of Socrates. Plutarch also refers to him (de Gen.

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