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CURIOSITIES OF MUSIC.
dance; on these occasions they were led by the teachers who made them sing hymns, etc., as they danced. The Pyrrhic was in fact, a mock battle, in four parts, representing the pursuit, overtaking, combat, and capture of the enemy, and was used as drill, to make young men proficient in the use of their weapons; it was accompanied by flute, which instrument was the one which the Greeks thought aroused the energies most.
The origin of the Pyrrhic is given as follows,— When Zeus, (Jupiter) was born, his father Kronos, (Saturn) knowing that he should be dethroned by him sought his life; he was hidden by the Corybantes, who on Kronos' coming near, fearing that the child would be discovered by its crying, began to dance about, and clashed their swords and shields, thus drowning its voice and saving its life.
Dancing was equal, and often combined, with singing, and was held in the highest estimation by the upper classes, and even the philosophers of ancient Greece; though of course only in its higher branches, the lower being usually abandoned to paid performers, as we to-day draw a wide distinc­tion between a fashionable ball-room dance, and a ballet, though both are called dancing.
Skill in dancing, was a most envied accomplish­ment, for it meant both grace, and the talent of expressing all emotions without words.
Lucian* says the real art of the dance is to express an action, and gives a long list of mytho-
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E-Book - An Annotated Compendium of Old Time American Songs by James Alverson III