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70                     CURIOSIT1ES OF MUSIC.
year. Aeschylus aimed very much at the terrible in his tragedies, and the poets of this era never sought to "hold the mirror up to nature," but rather to represent something awe-inspiring and supernatural; therefore the actors had to prepare themselves in many peculiar ways for the stage.
The characters of tragedy were represented as much larger than human beings; to effect this the tragedian wore a kind of stilt-shoes with very high heels, called cothurne, padded out his body in proportion to his height, lengthened his arms by adding an artifical hand, and wore a mask of large size, over his face. The stage upon which he appeared, was also elevated above that on which the chorus stood, and the latter not being artificially enlarged, must have appeared as pigmies, beside these gigantic heroes.
The voice was pitched in a style corresponding to the magnitude of the body; it has been sug­gested* that the large tragic mask may have concealed some contrivance for strengthening the voice; however this may be, it is certain that the voice of the tragedian needed to be metallic, solemn and majestic, and that this, though partly a natural gift, had to be strengthened by long and severe practice, and a vast amount of physical strength was also required to move about naturally when so extremely bundled up.
Lucian in his " Be saltatione,'''' ridicules the tragi? actor's equipment. He says: " What a ridiculous thing it is, to see a fellow stalking
• See O. Mulle.-, Uesch v. 2, p. 44

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