Curiosities of Music - online book

Rare facts about the music traditions of many nations & cultures

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The ancient Egyptians ascribed the origin of music to opposite causes, some legends giving its invention to beneficent Deities, while other legends are interpreted to give its origin to Satan, the evil principle, or at least the principle of sen­suality, as represented by the buck Mendes. Hermes (or Mercury) is accredited with first hav­ing observed the harmony of the spheres, and the lyre also is represented as being his invention, in the following legend:
A heavy inundation of the Nile had taken place, and when the waters receded, there was left upon the banks a tortoise, who went the way of all tortoises, and after a time was completely dried up by the sun; the tendons however, which were attached to the shell, remained, and became tightly drawn by the expansion of the shell. Hermes, wandering upon the bank, accidentally struck his foot against it; the tendons resounded, and Hermes thus found a natural lyre.
This legend is however found also in Hindoo and Greek Mythology, and may be one of those tales, springing from Arian root, which belong to almost every race. We also find an Egyptian

E-Book - An Annotated Compendium of Old Time American Songs by James Alverson III