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αὐλητἀς. The αὐλός resembled the clarinet. It had a “mouthpiece (ζεῦγος) in which a vibrating reed (γλῶττα) was fitted,” and was sometimes played in pairs. See Dict. Ant. s.v. tibia. Plato banishes the ‘flute’ and retains the Dorian mode, although Dorian melodies were often played on it, as Milton well knew: see the noble description of the “Dorian mood of flutes and soft recorders” in Par. Lost 1 550 ff. In Boeotia, where the αὐλός was highly esteemed, it was supposed rather to calm than to excite the feelings. See Rhys Roberts The Ancient Boeotians pp. 33— 35. ἢ οὐ τοῦτο πολυχορδότατον; τοῦτο is that with which αὐλοποιοί and αὐληταί are concerned, viz. the ‘flute’: cf. II 377 C note οὗτος instead of τοῦτο would have been a trifle harsh. πολυχορδότατον has been repeatedly called in question, and there is the usual crop of emendations, intended to obliterate the metaphor. Schneider has however shewn that the MS reading is sound, by citing Pollux IV 67 Πλάτων δὲ καὶ πολύχορδον εἴρηκε τὸν αὐλόν, and Simon. Fr. 46 ὁ καλλιβόας πολύχορδος αὐλός, and comparing expressions like αὐλὸν κρέκειν, ἁρμόζειν, κρούειν. Many other illustrations are given by Smyth, Greek Melic Poets p. 326. Here the metaphor is intended to arrest attention by its boldness and prepare us for the theory of the origin of παναρμόνια in the next clause; but πολυχορδότατον in itself, like πάμφωνος in Pindar (Pyth. 12. 19 al.), refers only to the number of different notes which the flute, thanks to various contrivances, such as plugs, wax, etc., was capable of producing. See Abdy Williams in Proceedings of the Musical Association 1897—8 p. 135. Plato objects to the multiplicity of strings and notes as admitting and even inviting change and fusion of modes. We are told by Paus. IX 12. 5 (cited by Monro l.c. p. 38: cf. Ath. XIV 631 E) that it was one Pronomus of Thebes who πρῶτος ἐπενόησεν αὐλοὺς ἐς ἅπαν ἁρμονίας εἶδος ἔχοντας ἐπιτηδείως. Down to his day there were three forms of ‘flutes,’ intended for the Dorian, Phrygian and Lydian modes respectively. On the means by which this change was effected see Dict. Ant. s.v. tibia. αὐτὰ τὰ παναρμόνια: sc. ὄργανα, such as πηκτίδες and τρίγωνοι. Plato means those instruments on which panharmonic melodies could be played (cf. Proclus in remp. p. 63 ed. Kroll): but we must beware of translating (with D. and V.) ‘the panharmonium itself,’ for no single specific instrument is here intended, as some later lexicographers appear to have supposed. The gloss in Hesychius παναρμόνιον: εἶδος ὀργάνου, ἐξ ὅλου τεταγμένον is not quite clear, and may conceivably refer to a whole class of instruments, but Photius apparently thought that there was a special instrument called παναρμόνιον. His note (p. 388, 26 ed. Porson) is as follows: παναρμόνιον: ὄργανον μουσικόν: Ἄλεξις, ἐν ᾧ τὸ παναρμόνιον τὸ καινὸν ἔντεινον τεχνῶν (Τέχνων Meineke). Photius may of course be right in his interpretation of Alexis' line: but παναρμόνιον in Plato never, I believe, refers to one particular instrument: and even Alexis may mean no more than ‘perform the new panharmonic melody,’ ἐντείνω being used as in τὸ κάλλιστον ἐντείνας μέλος, Dionys. Hal. de admir. vi dicendi in Dem. c. 48. λύρα -- κιθάρα. The λύρα was the stringed instrument in common use; the κιθάρα was employed chiefly by professional musicians or κιθαρῳδοί. See Monro in Dict. Ant. s.v. Lyra, where illustrations of the two instruments are given, and von Jan de fid. Gr. pp. 5—26. By admitting the professional κιθάρα, Plato perhaps lends his sanction to musical festivals or contests in the approved modes. καὶ κατὰ κτλ. After χρήσιμα supply ἐστίν. This is better than to eject καί (with Ast and—according to Bekker— Vat. Θ). Demetrius (περὶ ἑρμ. § 185, cited by Schneider) finds in the words καὶ αὖ κατ᾽ ἀγροὺς τοῖς ποιμέσι (sic, not νομεῦσι) σύριγξ ἄν τις εἴη an imitation of the sound of the σύριγξ. “Ceterum Demetrii rationem me non perspicere fateor,” says Schneider. Demetrius' remark is, I believe, correct, and has reference to the sigmatismus in the words of Plato: cf. Laws 700 C τὸ δὲ κῦρος τούτων—οὐ σύριγξ (used for συριγμός) ἦν οὐδέ τινες ἄμουσοι βοαὶ πλήθους, καθάπερ τὰ νῦν. The σύριγξ was either μονοκάλαμος, resembling our flute, or πολυκάλαμος (like Pan's pipe): see Dict. Ant. s.v. The indefinite τις shews that Plato did not wish to specify which variety he intended.
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