Curiosities of Music - online book

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62
CURIOSITIES OF MUSIC.
each performance, and all flute-players, and kithar-ists, were welcomed and honored at the courts of Greece, Egypt and Asia.
Ptolemy Philadelphus gave a large musical festival in Alexandria, Egypt, about 280 B. c, at which six hundred skilled singers, kitharists and flutists assisted; there have been larger festivals in point of numbers in ancient times, but few, where so much educated talent assisted. Ptolemy Physcon*, an amiable Egyptian ruler, 146 B.C., who married his brother's wife, killed his baby nephew, or step-son on the wedding day and after­wards married his niece, or step-daughter (for he made the relationship very mixed) winding up by killing all the progeny as finale, seems to have patronized and enjoyed music, in spite of his family troubles.
Ptolemy Auletes, 80 B.C., was known as the " flute lover," and though king of Egypt was yet a very skilful virtuoso on this instrument.
We must not omit here to mention a species of Greek music which was an outgrowth of the sacred games.
We have already stated how great the honor of achieving a victory at these games was considered; and it was very natural that when a whole city celebrated with joy the triumph of one of its sons, the poets would also sing in high strains, the praises of the successful hero. These poems soon became a necessary adjunct to the festivities, and may be said to form a school of their own.
* Phjscon was a nickname signifying thick belly.






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