Curiosities of Music - online book

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choruses were sung at all Spartan festivals and sacrifices, they were taught to Spartan youths and maidens, and all seemed to vie in doing him honor. He had really helped the music of Greece to a higher plane, for it is said that he enlarged the lyre or phorminx from four strings, to seven, and also made improvements in the scale.
Contemporary with this poet-musician was Olympus, who must not however be confounded with an Olympus who lived six hundred years previously, that is, about 1250 B. c. Plato says that the music of Olympus was especially adapted to animate the hearers. Plutarch says that it surpassed in simplicity and effect, all other music. He is said to have composed the air which caused Alexander to seize his arms, when it was sung to him; according to Aristotle his music filled all hearers with enthusiasm. Much relating to Olympus must however be relegated to the land of myths. It has even been doubted whether he ever really existed, though that is carrying scepticism too far.
Among the other characters which existed on the borderland of Greek musical history, may be mentioned Polynestos, and Alcman who brought to Sparta in its full glow, the love song, (Lydian measure) Alcman seems to have been easily aroused to sing of female beauty, and composed some choruses especially for the
" Honey-voiced, lovely singing maidens,"
which were sung by female voices only.

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