Curiosities of Music - online book

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44
CURIOSITIES OF MUSIC.
according to tradition, about 1521 B. c, and was at first intended for the citizens of Athens only. It took place about the middle of July.
At the later Panathensea, the people of all Attica used to attend. There seem to have been two divisions of this festival, a greater and lesser Panathensea, the former being celebrated every four years, the latter every year. The lesser Panathensea consisted of recitations, gymnastics, musical competitions, and a torch race in the evening, the whole concluding with the sacrifice of an ox. The greater, was even more extensive. The Homeric poems were sung, dramatic rep­resentations took place, magnificient processions marched to the temple of Athene Polias, and the whole city was full of mirth and gayety. The prizes were jars of oil made from the sacred tree on the Acropolis.
Pericles, (fifth century b. c,) gave to music a greater prominence than ever before in these games, by erecting a structure especially for musi­cal entertainments and contests, the Odeum, in the street of the Tripod; this edifice was very well adapted in its acoustical properties, for according to Plutarch's description, the roof was dome-shaped, or nearly so, and vast audiences could hear solos distinctly.
In Sparta, in the month of August (Car-ueios) there were celebrated the great Carneian games, which lasted nine days. In these games musical contests also took place, and dances of men, youths, and maidens, as well as gymnastic






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