Curiosities of Music - online book

Rare facts about the music traditions of many nations & cultures

Home Main Menu Singing & Playing Order & Order Info Support Search Voucher Codes

Share page  Visit Us On FB

Previous Contents Next
PUBLIC GAMES OF GREECE.                47
The effect of Terpander's songs upon the popu­lace on this occasion is described as something remarkable; men burst into tears, enemies em­braced each other, and all internal dissension was at an end.*
It is recorded therefore, that Terpander with his harp had quelled all dissension in Sparta, but by this anecdote we may see that in what the ancient Greeks called music, the words really played the most important part. To show this yet more clearly, we will here give an instance from later Athenian history where the same power was exerted for a similar purpose. A war between Athens and Megara, for the possession of the island of Salamis, had resulted in such continu­ed disaster to Athens, that the Athenians had left the island to its fate, and it was forbidden upon penalty of death to broach the subject to the pub­lic again. Solon however, attired himself as a messenger from the island to the Athenians, and in this character sang a song which roused such a martial spirit, that on the instant a large body of volunteers was formed, who, under Solon, effected its reconquest.
Terpander and Tyrtaeus composed most of their songs in march rhythm, and after this the Spar­tans sang hymns, while marching into battle to the sound of many kitharas, which were after­wards displaced by the more penetrating flute.
Terpander also composed love songs, and banquet songs as well as nomes or hymns, and his

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