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THE PHILOSOPHERS.
63
They were chanted by a chorus under the direction of the composer; and although at first they may have been spontaneous, yet afterwards they became entirely a matter of purchase.
When a young man had carried off the victor's wreath, he would frequently send word at once to some famous poet-musician, to write a chorus in his honor. Sometimes the city itself would order the poem, and in Athens about 540 B. c, statues besran to be erected to the victors who were natives of that city.* Simonides, born about 556 B. c., may be regarded as the founder of this style of compo­sition, and he certainly was the founder of the custom of receiving pay for laudatory verses.
His contemporaries sneered greatly at him for this, and Pindar proves him to have been very avaricious, but it really seems to have been no more than just that the poet should have been compensated for his exertions, as he not only had to write the poetry and music for the occasion, but also to drill the chorus and lead the singing.
The ceremony of praise to the victor was either celebrated at the conclusion of the games, upon the spot, or upon Ins return home; sometimes also in after years, to keep alive the remembrance of past triumphs.
The festivities were both religious and social. They began with a procession to the temple, after wl.ich sacrifices were offered, either in the temple, or in the victor's house; this was followed by a banquet, to which came the poet with his chorus.
•MuUere Gesch d. Griech Lit. t. 1, p. 880.






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