Curiosities of Music - online book

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66                    CURIOSITIES OF MUSIC.
of endurance, severely tested. After entering the brotherhood,* the mode of life was entirely dictated by Pythagoras. The members were clothed in pure white. They were forbidden all animal food, and beans. They had different grades of advancement among themselves, the highest being undoubtedly instructed in a purer religion than that which obtained around them, though outwardly they conformed with the re­ligion of the populace. Mathematics, music, and astronomy were studied, and gymnastics regularly practised.
Playing upon the lyre was obligatory, and none of the order went to sleep at night, without having previously purified his soul, and set it in harmony through music; and at rising in the morning, the strength for the day's labors and duties, was sought for in the same manner. Pythagoras wrote many songs as correctives to undue excitement and passion; he is said once to have brought to reason a young man beside himself with jealousy and wine, by the power of a song.
Clinias, a Pythagorean, took up his harp and played whenever any passion arose in his breast; to a person who asked him the .eason of the action, he replied, " I play to compose myself."
While the music of Terpander, Olympus, etc., was intended for high state and religious pur­poses, tbat of Pythagoras was intended to bring the art into domestic and inner life. Choruses
•Women were also admitted, but probably only to attendance on lectnrea, not to membership.

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