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ANCIENT ROMAN MUSIC.                     91
"suspended" in the instrument. The water, when the organ was played was in a state of agita­tion, as if boiling.
There are medals still in existence, which were awarded to victors in organ contests, on which this instrument is represented, with two boys blowing or pumping, but the representation is too small to clear up any doubtful points.
So much is certain, the organs were very power­ful in tone, being therefore the instruments best adapted to the large amphitheatres of Home, and were extremely popular, for it was complained that young men forsook their other studies to learn to play them. The only possibility yet remaining that their construction may be known to us, is in the chance of discovering one in Pompeii.*
The functions of music in Rome were similar, though in a less degree, to its uses in Greece. At the sacrifice, the banquet, the contest, and the theatre, music was always an important adjunct, Prophets sometimes inspired themselves by it, as in the east.
There were various games, public and private, at which competition in music took place. But it was not, as in Greece, an art of simplicity and feeling; the love of the extraordinary, the colossal and outre, the desire for the most vulgar modes and excess of obscenity, soon degraded the art from the rude simplicity it possessed in the dayi of the republic.f
•FetisIIist. t. 3
t Gersert Hist, de la Has. d> l'ant. p 66.

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