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The Greeks. Many musical instruments of the ancient Greeks are known to us by name; but respecting their exact construction and capabilities there still prevails almost as much diversity of opinion as is the case with those of the Hebrews.
It is generally believed that the Greeks derived their musical system from the Egyptians. Pythagoras and other philosophers are said to have studied music in Egypt. It would, however, appear that the Egyptian influence upon Greece, as far as regards this art, has been overrated. Not only have the more perfect Egyptian instruments—such as the larger harps, the tamboura— never been much in favour with the Greeks, but almost all the stringed instruments which the Greeks possessed are stated to have been originally derived from Asia. Strabo says : " Those who regard the whole of Asia, as far as India, as consecrated to Bacchus, point to that country as the origin of a great portion of the present music. One author speaks of ' striking forcibly the Asiatic kithara,' another calls the pipes Berecynthian and Phrygian. Some of the instruments also have foreign names, as Nabla, Sam-buka, Barbiton, Magadis, and many others."
We know at present little more of these instruments than that they were in use in Greece. Of the Magadis it is even not satisfactorily ascertained whether it was a stringed or a wind instrument. The other three are known to have been stringed instruments. But they cannot have been anything like such universal favourites as the lyre, because this instrument and perhaps the trigonon are