The Ancient Library

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though it cannot be denied that there existed lyres with only three strings. (Blanchini, De Tribus Generibus Instrumentorum Musicae Veterum Or-ganicae Dissertatio, tab. iv.) The preceding re­presentation of a tetrachord and the following one of a heptachord are both taken from the work of Blanchini.

The heptachord introduced by Terpander hence­forth continued to be most commonly used by the Greeks as well as subsequently by the Romans, though in the course of time many additions and improvements were made which are de­scribed below. In the ancient tetrachord the two extreme strings stood to each other in the relation of a fourth (5:a recr-l.e. the lower

string made three vibrations in the time that the upper one made four. In the most ancient arrangement of the scale, which was called the diatonic, the two middle strings were strung in such a manner, that the three in­tervals between the four strings produc­ed twice a whole tone, and one semi­tone. Terpander in forming his heptachord, in reality added a new tetrachord to the ancient one, but left out the third string of the latter, as there was between it and the fourth only an interval of a semi-tone. The heptachord thus had the compass of an octave, or, as the ancients called it, a diapason (8i« Tracrwv). The intervals between the seven strings in the diatonic scale were as follow: — between one and two a whole tone, between two and three a whole tone, between three and four a whole tone and a semi-tone ; between four and five and five and six a whole tone each, between six and seven a semi­tone. The seven strings themselves were called, beginning from the highest, 1/77-7-77, irapafifffr), jueV?7, Ar^a^s, Trapvirdrr), (Bockh, de Metris Pindari^ p. 205, &c.) Pindar himself made use of the heptachord, though in his time an eighth string had been added. In the time of Philip and Alexander the number of strings was increased to eleven by Timotheus of Miletus (Suidas, 5. v. Ti/jt,60eos ; Muller, Dor. iv. 6. § 3), an innovation which was severely, cen­sured by the Spartans, who refused to go beyond the number of seven strings. (Cic. de Leg. ii. 15; A then. xiv. p. 636.) It is however clear that the ancients made use of a variety of lyres, and in the representations which we still possess, the number of strings varies from three to eleven. About the time of Sappho and Anacreon several stringed in­struments, such as magadis^ barbiton, and others, were used in Greece, and especially in Lesbos. They had been introduced from Asia Minor, and their number of strings far exceeded that of the lyre, for we know that some had a compass of


two octaves, and others had even twenty strings, so that they must have more resembled a modern harp than a lyre. (Bode, Gescli. der Lyriscli. Diclit-kunst der Hellcnen^ vol. i. p. ,382, &c. ; compare Quinctil. xii. 10.)

It has been remarked above that the name Ijra occurs very seldom in the earliest Greek writers, and that originally this instrument and the cithara were the same. But about the time of Pindar in­novations seem to have been introduced by which the lyra became distinct from the cithara, the in­vention of which was ascribed to Apollo, and hence the name of the former now occurs more frequently. (Pi-nd. Ol. x. 11,3, Nem. iii. 19, xi. 8, Py'th. viii. 42, et passim.) Both however had in most cases no more than seven strings. The difference between the two instruments is described above ; the lyre had a great and full-sounding bottom, which continued as before to be made generally of a tortoise-shell, from which, as Lucian^(Dial. Mor. 1) expresses it, the horns rose as from the head of a stag. A transverse piece of wood connecting the two horns at or near their top-ends served to fasten the strings, and was called C"7°^ ancl i11 Latin transtillum. The horns were called irrixeis or cornua. (Schol. Venet. ad-Iliad, ii. 293 ; Hesych. s. v. Zvya ; Cic. de Nat. Deor. ii. 59.) These in­struments were often adorned in the most costly manner with gold and ivory. (Cic. ad Heren. iv. 47 ; Ovid. Met. xi. 167,) The lyre was considered as a more manly instrument than the cithara, which, on account of its smaller-sounding bottom, excluded full-sounding and deep tones, and was more calculated for the middle tones. The lyre when played stood in an upright position between the knees, while the cithara stood upon the kneea of the player. Both instruments were held with the left hand, and played with the right. (Ovid. Metam. xi. 168.) It has generally been supposed that the strings of these instruments were always touched with a little staff called plectrum (TrAf?-icrpov) (see woodcut under mensa), but among the paintings discovered at lierculaneum we find several instances where the persons play the lyre with their fingers. (See also Ovid. Heroid. iii. 118.) Tfre lyre was at all times only played as an accompaniment to songs.

The Latin name fides^ which was used for a lyre as well as a cithara, is probably the same as the Greek cr<£i§es, which, according to Hesychius (s. r.), signifies gut-string ; but Festus (s. v.) takes it to be the same as fides (faith), because the lyre was the symbol of harmony and unity among men.

The lyre (cithara or phorminx) was at first used in the recitations of epic poetry, though it was probably not played during the recitation itself, but only as a prelude before the minstrel com­ menced his story, and in the intervals or pauses between the several parts. The lyre has,given its name to a species of poetry called lyric ; this kind of poetry was originally never recited or sung with­ out the accompaniment of the lyre, and sometimes also of an appropriate dance. (Compare the article musica ; Plutarch, de Musica ; Bockh, de Metru Pindari; Drieberg, Musikalisclie WissenscJtaflen der GriecJien; and by the same author Aufschlusse uber die Musik der GriecJien ; Burney, History of Music; Hawkins, History of Music; Kriiger, De Mnsicis Graec. Organis circa, Pindari tempora flo- rentibus, Gb'ttingen, 1840 ; Muller, Hist, of Greek Lit. p. 148, &c.) [L. S.]

3 A

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