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PUBLIC GAMES OF GREECE.                43
fore having too many melancholy associations to allow of its use in these festive games. Finally solos on the small lyre (kithara) were allowed prizes.
It is said that at one of these contests a flute player gained the prize in a singular manner. He was playing the straight flute, when the reed in the mouth-piece became closed by accident, on which he instantly changed the position of his instrument, and played it as an oblique flute; his presence of mind was rewarded, by winning the prize.
The Nemean games were commemorative of the slaying of the Nemean lion, by Hercules. There was no musical contest in the games, but flutes were used, to stimulate the athletes, and were probably allowed prizes.
The Isthmian games celebrated upon the Isth­mus of Corinth, whence their name, were similar to the Nemean; music not being of any impor­tance in them.
In Chios there has been found a stone on which the names of the victors in the musical contests are inscribed. From it we learn that prizes were given for reading music at sight, rhapsodizing, accompanying the voice with a small harp played with the hand, and accompanying with kithara played partially with the fingers of the left hand, and partially with a plectrum held in the right hand. The lesser games of Greece were also not inconsiderable. The great festival of Athens was the Panathensea, held in honor of Athene the patron goddess of the citv. It was established






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