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64
CURIOSITIES OF MUSIC.
and intoned the triumphal ode, the latter being considered the greatest event of the occasion.*
Simonides seems to have been in the market for all kinds of Epinikia, or triumphal odes. Leophron of Khegion, having won a race with mules at one of these games, ordered a chorus on the subject from the poet; Simonides felt a little indignant at the proposal and replied, curtly " I don't sing about mules," but Leophron being very anxious in the matter, offered a large price, upon which Simonides reconsidered his determina­tion, and wrote the ode. It began by saluting the mules in an ingenious manner, only noticing one side of their ancestry,—" Hail! oh ye daughters of the stormy footed horse."
Simonides was not wholly, however, in this lower line of poetry; he often competed in public musical, or poetical contests, and won fifty-six oxen and tripods by such means. Even at eighty years of age he added another to his lengthy list of victories. He was also considered as very learned, and was sometimes reckoned among the philosophers.
One of his chief competitors at Athens, was Lasus of Hermione, who was a practical and theoretical musician of some eminence.
Among the works of Lasus, there are some which are curiously constructed. In his hymn to Diana, and in the Centaurs, the letter S (sigma) is entirely avoided. The flute-players who accompanied the choruses greatly disliked the
•MullerO«-ch. t.1, p. 899.






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